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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Sock It To Me!
By LauraLee Shaw


“DAD, This is so lame,” our daughter Alyssa said as she stormed into our room. Her sixteen-year-old mouth proved itself teen-worthy.

My husband responded. “Lame, huh?”

“You have no right to barricade my room, Dad,” she barked, “blocking off my closet and drawers with bright orange tape!”

I held back the giggle that was begging to come out and ducked out of the room as inconspicuously as possible.

“I should’ve done it a long time ago, Alyssa,” Steve argued back. “I’ve told you a hundred times that as long as you’re living in this house, you will keep your room picked up.”

Alyssa huffed as her heavy feet spoke on her behalf all the way back to her room. “It’s not FAIR!” she screamed while tearing down the barrier to her room.

Exasperated, Steve came into the living room where I was working a crossword puzzle. “I’m so tired of this, Elaine.” My side of the loveseat sprung me in the air as he sat down beside me.

“Ok, Dad,” Alyssa walked into the room in submission. “I get the point.”

He stood up and touched her shoulder tenderly, “Alyssa, I warned you that if you didn’t get your room clean by last weekend that you would be punished. I’ve given you grace all week, but now I’ve got to ground you until it’s finished.”

“WHAT?!? But that’s not fair!” Her mascara-stained cheeks were about to see a new jet-black trail of tears.

Alyssa’s younger brother always walked in at the perfect time. “What’s goin’ on?” he spouted off cluelessly.

“None of your business, Caleb!” Alyssa stomped off a second time and slammed her door when she reached her construction zone.

Caleb looked dumbfounded. “What’s wrong with her?”

“The same thing that’s going to be wrong with you in a minute,” Steve warned.

“What did I do?”

“You promised me two weeks ago that you would pick up all the Play Station disks laying around in the game room,” he scolded. “Some of them have huge scratches now.”

“K, Dad. I’ll do it later.” He turned around and started to strut out of the room.

“No, son,” my husband corrected, “you’ll do it now.”

He made one last attempt. “Mom, tell Dad he’s being lame…”

I stood up and tried to look serious. “No, Caleb. He’s right.”

“What a way to spend a weekend,” he sassed as he made his exit.

Steve spent a good while pouring out his heart to me after that. “It’s like nobody wants to do their work, Lainey. That can’t be God’s best for our family.”

“You’re right, Steve,” I consented.

He turned his face to me and looked me straight in the eye. “Are you in a defensive mood today?”

“Uh,” I hesitated, “I’m ok—shoot!” I tried to belt out positively.

“Well, it’s like that pile of socks in our room. I know you don’t like me to help with the laundry, Hon, but honestly, I don’t think I can stand it anymore….”

He sat down again and shuffled through my almost-completed crossword magazine.

“What? You don’t like having them all in one place to choose from?” I winked at him.

I could tell he felt disgusted with himself for even mentioning it.

“Well, do you mind finishing my puzzle for me, sweetie? I’ve got a sock-ade to tackle!” I looked at him with a loving twinkle in my eye.

He stood up and gleamed, “I’d much rather help a beautiful lady with a horribly boring task, so…sock it to me!”

“How ‘bout you go pick us up some sushi instead?” I pleaded. “Looks like we’re all going to be working into the evening.”

“Deal!” He grabbed his keys and skipped out of the room. “And she still won’t let me help with the laundry,” he muttered under his breath.

As I separated the mound of socks in our bedroom, I admitted to the Lord that I was having a difficult time completing the mundane tasks around me and asked for His help.

My prayer was interrupted by three loud honks outside the window. Alyssa, Caleb and I ran out the door only to see Steve’s car dead in the middle of the street.

“The car is out of gas!” He yelled. “I thought I could make it to a gas station before I ran out.”

