Friday, August 31, 2012

Ivy's Not Getting Older

Ivy Wilcox was six years old, and she thought that was the perfect age to be. She was not too old and she was not to young. She decided that she would stay six for ever.

"Mommy." she said. "I am going to be six forever. I am not going to get any older."

Mommy smiled at Ivy. "Oh is that so?" she said.

Ivy sat down in front of the TV. She saw a commercial for a car. "That is a beautiful car!" she said "I"m going to drive a car like that!" she declared.

"If you aren't going to get any older, you won't get a driver's license." said her mother.

"Oh, yeah." said Ivy. She turned off the TV. She took out her best dolly and began playing with it. "Now, Annabelle, honey." she said sweetly to her doll. "It's time for you to go to bed." She tucked her doll gently into her doll cradle.

"You're a good mommy to Annabelle." Ivy's Mom told her.  "Some day you'll be a really great mommy for real. Oh wait a minute! I forgot. You're not going to grow up so you are not going to be a mommy for real."

Ivy frowned. She put her doll stuff away. 

Just then, Daddy came in from work. "Hey, princess!" he said lifting Ivy into the air and kissing her.

"Hey Daddy!" she replied kissing him back.

Daddy gently put her back down on the ground. "I have to get ready to go fishing with Grandpa."

"When are you going to take me fishing?" asked Ivy.

"When you're a little bit older." replied Daddy.

"Ivy's not getting older." explained Mommy.

"She's not?" asked Daddy. He looked at Mommy. Mommy nodded her head. He looked at Ivy. Ivy said nothing.

"Well, that's too bad." said Daddy. "I would have liked taking her fishing. She would have had fun." He went upstairs to change.

Ivy lay down on the couch starring at the floor. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mommy's big black leather pocketbook next to the table. Mommy's purple flowered makeup bag was peeking out of it. Ivy excitedly sat up and picked up the makeup bag. "Can I put on makeup?" she asked eagerly.

"No, Ivy." said Mommy. "We've talked about this before. You're too young."

"But, I'm never going to be old enough!"

"Not if you don't get any older, you're not." said Mommy.

"I can't do anything." whined Ivy. "I can't drive a car. I can't have a baby. I can't go fishing. I can't wear makeup."

"There are a lot of things you can do. You can ride a bike. You can help take care of your baby cousin. You can go for a walk in the woods with Daddy. You can wear  a braid in your hair. As for those other things, you can do them do when you get a little bit older. If you get older. Why don't you want to get older, anyway?" asked Mommy. She sat on the couch next to Ivy.

"I don't want to get new teachers." admitted Ivy. "I don't want to go to a new school. I don't want to stop being your baby." She crawled up on Mommy's lap.

"The school year is going to end whether you get older or not and after the summer the new school year will start, " said Mommy, "but, you are always going to be my baby."

"Really?" asked Ivy hopefully.

"Really." promised Mommy "Even when you are 100 years old." she added with a grin.

Ivy smiled back. Suddenly, she felt so much better. "I think I will get older after all." she said.

"I think that sounds like a good plan." replied Mommy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where's Whitney?

It was time for bed,  Whitney Patterson was nowhere to be found. "Whitney!" her mother called. "Whitney! Where are you, Whitney?'

Mommy went into the living room. Whitney's legos were scattered on the floor. Her Princess DVD collection was  spread out on the table. Her stuffed animals filled up the couch. There was no sign of Whitney.

Mommy went into the basement. Toys and games were everywhere on the floor. Coloring books and crayons covered the table. There was no sign of Whitney.

As Mommy came back up the basement stairs, she found Whitney's older sister, Kerry. "Have you seen Whitney?" asked Mommy.

Kerry shook her head. "I'll help you look." she said. She looked out the window. Whitney's bike was on the front porch. Her jump rope was under the tree. Her pails and shovels lay on the dirt by the rose bushs. There was no sign of Whitney.

They went upstairs. Kerry went into her room. Whitney had definitely been there. Make-up was spilled on the desk. The smell of perfume filled the room. Kerry didn't know whether to be anger about the mess or worried that there was still no sign of her little sister.

In Mommy's room, the covers and pillows were all off the bed and lay in the floor in a jumbled heap. Piles of books were on the floor in front of the closet. There was no sign of Whitney.

