Context of Normal (Trifecta Challenge)

She padded down the stairs after reading Liam his bedtime story.  Every step shook her stomach, which jiggled freely under the lightweight fabric of her nightshirt.

Will my body ever get back to normal?  Two years of ab crunches had zero effect on the post-baby pouch.  Or is this my new normal?  Gwyneth Paltrow got her body back.  So did Jessica Alba.  Twice.  The unfairness rankled her.

She flopped onto the couch, too discouraged to bother with sit ups.  Her husband reached over and pulled her toward him.  “You are so beautiful,” he murmured in her ear.

She pulled away so she could see his face.  She saw no hint of mocking, only adoration.  His love worked on her heart the same way hot fudge softened vanilla ice cream.  Instead of her normal response of, ‘ick’ followed by a flippant comment about his apparent blindness, or worse, launching into a diatribe about her flaws, she decided to embrace his compliment.

“Thank you,” she said, leaning her head on his shoulder.  “You know what sounds good?” she asked.


“A hot fudge sundae.”


The Trifecta challenge this week is to write a response between 33 and 333 words using the word “normal” as defined below.  (Normal isn’t something I know much about, but I gave it the ‘ol college try, anyway :))

NORMAL (noun) – a form or state regarded as the norm : standard

If you want to enter your own response to the prompt, check out Trifecta’s site by clicking on the tricycle picture.

50 thoughts on “Context of Normal (Trifecta Challenge)

  1. Tahlitha Chadwick July 30, 2012 / 2:58 PM

    Sweet, literally. After having children there is a new normal…thank God for the husband who loves you before, after, and just the way you are. Your writing is always a pleasure Janna.

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2012 / 7:33 PM

      Thanks for reading and for your kind comment, Tahlitha. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. philosophermouseofthehedge July 30, 2012 / 3:02 PM

    So true, might as well be realistic – ice cream for all! (you can do the sit ups and push ups and treadmill later)

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2012 / 7:33 PM

      Push ups, too, huh? Man that ice cream is exercise expensive 🙂 Thanks for reading, Phil!

  3. MOV July 30, 2012 / 3:08 PM

    well done. very realisitic and sweet at the same time.


    • jannatwrites July 30, 2012 / 7:34 PM

      Thanks, MOV! I’d hoped it felt believable.

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2012 / 7:34 PM

      Thank you, Diane – glad you enjoyed it!

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2012 / 7:35 PM

      Thanks, Ruby. Appreciate you taking time to read it!

  4. Writing Jobs July 30, 2012 / 6:19 PM

    That was another excellent post today. You make it look so easy. Thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed reading it very much. Have a wonderful day!

    Enjoy writing? Join Us Today –

    Writers Wanted

  5. cuhome July 30, 2012 / 6:42 PM

    Well done, Janna!

  6. pattisj July 30, 2012 / 9:11 PM

    I’d take a hot fudge sundae over crunches any day! lol

  7. Widdershins July 30, 2012 / 11:06 PM

    Sometimes that hot fudge sundae moment is beyond all else.

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2012 / 11:20 PM

      Exercise can wait…hot fudge sundaes cannot 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Widdershins!

  8. uneven steven July 31, 2012 / 4:17 AM

    good writing. thought for a sec the last hot fudge might be leading to something a little hotter but still enjoyed

    • jannatwrites July 31, 2012 / 5:43 AM

      Hmmm…I guess the reference could be read both ways (if the reader prefers something hotter :))

  9. Jonesingafter40 July 31, 2012 / 6:49 AM

    You are too good at these!

  10. Debbie July 31, 2012 / 6:56 AM

    What a sweet story — nothing much better than being loved and accepted for you, just as you are!

    • jannatwrites July 31, 2012 / 9:00 PM

      I agree, Debbie. The world would be so much better if we all loved like that 🙂

  11. Michael July 31, 2012 / 7:42 AM

    Awwwww….that was nice. And now I kinda want ice cream too. 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 31, 2012 / 9:01 PM

      Thanks, Michael! When the first mention of hot fudge happened, I really wanted a sundae, too 🙂

      P.S. The kitty in your gravatar is adorable.

