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News & Features » October 2019 » “Observations on Parenting—Volume II: Infancy & Teething” by Brett Pinsent

“Observations on Parenting—Volume II: Infancy & Teething” by Brett Pinsent

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 father tells all about raising an infant . . .

Read Volume I here!

Observations on Parenting – Volume II: Infants & Teething
by Brett Pinsent
Six-month-old to one-year-old

  • If you’re the type of person whose eye twitches when someone bookmarks a page by folding the corner, let your spouse be the one to read to the baby.
  • Always double knot the bottom of the diaper genie bag. Always.
  • People always tell you teething babies are tough. What they don’t tell you about is the slobber. You will need to change outfits more times than Lady Gaga at the Met Ball.
  • Whoever says you get used to changing diapers is full of shit. You accept it. You do it. But you never get used to cleaning someone else’s feces.
  • The moment you find yourself in the backseat of your car at a grocery store parking lot, trying to take jeans and a button-up shirt off a crying baby who just blew out their diaper, is the exact moment you realize why onesies exist.
  • The idea of rubbing alcohol on your baby’s gums when they are teething most definitely came about because some parent already had a glass of whiskey in their own hand to help dull the hours of hysterical crying.
  • An infant’s runny nose doesn’t so much drip as it does spew like a broken water main full of mucus. Expect your house to look like a Jackson Pollock of boogers.
  • The difference between my infant normally and my infant while teething is like the difference between 1980’s Top Gun Tom Cruise and jumpin’ on Oprah’s couch Tom Cruise. Like they’re normal one minute, then all of a sudden you’re looking around going “what the fuck just happened?”
  • The sound an infant makes when they are congested and sleeping/drooling on your chest can only be described as the sound a bulldog would make while eating a bowl of clam chowder.
  • I’m fairly certain that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as an allegory of living with a teething infant.
  • Trying to change a kid with a bad diaper rash is like trying to put pants on a kicking kangaroo while it’s being death-rolled by a crocodile.
  • Parenting: the act of feeling mentally and physically exhausted while simultaneously feeling as if you have accomplished absolutely nothing within a 24-hour time period.
  • Forget expensive toys. They are going to play more with the box it came in than the toy. So just get them an empty box and save the money to put towards their 100k a year college tuition for a degree that they won’t use.
  • Why do they make all children’s toys, blankets, and furniture look like a clown vomited rainbows all over? Neutral tones every once in a while could really help the house from looking like it was decorated by Ringling Bros.
  • Social media becomes a necessity for stay-at-home parents because it is the only interaction they have with people who actually know how to communicate in ways other than banging blocks together.
  • If you ever begin to lose your temper with your kids, just start talking in a Canadian accent. It’s impossible to stay seriously upset when you are imitating someone who has free healthcare, an abundance of maple syrup, and is afraid to use profanity in non-hockey related instances.


BRETT PINSENT is a professional free climber, ultra-marathoner, and search & rescue team lead specializing in avalanche retrieval alongside his trusted partner/St. Bernard, Rufus. None of that is true, but Brett describes himself as feeling equally as exhausted as that fictional character would be. In reality, he is a writer, photographer, and unpaid wrangler of uncooperative and rambunctious children. When not silently whispering “Serenity now!” to himself while corralling his two young children, he enjoys spending time with his unfathomably patient wife, eating out at restaurants he can’t afford, and lusting over handmade Japanese cooking knives.


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: Oct 1, 2019

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