At Quintessential we do Flash Fiction week. It’s fun and challenging! Members in the group post pictures from their cells and I write a quick story to go with the image. You're always welcome to join us! Read August's Flash Fiction:
“Do you need to use the bathroom?”“Nope.”“Then stop dancing. It’s distracting.” I put my hand on his shoulder.“I’m flossing,” he says with a grin. Apparently our definitions of flossing differ because I get a whiff of his breath. Suddenly, I’m glad that when he closes his mouth the scent of axe he’s bathed in will again overpower my senses. Look out junior high ladies! Once I get my son some Aquafresh he’s ready to impress.“Could you go dance closer to the wall?” I ask trying to continue my conversation with his best friend’s mother. I know I should be excited that my tween is willing to stand near me, but we’re trying to coordinate carpool for the afternoon. Between the two us there are six kids vying for attention and we’ve got to get 4 of them to three different afternoon activities. To boot, I’ve lost my youngest in the throng of parents dropping off their students for the first day. She’s been ere enough times that I’m sure she’ll find her way back I hope as I add a kid leash to the mental list of purchases. It’s right under toothpaste and above mouth wash.I sight my preschoolers pink ribbon as my oldest son calls to me. “Hey, Mom! Is this more you speed?”He’s leaned up against the wall doing an impression of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. His arms spin in front of him before he points to the sky. His friends join him and they start to do all sorts of goofy dances they’ve learned playing video games this summer. I can’t help but laugh. They’re silly and excited. I’ve forgotten the list, coordinating minivans and booster seats, and wondering how I’m going to get supper not he table. We’re in the moment. When I look back on today, I won’t remember how anxious I was to get everything right while feeling like I was doing it wrong. It will be how perfect the moment was.
“You wanna wha—“ The new-ish waitress at our favorite restaurant stares in disbelief asking me to clarify.I stay silent as my daughter places her order a second time. I’m impressed with the way she handles herself.“We’d like two orders of chicken and broccoli Alfredo please.”“From he kids menu?”“Yes, please.” She nods.“In a to-go box?” The server’s eyes go wide when I shrug. It’s their meal.“Yes. both on the same side, but maybe could you put a little space between them so that my noodles don’t get mixed with his?” She points to my son who proceeds to take over.“Also no broccoli.”“In your chicken-and-brocolli Alfredo?”“Correct. And hold the mushrooms too.” He puts up a hand like a police officer directing traffic.“I’d also prefer my sauce on the side.” My daughter interjects sweetly. “If that’s possible.” She knows it is even though the waitress has said she’ll have to ask.Another waiter walks by chuckling. He waves to my kids and they call hello to the familiar face before my daughter continues. “I like to mix the white stuff in myself.” For as persnickety as their order is, this is the first time she’s sounded remotely childish.“Won’t his space and noodles touch yours when you do that?”“I’ll take my chances.”The server returs her attention tome. “Is this order for here or to go?” She asks. I know that the woman this were kooky… Well, me by extension because I’m letting them get away with this. She’s envisioning how poorly they’ll act the rest of the time that we’re in her section and she’d like us to leave.The waiter is back. I hear him whisper in her ear, “Do it exactly as they order. Trust me.” He gives my son and daughter a high five because he knows that as soon as that order is out they’ll be the best behaved kids in the restaurant.
A three day trip means I need five outfits. They all need to coordinate incase I spill on something. If that happens then my alternate clothes need a different pair of shoes. Six pair. Shoe are important. Never underestimate that. Underwear may be optional as I’ve yet to pack any. Those are in the last-minute wash. I’ll likely forget my panties and have to rinse the pair I wear traveling each night. I’ve done that before. Around the time I realized that I could go naked as long as I have shoes. Now to choose which ones and make them fit into a weekend rolling tote. I may have to take some of the folded clothes out. its a good thing that I forget undergarments. Priorities.