Pushing the car back into the driveway, we all had a good laugh. Steve was a good sport, although…

…The kids really socked it to him.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanney Uthe01/10/08
I loved the bright orange tape construction zone for the teenager's room. Great story illustrating the topic in a very real, everyday way. The topic was a perfect fit, especially with the just ending. Only thing I didn't like is the convicting feeling that I really should be folding laundry right now. :)
Laury Hubrich 01/11/08
Very good story. I think I've heard all this before in our house! Love your title, too! Right on topic!
Joanne Sher 01/12/08
Love it - I love that each of them had to learn the same lesson. The dialog was very realistic.
Tim Pickl01/12/08
Awesome! It reads like a skit...hmmmm...there's an idea! I love this line, He stood up and gleamed, “I’d much rather help a beautiful lady with a horribly boring task, so…sock it to me!”
Peter Stone01/13/08
Cute story. Amusing watching the father trying to stop his family from putting off important tasks, only to reveal at the end that he had put off filling the car with gas...
Temple Miller01/14/08
Terrific characters and dialogue. Great sensory and emotional descriptions. And I loved the humor. Especially, I enjoyed the thread of familial love detectable within the tension. Good work!
Rita Garcia01/14/08
Fantastic characterization, realistic dialog. Enjoyed this from the title to the end, and right on topic!
Dee Yoder 01/14/08
Yes, it's a genetic problem! Funny and well-written characterizations and dialogue.
Joy Faire Stewart01/14/08
I enjoyed the realistic dialogue. I felt I was in the house watching the story unfold.
Ann Renae Hair01/14/08
I LOVED this one! Not only is it very well written, but I can relate. I recently learned that my lack of joy in parenting was a direct result of being angry with them for acting...well, just like ME! Thank you for sharing this delightful and humbling story.
Melanie Smith-Taylor01/14/08
The dialogue and action of each family member made me feel like I was right there with them as the story unfolded. Thanks for a great story that illustrates the topic very well.
Catherine Pollock01/14/08
I agree with pretty much everything that has been said so far. This was a very cute story, and the ending was exactly fitting.
Sheri Gordon01/14/08
The dialogue was so real, and kept the story moving at the perfect pace. This is written very well.

Okay, my one criticism -- I thought the 'sock it to me' line was a little 'lame.' Sorry -- maybe you just had me in that teenage way of thinking.

Very good, and realistic, illustration of the proverb. Great job with the topic.
Jan Ackerson 01/14/08
Adorable, and cute twist on the ending.
Janice Cartwright01/14/08
I love the energy of this piece and the contemporary dialogue and setting. Being of the previous generation [funny] but my dh never begged to help with laundry. LOL (not that he refused or anything IF I was having a near death experience)
Debbie Wistrom01/14/08
Loved the title and the efforts made by parents to get the attention of the teen. Liked that the parents weren't absolved either. Great entry!
Linda Watson Owen01/14/08
Oh, what a delightful and so real story! You've really made your reader feel like we're 'right there' with this all too familiar family! LOL! Super job!
Catrina Bradley 01/15/08
What a good read! I fell into the story. Good descriptions & dialog. I'm glad the wife didn't get mad, and I had to giggle at the end when Dad ran out of gas.
Kristen Hester01/16/08
Great job. This was so convicting. I sometimes think we live in the same house. I really avoid the mundane for the fun. Thanks for this well written reminder. Bravo.
Hanne Moon 01/16/08
Very realistic dialogue and family dynamics! I like the way your characters use humor instead of harsh words to make their points. Great example of the topic.
Sara Harricharan 01/16/08
ROFL! This is too funny (and reminds me of chores I have to do along the lines of dinner and dishes *Sigh*) I liked this family, they were realistic in description and dialouge-the mascara stained cheeks were classic, but you made this line fresh when you repeated that with the fresh round of tears would come newer streaks of black. Loved this piece-a favorite of mine this week! ^_^
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/16/08
This is a cute story. I enjoyed the realistic dialogue and the clever ending.
Patty Wysong01/16/08
Oh, I LIKE this idea! ;-) Have you been sneaking around my house spying? LoL. Great job with the characters and the dialog.
Loren T. Lowery01/16/08
This read like a page from everyday life. Great job with dialogue and their thoughts and words were right on point. I stumbled over a POV once, but other than that, really enjoyed this well-written piece.
Joy Faire Stewart01/17/08
Congratulation on your well-deserved win. Great job!