By now. Mommy was getting worried. She didn't know whether to call Whitney's Dad or the police or both. She picked up the phone to dial. Just then, she heard the sound of Kerry's voice calling from the other room.

"Hey, Mom." called Kerry. "Come here."

Mommy hurried to the sound of Kerry's voice. She couldn't imagine what had happened to Whitney. Her mind was filled with all these terrible things. She comforted herself with the thought that Kerry didn't sound upset.

Kerry was in Whitney's room. Her room looked just as bad as the rest of the house. All the games were off the shelves and the pieces were here there and everywhere. Cut up pieces of paper overflowed the wastebasket and littered the floor. Art supplies were everywhere on the desk.

"Look Mom." whispered Kerry. She pointed to the bed. There was Whitney half under half on top of her rainbow colored covers fast asleep. She was sleeping so peacefully. She looked like such an angel. It was hard to believe someone who looked so sweet could  leave such a trail of messes everywhere.

"I never would have thought to look here." said Mommy. "I guess she tired herself out."

"I guess so." agreed Kerry.

Mommy tucked Whitney back completely under the covers. Whitney stirred, but didn't wake up. Mommy kissed her on the cheek, and  tiptoed out of the room. Kerry followed closely behind.

"Whitney must be resting up for another day of making messes." said Kerry

It tired Mommy out just thinking about it. "Oh my." she said.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Sleepover

Quinn Rutherford was so excited. She was going to have her first sleepover. She was going to spend the night at her friend, Emily Craig's house. Every day, she asked her Mommy excitedly "Is today the day?" Every day, Mommy shook her head. Every day, Quinn was disappointed.

Finally the day arrived, Quinn helped Mommy pack her clothes and a few special toys in her pink princess overnight bag that Grandma had gotten her. As they packed, Quinn noticed, Mommy looked a little bit sad. "Don't be sad, mommy." she said. "I am going to come home again, you know."

Mommy laughed and kissed Quinn on the cheek. "I know baby," she replied, "but I am still going to miss you."

"Oh, Mommy." said Quinn. "I love you, but I will be having too much fun to miss you." Quinn kissed Mommy just as Daddy came in and grabbed her bag to load it in the car. He would be driving her over to Emily's.

At Emily's, Quinn barely stopped to kiss her father goodbye before she and Emily were off to have fun. For the first few hours, they were so busy having fun, Quinn barely had time to think let alone miss Mommy and Daddy or feel sad. They played games. They danced to CDs. They played with dolls. They watched TV. They just went from one thing to another without stopping.

Finally, it was dinner time, they had Quinn's favorite macaroni and cheese with little hot dogs. For dessert, there was another of Quinn's favorite foods, chocolate ice cream. Afterwards, they took baths and put on their pajamas. Quinn wore red  polka dot pajamas and Emily wore blue flowered ones. They brushed their hair and brushed their teeth. When they were all ready, they lay in the twin beds in Emily's room. Emily's Mommy read them a story. "Please one more." they begged afterward so Emily's Mommy read them one more. "Please one more." they begged again after. This time, Emily's Mommy said no. She turned out the light and left the room shutting the door behind her.

Quinn lay in the dark bed in the dark room and got scared. "Emily." she whispered softly. Emily was exhausted after their long day together and she had fallen asleep right away so she didn't answer. "Emily!" called Quinn a little bit louder. Finally, she sat up in bed and shouted. "Emily!" Emily was a very heavy sleeper and didn't even budge. However, Emily's mother came running.

"Are you okay, Quinn?" asked Emily's mother.

"It's very dark in here." said Quinn quietly.

Emily's mother went and got a night light and plugged it in. "Goodnight, Quinn. Sweet dreams." she said to Quinn as she left the room again and shut the door.

Quinn didn't like to sleep with the door shut. She lay in bed and tried to sleep anyway, but it was no use. "Emily." she whispered softly. Emily continued snoring in her bed. "Emily!" Quinn said a little bit louder. Still, Emily slept. Finally, Quinn sat up in bed and shouted "Emily!" Once again, Emily did not budge. Once again, Emily's mother came running.

"Quinn, honey," said Emily's mother, "Is something the matter?"

"I can't sleep with the door shut." explained Quinn.

"Oh." replied Emily's mother. "Goodnight Quinn." she said. She left the room again, but she did not shut the door.

