Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

Today is May 11, 2021, and I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge.

“She’s in here somewhere, sweetheart.” I tried to reassure.

“But what if she’s lost again?” My daughter’s voice sounded full of worry, as we both continued our search for her small, striped stuffed cat known as ‘Clementine.’ Clementine had been lost before, years ago, during the days when my daughter was much younger and had insisted on kitty cat company for various trips in the car. Luckily, we had been able to locate a suitable replacement for Clementine, who soon became a nightime-only companion. Along with ‘Brownie’, Clementine’s chocolate-colored counterpart, these two vestiges of childhood now provide a quiet but much needed tether to the simpler days of childhood for my budding adolescent.

“It’s strange that Brownie’s here… but Clementine isn’t,” I quipped, working hard to sound off-hand and casual, knowing full well we now faced a potential mini-crisis.

“I can’t sleep without Clementine,” my daughter inserted the unsettling truth.

“She’s in here somewhere,” I repeated, as I lifted her comforter up for the third time. “We will find her.” For ten minutes, we quietly inspected any likely location for the missing Clementine: under the bed, behind the bed, beneath the desk, in the closet… nowhere could we catch any sight of the striped stuffy.

Anxiety began to rise, like pressure inside a capped bottle. It was late. I had to do something.

“Let’s go ask Mama,” I suggested. As silently as possible, I ascended the stairs with my daughter in tow. I knew my wife had just gotten my five-year-old to sleep, and this would likely be our last hope. Once upstairs with my iPhone flashlight now illuminated, I gently pushed open the door. I whispered, “We can’t find Clementine.” At first, nothing. Then I heard my wife stir. Although I could not see her, I was fairly certain my wife had fallen asleep next to my youngest.

“Bring the light over,” she whispered. Tiptoeing across the room, I approached my youngest daughter’s bed and allowed the light to gently spill across the sleeping toddler. There, resting peacefully upon the little one’s chest… was Clementine. My youngest, now asleep, lay calmly on her back, clutching the stuffed cat with both hands.

A silent theft!

Next to me, I could hear my oldest daughter begin to seethe. As gently as possible, I removed the stolen object from the hands of a very sweet little thief and handed it to the freshly angered girl next to me in the dark room. “Okay, honey, let’s get you to bed,” I said.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

3 thoughts on “Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge”

  1. We’ve had many similar searches for missing stuffies at bedtime. We’ve never had to deal with (petty?) theft of stuffies. I’m sure that will eventually happen in these parts.

    Nice to see you back to slicing, Lanny! Your voice and your stories have been missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This could have been a scene in our home too…the seething big sister is a common occurrence- nothing is sacred! I’m glad you found Clementine. So happy to see you here today. I’ve missed your slices!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the step by step search. Love how you let the reader know how important it is to find Clementine. But the best is the idea that when all else fails, go ask mom!! Also love the surprising ending and already predicting the breakfast scene the following morning!

    Liked by 1 person

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