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December 20, 2011

Thank you so much for your advice. I cut out the first part of the story and cut to the chase, I also added another paragraph. I think I might be getting it but it is still definitely not award worthy!


Kayla clambered up the steps of the stoop and began banging on the door. A stern looking old woman answered and looked severely at Kayla. “Kayla’s been so excited to see you all morning,” Emily said to the girl’s grandmother. The woman swung the screen door and allowed the three of them in. “How is everything, mom?” Kayla’s mother asked. “Oh, it’s fine,” the grandmother responded. Kayla ran to the den and looked at the shelf where a beautiful dollhouse stood. The dolls were delicate with sweet faces and all of the furniture was hand-painted. “Don’t touch it, Kayla,” the grandmother warned. Emily pulled the little girl away, inviting her to the table for lunch. Kayla began banging on the table and singing a song she’s created on the spot. “Little girls do not make such noise,” says the grandmother. Emily looks at Kayla’s mother, who winces and shrugs, unable to stand up to her mother.

After eating, Emily took Kayla to play while the women spent time together. “You need to discipline her,” the older woman said. “Yes,” said Kayla’s mother. Emily knew Kayla’s grandmother had her own particular, particularly strong, opinion on the proper way to raise children. She rolled her eyes and zoned out of the conversation. Not like she speaks to me anyway, I’m just “the nanny”. She smiled at the little girl playing quietly with her blocks. It seemed that no matter how she was behaving, her grandmother always found some fault. Too loud, too clumsy, too careless…what?!

A loud crash sounded behind her. “Oh, no,” Emily groaned. She turned to see Kayla, tears in her eyes, staring at the pieces of the broken dollhouse. “It’s broked,” she said, before her body started to heave from sobbing. “I told you to keep her away from that,” the old woman said deliberately. “I’m so sorry, mom”, Kayla’s mother said, “it was just an ac-” “No, it wasn’t an accident. She’s a terribly behaved child. Always getting into things she shouldn’t be!” The grandmother’s voice rose. Emily picked up the girl and attempted to calm her down. The crash had startled her, and the yelling was not making it any better. She brought Kayla into one of the bedrooms and sat with her on the bed, listening to the fight from the two women. Emily couldn’t make out all of it, but understood for the most part that Kayla’s grandmother had very strong opinions with how children were to be raised, and found Kayla’s mother’s techniques extremely lax. Sorry that she actually has a positive relationship with her kid. It was hard. Emily got that Kayla’s grandmother loved her, but how could that ever be perceived by someone so small. She heard the voices die down, and heard Kayla’s mother say goodbye. She came into the bedroom and asked Emily to bring Kayla, who had fallen asleep.


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