Quinn lay in bed with the night light on and the door open. It was just like being at her house except it wasn't. She realized it hadn't been the light or the door that had been the problem after all. She missed her own bed. She missed her own house. Most of all, she missed her Mommy and Daddy. "Emily." she whispered yet again.

Emily continued sleeping peacefully in the other bed. "Emily!" she called a little bit louder. Emily still didn't budge. Finally, she said up and shouted "Emily!" Once again, Emily still didn't move, but Quinn started to cry just as Emily's mother entered the room.

She sat down beside Quinn. "What's the matter?" she asked full of concern.

"I miss my Mommy and Daddy." blurted out Quinn as she continued crying.

"Oh. I see." replied Emily's mother. "Do you want to call them?"

Quinn bobbed her head up and down. Yes! Yes Yes! She did want to speak to Mommy and Daddy then maybe she would feel better. However, after she spoke to them, she didn't feel better so Daddy came to pick her up. In the car on the way home, Quinn said to Daddy disappointedly. "I guess. I'm not ready for a sleepover after all."

"That's okay." replied Daddy "You can try again in another few years."

Quinn thought about her own cozy house. She thought about her own soft bed. She thought about her Mommy and Daddy sleeping in the room right next door. She didn't think she would ever want to spend a night away from them. "Maybe in another ten or twenty years. I'll try again." she said.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lovable Laura

Laura Wells was sweet and lovable from the moment she was born. She was polite. She always listened. She never whined or carried on. She never gave her mother or father a bit of trouble. They were so proud and happy to have her for a daughter. Other parents were jealous of them for having such a good well behaved daughter.

When Laura turned two and  then three she was still as sweet and lovable as ever. There were no terrible twos. There were no horrible threes. Laura's parents were so proud. "We love you Laura." They said. "You are such a good girl."

Other parents said. "We wish our daughter (or son) was more like Laura."

Laura's parents thought. "Our Laura is so sweet. We would love to have another child just like her." So Laura turned four, and her world completely changed. She no longer had Mommy and Daddy all to herself. She had a baby sister named Janey. Laura loved her sister, but she didn't like being a sister. She wanted to have Mommy and Daddy all to herself again.

Good and sweet Laura gradually disappeared. Unhappy and uncooperative Laura appeared in her place. Laura was never polite. She didn't listen.  She whined and carried on all the time. Nobody was jealous of Mommy and Daddy for having a daughter like Laura anymore. "At least our daughter is not like that Laura Wells."" They said in relief.

Laura's parents thought 'She'll grow out of it.' They thought she was just getting used to having a new baby around. They were wrong. As she got older, Laura got worse. Laura turned five and then six and then seven. She threw tantrums. She carried on. "Shouldn't she be growing out of this by now?" her mother asked her father. Her father shook his head. He just didn't know.

One day, Mommy, Laura and Janey were in the store. Laura was having a particularly bad day. She was carrying on about something. Mommy couldn't remember what. All Mommy knew is that it was giving Mommy a headache and making Janey cry.  "Laura, please stop." begged Mommy. "Your upsetting Janey." Mommy scooped Janey up out of the cart. Janey put her arms around Mommy and instantly stopped crying.

Laura actually stopped for a minute. She looked at Mommy with a look of complete sadness. "I knew it." she mumbled under her breath.

Mommy slid Janey back in to the cart. She went over to Laura. "You knew what?" she asked Laura.

"I knew that you loved her better than me."

"What? Of course, I don't!" replied Mommy in surprise and a little bit of anger. How could Laura even think that? "I love you both the same." she replied.  She hugged Laura tightly.

"You loved the good Laura.  You don't love me." replied Laura bursting into tears.

Mommy knelt down beside her. "Now, you listen to me Laura Wells." she said. "There is no good Laura. There is no bad Laura. There is only you. You choose whether to be good or bad. I may not always like your choices, and I may not always like your behavior, but I always love you."

"You do?" asked Laura. "Do you promise?"

"Yes I do." promised Mommy.

"I'm sorry, Mommy." said Laura genuinely sorry. "I'll try to be better. I'll try to be good."

"I'd like that." said Mommy kissing her.