      • Michael August 1, 2012 / 6:50 AM

        Yes, but after your most recent post about pictures and all I had a sudden feeling I should change it. Lol.

        • jannatwrites August 1, 2012 / 8:04 AM

          Yes, I am spreading paranoia through the ‘web’ today 🙂 I don’t mean to, but I had no idea this could happen and wanted to share in case others were unaware as well.

  12. nrhatch July 31, 2012 / 2:08 PM

    Life is so much better when we embrace the sincere compliments we receive . . . and so much sweeter when we indulge in the occasional hot fudge sundae!

    Well done, Janna.

    • jannatwrites July 31, 2012 / 9:09 PM

      I agree with you on both points, but am more enthusiastically in favor of the sundae 😆 Glad you had a chance to stop by, Nancy.

  13. Tessa July 31, 2012 / 3:15 PM

    Sweet little story and very heartening. I was glad that she was able to refrain from putting herself down and accept her husband’s loving comment. Great job!

    • jannatwrites July 31, 2012 / 9:10 PM

      Thanks, Tessa. The story might be a little sappy, but I had to keep it light this week 🙂

  14. Jeanna August 1, 2012 / 6:31 AM

    Hey, are you spying on me? And it was a chocolate shake, not a hot fudge sundae. 🙂 Great story. I don’t like it because it’s too truthful. 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2012 / 8:07 AM

      Sorry…at least I got the chocolate part right. It was kind of hard to tell with the slats of the blinds obstructing my view. You could open them a little more, you know 😆

      From conversations I’ve had, I think it’s got truth for many of us. Thanks for stopping by and making me laugh this morning, Jeanna!

  15. Carl D'Agostino August 1, 2012 / 7:25 AM

    His love worked on her heart the same way hot fudge softened vanilla ice cream. Now that there is a hunnert dollar phrase !

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2012 / 8:11 AM

      Glad you liked that, Carl. It’s one of those phrases that just happened and I liked it as well (maybe it’s because I like vanilla ice cream and hot fudge :))

  16. Annabelle August 1, 2012 / 10:08 AM

    That’s a lovely little moment.

  17. lumdog August 1, 2012 / 10:52 AM

    This is a very nice depiction of a couple with obvious affection for each other. I was surprised that her suggestion was a sundae, though 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2012 / 7:51 PM

      That’s where your imagination gets to exercise…what happens after the sundae is whatever you think it should be! Thanks for reading, Lumdog 🙂

  18. Sandra August 1, 2012 / 10:00 PM

    This is a great response to the prompt! I had a hard time with ‘normal’ as a noun. I hope I used it the right way. Of course, I began to doubt myself as soon as I linked it up. I love the dose of humor in your pieces, Janna!

    • jannatwrites August 2, 2012 / 12:16 AM

      I think you used it correctly, Sandra! This one was hard…the adjective felt more natural. Thanks for stopping by to read this one and “getting” my sometimes off-beat sense of humor 🙂

  19. girlinjammies August 2, 2012 / 8:19 AM

    Sweet ! It is always a nice feeling to have people in your life who love you for what you are. Yes, a hot fudge sundae sounds good no matter what time of the day 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 5, 2012 / 9:48 PM

      It is good to be accepted, Girlinjammies. Especially when indulging in a hot fudge sundae 🙂

  20. Imelda August 2, 2012 / 9:10 AM

    Go girl! So true. Normal is accepting the changes that go with childbirth. She is a happier person who accepts that her body will no longer be as supple as when she was younger and had not given birth yet. 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 5, 2012 / 9:50 PM

      Some people are genetically gifted, some aren’t (I fall somewhere in the middle) but we all deserve to be comfortable in our skin. Thanks for stopping by, Imelda.

  21. trifectawriting August 2, 2012 / 5:18 PM

    Ah, kids. They leave their mark. Even if you lose the weight, there’s definitely a new normal to adjust to. I like how sweetly you commented on it here. Good for her for finding a way to accept that compliment. Thanks for linking up.

    • jannatwrites August 5, 2012 / 10:00 PM

      Thanks for offering the fun writing prompts. I enjoy them!

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