>Red Writing Hood: Crunchy Momma

>Red Writing Hood: Crunchy Momma
January 14, 2011 17 Comments Writing Stephanie Ayers

>     “But, Mom! Please!! I know it has been 27 years since you made baby food, but I really need your help!” Kelly’s voice cracked a little in her despair.

Jace was screaming behind her, which only added more frenzy to her normally calm demeanor. She switched her cellphone to speaker so she could talk and soothe him at the same time.

     “What’s the matter with that boy?” her mom asked.
     “He’s hungry! I’ve been trying to make his applesauce for thirty minutes now, and it’s just not right! Please help me, or do you want me to call Alvin’s mother instead?”

Alvin’s mother lived two hours away and worked from home, so she came to Kelly’s assistance on a regular basis, a source of pain to her own mother, who lives in another state ten hours away. She had come to help Kelly when Jace was first born, but due to illness and the lack of finances, she was not able to come as often as she wanted to.

Alvin’s mother was old school, though, and Kelly wanted to stick to a natural, organic diet with Jace, so the only person who really could help her with this was her ultra-organic mother.

   “Alvin’s mother couldn’t boil water without burning it,” her mother said before letting out a long sigh. Kelly knew that sigh. It meant her mother was resigned to helping her, and she was okay with that. Her mother acted like she was being put out, but she knew that she secretly loved that Kelly came to her with questions. “What ingredients are you using?”
     “Apples and water. And I was thinking cinnamon, but he’s so little.”
     “And that’s all? You’ve got to mash those apples up good, and definitely add cinnamon. It won’t hurt him. Add a little corn syrup, too.”
     “Corn syrup? Mom, he’s 6 months old. Corn syrup, really?”
     “Yes, really. It’s only a small amount. He will be fine, really, and it will give it a little consistency, which is what you want. Kelly, I put corn syrup in a lot of your food when you were little. You came out fine, didn’t you?”
      “Yes, mom. I guess  I did. It just doesn’t sound very nutritious all of a sudden, that’s all.”
      “Corn syrup and that high fructose crap are different. Also, add a little orange juice. Not a lot, just a little bit. It will make a big difference. It’s Vitamin C.”
      “Orange juice is acidic, Mother. Are you pulling my leg? Corn syrup and orange juice.” She shakes her head, smiling as Jace imitates her motions. She sighs loud enough for her mother to hear her. “How much is a little?”
       “Oh just a touch, not even a tablespoon full of either.” Her mother is quiet for a few minutes and Kelly hears the sound of paper flipping over the speaker.

Before she can say anything, her mom speaks again. “Just a half teaspoon of corn syrup, and 2 teaspoons of orange juice. Well, if you are making a large batch, anyway. How much did you say you were making again?”

       “Oh, Mother, really.  Were you not listening to a thing I said?”

Critique is always welcome.

–Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama

Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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  1. 17 Comments


    >Ah, the desperation in trying to prepare something nutritious and delicious to feed to a screaming, hungry baby. Nicely done!

  2. 17 Comments

    Home In The Hollow

    >That's GREAT! You even included the idea of measurements!!! You devil you!…:)JP

  3. 17 Comments


    >This is good! And the rivalry between a mother and a mother-in-law…so true to life!

  4. 17 Comments


    >This is why I never even ATTEMPTED to make baby food. I knew I'd be the one crying in the end :)Visiting from RDC

  5. 17 Comments


    >I love how you capture the different feelings of motherhood – all so intense – in this post. I feel like I'm in the room with these two women.-Callie

  6. 17 Comments

    Sluiter Nation

    >I know this frustration…that no one is listening to a simple request. This was a wonderful take on the prompt! Love it!

  7. 17 Comments


    >I love your take on the prompt. I must say, I've never even considered making my own baby food, but I admire those that do. It's hard to do anything when the baby is crying for food!

  8. 17 Comments


    >Making baby food is SO EASY. Poor X got gypped – he only had apples for applesauce!Fun take on the prompt!BTW, I will be forever grateful if you got rid of word verification! 😉

  9. 17 Comments


    >What a great take on the prompt! I love that nearly the entire story was dialogue.

  10. 17 Comments

    Not Just Another Jennifer

    >Great dialogue! I love how she switches from Mom when she needs help to Mother when she's exasperated. So lifelike. 🙂

  11. 17 Comments


    >I made baby food myself, and not too long ago. I think you really captured the MIL and Mom drama well. So was your chosen prompt item applesauce then? Or something else?

  12. 17 Comments


    >Oh I can feel the frustration and completely relate. This was wonderful!

  13. 17 Comments

    Jessica Anne

    >Loved this, I can feel Kelly's stress with a screaming baby in the background. Great dialouge too.

  14. 17 Comments


    >OH! motherhood scares me off.

  15. 17 Comments

    Ericka Clay

    >Someone needs a Beaba Babycook! :pI so understand the frustration of this piece. They dynamic between mother, mother-in-law and the daughter is spot on. And I agree with Jessica Anne – great dialogue!

  16. 17 Comments

    wholly jeanne

    >Absolutely fun, crisply written, and believable. I love the clever use of ingredients, too.

  17. 17 Comments

    Nancy C

    >I love that there is so much said here without a word. That dynamic is true and strong. The rivalry, the dance that mothers and daughters play in conversation….so well done. This is why I think dialogue is the best way to show character…you've done it nicely here.


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