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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: I Wear the Boxers Around Here
By Marita Thelander


My wife’s smile was way too big for my liking when she walked out the door that day.

“Hmph, Girl’s Getaway.” I slumped into the couch, grabbed the remote, and eyed the clock. Four PM to Four PM…she promised.

“ Mikey peed his pants,” six-year-old Kaitlin announced.

“Just a minute.” I stared at sweaty men running back and forth on the basketball court.

“Daddy,” Mikey called from the bathroom. “I need panties.”

“Ahhrgh!” I jumped to my feet and threw the remote on the couch with a bit more force than necessary. “They aren’t called panties, Little Man.” I fished around in the top dresser drawer and handed my three-year-old his Batman underoos.


“Great, Mikey. You woke Gracie.” His sad eyes ridden with the guilt I threw on him didn’t even faze me. I pushed past him to the baby’s room. “Ewww, that’s the nastiest smell ever.”

“Nope, she’s done worser,” Mikey whiffed the air; self-appointed baby poop expert.

“Mommy puts the nasty diapers in the outside garbage,” Kaitlin informed me when I stuffed the offending item into the can under the sink. In my absence, she commandeered the remote and contentedly watched some Disney channel stupidity.

I pulled the diaper out and wrapped it in a plastic grocery bag. “Kaitlin, come take this outside.”

Her mouth dropped open.

I shook the bag. “Now, please.”

“But Mom…”

“Do I look like Mom?”

Plopped back on the couch, I changed the TV back to the game. A sideways glance at the clock made me groan. Five o’clock…seriously? This is going to be the longest twenty-four hours of my life.

“I’m hungry, Daddy.” Mikey stood in my way.

“Move Mikey. You made me miss the shot at the buzzer.”

“He missed,” Kaitlin pouted from the other end of the couch. “Game’s over. Can I watch something now?”

“I’m hungry, Daddy,” Mikey persisted.

“Fine,” I tossed the remote at Kaitlin. It hit her shoulder but I pretended not to notice. She sulked and turned the TV off.

I managed to pull together a meal of mac-n-cheese and peanut butter bread. Then I noticed the note on a casserole dish in the fridge with instructions for the meatloaf.

“Now I find this?”

“Mom told you she made dinner.” Kaitlin noticed the red hot burner and smoldering pot holder. “Daddy, look!”

“Cotton pickin’!” Trust me; I wanted to say something way worse than that.

The hours between six and eight ended up being total chaotic mayhem and the kitchen testified to the fact. I did what every good husband does…I turned off the lights and walked away. Four down, twenty to go. Ugh.

Amanda raised her hands in passionate worship. Tears flowed free and soaked the front of her shirt. Her three best friends sat close enough together their hips touched. There’s no personal bubble for the foursome.

Everything the speaker shared touched Amanda to the core. After an extended time of prayer, puffy-eyed and naked of make-up; the girls stopped at the store and loaded up on chocolate, Chunky Monkey, and diet Pepsi.

“If we’re ever going to wake up for morning session, we better go to sleep.” One of the girls pointed to the clock. They were shocked to see it was two in the morning.

Amanda curled up close to her bed-partner. They whispered and giggled long after the other pair snored softly. One day was all she had and she was going to enjoy every moment. The last time she saw the clock before she drifted off, it was four AM.

“Twelve more hours,” Amanda yawned.

I rolled over and was greeted by bright-eyed Mikey.

“Can we have pancakes?”

“Do you have any idea how little I slept without your mom here?”

“And bacon?”

“Guess not,” I groaned and rolled out of bed.

“Your panties are twisted, Daddy.”

Boxers, Mikey. I wear boxers. You wear underwear. Gracie wears diapers. Mommy and Kaitlin wear panties.”


“Never mind.” I grabbed my phone when it vibrated and read the text while I stumbled out to the kitchen: Love you so much. Being refreshed and blessed.

I ignored the disaster I fully planned to leave for Amanda, and it only got worse by the time I finished my pancake efforts.

My phone vibrated off the table. Enticed by steamy texts from Amanda, I set aside my bruised ego and cleaned like a maniac. That day I discovered my hidden househusband and I’m not too proud to say: Girl’s Getaway changed my life.

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This article has been read 586 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst02/03/11
I am totally LOL! From the title to the end, this is a riot. And quite realistic.
Laury Hubrich 02/03/11
Such a cute entry and too true-to-life:) I like the contrast between daddy and home and the woman at the conference. Especially like how the two collide through texts. If only all husbands would learn as fast as this husband did, to appreciate all their wives do.
Beth LaBuff 02/03/11
What a riot (the husband's efforts with the kids, the meals, and the house). I couldn't help but gloat a little, to see all the chaos. :) I love your title and his about-face at the end. This is wonderful.
Glynis Becker02/04/11
I LOVE your dialogue and I can just smell the burning potholder (not to mention the diaper pail!). Fantastic entry!
Charla Diehl 02/05/11
I'm smiling and thinking this new house-husband needs a bit more practice. So glad his attitude changed with his melting ego by the end. Fun read that most readers will identify with--I know I did.
Noel Mitaxa 02/05/11
Ahhhh, but can Amanda chop the wood? Or does she need a manda do stuff like that? I loved the househusband's healthy foods menu in this terrific profile of cointrasts and shocks. Well-crafted, and lts of fun.
Laury Hubrich 02/06/11
and I love Noel's play on words:) lol
Rachel Phelps02/07/11
What a fun story! So many great lines, I can't pick. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/07/11
I really enjoyed chuckling at your fun story--sounds true!
Loren T. Lowery02/09/11
This so reminds me of the Lonestar song: "Mr. Mom." It all sounds so authentic. Hilarious and great job.