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.
“Honey, I’m home.” Home to sulky silence, the absence of pounding footsteps, and the discordant music of two contentious nine-year-olds. I move through the eerie, foreboding silence toward her. Her—the mother of our children, and my wife of choice on most days . . .
He looks at me with woebegone betrayal in his large baby eyes. My tyrannical one-year-old son is teething, recovering from roseola. How could you leave me? say his eyes so expressively. His tiny hands reach out, appealing to me: Pick me up now! . . .
There are three types of parents of princess-obsessed toddlers: the Mortified Feminist, the Enabler, and the Dad (the latter two being frequently interchangeable). In this segment, we will explore how they might react in different situations . . .
Saturday night, six o’clock on the nose. Emma turns on the radio—her favorite show, her favorite station, always a Frank Sinatra number at the top of the playlist. She relishes the element of surprise, the musical finesse it takes to segue from torch songs to golden oldies that render her a teenager sunning on the beach. Nobody used sunblock back then. Sunburn let you know summer had arrived. Noxzema got you through the pain . . .
She flies to her room with that awkward run that’s typical of children under three. It’s the the quick thump-thump-thump of her feet on the hardwood floors that makes me smile. Colette was a late walker, so that kind of purposeful movement, even if done in anger, amazes me . . .
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? . . .