After that, Laura still wasn't always good and she wasn't always sweet, but she tried. She tried to be polite. She tried to listen. She tried not to whine and carry on. She didn't always succeed, but she tried. Sometimes other people were jealous and wanted their children to be just like her and sometimes, they were relieved that their children were not like her. Sometimes, Mommy and Dad were proud of her, and sometimes they weren't, but no matter  what she was always their child, and they always loved her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cammie Can Do It

 Cammie Crawford could do a lot of things. She could write her name. She could count to 100. She could run and jump and skip and hop. She didn't think there was anything that she couldn't do. She certainly didn't think there was anything that her big sister, Stacy and her big brother Hank could do that she couldn't do. After all, she was not a baby like her little sister, Missy.

When she saw her brother, Hank carrying the trash out to the curb. She hurried over to help him. "Thanks, Cammie, but I --" he started to say

"I can do it." interrupted Cammie. She grabbed one of the large black garbage bags out of his hand and dropped it on the ground. The contents of the bag spread quickly all over the lawn. "Cammie!" he yelled at her. "Could you please go away, and let me do it?" he knelt down and started picking up the garbage and putting it back in the bag as Cammie sadly scrambled away.

Stacy was in the house watching Missy. "Boy, do you need a change." she said smelling a bad odor coming from the direction of the baby.

"I'll change her." offered Cammi eagerly.

"That's okay." said Stacy.

"I can do it." insisted Cammie. She swooped Missy up in her arms, settled her on the ground in front of herself and proceeded to put a diaper on the baby. No sooner had she finished diapering Missy when the baby crawled away. As she crawled her diaper promptly slipped off. Stacy scooped her up to rediaper her as Cammie sadly snuck out of the room.

She went into the kitchen. She sat at the table with her head down. "I can't do anything." she mumbled to herself.

"What's that?" asked Mommy entering the room. She saw Cammie sitting at the table and looking sad and sat down beside her. "What's wrong?" she asked.

"Oh, mommy!" sighed Cammie throwing herself into her mother's comforting arms. "I can't do anything! I can't take out the garbage! I can't diaper Missy! I  can't do anything that Hank or Stacy does!"

"Well, honey, " replied her Mother. "Hank and Stacy are older than you. You can do a lot of things but you can't necessarily do everything that they do. Just like Missy can't do everything you can do. Some day, you'll be bigger though and you'll be able to do the things they do now."

Cammie instantly brightened. She wasn't happy that she would be able to do what Hank and Stacy did when she got older. Hank and Stacy would always be older than her, and they would always be able to do things she couldn't do. However, she was thrilled that Missy would always be younger and she would always be able to do things Missy couldn't do.

Just at that moment, Missy crawled over to Cammie. Cammie scooped her up in her arms and kissed her on the head. "Don't worry, Missy." she said to her little sister. "Someday, you'll be big like me, and you can do the things I do."

'But I'll always be older, and I always be able to do more than you.' she added to herself happily.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Clarissa Can't

Clarissa Dowd could do many things. She could make her bed. She could tie her shoes. She could set the table. The only problem was she didn't want to do any of them.

"Come on, Clarissa," her sister Victoria urged her in the morning. "Make your bed.We're going to be late!"

Clarissa just stood around looking helpless. "I can't." she said making sad eyes and puffing out her lower lip.

Victoria glared at her and made the bed herself. Was she the only one who was getting a little tired of Clarissa's poor-little-me routine.

"Clarissa, tie your shoes so you don't trip." warned her father as they got ready to leave.

Clarissa frowned and looked sad. "I can't." she said sadly.

"For heaven's sake." replied her father grabbing Clarissa's feet and tying first one shoe and then the other.

At dinner time, Mommy said. "Clarissa, why don't you set the table?"

"I can't." said Clarissa batting her eyelashes and giving her the saddest puppy dog look of all.

Mommy wasn't buying that. "Oh, I think you can." she replied.

"No, I can't." insisted Clarissa leaving the room in a huff.

As she left, Victoria entered the room. "Seriously, Mom," she said angrily banging plates around as she began setting the table in Clarissa's place. "You have to do something about her." she said pointing to Clarissa in the other room. "It's getting to the point where she refuses to do anything."

"Don't worry." replied Mommy with confidence. She knew just what to do.

The next  day was Saturday. In the morning, Clarissa came downstairs in her pajamas and fluffy slippers. She sat down sleepily at the kitchen table. It was strange that Mommy wasn't in the kitchen already cooking. Clarissa didn't smell any food cooking either which was really weird.

