RINCON — Springfield’s Shannon Cribbs recently penned an “illuminating” short story about parenthood. It’s the second story she has had published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.
“I might write more because it’s kind of fun to write about the husband and he doesn’t know you are doing it,” Cribbs said April 29.
Cribbs’ husband, Dustin, is the comical character in her latest work. It’s on page 66 of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter is the Best Medicine, the series’ first collection of humorous stories.
“Dustin and I were both exhausted, living through the first few weeks of caring for our new baby,” the opening paragraph says. “We were sleep deprived and trying to grow accustomed to our life as parents. It was proving to be more taxing than anyone could have prepared us for.”
After they fell asleep, the couple’s son, Randy, awakened for one of his nighttime feedings. Shannon persuaded Dustin to prepare a bottle for him.
“Dustin seemed to be taking a very long time in the kitchen so I called out to him to see if he was OK,” Shannon wrote. “He yelled back that he was but he couldn’t get the bottle ‘fixed’ and was trying to find another one. Finally, he made it back to the room and fed the baby.”
Shannon discovered the reason for her husband’s troubles the next morning.
“... I noticed a flashlight and batteries (separate from each other) amongst the dirty dishes,” Shannon wrote. “I called Dustin to see if he knew why the flashlight and its batteries were in the sink.
“He began to laugh, realizing that the ‘broken’ bottle he was making the night before must not have been a bottle at all. He said he would put in the formula, put on the top, and then turn it over to check the temperature, but each time he did it would dump all the formula out.”
Shannon still finds the situation funny.
“Let’s be honest,” she said April 29. “I was just trying to play him so I wouldn’t have to get out of the bed. Obviously, he needed the sleep a little more than I did that night.
“He was in the kitchen forever. I was like, ‘Dude, what is going on?’”
About six months ago, Chicken Soup for the Soul used one of Shannon’s stories that wasn’t comical in the least. It is about the loving relationship she developed with her ailing mother-in-law during her final days.
In addition, Shannon recently submitted a story about her sister. She is waiting to hear if it made the Chicken Soup for the Soul cut.
Shannon has never considered herself a writer but appreciations the outlet that Chicken Soup for the Soul provides.
Chicken Soup for the Soul has published more than 100 million books in the U.S. and Canada. It has more than 250 titles.
“I do it just for the satisfaction of having it and they send me enough books that I give one each to my kids and my family members,” she said. “They also send you a small check.”
She said her friends found her latest work satisfying, too.
“They get a laugh out of our little family stories,” she said. “Getting a book with that in there makes them laugh even more.”