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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)

TITLE: Meltdown Mixup
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Daddy was bustling around the kitchen before leaving. He yelled up the stairs, “Michael, hurry up I need your help. Please make sure you and Sydnee are all ready to go. But hustle, we’re running late.”

Michael stomped down the steps and tossed the bundle he was carrying on the table. She’s almost seven; you’d think she’d be able to pack her own things.”

After taking a deep breath and unclenching his teeth, Daddy turned to his son, “We just had this talk yesterday. You need to drop the attitude or you’ll be grounded. Get your sister and…”

Popping her red-head around the corner, Syndee looked at Daddy. “I’m right here, Daddy, where are we going?”

Scooping her up in his arms he brushed her hair off of her face, “We’re going to Mountain Point to surprise Mommy for her birthday. We’re going to The Lookout for dinner. Aunt Ivy is getting her there; Mommy has no idea about dinner. She thinks we‘re going to watch the softball game.”

Michael tussled his sister’s hair, “That’s Daddy’s way of telling you to keep your mouth shut.”

Wiggling out of Daddy’s arms, she slid to the floor, crossed her arms and stamped her foot. ”I’m not going and you can’t make me.” She turned around, her chest heaving, ran upstairs and slammed her door.

Turning to his son, Daddy raised his eyebrows and pointed his finger right at Michael’s face, “I warned you and your mother agrees. You need an attitude adjustment and if you can’t do it on your own, then maybe a semester at Military school will help. Now march upstairs and apologize to your sister and hurry up.”

Shaking his head while grumbling under his breath, Michael went into Sydnee’s room; he walked in to see her sprawled out on the bed. Her hair was plastered to her face with tears. He sat down next to her and rubbed her back. “Come on, Syd, I’m sorry. Really I was just joking; c’mon, you’re getting all wet. I’ll help you wash your face. We need to hurry.’’ But Sydnee wouldn’t move. “You’re going to get me in trouble if we aren’t the car in about two minutes. Dad’s already mad at me; I can’t have my favorite sister mad too.”

With that, Sydnee sat up and hugged her brother, “I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at Daddy.”

“Cool what‘d he do?”

Syd shook her head and the two of them went downstairs.

Daddy smiled,” Looks like your two made up. Now… Hustle and get in the car. “

Sydnee looked at Daddy. “I’m not going and you’re mean.”

Daddy stood there with his mouth open and splotches of red crept from his neck up to his face. Michael quickly stepped in front of him. “It appears your little princess is angry with you and not me. Go figure.”

. “Why are you upset with me?”

Shuffling her feet, she looked Daddy in the eyes, “I heard you and Mommy talking last night and you said if Michael didn’t change his outlook then you were going to send him to military school. And now today you’re making us go. Can’t we surprise Mommy somewhere else?”

“Michael likes it; he took his prom date to dinner there?

She shook her head, “I don’t want any part of this scheme.”

Daddy stared at Michael, “Where did she learn that word and do you know why she won’t go to the restaurant? She’s been bugging us to go ever since you went there.”

Michael started to laugh hysterically.

Daddy threw his arms up in the air, “What?’”

“I believe we have a breakdown in communication, if you didn’t use old fuddy-duddy words, Syd would never have misunderstood you. When you told me I needed a new outlook, Syd thought you meant a new restaurant. I had been talking about taking Holly to dinner at The Outlook; she thought you meant I needed a new restaurant.”

Daddy picked up Syd, “So you thought I was trying to trick Michael by taking Mommy to dinner?”
She nodded her head. Daddy smiled, “Outlook means attitude.”

“Why would someone name a restaurant that?”

“The name of the park is Mountain Point Outlook because you can see for miles and the restaurant is in the park.”

“Cool, we better hurry.”

Michael ginned at Dad, “Kids, what would you do without us?”

“Just get in the car.”

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This article has been read 635 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick06/09/11
Clever and creative-loved it! The little girl reminds me of my own daughter, strong willed and passionate about what she feels is right or wrong.:) Cute story!!
Kathleen Langridge06/09/11
Delightful story that is my daughter, still at 43, she hasn't changed. Good coverage of the theme as well.
Linda Goergen06/10/11
Oh, the smiles children's perspectives are capable of bringing!! You have presented a fun story of that and left us with a smile! Well done!
Sarah Elisabeth 06/12/11
Cute! Good job with capturing the voice and confusion of the little girl :-)
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/12/11
Hehe, too funny. Sounds just like something a little kid would say.
Rachel Phelps06/12/11
What a cute character! I was expecting more conflict between the dad and son, but Sydney's miscommunication was a sweet way to resolve this story.
Colin Swann06/13/11
A cute amusing story of family confusion. Enjoyed! Thanks!
Patricia Protzman06/13/11
Well-done. An accurate picture of everyday life in a family. Perfect for this week's theme.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/13/11
Realistic family dialogue and a good story here.
Danielle King 06/13/11
Reminds me of the little girl on 'Outnumbered' on TV. Cute story, enjoyed reading it.
Edmond Ng 06/15/11
Great imagery! I enjoyed the read very much and was able to imagine how adorable Syd must be, along with the entire story. Excellent piece.
Noel Mitaxa 06/15/11
You have sketched your characters with a great sense of credibility.
Belinda Borradaile06/24/11
Hi, never sure if people get messages sent....so thought you would definately get this:) Thank you so much for always commenting so nicely on everyones work. I always look forward to seeing your name under my entry! PS. Love this peice:)
C D Swanson 07/16/11
Oh this was truly an adorable story. It was entertaining and believable at once. Good Job!

God Bless you!