Victoria entered the kitchen and poured herself an orange juice. "Can you pour some for me too?" asked Clarissa.

Victoria shook her head. "I can't." she said as she hurried out of the room with her juice.

Mommy entered the room. "Good morning, my sweet." she greeted Clarissa warmly.

"Mommy!" cried Clarissa excitedly. She was getting really hungry. "What are we having for breakfast? I don't smell any food cooking. Are we going out to eat?"

"No." replied her mother. "We are not going out to eat." Clarissa expected Mommy to start cooking breakfast but she just made herself a cup of coffee and sat down at the table with the newspaper.

"Aren't you going to make breakfast?" asked Clarissa near tears. By now, her stomach was rumbling, and she was having huge hunger pains.

"I'm sorry, sweetie. I can't." said Mommy. She took her newspaper and her coffee and left the room as Daddy entered.

"Daddy!" called Clarissa. "Are you going to make breakfast?"

Daddy kissed Clarissa on the cheek. "I can't." he said.  "Are you ready, Victoria?" he asked.

Victoria entered the room with her jacket on. "Sure, Dad," she said. Mommy was right behind her.

"Where are you going?" asked Clarissa.

"I'm taking Victoria to the park." explained her father.

"What about me?" pouted Clarissa. "I want to go to the park too, and what about breakfast?"

"Oh thanks, but I already had a muffin." said Victoria. She and Dad headed for the door.

"You can go to the park if you get dressed." said Mommy.

"I can't." said Clarissa.

"Well, I'm sorry then." said Mommy.

"Can't you get me dressed?" begged Clarissa practically in tears.

"No, I can't." replied Mommy shaking her head.

"Well then, can you at least make me breakfast, please? My tummy hurts."

Mommy shook her head again. "I can't." she said repeated.

Clarissa started to cry. "Why won't anybody help me?" she said.

Mommy took Clarissa on her lap. "Sometimes, you just have to help yourself." she replied gently. "What if I decided I was never going make breakfast again or lunch or dinner or any meal?"

That would be awful. Clarissa shuddered at the the thought of as she felt her tummy rumbling again.

"If you want me to make breakfast and lunch and dinner and do the things I need to do. Then, you are going to have to do things you need to do." explained Mommy.  "Do you understand?" she asked.

Clarissa nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, Mommy." she replied.

"Can you please set the table now, and I'll make us some breakfast."said Mommy.

"Yes, mommy." replied Clarissa with confidence. "I can."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mean Molly

Nobody messed with Molly McKay She was as tough as a well-done steak. The kids were all afraid of her. They ran away when they saw her coming. Molly was proud to be so tough, but she didn't have any friends. Still, she was proud and happy until the day she was neither proud nor happy any more.

It all started one day when Molly came to play at the playground. As she walked over to the swings, she saw a couple of girls from her class, Elizabeth Judd and Sarah Barrett. Sarah and Elizabeth were laughing, talking, and just generally seemed to be having a really good time. Molly smiled and approached them. She wanted to have a good time too.

As Molly approached, Sarah looked up and her eyes met Molly's. Sarah instantly stopped laughing and having a good time and froze. She looked at Molly with a look of horror. Then, she poked Elizabeth. Elizabeth looked up to yell at Sarah for interrupting her when she was talking. Instead, she also locked eyes with Molly. Elizabeth instantly stopped talking right in the middle of sentence. The two girls slid off the swings and quickly scampered away like little mice.

Both Elizabeth and Sarah had good reason to be afraid of Molly. Many times Molly had pushed them down on the playground at school. Many times Molly had knocked their books out of their arms. Many times, Molly had pushed their papers off their desks.

"Elizabeth! Sarah! Come back now!" Molly demanded in her meanest voice. All that followed was the sound of the ground scrunching underfoot as the two girls hurried further away.

Molly looked to where the sound seemed to be coming from, but she did not see a sign of Elizabeth or Sarah. "Elizabeth! Sarah!" she called a little bit less meanly.

This time she didn't hear or see anything. She looked in a circle all around her, but she did not see a sign of either girl. "Elizabeth! Sarah!" she called a third time. By now, she was sounding desperate instead of mean. "Please come out! I just want to play with you." Tears began to fall silently down her checks but she quickly brushed them away. She had a reputation to maintain.

