I asked my Facebook followers for a little writing inspiration. If they posted one picture or GIF, I committed to writing a flash fiction story to go along with it. My first bit of inspiration came from Megan Dawson. I wish I could make you all laugh as much as this GIF makes me laugh. (The GIF is supposed to automatically show up, but I’m having technical difficulties. The link works though!)
Got Those Mom Moves
He was supposed to be home by six that evening. A giddiness shot through me at the thought of him walking through the door, suitcase in tow. I rolled out of bed in the gray morning light. Sparks between us existed, but were harder won now that time and life had doused those early flames. It had been two weeks since I’d seen him. I wasn’t wasting these sparks.
I dug to the bottom of my dresser until my fingertips landed on something lacy that hadn’t seen the light of day since I can’t remember when. In front of my full length mirror I slipped my arms through the barely there straps so that the lingerie draped over the over-sized t- shirt I’d slept in.
Ignoring the dark circles under my eyes and my bed head, I swayed my hips and pouted my lips in an attempt to be alluring. Good grief. I have moves like the tin man. I stretched the delicate fabric across my middle. Will this little number even fit anymore?
Rather than cry, I laughed and channeled my inner Gracie Hart. Hands on my hips, I wiggled an eyebrow. “You think I’m gorgeous. You want to kiss me. You think I’m sexy. You want to—”
I bit my lip and glanced at the reflection behind me as heat flooded my cheeks. My three-year-old daughter stared, her brown eyes wide. Her curly blonde hair a mop on top of her head. She spoke around the thumb in her mouth. “Pwetty pwincess dwess, Mama. Mine? I wear it?”
“Uhhh….” I slipped my arms out of the straps, wad the sheer lingerie, and drop it discreetly in the hamper. “You want some Cheerios, Sweetie? Let’s get you breakfast.” I ushered her out of my room, hoping she’s not scarred forever by my awkward mom moves.
On the way to the kitchen I tried not to think about how long it would take to clean up the mess. The mess I should have gotten to the night before, but I was too tired. Toys, kid clothes, and sippy cups littered the ground like casualties of war.
About the time I serve Lucy her breakfast, a wail sounded from the nursery. “I’ll be right back, baby. Let me go get your brother.”
I sang a goofy good morning song on my way to his room, until my foot landed on one of the wayward sippy cups. My life flashed before my eyes as I skated across the floor, and I bit my lips shut to keep the language G-rated. I was going to die right there in my ugly nightshirt. And no one here knows my real name. “Here lies Mom,” would be the text on my tombstone.
I landed in a heap in the floor, hearted pounding, with a new appreciation for the resilience of clumsy toddlers. Ouch. Maybe I should baby them a little more when they fall.
I hoisted myself to my feet and hobbled the remaining steps to Finn’s room. He’s taken the volume up a notch.
I wrinkled my nose as I opened his door, assaulted by that distinct breast-fed baby poo smell. Finn stopped crying the moment he saw me. It would’ve been more adorable if he and his monkey print sheets weren’t covered in mustard-colored slime.
“Oh…Finny boy.” I sighed. He was starving, but clean up was going to be a beast. I stripped him down in the crib, and start working the wipes. I made no headway, so I ran a bath to rinse him off. He grew more impatient by the moment, squirming and fussing. My groggy brain cried just as loud for a cup of coffee.
Lucy’s frantic cry sounded from the kitchen. I gritted my teeth against whatever new disaster awaited. Her little feet slapped the hardwood as she approached. She arrived in the bathroom with shoulders slumped, and tears streaming down her red cheeks.
“I spill Cheerios, Mama. All my Cheerios. I sawwy!” And then she wailed again.
I wrapped Finn in a towel hoping he’s clean enough. “Baby, I’ll get you a new bowl of Cheerios. It’s okay.”
She shook her head emphatically. “Cheerios all gone. All da Cheerios fall. I spill it.”
I imagined the brand new family size box of Cheerios apparently now coating my kitchen floor, and I forced my self to breath instead of scream. “We’ll clean it up. Go play, sweetie, while I feed Finn.”
She nodded, and I followed behind her as she scampered down the hall. Her steps crunched as she passed through the kitchen. I cringed and sat in my rocker. I can’t look. I just can’t bear to look.
I settled Finn so he could nurse. I closed my eyes for one blissful second. My lap warmed. He’d peed through the towel.
The front door creaked. “Daddy, you home!!!”
My stomach dropped. No. No, no, no no. He wasn’t supposed to be here until tonight. Or to come home to this. Whatever this is. And a crazy woman who has replaced his wife, who can’t even remember her own name.
He rounded the corner with Lucy in his arms. She clung to him like shrink wrap. His eyes were wide as he took in the scene.
He looked perfect. A little jet-lagged, sure. But, so together. I wanted to punch him. I mentally dared him to make one comment on the state of things.
As he met my eyes a grin quirked one corner of his mouth. His voice sounded like he was talking a person off a ledge. “Hey, babe. You okay?”
I tried to school the crazy woman look I knew was in my eyes, and inserted false pep in my voice. “Yeah, great! You’re home early.”
He bit his lip, and pointed to his cheek. “You’ve got a little something.”
I sighed and then a sound came out that was half-cry-half-laugh. “It’s poop isn’t it?”
His shoulders shook from his deep rumbling laugh I knew he was trying and failing to contain. He nodded.
He put Lucy down, pulled a baby wipe from the container, and gently wiped my cheek. “I missed you, so I caught an earlier flight.”
I met his gaze, but he wasn’t laughing anymore. There was a spark that would have matched mine this morning. I guess I do have moves after all. Crazy mom moves, but apparently they work for me.