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News & Features » January 2018 » “My Hypoglycemic Son and ADD Wife” by Shelby Raebeck

“My Hypoglycemic Son and ADD Wife” by Shelby Raebeck

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, one eight-year-old’s food journey takes a toll on his parents!

My Hypoglycemic Son and ADD Wife
by Shelby Raebeck
Eight-year-old

I.

“Suzy, did Lucas have Lucky Charms again for breakfast?”

“Yes, darling. And a whole bagel with Nutella—he just loves Nutella!”

“Well, we better get him inside. He’s going at it again with the neighbor’s dachshund.”

“Silly boy. He sure can growl!”

*

“Suzy, I’m home. Picked up some whole grain pasta for dinner.”

“One step ahead of you, sweetheart. Just fed Lucas a tin of mac and cheese from the deli. For three dollars you get this huge tray. He devoured it.”

“Remember, honey, flour products get metabolized into sugar. And we’re supposed to go easy on the dairy.”

“It’s just one meal, darling. And look at how happy he is running up and down the block.”

“What’s he wearing?”

“A camouflage cape—made it himself! He tore down the curtains in his room and then rolled in the mud.” 

II.

“Honey, please feed Lucas Cheerios and soy milk for breakfast and please, no more than one juice box for lunch.”

“Don’t worry about lunch, dear. The third grade is going to Chuck E. Cheese’s. He never eats his lunch anyway. Good thing he drinks his juice boxes!”

“Try to go easy on the pizza and ice cream. Remember what happened at the birthday party?”

“Oh yes, the camera episode in the bowling alley bathroom. Those boys were so naughty! I’ll make sure he eats a full lunch. And I’ll bring juice boxes for the ride!”

* 

“I’m home, honey. How’d it go today?”

“Today?”

“At Chuck E. Cheese’s.”

“Why’re you asking me?”

“Is everything okay? Where’s Lucas?”

“Downstairs in the den.”

“Suzy, Lucas is downstairs playing Grand Theft Auto online with some pharmacist in Tulsa.”

“I gave him a credit card. It was the only thing that would shut him up.”

“What happened?”

“Chuck E. Cheese had their Wednesday special—all you can eat pizza and the ice cream sundae buffet. The kids had a blast, eating and pounding away at that whack-a-mole. Pounding and pounding and pounding and pounding. I could only get Lucas to leave by luring him to the car with Red Bull. On the way home I got pulled over by a cop who saw Lucas peeing out the back window.”

“Red Bull, Suzy? Do you not listen to anything I say?”

“I sure didn’t hear the part about him going Oedipal.”

“He was just peeing.”

“When we got home, I told him to go to his room, and he tore off his clothes and raced out of the house stark naked, screaming, My Mommy’s trying to rape me! My mommy’s trying to rape me! Half hour later, this woman from social services shows up. First, she questions him, then it’s my turn, so to keep him occupied, I gave him a box of Oreos and sent him into the den to play Call of Duty.”

“Oh, that’ll keep his attention.”

“Not anymore. After the woman left, I was pretty fed up. So I went down, planted myself in front of the screen, and told him ‘duty’ means following orders, obeying the rules. I read to him the video’s disclaimer about all episodes in the game being in accordance with the Geneva Convention, rules I told him, rules the whole world has to follow. He just looks at me and says, Should have named it ‘Pussy Duty,’ and turns on that Auto Theft thing.” 

III.

“Suzy, I went ahead this morning and made steel cut oatmeal.“

“You expect him to eat that?”

“I added a little salt and maple syrup. Oh, good morning, buddy.”

“What’s this, ostrich shit?”

“Oatmeal. Try it.”

“Try this.”

“How about I add a little more syrup?”

“Keep pouring, mister.”

“Let go of my hand, Lucas!”

“Oooh, my new favorite, syrupy ostrich shit.”

*

“Say goodbye to Daddy, sweetie. Don’t forget your lunch.”

“Did you pack the chocolate protein bars?”

“Yes, two, and a brand new energy drink called Ka-Boom!”

“You can save your pennies, old girl. At lunchtime, I’ve been walking over to Starbucks with the eighth graders. They buy me venti frappuccinos then dare me to do shit.”

***

SHELBY RAEBECK grew up on the east end of Long Island, where he later returned to raise his two children, Talia and Sebastian. He has published fiction in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Mid-American Review, Calalloo, Hawaii Review, The Southwestern Review, and Sudden Flash Youth, and has recently published the short story collection, Louse Point: Stories From the East End. He is currently applying the final touches to a novel, Sparrow Beach. According to Shelby, raising children is the most gratifying thing he has ever done, though it clearly cost him his sanity.

***

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: Jan 9, 2018

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



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