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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Funny (10/04/12)

By Anita van der Elst


Sunday morning scurry. The phrase floats through my mind as, in autopilot, I direct my two children in the rush of getting ready for church.

Eggs with curry powder, bell peppers, mushrooms, and crumbled cooked bacon. One of these days I’m going to concoct a breakfast casserole made of those ingredients and call it just that. Sunday Morning Scurry.

My childhood imagination always took me into realms of possibilities. Now as an adult it serves to disconnect me from present surroundings, serves to make a place for hope. My hands turn faucet handles to rinse oatmeal off bowls as I see myself creating exotic dishes, competing on a reality cooking show, winning first place—the prize, having my cookbook published.

My daughter’s screeching serves to jolt my daydream with a nightmare halt.

“Mo-o-o-o-o-o-m!” Twelve-year old Adrienne pronounces that word with the exasperation and volume worthy of any official teen. There’s an attitude needing an adjustment pretty darn soon.

Dragging her little brother by the wrist, Adrienne careens into the kitchen. “Look! Just look!” she yells, her free hand waving and circling Dominick’s head. “Dad left his electric shaver out again and Dummie, of course, used it!”

My eyebrows arch as I take in the absence of Dominick’s. I direct my eyes towards Adrienne. “I see,” I dry my hands on grandma’s embroidered Busy Hen Iron on Tuesday towel. “Not quite the grooming I was hoping for but, honey, calling him names isn’t going to help.”

“There’s no way I’m going to church with him!” Adrienne says. “He looks ridiculous! It’s embarrassing. Everybody will stare at us. The other kids will make fun of me because they know they can’t make fun of him.” Crossing her arms, she whines, “Why do I have to have a retarded brother.”

This is not the first time in his eleven years that Dominick has done something silly. And this is not the first time Adrienne has used this term but it is outside of Dommie’s comprehension. He only thinks he’s funny, the-Dick-van-Dyke-TV-show-he-watches-every-day funny, and that’s why people laugh at him. He swings his grinning face from his sister’s rage to my compressed lip stoicism.

“Dommie, you really need to remember to ask before you use Daddy’s things,” I bend forward and rub his buzz cut hair, the result of his father’s forgetfulness a few days ago. I need to remind this boy’s father of a few things too. I shake my head. “Go put your shoes on, Dommie.” Good thing hair grows back but, oh my, until then, we’ve definitely got an oddity here.

Dominick nods and grunts his laughter while I hold mine in.

“Adrienne, just finish getting ready for church.” As my daughter stomps away, I add, “And while you’re at it, make a mental note that Dommie’s behavior is not a definition of you. Your behavior is.”

I believe Adrienne will someday see the humor in this situation. Hanging Busy Hen over the towel rack and barely suppressing a giggle, I let my thoughts return to browsing where they left off.

Wouldn’t it be a kick in the pants if I won a reality cooking show with this very recipe, Sunday Morning Scurry. Wouldn’t it be hilarious to talk about how on the morning the idea came to me, my son shaved off his eyebrows.

(Author’s note: This is a fictional piece inspired by real-life experience.)

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This article has been read 427 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/11/12
This is a wonderful character sketch of a Mother to be admired for her patience, her sense of humor, and her wisdom in parenting skills.
Noel Mitaxa 10/11/12
Sunday morning's curry. Like it. A great little wry cameo of pre-service life. Strong characters and dialogue.
Francy Judge 10/11/12
I really enjoyed this and can relate to the Sunday rush before church. The strangest problems seem to happen on Sundays. You did a great job with the characters' personalities.
C D Swanson 10/12/12
Beautifully done, with authentic dialogues, characters were three dimensional...and really well done. Loved it.

God bless~
Garnet Miller 10/13/12
Garnet Miller 10/14/12
Kids are so precious! Hope to see this Sunday Morning Scurry in a cookbook!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/18/12
This is a powerful piece. My Mom's first baby would have had severe developmental disabilities had he lived past the age of 2 so I've been tuned into that and often wondered if Donnie had lived would I be embarrassed by him. My guess would be I could tease him but no one else had better not even thought about it. You did a nice job handling this sensitive subject.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/19/12
Congratulations for ranking 20th overall!