I follow an interesting account on Instagram, called @RusticoJournal. Every day they share a writing prompt to help us get the creative juices flowing, and I’m sure people use these to their advantage.
Unfortunately, I’m not usually that person. I read them and think about how many ideas I have, and then move on with my day. Usually because I’m busy, sometimes because I’m distracted, and always because I’m tired.
But this one really caught my attention, and I want to answer the prompt. I’m going with a creative writing format here, and the only rules that I created for myself are that it must be written in third-person and must be under 500 words.
(SIDE NOTE: THIS PIECE IS 499 WORDS. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.)
HOW DO YOU START YOUR DAY?
His alarm blares, shattering the silence that previously occupied the room.
He rolls around and almost always hits snooze, desperately clinging to sleep like a baby clutching its favorite toy. As he slowly builds up the courage to yank himself out of bed, his wife tosses aside the sheets and emerges from her den.
She slowly makes her way to the door and then down the stairs, finally arriving in the kitchen. The air is crisp, perhaps even cold. But that’s to be expected with a partner who would rather paint himself with sweaters than turn the thermostat up.
The dew is still fresh on the toaster as she throws an English muffin into the frosty slots. The sound of bread on aluminum is soothing; perhaps even cathartic.
She knows it so well. This is familiar territory.
“We’re low on coffee,” she thinks. She makes a mental note to get some at the store today.
It’s right by the carrots, which the baby needs anyway.
As she puts together his lunch, she sits and thinks to herself. Nothing in particular, just an organization of what she said and thought the day before.
“I should update the orders log.”
“We need to cancel that magazine.”
“Is it normal for a baby to act that way?”
Just as she starts to focus, her phone lights up, pulling her attention from the reality of life to the entertainment of the internet.
INSTAGRAM MISSES YOU. PLEASE USE INSTAGRAM MORE.
The hook has been set and she will swim through this cyber-pond for the next 10 minutes.
At least it’s entertaining.
Just as she sets her phone down, he emerges from the stairwell, looking showered and fairly respectable but still mostly asleep.
“Good morning,” she says.
It’s almost a question.
He mutters something back, but it’s hard to make out.
She can tell it’s one of those mornings. Time for a pep talk, she thinks.
“Hey, you have pizza for lunch! How excited are you?”
He smiles, nods, and wraps his jacket around himself, making his way towards the door.
They kiss, and he leaves. He seems happy to be going to work. But now what will she and the baby do to be in such good spirits?
She doesn’t quite know, and she truly never will.
The baby is unpredictable.
Maybe she’ll get lucky. Maybe the baby will love the stories and the snacks.
But that isn’t likely. She knows that. If the last month is any sort of indicator, the baby will want no stories and no snacks. The baby will only want to cry and fuss and fight.
She stumbles into the living room, looking for just a few minutes of rest. Right as she starts to doze off, she hears the cry from upstairs.
The baby is up. And she needs mommy.
The day begins.
He is off at work, and she is doing everything she can to entertain the baby.
And so, they start their day.