Friday, January 27, 2012

A Baby Changes Everything

Alice stepped out her door; an immediate gust almost stole her umbrella. Hovering from the rain, she quickly made her way around the corner.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Sandra opened the door, sporting smelly sweats adorned with some fresh baby vomit.

Alice outstretched her arm. Lifted up a gift, “This is for mom, not baby.”

Sandra motioned Alice in, “Come in friend.”

Bottles on the counter, a swing in the living room, diapers on the coffee table, binkies between the couch cushions and a breast pump sitting at the kitchen table, acting like more of an intruder than a house guest.

Alice had to ask herself, what the hell kind of war had Sandra just lost?

Sandra gingerly placed herself on the couch; Alice grimaced at the thought of exactly why she had to be so careful.

“Alice, have a seat; Pearl is down for a nap. You know, that way she’ll have the energy to be up all night, perfect, right?”

“Right, so how are you doing?" Alice played her question back to herself in her mind, afraid maybe she wasn’t asking it the right way.

Sandra sighed, “Um… I’m okay.”

Alice finally made eye contact with Sandra. Dark bags framed her once vibrant eyes, “Well that’s good, but you know, it would be okay if you weren’t so okay. You know that, right?"
Sandra’s head dropped, shoulders shrugged and the weeping spewed out of her like someone had just opened a well shaken can of soda.
“I can’t do this, she cries and cries. She’s just this thing that won’t stop crying. Sandra stood up and began to pace, I’m her mother! I should know how to comfort her! What kind of mother am I?"
Alice stood up placed her hands over Sandra’s shoulders, and forced her down to the couch, “Sandra, listen to me. You are the kind of mother, who just went through a 26 hours of labor; you’re running on no sleep, milking yourself like a cow and from the smell of you, you haven’t even had a shower, so please give yourself a break.”
Sandra’s head dropped again and she whispered, “This is just not what I thought it would be.”
Alice pulled Sandra’s head into her neck, arms stretched around her weary shoulders, “Sandy, we will figure this out, we will, I promise.”
This post was inspired by write on edge. We were asked to polish up on some weak points. No subject specifications, with a 400 word limit. This week I tried to work on dialogue. Let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading,


  1. Oh, I love it, just one quick note (I'm a grammar police person, so please don't be offended): you used "brake" as in car, not "break" as in rest. :-) But outside of that little, insignificant thing, I really love the reality of it. The brutal honesty of the situation. No sugarcoating.

    1. Thank you, thank you. I need to do a little more proof reading. I'm so glad you stopped by.

  2. Yep, another member of the grammer police spotted 'diaper's' too. This was brilliant, a look at what real motherhood and what real friendship is. :)

    1. I appreciate your good eye and kind comments. Thanks for reading.

  3. Wow, I remember feeling like overwhelmed and so tired. Deep bone tired and wondering why I wasn't better "prepared". thank goodness for the "FRIENDS" in our life who take us by the shoulders and help us make it ok.
    this was good, it flowed and the speech and gestures were genuine, I liked it. :)

    1. I'm glad it was convincing.I had to try and jog my memory as my baby is now 2. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I think the dialogue is pretty believable! It's a situation many people can relate to, too, which makes it easy to step into the scene.

  5. Thank you, I'm so glad to here that it was believable. When I approach dialogue I always worry it sounds a little rehearsed or something.

  6. I like this dialogue. There was just enough of it to be real. Also, this is a hard subject to tackle, and I feel that you approached it with respect. Well done!

  7. I think the dialogue works well. There is something so tentative about speaking to a new mother. You never know what kind of reaction you will get or if they will welcome your input.

    Small niggly things: there are missing dialogue quotes in a few places. And you might want to consider contractions when the characters speak. Most people don't speak using the full words. We're lazy ;)