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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)

TITLE: What Am I, Apples and Peanut Butter?
By LauraLee Shaw


“What am I, Jen, apples and peanut butter?” I cried to my daughter.

She justified, “No, Mom, it’s just that Dad builds the best Lego castles, you know that.”

“Oh yeah? Well, I know a thing or two about Lego Castles, little Miss Jenny—and you’re missing out.” I shuffled into another room to mope.

After all these years of feeding, bathing and homeschooling—day in and day out—now all they want is Dad. “Dad, can you play with me?” “Put me on your shoulders, Dad.” Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, DAD.

Regaining my confidence, I attempted to bond with my son. “Hey, Justin—ya’ wanna show me what you’ve been destroying on SpyScape?”

“Just a minute, Mom. Dad and I are trying to win this quest together,” he replied, eyes glued to the computer.

“What do you mean? Dad’s at work,” I objected.

“Well, he’s taking his lunch break to play online with me.”

“Oh?” My bottom lip popped out--wayyyyyy out. “How fun for the two of you.”

Figures. I moped again, aimlessly wandering to the next room.

It’s not that I don’t want them to like their Dad…it’s just that all I’m known for around here is whipping up apples and peanut butter for a snack. What happened to “Her children will rise up and call her blessed?” I used to be blessed. I wanna feel like the blessed Mommy again.

Little Jen crashed my pity party. “Mom, can I call Dad?”

“No, honey, he’s busy. What do you need?”

“I want him to draw me a camel.”

“A camel—Daddy doesn’t have time to draw camels at work, Sweetie, but I’ll help you.”

Jen hung her head in polite surrender. “Welllll—ok.”

Here’s my chance to put moms everywhere in the spotlight again. My weepy heart began to swell with excitement.

“Now, just let me find one on my handy, dandy Mac. I go to ‘Search’ right here, and type, ‘Camel pictures.’ See honey? This will be eeeeasy breeeezy.”

Ten minutes went by, and I could not find a single traceable picture of a camel.

Jen had given up on me. “You know, who needs camels anyway? I’ll just go draw a ladybug or something.”

“NO,” I blubbered, “I’ll get you a camel…All I have to do is type in ‘Camel Coloring Book’….Bingo! Look—481,000 results. And the very first one says, ‘Camel Coloring Pages.’”

Like a triumphant warrior, I clicked on the link only to receive a message on my screen saying “SAFARI CANNOT OPEN THIS PAGE.” I clicked like a maniac, and the same dadgum message appeared over and again.

“Now can I call Daddy?” an exasperated Jen whined.

“NO, you most certainly will not bother Daddy at work.” I chomped my upper lip. “I can fix this.”

Justin yelled from upstairs. “Jenny, you don’t need to call Daddy, I’ve got him right here on I.M.”

“OH, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,” she shrieked with delight as she ran to the likes of Dad via instant messenger.

All she wanted was a camel, Karen. You can’t even come up with ONE camel?

I sat there, completely defeated—defeated by Legos—defeated by technology—defeated by Dad.

The three of them are just up there gabbing away, and here I sit all alone staring at a big, ugly camel.

Apparently, Safari had found its page in Egypt or something.

“A camel?!!? Hey, Jen, I found a camel.” I turned into a giddy ninny. “Go get the camel off the printer. That didn’t come out right, but hey, who’s the bomb now? Huh?”

“Thanks, Mom, NOW I have two camels. Daddy sent me one to Justin’s email.”

Shaking my head in disbelief, a defeated smirk smeared across my face.

“Hey, Mom, everything ok?” Justin had the audacity to ask as he slithered into the room.

“Oh, Son, I’m just a big bag of crazy today. You sure you wanna open it?”

“Uhhhhhhhh, OK...but can I open it after you slice me up some apples and peanut butter?” he said, licking his lips and rubbing his hands together. “You do it best, Mom.”

“Music to my ears, dear Justin.” I hugged him like nobody’s business, and he tolerated it.

“Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, Mom. Dad said he loves you and that he is the most blessed man on earth.”

“He did, did he?” I suddenly realized what a lunatic I had been.

“Hey Mom, where ya goin’?”

“What am I, apples and peanut butter? I’m goin’ to call the greatest Dad on earth.”


