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News & Features » May 2019 » “Getting There Is Half the Fun” by Anita Wong

“Getting There Is Half the Fun” by Anita Wong

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, a flight to Disneyland is definitely not “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Getting There Is Half the Fun
by Anita Wong
Two-year-old and four-year-old

Once upon a time, there was a brave mother and father who decided to maneuver three suitcases, one backpack, two car seats, one Pack ’n Play, and two young children—including a cranky toddler—all the way to Disneyland.

It was a true test of patience and strength. At the airport, the grown-ups unloaded their kids and (seemingly endless) belongings from the car. Taking a deep breath, they wheeled everyone and everything out of the parking lot, into the terminal, through the building, and to the gate. 

Alas, it was not easy. At the check-in counter, while tickets were scanned and luggage weighed, the toddler whined at the injustice of being strapped in his stroller. When the family arrived at security, he was upset at the injustice of being taken out of his stroller. His sadness soon turned into a full-blown scream-fest. Meanwhile, wicked security officers confiscated juice boxes. 

The exhausted boy had several more crying fits before they made it onto the flight, and even then, delays meant they were trapped on the tarmac for an extra twenty minutes. Oh, no! What would they do? The lad finally fell asleep as the airplane coasted down the runway, giving the grown-ups a precious reprieve as they took flight at long last. 

An hour later, the boy woke. He was so dismayed to discover he was still on the airplane that he wailed to get off the flight. He didn’t want books, toys, peekaboo, cuddles, or orange Goldfish crackers. 

Just as the mother and father thought the trip would never end, the boy ate a cookie. A smile broke out on his red, tearstained face. He liked it! The mother let him eat the entire bag. Anything to keep him quiet! Suddenly, the boy was wired on sugar, but he was so very delighted. And even during the turbulent descent, when they worried his ears would pop and he’d cry again, he laughed and giggled and said whoa! in glee at every bump. 

But we’ve forgotten to mention his sister, wearing her princess tiara, who until this point, had been quietly coloring and enjoying the plane ride. Just as her brother was calming down, WAH! The little princess burst into tears and sobbed for the rest of the flight because the pressure bothered her ears.

Finally, the airplane landed at its sunny, smoggy destination. The grown-ups were a little ragged, but now the fun could begin. “The Happiest Place on Earth!” They’d made it. It was only a half-hour wait for luggage, and a shuttle ride, car rental line-up, and forty-five-minute drive away…

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Having triumphed over the Terrible Twos, ANITA WONG is now bravely navigating the world of parenting teenagers. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she writes for corporate clients and online publications, and blogs about children’s books. See more of her work at www.AnitaWong.ca.

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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 to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: May 21, 2019

Category: Original Fiction, Terrible Twosdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



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