It was too late, Elizabeth and Sarah had already seen her cry. Elizabeth stepped out from behind some trees. "Be careful, Elizabeth." called a voice behind her. "It could be a trick. Maybe, she is just trying to lure us out so she can beat us up." Elizabeth ignored Sarah's warning and approached Molly. She walked right up to Molly and then, lost her courage a little bit and took a step back.

"Don't go." begged Molly.

"What is it that you want from us?" asked Elizabeth.

"I want to be your friend." replied Molly. "I want to talk with you. I want to laugh with you. I want to have fun like you have fun."

"Our friend?" replied Sarah in surprise stepping out from the trees to join Molly and Elizabeth. "How could you be our friend? You're mean. You push us down and knock our books out of our hands and push our papers off our desks! Everyone is afraid of you."

Suddenly, Molly didn't care about being tough at all. If being tough meant not having any friends and not having any fun, then Molly didn't want to be that way any more. "Please!" she said to the girls. "Please I want to be your friend."

Sarah frowned in disbelief, but Elizabeth said. "If you want to be our friend, you can't be mean to us any more."

"Okay. I won't." promised Molly.

"You won't?" asked Sarah in surprise. She didn't think it could possibly be that easy.

"I won't." Molly promised again.

"Let's give her a chance." suggested Elizabeth.

"Okay." replied Sarah, but she wasn't so sure it was a good idea.

They played together all afternoon. The swung on the swings. They slid down the slide. They dug in the sand. More importantly, they talked and laughed and just generally had a good time, and Molly wasn't mean at all. At the end of the day, Molly said. "Thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you Sarah. I had a really good time today."

"Do you think we could play together again?" asked Molly.

"Sure, as long as you are not mean to us, we would love to be your friend." said Elizabeth and Sarah nodded in agreement.

Molly absolutely beamed with pleasure. She had a friend now. She had a real honest to goodness friend. In fact, she had two of them.

From that day on, she was never mean again at least not to Sarah and Elizabeth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Grade Blues

Amanda Bryson loved preschool. She was crazy about kindergarten.  She did not at all want to go to first grade. "Do I have to go to first grade?" she asked her Dad.

"You'll  love first grade." her Dad promised. Amanda frowned at him. She didn't think so.

Her Mom told her, "You sure are a big girl to be going to school all day."

Amanda looked as though she were going to cry."But, won't you miss me, mommy?" she asked sadly.
"Well, of course, I'll miss you, but you'll come home every day." her Mom assured her.

"That's right I will." replied Amanda brightening a little.

Over all, Amanda didn't feel better though. Mommy found her a little while later lying on the couch chewing on her favorite stuffed bear's ear.  "Amanda, you'll hurt Wally." teased Mom gently taking the brown fluffy stuffed bear out of Amanda's mouth and picking it up. Despite her lighthearted tone, she was worried about her daughter. Amanda hadn't chewed on her toys since she was 2 or 3.

"Don't worry." Her father assured her mother when she worriedly told him about Amanda chewing on her toys again.  "She's just nervous about first grade."

"I know she is." replied her mother. "But I wish there was some way I could help her."

Her father knew just what to do. "Amanda," he told her as he held her in his lap. "You're worried about first grade, aren't you?" Amanda nodded and hugged him tightly. "Don't worry." he said. "You are going to love first grade."

"How do you know?" asked Amanda.

"I know." replied her father.

"But how do you know?" asked Amanda again.

"I'm sure you will like first grade. Besides, if you don't like it, you won't have to go back." he added.

Amanda smiled and felt genuinely happy for the first time in a long time.

A few days later, Mommy put Amanda on the big yellow school bus in the morning. Amanda felt nervous again. She was too nervous to even be excited about wearing her new blue and white striped dress and her new blue shoes and carrying her new Doc McStuffins backpack. On the bus, she kept telling herself. 'If I don't like it, I don't have to back. If I don't like it, I don't have to go back.'

That afternoon, Mommy waited eagerly for Amanda at the bus stop after school. Amanda was the first one off the bus. She jumped happily into her Mother's waiting arms. "Oh, Mommy." she said excitedly."First grade is the best year ever! I made friends!  I love my teacher, Mrs. West, and we made a cool art project!"

"I'm so glad you had a good time, sweetheart." said Mommy. "I knew you would." However,  even though Mommy knew Amanda would have a good time in first grade, she didn't know she would love it so much right away.  "What would you have done if she came back to you and said she wanted to stop going to first grade because you said she didn't have to go if she didn't like it?" she asked Amanda's father.

