Last week’s story “Nonna” was my first Flash! Friday entry in a bit. It earned an honorable mention so I’m pretty pleased. This week, the photo prompt and the required story element (man v. man) made me think of toddlers and what goes on in their heads when faced with change. They don’t have the vocabulary adults have so often all we hear is “No!”. And so I present “Defiance”.

I will not give up anything else! No amount of pleading, cajoling, promises of a new toy, games of hit the cheerios in the toilet will work. Already I’d given them the bottle, the binkie, now they want the diaper. Wear big boy pants like Da, she says. What was next? Cuddles in her lap? It was because of what kicked me while I snuggled in her soporific arms, drowsily listening as she read Goodnight Moon. There should at least be compromise, right? No more naps! A later bedtime! I know the fun begins when I’m tucked in.
She talks to Zack’s ma at the playground while Zack and I move the dirt around with our backhoes and front end loaders. Zack’s mother tells her no one ever graduated from high school in diapers. They don’t think I’m listening, but I am. They’re taking my bed away with the jungle gym bars that are so fun to scale. I’m ready for a big boy bed, they say and the new baby can have my old one, isn’t that nice? No! My bed! My lap! My story!
Aren’t you excited to be a big brother, they ask. No!