A few days ago, a writer friend of mine (Joce Adams *shout out* – Great Writer – check her stuff out. There’s a link to her blog in my sidebar somewhere) recently asked me to critique one of her stories with an eye toward the 9 year old voice.
As some of you may know, I have two daughters. The youngest of which is my ten year old, Shelby. I told Joce I’d put on my “Shelby Glasses” and see what I could find to pick at.
Just this evening, I found some of her schoolwork on the counter, a common occurrence. One of the pages had some paragraphs of writing on it, and I thought it might be a story of some kind, or a book report.
It turned out to be some kind of journal page. There are two sections. Friday and Saturday. What I read for Saturday explains Shelby Glasses perfectly. You will have to let me know if you agree.
The following is not edited in any way. It is VERBATIM what is on the page and what made me laugh today.
On Saturday I went to my friends and slept over. Once we went on youtube we looked up Etrade baby grounded. After that we did a complete minute to win it night. I won and I got (dramatic pause) 1 Penny!! It wasn’t worth dropping an egg on your head. I had to take 2 showers to wash it out. surprisingly it makes your skin nice and soft.
(NOTE: I wasn’t able to make the !! properly after Penny –the way shelby wrote it- because it is a smiley face using the periods as the eyes)
I was particularly impressed with the addition of the stage direction for dramatic pause and the importance it warranted to add it for her teacher to get the full affect of the story.
Shelby glasses ROCK.
So it turns out, I am the worst mom on the planet. Or at least, that seems to be what my daughters want the otuside world to believe. Kinda like this lady. Remember her?
Today is my prime example. I get up at 6:45am and as usual, my girls are getting ready for school. Now anyone with children knows what a hectic time this can be. Making sure papers are signed, lunches are made, everyone is dressed, teeth brushed, etc.
Innocently enough, I ask my daughter Shelby (10 yrs) where her coat is.
“I forgot it at school.”
How this is even possible when it is 20 degrees outside is beyond me. When you walk outside in that temperature, you automatically ebgin to shiver, rub your arms to stay warm. You’d think you would notice the missing layer at that point. But, Shelby can be a bit scattered, so this is not a huge shock.
“Ok, where is your backup coat? The one from last year,” I ask.
“I lost it last week.”
“You mean to tell me you have no coat at all???”
“No, but I got my sweatshirt.” She holds up a red sweatshirt with a zip front.”
“If you don’t bring your coat home tonight, you are grounded. You can’t go around without a coat, Shel, it’s winter!”
After some pre-teen grumbling, she says, “I’ll bring it home, I promise.”
Then teenage daughter, Caey comes upstairs ready to roll out the door. Her coat, you ask? The thin windbreaker she got for volleyball.
“Where the heck is your coat. You can’t go out like that?”
“I can’t find it. Haven’t seen it since last winter.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nope. I looked downstairs. It isnt there.”
Now they are both standing at the bus stop with either no coat or a windbreaker waiting for the bus in the howling winter winds. I can hear the teachers and bus driver now.
“Doesn’t your mother know you don’t have a coat? Are you that poor? Does she know it’s 20 degrees?”
Yup, worst mother ever…. that’s me.
So ask me what I did at lunch today? Yup, that’s right. Mom went to Target and bought two new winter coats, a pair of snowpants for the lil one, and some hats and mittens.
The irony here? I would be willing to bet at this time next week, I will be having the same morning conversation and watching my unorganized, half-dressed daughters standing at the bus stop in little but their clothing and wondering how I became sush a sorry excuse for a parent.
*Sigh* Happy Winter everyone!