Valentine’s Vice


Photo: Tara Meinczinger on Unsplash


“Where’s Valentine?”

I peered into the other room. “Lollygagging.”

“Again?! I thought I told him to give up that nonsense. He’s way too old for this kind of foolishness. I’ll douse him with cold water!”

“He’s not osculating, Mama.”

“Stop being a Peeping Tom …” Pause. Sigh. Flick of the hand. “What’s he doing, then?”

“Just dawdling.”

“With whom?”

“His phone …”




For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Lollygag in 60 words




phones Etsy

Photo: Etsy


“She has a symbiotic relationship with that phone,” the mother complained, eyebrows raised and head tipped in the direction of her daughter.

The pre-teen (on cue) rolled her eyes without lifting them from her opposing thumbs and the aforementioned item’s screen.

“See?!” the mom announced, vindicated.

“Whatever,” the girl sighed in the tone dedicated to oldsters who cannot possibly understand the nuances and necessities of modern life. She placed her phone face-down on the desk and turned her head to her mother. “Happy now?”

The mom nodded, half-mollified, half-mortified.

The lass-with-sass turned to me. “She keeps on me for that phone but she’s the one who’s always on the phone.”

“It’s work stuff,” the mother defended, reddening. Her own ‘lifeline’ already half-way out of her purse.

“Mine’s school stuff,” the girl countered. Her eyebrows rose in victory, a mirror image of her mother’s.

I smiled at their banter. It was a well-rehearsed dance, a sparring of connection more than true conflict.

“Funny thing …” I pulled out the work I had planned for our session that day: a passage and discussion about symbiosis, the close and often long-term interaction between two different species …



For The Daily Post

Maybe Baby

A preschooler today, arriving with his mom. He already bargaining as they walk up the stairs:
“Mommy, can we have ice-cream after?”
“Maybe, Baby.”
“Mommy, can have a play date with Yanny?”
“Maybe, Baby.”
“Maybe, Baby.”
“Can I watch TV?”
“Maybe, Baby.”

The duo arrives, bags down, coats shed, sticky hands washed (there had to have been one ‘yes’ among the ‘maybe’s!).

The boy takes his seat. Eyes still on Mom.
“Can I have pizza for dinner?”
Mom, distracted with the phone, as she had to have been coming up the stairs–the tone remained unchanged:
“Maybe, Baby.”

The little man is miffed by then, but he’s a clever chap. He ponders, brightens, looks at me. I smile benignly back–I want to see what he’s got planned.
“Mommy, do you love Marie more than me?”
“Maybe, Baby.”

He got her. And I think he got the ice-cream and the play-date, too.

You said, what?!

You said, what?!