Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

News & Features » June 2015 » “What Would They Do?” by Devorah Blachor

“What Would They Do?” by Devorah Blachor

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, Devorah Blachor explores the divisive world of princess-obsessed toddlers.

Devorah BlachorWhat Would They Do?
by Devorah Blachor

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.

  1. Princess Toddler has just watched a video of a Disney collector playing with the Princess Ariel Water Palace Bath Playset with the Petal Float Ariel doll featuring Elsa and Anna on homemade floats. She wants to watch another one, but it’s bedtime.

What Would They Do?

Mortified Feminist: While putting toddler to sleep, praises the homemade flotation device that enables Elsa and Anna to float even though they aren’t semi-aquatic like Ariel. Notes that objects float when they are less dense than the fluid in which they are sitting.

Enabler: While putting toddler to sleep, agrees to have another princess bath party the following day after purchasing Petal Float Belle and Rapunzel dolls.

Dad: Lets toddler stay up and watch “MagiClip Fairytale Wedding” after agreeing to buy floating Belle and Rapunzel dolls and a Sofia the First 2-in-1 Sea Palace Playset.

Jesus: Expresses sadness about all the merchandising aimed at young children.

  1. Princess Toddler refuses to get dressed because her favorite tulle tutu is in the wash.

What Would They Do?

Mortified Feminist: Lets her wear the dirty tutu.

Enabler: Suggests wearing a tiara that day to offset the loss of the tutu.

Dad: Gives her the new princess dress that was supposed to be a Christmas present.

Jesus: Expresses sadness about all the wars.

  1. Princess Toddler is twirling in front of the mirror singing “Let It Go.”

What Would They Do?

Mortified Feminist: Tries to find her old Helen Reddy cassette.*

Enabler: Takes a video and posts it on Facebook.

Dad: Puts on the Frozen DVD even though bedtime is in ten minutes.

Jesus: Expresses sadness about Hans’s betrayal.

*When she can’t locate the cassette, she finds the song “I Am Woman” on YouTube and discovers that Helen Reddy is wearing the pantsuit version of Queen Elsa’s glittery green gown. Google it, bitches. 

  1. Princess Toddler is inconsolable because there are only white marshmallows left in the package.

What Would They Do?

Mortified Feminist: Asks, “What’s the difference?” Agrees to give her three pink gummy bears to avoid the tantrum.

Enabler: Agrees to give her three pink gummy bears to avoid the tantrum and then paint her toenails after.

Dad: Agrees to give her a bucket of pink gummy bears to avoid the tantrum.**

Jesus: Agrees to give her three pink gummy bears to avoid the tantrum.

**Parents of toddlers will understand that Dad has miscalculated about avoiding the tantrum. We all know what happens to a kid who consumes a bucket of candy.


DEVORAH BLACHOR is writing Letting It Go: The Princess Toddler Guide. She also writes humor, essays, and mysteries under the pen name Jasmine Schwartz, along with the novels Farbissen and Fakakt. Follow her on Twitter @DevorahBlachor, and click here to visit her website.


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: Jun 23, 2015

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