"I don't know." her father admitted. "I hadn't thought about that."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Call Me Catelyn

Catelyn Pierce loved her name. She thought Catelyn  was the most beautiful name in the world. She never got tired of hearing it. The only problem was she hardly ever did. Hardly anybody ever called her Catelyn.

Her mother called her Cay. As in, "Cay, honey, did you do your homework?" as she asked every afternoon as she made dinner.

"My name is Catelyn!" Catelyn would say.

Her mother would smiled and  kiss her on the head and tell her to go finish her homework.

Her mother continued to call her Cay.

Her father called her Catie. As in, "Hello, Catie, did you have a nice day?" as he called out to Catelyn every day as he walked in the house after work.

"My name is Catelyn!" Catelyn would state.

Her Dad would kiss her. "I know what your name is." he would say  with a huge smile. "I named you."

Her father continued to call her Catie.

Her sister, Caroline, called her Lynn. As in, "You stay out of my stuff, Lynn!"

"My name is Catelyn!" Catelyn would insist.

Her sister would look at her as though Catelyn were a little bug on the bottom of her shoe and slam the bedroom door.

Her sister continued to call her Lynn.

Her brother, Chris called her, Lynnie. As in, "Hey, Lynnie, what's up?"

"My name is Catelyn!" Catelyn would yell.

Her brother would smile and ruffle her hair and go off to play some sport with his friends.

Her brother continued to call her Lynnie.

Her grandfather called her Caroline. As in, "Caroline, can you fetch me my slippers? My feet are a bit cold."

"My name is Catelyn!" Catelyn would remind him.

Her grandfather would continue to call her Caroline.

Finally, Catelyn  had had enough. That night, she stood up at the dinner table. "My name is Catelyn!" she yelled. "My name is not Cay! My name is not Catie!  My name is not Lynn! My name is not Lynnie! My name is especially not Caroline! My name is Catelyn!"

Her family said in stunned silence. "Well, okay." her father replied finally. "If you feel that strongly about it, we'll call you Catelyn from now on."

Her mother nodded in agreement. "Sure, we will." she agreed. She gave a look to Caroline and Chris, and they nodded in agreement as well. Her grandfather nodded too although he had no idea what they were talking about.

From that day on, everyone in the family called her Catelyn. Not Cay. Not Catie. Not Lynn. Not Lynnie. Just Catelyn. Everyone called her Catelyn except for her grandfather who continued to call her Caroline or Chris or whatever name came to his mind at the time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Just Julie

Today's Story is by Melia!

Julie Jones loved her name. She thought it was the most beautiful name in the world. But that didn't matter because nobody called her Julie. Everybody thought it was just a nickname. "Juliet come say hello to the class." exclaimed her teacher.

"It's just Julie." Julie explained in a whisper.

"Julianne come help me with my bags." called Aunt Martha.

"It's just Julie." Julie explained quietly.

"Julianna come help me find the  cat." demanded Uncle Fred.

"It's just Julie." Julie explained a little louder but with an inside voice.

"Hi Julietta, wanna' come to my house?" asked her friend Jane.

"It's just Julie." explained Julie a little loudly.

"Julia, will you please play with me?" whined her cousin Liz.

"It's  just Julie!" Julie explained in an outside voice."
"Clean your room please Jules." commanded Mrs. Jones.

"It's just Julie!" screamed Julie. "Why did you name me that if no one ever calls me Julie!" and she ran crying to her room.

Mrs. Jones ran after her daughter.
"I'm changing my name to the most common name people call me." Julie decided..

"Oh, baby don't do that. You have a lovely name." soothed Mrs. Jones.

"Then why am I the only one that uses it?" complained Julie.

  "Julie why didn't you just tell me you wanted to be called Julie?" cooed Mrs. Jones, as she stroked her daughter's hair.

"I did, only a thousand times!" shouted Julie angrily.

"I'm sorry, baby. I'll try to remember." promised Mrs. Jones.

The Jones girls hugged, and Julie stated, "Thank you mom."