Scripture reference--Proverbs 31:28, NIV

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This article has been read 1074 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tim Pickl04/17/08
Someone once told me, "Being pitiful is being full of the pit." I love this story--love the characters and the flow of the dialogue. The star is definitely Dad, but the mom shines, too in the happy ending!
Beth LaBuff 04/17/08
Yes, it's easy to get a bit bent out of shape. :) I really like your "What happened to 'Her children will rise up and call her blessed?'" comment. It's perfect. I truly enjoyed this heart-warming story. Mom's everywhere need to read this. :)
Debbie Wistrom04/17/08
Loved your poor MC here. Well done and light, I enjoyed this little vignette. Title is perfect, and loved how you tied in back in at the end.
Gregory Kane04/21/08
Fantastic. A thoroughly delightful piece of writing. I particularly liked the way that out-at-work Dad was still able to interact with his kids.
Kristen Hester04/21/08
Boy, can I relate to your MC. How many times have I pouted because I worked with the kids all day, but then their faces lit up when DAD came home. I love the dad, but I can relate to the mom. This entry made me smile. I thought your ending was especially strong! Great job.
Jan Ackerson 04/21/08
Excellent! I love the way that you opened and closed with the same phrase, but with totally different attitude. Great literary technique.
Dee Yoder 04/22/08
Love this, Laura. The dialogue is realistic and you paint many colorful images for the reader with your descriptions. Very engaging!
Peter Stone04/22/08
Great view into a family blessed with two good parents. Loved the ending where the mother stopped resenting the competition but appreciated what she had as well.
Joshua Janoski04/23/08
I don't know. Even though the dad is supposed to be the star in this one (and to his kids he's the star), I found myself focused more on the mother. She made me laugh several times with her attempts to be the #1 parent.

This was a fun and humorous take on the topic. I LOVED it!
Joanne Sher 04/23/08
Excellent, EXCELLENT dialog. This was SO real and SO typical of us moms sometimes. Love it!
Sara Harricharan 04/23/08
Awww! I felt 'sorry' for the mother. I wanted her to be 'noticed' too. lol. I liked the ending though-and especially the title, you made me laugh all the way through this! Excellent work! ^_^
Betty Castleberry04/23/08
Moms everywhere will love you for this. It's easy to feel under-appreciated. Strong writing.
Patty Wysong04/24/08
Oh man, can I relate to this one!! Right down to the pity party!! LoL. Wonderful, Laura. I loved it--it's good to know that I'm not the only mom that gets in a dither (LoL) over being ousted by the best dad around!! Hugs!
Lauryn Abbott04/24/08
Laura, I love it! Congrats on your win!! It's easy to feel like apples and peanut butter sometimes, isn't it?
Betty Castleberry04/24/08
Congratulations! Well done.
Laury Hubrich 04/24/08
Oh Laura! This is wonderful! Congratulations on your third place entry! So very very proud of you, girlfriend! Great reading!
Marita Thelander 04/24/08
YAY Laura! I love this...well written and so very true for stay at home moms. cONGRATS AND MOVE ON UP!
Tessy Fuller04/24/08
This captures the different roles of mother and father really well. I kept thinking of the commercials where the kids stand up and salute their mom for serving I think Tyson chicken wings instead of chips and they play the music. I think it did highlight the mom, but it still was effective in reversing right back to the fact - that Dad has his own special way with the kids. Great job!
Beth LaBuff 04/24/08
Laura...I'm so excited for you. Congrats on placing with this!!
Sara Harricharan 04/24/08
Congratulations! Awesome writing! ^_^ I'm so happy for you!
Sheri Gordon04/24/08
Congratulations on your EC, Laura! Loved the dialogue. Are you moving on up?
Yvonne Blake 04/24/08
YEA !!!! Laura !
Moving up in the world! Congratulations!
Karen Wilber04/24/08
LOL. You really captured the mom pity party. Terrific MC and a real tribute to Dads. Fantastic and deserving of EC. (I like how you worked in all the technology - and how that helps family keep in touch.)
Peter Stone04/24/08
Welcome to Masters Laura. So pleased to see you achieve it with this excellent article too.
Pamela Kliewer04/24/08
Wonderful entry. I could really feel the mom's pain and then her triumph as she realized she'd been having a pity-party. Congratulations!
Julie Arduini04/26/08
Congrats Laura! I think you peeked in my window to write this one. We have a daughter who is 200% DADDY's girl and I'll confess, this year has been difficult for me. Thanks for the great message.
Loren T. Lowery05/01/08
Laura! This is so great to see. I don't know how I missed it the first time around, but reading it just now helps to continue to brighten my day. Your writing is fresh and real and a delight to read. Congratulations and it's great to share the EC with such talent. Loren