Saturday, March 30, 2013

Daphne's Doll

Daphne Olsen loved dolls. Her favorite doll was a soft and squishy baby doll named Dahlia. Daphne always called her Baby. From the moment Daphne laid eyes on Dahlia when she got her as a second birthday present from Mommy and Daddy, Dahlia was her Baby and her favorite toy in the world. Baby ate with her. Baby played with her. Baby took baths with her. Baby slept with her. Everywhere that Daphne went, Baby would be there too.

Once when they were sleeping over Grandma's Baby accidentally got left behind. Daphne cried and cried. Daddy tried to comfort her. "It's okay." he said sweetly patting her on the back.

"No Daddy!" said Daphne angrily pushing him away.

Mommy tried comforting her. She picked up Daphne in her arms and gently rocked her back and forth. "There, there, sweetie." she said.

Daphne pulled herself out of Mommy's arms. "Don't want Mommy! Want Baby!" she said breaking out into a fresh flood of tears.

Daddy ended up having to go all the way home and get Baby. It took him an hour to go home and come back. The whole time he was gone, Daphne cried. When he came back and handed her Baby, she happily snuggled the doll in her arms. Then and only then would she settle down and go to sleep.

Another time, Baby got lost at the mall. Daphne was sleeping in the stroller, and she woke up when they got to car."Baby! Baby!" she cried anxiously as Mommy tried to buckle her into her car seat. "What?" said Mommy. "Where is Baby?" She looked around the car, but didn't see Baby. She looked around the car again  but still didn't see Baby. By now, Mommy was starting to get worried too. She took Daphne out of the car and strapped her back into her stroller.

"Baby! Baby!" cried Daphne unhappily as they headed back into the mall. Her eyes filled with tears.

In the mall, they started to go back into all the stores they had been to before.They went to five stores before they finally found Baby on the dressing room floor in Macys. She must have fallen out of the stroller while Daphne was sleeping. "Baby! Baby!" said Daphne happily reaching out for her doll. She instantly stopped crying and hugged her doll to her.

The only thing Daphne loved almost, but not quite as much as Baby was her pacifier. When she was about four, Mommy and Daddy finally got her to give up her pacifier. She still always wanted to chew on things though. She would chew on her blanket. She would chew on her hair. Mommy and Daddy were always having to tell Daphne to get things out of her mouth and stop chewing on them.

One of the things that Daphne liked to chew on was Baby's foot. "Don't chew on Baby's foot. It will break." Mommy and Daddy warned her. Daphne couldn't stop chewing on it though and eventually it did break off.

"Baby! Baby!" cried Daphne sadly. She scooped up Baby in her arms and handed her to Daddy. "Daddy fix, baby." she demanded. Daddy looked at her sadly. He didn't think he could fix Baby.

A week went by. It was a long and unhappy week. Daphne cried all the time. She didn't eat. She didn't sleep. She just cried for her Baby.

Finally at the end of the week, Mommy and Daddy had a surprise for her."Here you go." said Daddy handing something to her.

"Baby!" screamed Daphne excitedly. "My Daddy fix Baby." she said happily smiling at him gratefully. She looked at Baby. Then, she stopped smiling. She looked Baby all over. Something was different.

Mommy and Daddy looked at each other. They held their breath nervously.

"My Daddy got me a new Baby." said Daphne finally. She smiled again. Mommy and Daddy smiled too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Storm

It was a cold and rainy night. The sound of the rain splashing against the window woke up  four year old Mailee Rhinehart. She hated the rain. She was afraid of it. Whenever it rained, she was afraid it would turn into a thunderstorm and start thundering and lightening. She tried to go back to sleep, but she couldn't. Finally, she got out of bed and quickly scrambled down the hall to her sister, Quinlee's room. Quinlee was six. She wouldn't be afraid.

Quinlee was fast asleep under her big flowered quilt. "Quinlee!" Mailee said shaking her sister. "Quinlee, it's raining!"

Quinlee sleepily opened one eye and glared at her sister. "So!?" said Quinlee. She rolled over and went back to sleep. Mailee climbed up in the bed next to her sister. She sighed contentedly. She felt so much better and safer not being alone anymore. She closed her eyes and went back to sleep too,

A little while later, it started raining harder. Quinlee sat up in bed. Mailee sat up in bed too. They listened to the ran for a few minutes. It was really loud and really scary sounding. "I don't like the rain." whispered Mailee.

"I don't either." replied Quinlee. "Come on." she said. She helped her little sister out of the bed and took her hand. They hurried down the hall to their big sister, Bailee's room. Bailee was eight. She was brave. The rain wouldn't bother her.

They went in Bailee's room. They climbed into bed with her. They snuggled close to her. Bailee opened her eyes for a moment and saw them. She sighed and went back to sleep. Quinlee and Mailee went back to sleep too.

A little while later, it started thundering and lightening. The loud crashes of thunder woke up the all three girls. They sat up in bed. Mailee was really scared. Quinlee was too. They grabbed Bailee's hands. Bailee stared out the window. By now, she was scared too. She didn't mind rain, but she didn't like thunder and lightening.
"Come on." she said quickly scrambling out of the bed. Quinlee and Bailee followed her.

They all hurried down the hall to their parent room. They climbed up in the bed with their Mom and Dad. Even though Mommy and Daddy had a big bed, it was crowded with Mommy, Daddy, and all three girls in it. Mommy and Daddy kept getting pushed further and further to the edges of their own bed.

The next morning, Mailee woke up first. She looked out the window. It had stopped raining, and it was quiet. She sighed with relief. She looked around her. She saw Quinlee. She saw Bailee. There was no sign of Mommy and Daddy. "Quinlee! Bailee!" she called worriedly. "Mommy and Daddy are gone!"

