Flash Fiction: Rice Cereal & San Pellegrino

Thanks very much to Stephen of  A Fractured Faith for issuing this intriguing flash fiction challenge recently. (You can read his original post here.) The idea was to imagine a day in the life of a person who would have the two particular store receipts Stephen pictured: one with rice (which I translated into rice cereal) and a banana, and the other with coffee and San Pellegrino.

Here’s my version.

She opened the door and peeked inside the baby’s dark room.

Thank God. He was still asleep in his car seat on the floor. He always seemed to nap better there, so she let him. Time enough for him to get used to his crib later.

She had time to pick up the baby clutter and take a long, luxurious shower.

Talk about a change in perspective. To have a neat house and a clean body was a minor miracle these days.

Sometimes she wondered if she would ever gain some semblance of control over her life again.

But when she held him – this long prayed-for first child – her frustrations faded. She saw only the dimpled curve of his cheek, the deep navy of his eyes. She felt only love.

Still, she was grateful now that those eyes were still closed in sleep.

She figured she had time to run one quick errand before he would surely wake up in the next half hour or so.

She drove with him to the market a few blocks away to buy a box of rice cereal and a banana. Their pediatrician had said that solid food might help her son sleep longer at night, and she couldn’t wait to try it with him. Sleep deprivation was making her a little looney.

At the store, she found what she needed quickly. She checked out and pushed her cart toward the exit, the baby still slumbering in his car seat in the cart.

But just as she was about to leave the store, she stopped.

The automatic door slid open and stayed so, as she thought for a moment. Why not take advantage of this long nap, this gift of time, and do a little something for herself?

She turned around and walked back down the aisles, picking up her two favorite beverages from pre-baby days: coffee for now, and San Pellegrino for later.

As she headed back to the car, the baby stirred. He cried his hungry cry all the way home, but she didn’t mind. She savored her coffee and, in between sips, soothed him with nonsense songs.

At home, she set the groceries on the kitchen counter, poured some San Pellegrino into a glass with ice, and freed the baby from his car seat. Drink in hand and the baby in the crook of her arm, she settled herself on the couch to nurse her son.

Right at this moment, she felt like Superwoman, or supermom at the very least.

Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed it.

because home wasn't built in a day

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