Chapter 9 of ? (new baby)


It’s been several months since we found out a baby is joining us. Secretly, I’ve been wishing for a girl to balance out our family. Other than that, we’ve just been getting used to the idea.

It’s Monday morning before daybreak and Dad just bounced into my room to announce the birth of our – baby brother.  I pull my pillow over my head, “Trade him for a girl before you bring him home. We got enough boys.”

“Aw, come on girl, get up. We have to cook breakfast.” I know he wants me to share his joy, but I’m just not in the mood.

“You mean I have to cook breakfast. Oh man…,” with a moan realizing I have to get the kids ready for school.

###

With little Tad here, it is true love all over again. He’s the center of everybody’s life. With little Tad here, it is true love all over again. We were thinking when Grunt goes to school,  the church nursery wouldn’t be needed anymore. Now we’ll have two there during the school year, so we’ll need to contribute more hours to the community center kitchen to help earn the cost of their keep.

Grunt’s not too sure about this new addition, and wet his ‘big boy shorts.’ It was apparent when he demanded to wear a diaper again, he thought it would let him be the baby! It’s apparent when he demands to wear a diaper, he thinks he can be the baby again!

We are realizing fast that Grunt has to be included in the Big Boy Club. That means he will get yard privileges – but, we have to teach him Rule #1: Never go outside alone.

I’ve had a baby sleep in my bed since I was seven years old – maybe that’s why I was born – to be a babysitter!

In the kitchen, I want to talk to Mom about it. “Yes, Mom, I want kids but I want a break first. I want my own private bed in my own private room, in my own private house!”

“Well, how have you been treated so bad having a large family? Would you trade us to have more personal stuff you didn’t have to share?” Mom appears on the defensive.

“That’s not my point – my point is … do you realize you and I have been together since one year after you got married? I have shared your life and helped you raise your kids that I love too. I don’t regret that – you’ve taught me a lot. I’m just tired and frustrated. You have chosen this life for yourself, and for me.”

It feels like I said something to hurt her, “Mom, you have no idea how much I love you. I understand you – I can predict how you will respond to anything. Don’t you find that – unusual? We really need to talk about these things.

I’m looking for answers. It is not logical that you and I have never had a fight or serious disagreement. I’ve heard you yell at people before, but never at me. Yeah, you nag and complain a bit, but that’s it.”

The cleaning was done and we sat down at the table – Mom with black coffee and cheese, and me with milk and cookies. Heather walks in after tucking in the boys for the night, and grabs a cookie.

“What’s up?”

I smile at Mom, and start off real slow trying to sound serious, “The first thing I want to know is … is Heather really my sister; you know, her being so beautiful with that curly hair, big boobs, and all?”

Heather chokes on a mouthful of cookie and milk – Mom gets tickled and can’t stop laughing. “Okay … okay, if you don’t want to talk about that, how about telling us where we were born – what was it like?”

I see Heather cut her eyes over at me – a flash of a smile mouthing, “Thank you.”

Mom gets up from the table, picks up the dishes to take to the sink, “You, Jane, were born at home, and Heather was born in a hospital. It’s getting late and we have to get up early. Good night, turn off the lights.” I’m thinking, nice try, I will ask again.

“Good night, Heather.”

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4 comments on “Chapter 9 of ? (new baby)

  1. RonWalt says:

    Well, THIS is getting interesting!! VERY interesting!!!

    I have two observations– one regards your alternating use of present tense and past tense. I’m not objecting; I have read a few novels where this was an effective device to convey certain aspects of a story in a way no other technique would have the same effect. So this is not a hard and fast ‘rule’.

    On the other hand, Jane’s two-paragraph speech near the middle of the Chapter should only have the closing quotes on the final paragraph. That is at least a very prevalent tradition, if not an outright ‘rule’.

    • Texasjune says:

      Good catch, Ron! Thank you. I do struggle between telling a story, and writing words for a character – getting into the mind of the character. I appreciate your critique. It makes a clearer draft, with less problems going into a final edit.

      I am concerned about the “two-paragraph speech.” I want it to be a believable dialog – not a speech. In my mind, I read dialog at different speeds depending on my preconceived idea of how the words would sound in context and mood. If I don’t guide a reader through that, then obviously, it will detract from visualizing the scene.

      • RonWalt says:

        Yes, dialog is tricky as all get out.

        If I may suggest– go back to some of your favorite authors and study how they handled dialog. There are numerous techniques to keep the flow going and maintain clarity, without being ‘heavy-handed’ about it.

        THe first person mode also has it’s challenges. The Dresden Files (Jim Butcher) stories are usually first- person, and the dialog is handled well, IMO.

        Your ‘trick’ of inserting a piece of business between paragraphs is effective; there might be one of those to separate those two paragraphs.

        But, whatever you do– DON’T STOP!

      • Texasjune says:

        Thank you! I’m still awkward at mixing the scene/context with the words – and keeping the story moving forward! Afterall, that’s what a novel is! I appreciate your encouragement – it means a lot to me. (I will look at The Dresden Files.)

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