Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Child Is This?

Welcome to the Absolute Write October Blog Chain. This month's theme is Masquerade. And I can't help wondering. . .Who is this kid?

Talk about blended families. Our family tree has more ex’s than a Tic Tac Toe tournament. At 2:00 in the afternoon on holiday weekends all the children automatically rotate parents from force of habit. This weekend, I found myself seated at dinner next to an entertaining young man who was engaged in a fork joust in an effort to to keep his creamed corn from touching his potato salad.

“Well, hello.” I’m nothing if not a sparkling conversationalist.

The fork executed a remarkable thrust and parry to save yet another food item from corn domination. “Yo.”

Limited verbal motivation. Uncombed hair. Aversion to cohabitation of vegetables. I hate that nagging feeling that you’ve seen someone before and can’t remember where.

“And who do you belong to?” I really should write this stuff down.

“You. I’m your first-born male child. I inherit your kingdom, such as it is.”

“What’s your name?”

“You told me not to tell anybody that doesn’t say the code word.”

“What’s the code word?”

“Nice trick. You warned me you might try that.”

I liked him better when he was poking holes in the entrée.

I squinted critically and turned his face side to side with my palm. “You don’t look like me.”

“Yet one more thing to be thankful for.”

I paused to consider. Wit coupled with a side order of sarcasm. A single sterling family trait does not make him an heir to my fortune in frozen Girl Scout cookies and unrecycled grocery bags.

“So what’s your name?”

“Nice try, Mom.”

“If I’m your Mom, tell me something personal that only I would know.”

“You hide leftover Easter candy in your underwear drawer, you can’t reach the Tupperware bowls on the second shelf, and you cry during the end of Secondhand Lions whether you see the first half of the movie or not.”

A few lucky guesses does not equal a DNA match.

“And what happened on Friday,” I queried, conjuring up memories of Family Scrabble Night.

He swallowed the last bite of uncontaminated potato salad and guzzled a half gallon of iced tea without stopping for breath. “Friday was allowance day. You owe me five dollars.”

Anybody with that kind of money memory has my blood in his veins.

Now how can I get him to tell me the family password? Maybe I can buy a vowel.

Follow the blog chain. There is no weakest link!

Auburn Assassin and direct link to her post

Hillary Jacques and direct link to her post

Aimee Laine and direct link to her post

Ralph Pines and direct link to his post

Veinglory and direct link to her post

Laffarsmith and direct link to her post

PASeaholtz and direct link to his post

Madelein Eirwen and direct link to her post

Amy Doodle <== YOU ARE HERE



Dolores Haze








Anonymous said...

This piece has a nice snap to it, with some great wit an insight. Fun!

Anonymous said...

I see why you received accolades from the Erma Bombeck contest. Erma would have loved your blog post; it was so reminiscent of her style. I loved it too!

(And I'm really sad to say that when I encouraged another young writer I knew to enter, she said, "Who's Erma Bombeck?" Ugh.)

Anonymous said...

Excellent stuff, as always.

Kinda of creepy in your house if you need passwords to figure out whose who. Costume on Halloween must be a real nightmare!


Hillary Jacques said...

I loved the Q&A sequence almost as much as the description of the fight with the moving contents of the plate.

Very nice!

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

lol It must be a real juggling act to keep everyone straight if you can't recognize the new mask of your firstborn. Each of my children have a distinct flair that sets them apart. But, since I only have two (so far), and most of my memory intact I'll have to wait and see how confusing things can get.

Great take on the Masquerade theme. :-)

Anonymous said...

I was laughing so hard! Gah, this is brilliant.

Diane Dooley said...

Ha! That was hilarious. I try that on my kids pretty often, but they keep assuring me they belong to me and that it's time for their allowance.

Anonymous said...

Oh. Em. Gee. That was hilarious. The latest post about lying hips and other sinister body parts is damn funny, too. Don't freak out or anything, but I'm going to blog-stalk you ;-)

Lisa Dovichi said...

Doodlesnot.. I heart your kids!!! LOL

Give Peanut Butter Jelly boy my love. :D

Amy Mullis said...

Thanks for the accolades! I'll pass the good words on to the child that might be my son. He's been coming to supper every night and he knows the dog by name, so I'm pretty sure he lives here.

Bettedra--I LOVE blog stalkers!

FreshHell said...

Very funny -thanks!

veinglory said...

Cute post :)

PASeasholtz said...

Very nice...I loved it!

steer clear of falling anvils said...

Ha ha! So cute!