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News & Features » May 2016 » “Mommy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Crappy Day” by Vicki Severn

“Mommy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Crappy Day” by Vicki Severn

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, everything goes wrong for Vicki Severn.

Vicki Severn photoMommy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Crappy Day
by Vicki Severn
Five and seven

I woke up at 1:00 a.m., when Jimmy had a bad dream, and at 3:45, when Sarah peed in her bed, and when my alarm went off at seven I got up and stepped on a lego and by mistake Jimmy got toothpaste on my last clean pair of pants, and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, really crappy day.

At breakfast Sarah wanted strawberry safari oatmeal and cried when there weren’t actual strawberries in it, and while I swept up Jimmy’s cocoa puff spill, I knocked my cup of lukewarm coffee off the counter.

I think I’ll move to Australia.

When it was time to go to school, Jimmy gave Steve a hug and a kiss and Sarah gave him a hug and said, “I love you, Daddy.” All I got was a scream and a stomped-on foot. I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, really crappy day.

At my yearly checkup my gynecologist said she doesn’t take my new health insurance and could not refill my prescription for birth control. Who needs birth control? I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, really crappy day.

I could tell because at the grocery store they were all out of my kids’ favorite gluten-free, naturally organic, whole wheat mac and cheese and I had to buy the generic, store-brand box of spirals and cheese.

A woman parked her van too close to mine and I dinged her passenger-side mirror. She said she was going to press charges. She said she’d see me in court. I said fine, I hope you can track me down in Australia.

In yoga class Katie’s mom had a fancy new mat. Guess which mom forgot to pack her mat?

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, really crappy day.

That’s what it was because after school Jimmy’s teacher wanted to talk to me because his diorama on Earth’s solar system was due yesterday and would I please have it ready for next week? Next week, I said, I’m going to Australia.

On the way home Sarah was as quiet as could be, and it wasn’t until I pulled into the driveway that I realized I’d left her at school, and while I was cursing I accidentally cursed into an answered phone call from Sarah’s principal, who scolded me for swearing and for leaving Sarah at school.

“I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, really crappy day,” I said. The principal hung up on me.

So when we finally got home, it was time for homework. Sarah wanted to write her spelling words in pen because she couldn’t find a pencil. When I found a pencil, its tip was broken. Jimmy had the pencil sharpener but dropped it and the sofa cushions ate it.

It was when Steve called to say he was working late that I realized I forgot to thaw chicken for dinner and had to heat up leftovers. I hate leftovers.

Jimmy’s bath was too hot, Sarah got soap in her eyes, a washcloth went down the drain, and both kids told me they didn’t have any clean underwear.

Sarah’s nightlight burned out, and Jimmy said his belly hurt.

When Steve came home, Sarah squealed on me that I’d left her at school and Jimmy told him I was moving to Australia.

Steve gave me a kiss and said, “Some days are like that.”

Even in Australia.


VICKI SEVERN is a freelance writer, photographer, child wrangler, and award-winning soup cooker. Vicki has a bachelor’s of fine art from Kutztown University. She lives in Bethlehem, PA, with her husband and two small children. She knows how to fold a fitted sheet but cannot make sense of toddler logic. Consequentially, her parenting philosophy is, “We do not negotiate with terrorists.”


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 3, 2016

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