Friday Fiction – Good Parenting





This week’s FF picture, courtesy of Lauren Moscato by way of Amy Reese put me instantly in mind of two of my favourite recurring characters. It being April 1st, I should probably have come up with something more foolish, but Matty and Luke stories always seem to arrive fully formed, and I can do little more than transcribe (and cut; this one started out >150 words). I hope you enjoy, I welcome your comments either way though.

Technically this story comes with a LANGUAGE WARNING.


Good Parenting

“Look,” said Luke, “A magic portal!”

“Or the builders fucked up,” Matty replied.

I nearly put the car through a window. “Matty!”

“Uncle Jason says it means made a mistake,” he sounded innocent; I couldn’t see his face.

“It does, but it’s not something we say in polite company.” God, I sounded like my mother.

“What’s polite about us?”

He had a point. Luke had a finger halfway up his nose and I’d just beeped some idiot pedestrian.

“Our language,” I said, burning and burying good parenting, “And the fact that my sons don’t answer back if they want McDonalds.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

34 responses to “Friday Fiction – Good Parenting

  1. So realistic a scene you’ve created. I can just picture it to a tee.

  2. micklively

    A convincing picture you paint: well done.

  3. Dale

    Fun stuff… Could have been taken out of a conversation in MY car! 😉

  4. Well done! A wonderful, realistic use of portals. I love that.

  5. Oh I could have been there. Funny, and so very much the way it goes. I thought ‘beeped’ sounded a tad tame linked with ‘idiot pedestrian’ but the only other word I came up with was ‘blasted’ which felt too strong. Great take on the prompt.

    • I’m inclined to agree about the beeping, Sandra. I found it hard to cut that down to a single verb (I think it was ‘leaned on the horn’ or something previously) for the word count, and I couldn’t think of anything that was clearly horn rather than shouts. Would honked be better?

  6. The fun of raising kids….Well done.

  7. Kids say the funniest things – I know, I stand in front of 30 of them every day!

  8. Fun tale. Only issue is…”Look”, said Luke….even though we can see they are different words, they sound the same which makes it seem like repetition.

    • I hadn’t thought of that, Paul, but I see the point. Can’t change the name as he’s a recurring character, but perhaps I’ll edit him to say “Ooh” or “Hey!” instead. Thanks for your time and comment.

  9. Great story! Seems the first words children say are the curse words and this story shows that perfectly. I loved the ending about them not answering back if they want to eat at McDonald’s because that will tame them every time! lol

  10. That is a slice of life. Very authentic!

  11. I like “honked” too. Ruder. Gotta love the kids, cause if you kill ’em, there’s paperwork. 😉 Reminds me of my daughter’s first day at kindergarten. I asked “What did you learn today?” She says “This,” and flips me off.

    • Nice! We protect them so carefully at home and then the world comes at them anyway, eh? I’ve just been reading a parenting web discussion about letting kids hear ‘naughty’ words on the radio, and my conclusion was the same there too!

  12. I’m laughing. I gave up on monitoring “fuck” years ago. After all, it can be used as a nown, a verb, a state of being, an adjective and an adverb. I’m sure I’ve used it in every form.

  13. A portal to McDonalds even!
    At least in my mind .

  14. Dear Jennifer,

    I have to laugh. This could have been a scene from my own car a few years back. It also made me think of someone I knew who thought WTF stood for “Wow, that’s fantastic!”
    Good parenting indeed. Fun story.



  15. gahlearner

    Thanks for the good laugh and a great story. It creates a movie in my head that keeps me chuckling. Reminds me of my own childhood where other words were no-no. And we used them just because.

  16. My 5 year old son once said to me, ” I’m going to say a whole bunch of bad words. Please don’t get upset with me – I’m just practicing. I don’t mean them.”


  17. Dee

    Hi Jen – I think most parents have been in that car at one time or another, thank you for bringing back some hilarious memories of my boys when they were young. Well done, Dee

  18. Francesca Smith

    A very realistic scene you have written and funny, too!

  19. I think Luke’s right – it probably is a magic portal and Mum just drove right by it. What’s her problem? Nice story – very true to life.

  20. Absolutely splendid – this made me laugh. It also reminds me of how my own good intentions went out of the window on occasions!

  21. Dear Jennifer,

    Think of the grist for the mill your children are going to supply you with in the future. You’re dialog is spot on and the twists and turns were plotted with such care that they sound totally natural. Another fine story from your car.

    Well done.



  22. Sharp, clever dialogue, Jen. The story really comes to life with your deft writing. Wonderful!

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