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News & Features » March 2016 » “Wise at Four” by Dorothy Stone

“Wise at Four” by Dorothy Stone

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, Dorothy Stone confronts a difficult topic.

Dorothy StoneWise at Four
by Dorothy Stone

We had recently moved and were delighted to find a babysitter across the street and a few doors down. Allison was about fourteen and lived with her dad, who had told us that his wife had recently passed away. Our children were four and three.

My husband took our four-year-old daughter Tracy for a walk around the block one day. He pointed out Allison’s house as they passed, and he decided to let her know about Allison’s mom. The kids had met her already but didn’t know the details of her family life.

My husband told Tracy that, when Allison came to babysit, she shouldn’t mention Allison’s mom because she had died a short time ago and it might make her sad.

Tracy looked at her dad and matter-of-factly stated, “Oh daddy, I think she knows already.”


DOROTHY STONE lives in rural Alberta, Canada, and has coyotes, deer, and moose walking through the front yard but still managed to shake hands with the real Colonel Sanders. She has raised two children, numerous dogs, cats, horses, and llamas, along with one wild goldeneye duckling that her dogs taught to fly—she is writing a children’s book about this unique experience. She has always been an avid reader of mystery and crime stories and now writes her own.


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: Mar 1, 2016

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