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News & Features » November 2019 » “The Rug Rat Diaries” by Anita Wong

“The Rug Rat Diaries” 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 child recounts a fun, yet mischievous few days in his life . . . 

The Rug Rat Diaries
by Anita Wong


In a moment of temporary insanity, Mommy took me shopping even though she had forgotten the entrapment device . . . er, I mean stroller . . . at home. My sister was at preschool. How hard could it be to run errands with one child? 

She opened the door to the store and we strode in.

I took off like a shot. This was my chance at freedom!

“Honey, we have to find a birthday present. Let’s go over here . . .” she said sweetly, catching up to me.

“I want to go this way!” I protested.

“We need to go this way . . .”

“I want to go elevator!”

“We’ll go on the elevator later. We need a present first.”

“I want to go escalator!”

I was determined to get to that elevator (or escalator—either one would do), but Mommy was in a time-crunch and couldn’t humor me. Instead, she was on a mission, and with an iron-grip lock on my hand, pulled me toward the clothing department. Oh, puh-leeze, how boring.

I kept pulling the other way, even wriggling my arm out of my sleeve to try to escape. She gave me that, “Don’t mess with me, I haven’t had enough coffee” look as she held on. We reached an impasse, both of us leaning our weight in opposite directions. 

Then she cheated and picked me up. 

“AHH! I CAN’T. GET. DOWN.” I shouted, trying to slip out of her grasp.

She made a valiant attempt at carrying 35 pounds of squiggling, kicking, squirming stubborn boy. I made it onto the floor and prepared to take off again. 

“Stay beside Mommy. Please listen,” she begged.

I could taste victory and burst into a mischievous grin. “Nooooo, I NOT listen!” I said gleefully, taking off at full-speed around a corner. 

Mommy decided to give up on the shopping trip after four minutes. We went to the coffee shop instead. Drive-thru, of course.



Mommy and I stopped at the auto service centre to see about getting our car fixed. She was talking to somebody about our brake light, so I wandered around trying to see what kind of trouble I could get in to. Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea! 


“I lock the door!” I announced loudly to everyone in the room. The staff and customers looked at me, just as a man walked up to the entrance and pulled on the door, puzzled that he was locked out.

Everyone burst into laughter, including the guys behind the service desk.

Mommy opened the door, apologizing: “I’m sorry—he’s locking out your customers.”

One of the staff thought I was terribly funny. “That’s okay, I don’t mind!” he said. 

Thrilled at the response I’d gotten, I turned the bolt again. 

“You gonna get a time out!” I said cheerfully, which is how I always reply when I know I’m supposed to stop doing something. 

Everyone laughed again. Hey, I’m pretty hilarious. How come my antics don’t go over so well at home?



I’ve got my bedtime routine down pat. It goes something like this:

1. Brush teeth. Or more precisely, run away from parents when it’s time to brush teeth.

2. Put on pajamas.

3. Bring Daddy or Mommy a pile of books to read. The more, the better.

4. Lullaby. Snuggle. Lights out. 

5. Wait two minutes to make parents think you have gone to sleep. Throw Coco (your bear) as far across the room as possible.


7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 as many times as you think you can get away with!

Bonus points: When Mommy or Daddy returns Coco to you and tells you to go to sleep and not to throw Coco again, taunt her/him by waving Coco in the air and pretending to throw him.


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, online publications, and blogs about children’s books. See more of her work at www.AnitaWong.ca


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: Nov 12, 2019

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