Summary: Arthur and DW are in charge of an activity for a Family Fun Day at the park, except this is not a day for fun. With so many picky children trying to do the activity at once, the Read kids are quickly overwhelmed. Can someone save the day to make it fun again? One-shot. For my Infinite Themes Challenge. PM me for details.
Can also be found here.
Arthur looked over the park with contempt. It was a beautiful Saturday in Elwood City, perfect for a day in the park…but not during Family Fun Day. Arthur used to love the day, when he was a participant instead of a volunteer worker. Because David was catering the event, he’d roped his family into fulfilling other duties. Jane was supervising a teen activity across the park at the pavilion, one of the quietest areas of the park.
Arthur and DW, however, were stuck at the small picnic area next to the baby playground, the loudest area of the park. They had to monitor the coloring station, passing out coloring sheets and markers to the children. Their parents would then leave for the food or other activities, which meant their obnoxious children remained behind with the horrified Arthur and DW. They were used to children due to their young age. But other people’s children? Nope, they didn’t know much at all about the snotty little brats.
DW eyed a particularly messy child with a look of disgust. She tapped Arthur’s arm and pointed, “Eww, why is his face all green and icky?” she asked. Arthur groaned, “He needs a tissue. See if he can do it himself first, then you can wipe his face.”
DW jumped back, “What? No! I am not wiping that nasty kid’s face. If he can’t do it himself, it’ll just stay that way!” Arthur argued back, trying to force his little sister to do it. DW wasn’t going to be persuaded, “No, Arthur, you wipe his face off. I’m not doing that,” she said firmly, snatching a tissue and trying to offer it to the child. She would at least attempt, but nothing more.
DW arrived at the table and stuck the tissue towards him. Instead of taking it, he reached towards her. In one hand was a purple marker, in the other a blue one. DW backed away just in time to keep from getting marked on. The child was oblivious to its messiness, looking back down to his page of scribbles. The girl next to him, who was only a year older, eyed him with an angry gaze.
The girl looked up to DW before she could walk away. DW nodded to her. The girl gestured towards the boy, “I want the same colors he has. His markers are dirty. I won’t share with him. I want my own,” she said firmly. DW knew that was a legitimate request. She returned to the basket and combed through the markers.
“What are you doing? Aren’t you going to help that boy?” Arthur asked.
DW grimaced, “No, that kid is beyond help. The people around him won’t share colors either. Are there any purples left? Or regular blues? All I see are light blues but no purple,” she said, dumping the basket across the table. A few markers rolled off in Arthur’s direction, irritating him.
“Look, they can share. Offer her some of that Germ-X or something,” Arthur said, pushing the pump towards her as he began to put the colors in the basket.
Behind him, a commotion broke out between two toddlers. Neither were good at speaking yet, but they knew what the vocalizations meant. One was obsessed with red, hoarding four different red markers in his area. The other kid just wanted one, but the hoarder wasn’t having it. He slapped the boy’s hand away and squealed loudly.
“Hey!” Arthur said, rushing over. He snatched up one of the reds and forced it into the second kid’s hand. “Listen,” he said to the hoarder, “we share markers. You had four reds. He didn’t have any, and that’s not fair,” Arthur said, trying to reason with the kid. He wasn’t having it, rearing his head back and screaming as he lurched towards the boy. Arthur snatched him up by one arm and moved him away from the table, causing a tantrum.
While Arthur battled with the red lovers, DW was having trouble finding the colors the girl wanted, and she was getting restless. She was okay without having a purple, but the blues DW offered her weren’t right. She wanted just regular ol’ blue, not a fluorescent version or a light version. BLUE. That’s the only color she would accept, but there were none to be found. DW gave up on the basket and began moving around the table. If there was a blue, it was dried up or in another kid’s hand. There just weren’t any available.
DW’s search for blue led her to the next battle, the battle over green. Three of the older kids were trying to share one green marker, but they couldn’t quite grasp the concept of negotiation. DW decided to head back to the basket for green, but abandoning the girl who wanted blue caused her to cry loudly. It was loud enough for Arthur to hear over the angry red-lover, so he stood up to see what the commotion was.
“I need a regular blue and two greens,” DW called to Arthur. “We need to tell one of the people to get us more colors. These are dried out!” DW complained, tossing two dried out green markers onto the ground next to the basket. The problem with blue was repeating itself with green, and the battle over red was firing up. The angry kid noticed that Arthur was distracted, and before he could register what was going on, the hoarder was trying to hit the other boy so he could get his fourth red back.
“This is insane! We’re going to have an all-out baby brawl if we don’t get this under control,” Arthur complained, rushing over to the red battle to break up the fight. The girl who wanted blue only cried louder as the older kids looking for green started to chant for their markers. DW felt helpless as she dug through the nearly empty basket for a green without any luck.
“My, my, what fussy children you are!”
DW looked up as a bright light seemed to fill the area. Arthur looked up as well to see Grandma Thora prancing through the picnic area with a basket full of boxed markers. She sat down the basket next to the red-face DW, whose look of frustration prompted Grandma Thora to poke at her chin:
“Cheer up, DW, I brought some supplies for the war effort,” she winked, handing her a stack of boxes. “They know sharing is hard for kids this age, so they tried to remedy the problem as fast as possible. Why don’t you pass these out while I help that little boy there?” she suggested, moving to the snotty child and leading him gently to the restroom nearby.
Arthur and DW were relieved as they passed out the boxes. The red war was over, solved by the hoarder now having five reds to work with while everyone else had their own too. The green battle ended peacefully, and the girl who wanted her own blue and purple was content to have her own clean boxes. Everyone who wanted their favorite color now had it, and Arthur and DW had a much easier time of things, especially when Grandma Thora returned to help. The family fun event was finally fun for this part of the Read family, and despite the discontent at the beginning of the event, Arthur and DW ended up having a fairly fun time themselves.
Theme 73: Favorite Color, Theme 109: Kiddie Table
Themes are from my Infinite Arthur Theme List Challenge. Let me know if you’d like more information.
And if you enjoyed this piece, feel free to let me know. I love getting feedback on my work, even if it’s just a little 🙂