AW Flash Fiction — “All In A Day’s Work” — 3/14/10

90 minutes from reveal of the theme until the final story must be posted at AW.
I wish I’d written this one for the Erma Bombeck competition.  🙂

Delia woke to a screaming baby this morning like almost every morning. She’d already kissed and seen her successful husband off to his job as a high-powered attorney an hour earlier.

Baby Mikey on her hip, she woke her seven year old, Shane, for school. As usual, he balked, didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to get dressed. She eventually bribed him out of bed with the promise that he could wear his Wizards of Waverly Place t-shirt. With the baby happily sucking down a bottle in his playpen, she tore apart Shane’s room looking for the promised shirt. She found it in a crumpled heap in the corner, the reeking stench of cat urine overpowering.

“Dammit, Mr. Jingles! That’s the second time this week.”

In a fit of madness, she pulled a tshirt from her husband’s drawer and grabbed a magic marker and wrote “Wizard-in-training for the Wizards of Waverly Place” on the front and “Master Shane” on the back. She drew a couple of Harry Potter’ish lightening bolts on the shoulders.

Shane took the shirt and wrinkled his nose. “What’s that smell? Smells like magic marker.” He held the shirt out in front of him and frowned then looked up at his mother and said, “This isn’t it.”

Thinking fast Delia said, “This is a new one they just advertised. I had it made special just for you. Look at the back.”

Shane flipped the shirt around and when his eyes lighted on his name he smiled and said, “Cool!” then slipped it over his head. The shirt fell to his knees. A fresh pout began to form.

“Here, we can fix that lickety split,” Delia exclaimed as she tied a knot in each corner of the shirt. Shane looked dubious for a second then shrugged and ran happily downstairs to eat his breakfast.

Mikey began round two of his early morning shrieking and Delia scurried downstairs, wearing the one sock she’d had time to pull on.

Wet diaper. She hauled him upstairs to his room and plopped him down on his changing table and removed his ultra-absorbant diaper that during the night had bloated up to five times its normal size. It fell off the table inside down to the floor with a splat in time for the family bloodhound to rush in, seize the diaper and run off, leaving a generous trail of poo in his path, including a few paw prints made of the same.

“General Lee!” she screeched at the dog. But she couldn’t chase after him with baby Mikey on the changing table. “Mister, you are dead meat when I catch you!” she yelled.

She reached her hand inside the diaper package but withdrew it empty. She was out of diapers. Mike had forgotten to bring home more last night. What to do? What to do? Glancing around the nursery yielded nothing. She picked up the baby and ran into her own bathroom and grabbed an ultra absorbent Kotex pad and stuffed it between the baby’s legs, securing it around his waist with a chain of bandaids.

“Mom!” came Shane’s voice. “General Lee’s found some chocolate and is making a mess!”

“Coming!” Delia brought Mikey back downstairs and returned him to his playpen while she assessed the damage.

Shane stood crying in the kitchen. “It stinks!” he wailed. Two giant brown paw prints defaced the front of his shirt.

“Upstairs! Take the shirt off and throw it in the tub. Get another one, quickly. It’s almost time for your bus.”

“But I wanted to wear my new one today! Can’t you wash it?” he cried with a stomp of his little foot, right in a smear of baby poo on the kitchen tile.

“Ahhhh!” Delia screamed. “Shoes off too!”

Shane kicked his shoes off where he stood then stepped in his socked feet in the poo.

“Ahhhh! Now the socks too! See the brown, Shane? Don’t step in it!”

Shane continued to cry but turned and started to walk upstairs.

“Shane! Take the socks off first!”

He slipped them off then trudged at a death march pace up the stairs.

Delia began spraying and wiping up the floors, cursing under her breath. She still needed to find General Lee. There was no telling how much of a mess he’d made by then.

Shane scampered back downstairs wearing the Wizards of Waverly place that Mr. Jingles had christened his own.

“You can’t wear that one, Shane! Mr. Jingles peed on it. Back upstairs and get something clean from your closet. Socks too.” Blowing her hair out of her eyes, she snatched up Shane’s shoes and began to clean off the soles.

The bus honked outside her house. “Shane!” she yelled. But it had already begun to pull away. Now she’d have to drive him to school.

Ten minutes later with baby Mikey strapped in his car seat and Shane strapped in his booster seat, a battle waged with each child to secure them there, they pulled out of the driveway.

“Mom?” came the small voice from the backseat. “We need to stop at the grocery store cause I need to bring cookies for the party today.”

“What!! Why didn’t you say something before now, Shane?”

She whipped into the Safeway and with the kids in tow and ran through the aisles and grabbed cookies and diapers.

“Not that kind,” Shane complained.

“Tough toenails.”

“Well, what have we here?” cooed the checker at the sight of baby Mikey wearing nothing but a maxi pad and bandaids. Her face slowly changed from one of delight to one of horror.

“It’s been…one of those days…” Delia offered with a shrug, noticing that she still wore only one sock.

The checker sniffed and said, “I think he needs a change. I smell a messy…er…pad.”

Delia blushed as she spied a small brown smear near her elbow and said, “Oh well, we’d better hurry then.”

She dropped Shane off at school, yucky cookies in hand, a plaid red shirt buttoned wrong paired with a pair of too short pants, no socks with his mis-matched tennis shoes and returned home to begin the daunting task of cleaning up.


“I’m home!” Mike called out as he walked into his immaculate home, a home that smelled fresh from a recent cleaning. Baby Mikey cooed and waved his little fists, his “I love my daddy” t-shirt spotless over a fresh white diaper.

“Daddy!” yelled Shane as he ran out in his favorite Wizards of Waverly Place shirt, freshly laundered.

“Dinner’s almost ready,” Delia called from the kitchen.

“Wow, everything looks fantastic,” Mike exclaimed as he gazed at the picture of domestic bliss. Even General Lee and Mr. Jingles looked contented, curled up together in the General’s large dog bed.

“Eh, all in a day’s work,” Delia said as she ushered everyone to the table.