“Captain America” by Angele Sionna
Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say). Nonfiction stories will be considered, so long as names have been changed to protect the guilty. Inspired by our best-selling gift book for parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Terrible Twosdays joins the roster of our other online short fiction series. Unlike Mondays Are Murder and Thursdaze, we’re looking for stories with a light and mischievous feel, all about the day-to-day challenges of parenting. As with our other flash fiction series, stories must not exceed 750 words.
This week, freedom prevails for Angele Sionna.
“When Captain America throws his mighty shield,
All those who choose to oppose his shield must yield!
If he’s led to a fight and a duel is due,
Then the red and the white and the blue will come through,
When Captain America throws his mighty shield!”
Captain America is cupping my son’s balls this morning.
Yes, you heard me right. Captain America—in full uniform, arms out wide, shield in hand—is spread across my four-year-old’s nuts as we speak . . . because when my son woke up this morning, he walked into the living room, frank and beans in full display on top of his pajama pants. When I inquired about this oddity, he said his pee-pee hurt and begged me to fix it. Of course I agreed to help. What’s a mommy to do?
As Captain America says: “Courage. Honor. Loyalty. Sacrifice. You’re braver than you think.”
I told him to show me where, and he pointed to the entire area and said, “Right there,” as he drew air circles and began to cry, begging for a Band-Aid, refusing to put his clothes on right, then melting into a ball.
I realize he is still tired and that’s playing a role. I weighed that with the thought of how uncomfortable a sticky bandage would probably be where your testicles and penis come together—that flexible plastic with its edges that poke into the skin even when on durable and exposed fingers. So on such a private, sensitive area, it sounded like a bad plan.
“Surrender? You think this A on my head stands for France?”
And yet I grabbed the old rash cream left over from diaper years half his lifetime ago but still smelling fresh like flowers. (It is the only thing I know of in the house that has the actual suggested use of applying on this area.)
“Good work, soldier.”
I smeared some on as he demanded the Band-Aid again. I tried to tell him the cream was a soft, liquid bandage, but he would have none of that fakery. He mandated a real one, insisting it is the only thing that will help him.
“The day I fall to the likes of you is the day I hang up my shield.”
Now that the soothing cream covered the little red spot right at the meeting point of his twig and berries, I caved in to the tears and little face staring back at me with logic-melting sincerity. The shelf had one bandage with Captain America smiling proudly.
“We Avengers will always fight the good fight!”
When he saw the plastic hero he cheered, pain relieved, and showed me right where to put it.
While it’s not actually on the ouchie—I couldn’t bear to stick it there—I stretched Captain America out across his family jewels. Now it looks like the tiny superhero was called out to a mission to stop the boulders from rolling down the hill. Captain America’s crouching there like Atlas with the Earth—two little Earths—saving the world. Well, at least he’s saving my son’s world.
Upon contact with the captain, he immediately stopped crying, inspected the Band-Aid, pulled up his pants, grabbed the iPad, and began playing Angry Birds without skipping a beat.
“For truth, justice, and the American way!”
The things you do as a mom that you never, ever could imagine. Thanks, Captain America!
“Believe in your country, but believe in yourself!”
ANGELE SIONNA has been a professional writer for eighteen years, working in a variety of nonfiction platforms as a journalist (in TV news, web, print, and social media) and as a blogger. She teaches at Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication. Angele often ponders realities, shadows, and light to write by at four a.m. She’s the proud mom of three. You can find her daily musings on Twitter @AngeleOutWest.
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Terrible Twosdays flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should focus on the challenges of parenting. Ideally, stories should be about children aged 0 to 5, but any age (up to early teens) is acceptable. Stories may be fiction or nonfiction.
—Include the child’s age at the time of the story next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Apr 21, 2015
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