After that people usually called her Julie and if not, she didn't mind as much because she loved her name and Mrs. Jones loved her name. And that was all that matters.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bella and the Baby Bird

 Today's Story is by Melia

Bella Collins was a little girl who lived with her Nanny and Papa. One day Bella was playing  in the garden, when she heard a faint noise coming from the bushes. Bella went over to see what the noise was and she found a baby bird. Bella took the baby bird in the house to show to Nanny. Nanny was a vet. She told Bella the baby bird probably fell out of  it's nest. Bella went to show Papa. Papa was also a vet. He told Bella the bird broke it's wing. Bella found an empty shoe box, and laid out a blanket made for a doll in the box. Then she put in some grass and twigs, and last she put in birdseed. Then she cuddled the bird and put it in the box. Bella kept the bird for a month, then she took the bird in her hands outside. The bird didn't budge. Bella brought the bird back inside and told Nanny. Nanny said Bella could keep it for a pet. Papa told her it was a she. Papa said that the bird was loyal because she did not leave. She stayed with Bella. So Bella named the bird Loyal. Because Loyal was Bella's loyal companion. And Bella kept her for a very long time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hannah Wants To Help

Hannah Jordan was a very helpful girl. She liked to help her mother. She liked to help her father. She liked to help her Grandma. She liked to help everyone, but only when she wanted to help. That was the problem.

When her mother was trying to organize and file a stack of papers. There was Hannah. "Where does this go, mommy?" she asked shoving a piece of paper under her mother's nose. "How about this one?" she asked waving another one in her mother's face. She really wasn't helping at all. Her constant interruptions, just distracted her mother so her mother couldn't get anything done.

"Hannah, please go and play!" begged Mommy finally.

Hannah didn't really want to leave. She wanted to help. Mommy insisted so finally Hannah agreed to leave her alone. "If you're sure you don't need me." she  said to Mommy creeping slowly out  of the room in case Mommy changed her mind and needed Hannah after all.

"I'll be fine really." Mommy assured her as she turned her attention back to her stack of papers.

Yet when they walked in the door and Mommy's arms were filled with packages, Hannah disappeared up the stairs the moment, they walked in the door. "Hannah! Hannah!" called Mommy trying to carry all the packages into the kitchen and put them on the table without dropping them. "Hannah, please come and help me!" Still Hannah was no where to be found. The phone started ringing and half the packages dropped to the floor before the loud crash finally brought Hannah back to the kitchen to help.

When Daddy was working with tools, Hannah was there to help. "What does this tool do?" she asked pointing to a tool. "What does that one do?" she asked picking up another and swinging it in the air.

"Put that down before, you get hurt." said Daddy angrily.

"I was only trying to help." said Hannah just about bursting into tears.

"I know honey bun." Daddy said much more sweetly. "But I've gotten this covered. Why don't you go see what Mommy is doing."

"Okay, Daddy." replied Hannah feeling a little bit rejected as she left the room.

Yet, when Daddy was cleaning out the garage and he needed Hannah to help by putting away her outside toys, she was no where around. "Hannah! Hannah!" he called, but Hannah didn't answer. Hannah was too busy playing.

When she went to Grandma's house, and Grandma was trying to cook breakfast, there was Hannah eager to help. "Can I crack an egg?" she asked excitedly grabbing one and  starting to squeeze it. Grandma quickly pried it out of her hand before she squashed it all over the counter. "I'll make the toast then." said Hannah. She took a hand full of bread and proceeded to drop it all over the floor.

"Sit down, Hannah, please." insisted Grandma.

"Okay, Grandma." said Hannah disappointedly. She really wanted to help.

Yet, when Grandma was doing the laundry and she needed Hannah to help her pick up the clothes that had fallen on the floor, Hannah was not there. "Hannah, Hannah!" called Grandma clutching her aching back. "Please come and help, Grandma." Hannah was so busy watching TV that she didn't even hear Grandma calling.

"What's wrong?" asked Daddy upon finding Hannah curled up on the couch with her head buried in a pillow.

"Oh, Daddy. " replied Hannah lifting her tear stained face off the pillow. "Why can't I help? Nobody ever lets me help." She threw herself into Daddy's arms.

Daddy hugged her tightly. "Oh, honey bun." he said gently. "Helping is not about helping when you want to help. Helping is about helping when somebody needs help."

"But how do I know when someone needs help?" she asked worriedly.

"Just ask." Daddy replied.

"Oh." said Hannah thoughtfully, and from then on she always tried to remember to ask before she helped.