Bailee kept her eyes closed and buried her face under the pillow. Quinlee sat up and rubbed her eyes sleepily. "What are you talking about?" she said. She looked around. She didn't see Mommy or Daddy either. She looked around again. She still didn't see them. "Bailee!" she said shaking her older sister. "They're really not here!"

Bailee sat up and glared at her little sisters. Sometimes, she really wished she were an only child. "Of course, they're here." she said. She looked around, but she didn't see them either.

"They're gone!" said Mailee again. She looked as if she were going to burst into tears any minute. Quinlee took her little sister's hand, but she looked as though she were going to cry too.

"Don't worry." Bailee assured them both, but she was a little worried herself. She helped her sisters out of the bed and took their hands. They tiptoed out of the room and down the hall.

"Look!" said Quinlee pointing in to her room. There was Mommy fast asleep in Quinlee's bed.

"Look!" said Bailee pointing in to her own room. There was Daddy fast asleep in Bailee's bed.

All three girls burst out laughing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dorinda Wants A Dog

Dorinda Farley was a very happy girl. She lived in nice big house and had her very own pink and purple decorated room. She had a Mom and Dad who loved her. The way Dorinda, saw it  only there was only one thing her life was missing - a dog. For as long as Dorinda could remember she had asked her mother and father to get her a dog. "Please, Daddy." she begged constantly. "I really want one."

"Dogs are a lot of work, Dorinda." he told her.

"I"ll take care if it. I promise, Mommy." Dorinda would insist.

"I think you're too young for that kind of responsibility." her mother would reply and that would be the end of the discussion. Dorinda would walk away frowning and mumbling to herself that her parents would never think she was old enough.

One day, Dorinda's parents called her into their room. They looked at her with very serious expressions. "We have something to tell you." said her father.

"What is it?" asked Dorinda worriedly.

Her mother smiled at her. "Don't worry." she said, "It's nothing bad."

Dorinda sighed with relief. She still didn't know what it was about though.

"Goldie is going to be staying with us for while because Mr. Andrews has to go out of town unexpectedly. Mr. Andrews was their next door neighbor. Goldie was his dog. She was a golden retriever.

Dorinda's eyes lit up. "Really!" she exclaimed excitedly. If she couldn't really have her own dog at least she would get to borrow someone else's for a while. She decided to take the best care of Goldie that she could. Then, her parents would have to see that she was old enough and she was responsible enough, and they would have to get her a dog of her own.

From the moment, Goldie arrived Dorinda took care of her as if she were her own. She feed her everyday. She walked her everyday n the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. She walked her when the sun was shining and in the pouring rain. She cleaned her messes. She brushed her fur. She gave her a bath. She played with her. Pretty much whenever, she wasn't going to school or doing her homework, she spend every waking moment taking care of Goldie.

Finally, after about a week, Mr. Andrews came back, and it was time for Goldie to go home. He thanked Dorinda's parents for taking care of Goldie.

"It was all Dorinda," her mother explained proudly.

"Well, thank you for taking such good care of my Goldie." Mr. Andrews told Dorinda.

Part of Dorinda was sorry to see Goldie leave, but the other part of her was just exhausted so she went up to her room and lay down on her bed. Her mother and father found her there a little while later. "Dorinda." they said very seriously. "We have something to tell you."

Dorinda sat up in her bed worriedly. "Is it bad?" she asked.

"No, not at all." said her mother.

"We are really proud of the way you took care of Goldie." said her father.

"We didn't think you could do it. You are really growing up." added her mother.

Dorinda smiled happily at her parents praise.

"We think your finally old enough now." said her father smiling back at her.

"For what?" asked Dorinda. Did she miss something here?

"For a dog of your own." said her mother.

"Yes," added her father, "A dog of your own just like you've always wanted. You've certainly proven this week that you can take care of a dog. "

Dorinda didn't say anything. She just stared at her parents and she didn't look nearly as happy as they thought she would.

"What's the matter?" asked her mother. "Aren't you happy that you are finally going to get a dog of your own? Isn't that what you've always wanted?"

Dorinda rolled her eyes, shook her head, and sighed. "I used to want a dog, but I don't anymore. They are much to much work!"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tea With Daddy

Hilary Ziegler wanted to play tea party. It was her favorite game. She put on her favorite dress up dress. It was the Cinderella costume she wore last Halloween. She dressed up all her dolls and stuffed animals and put them in chairs around her  little table. She set the table with her best little pink plastic  toy dishes, with little pink plastic toy cups and shiny toy silver forks, knives and spoons and real paper napkins. She played for a little while, but then it got boring. It was annoying doing all the talking for everybody. Obviously her toys were never really going to talk back to her so she needed somebody else to play with.

Maybe, Mommy would play with her for a little while. She went downstairs to find Mommy. She couldn't find Mommy anywhere but she did find Daddy sitting on the couch watching TV. "Daddy!" she said. "Where is Mommy?"

"She went shopping." replied Daddy. He didn't take his eyes off the TV.

"Oh." replied  Hilary disappointedly. Then, she got a brainstorm. Maybe, Daddy would play with her.
"Daddy?" she asked eagerly. "Will you play tea party with me?"

Daddy looked at her as though she had asked him to dance naked under the moon with him or something. "Tea party?" he said. "I'm a guy. I don't know anything about playing tea party."

Hilary looked up at him with big sad eyes. Daddy looked back at the TV. Hilary climbed up in his lap and put her arms around his neck. "Please Daddy." she said. She snuggled into him."I'll teach you how to play."  she promised.

Daddy resisted and Hilary kept begging until finally he agreed."Okay, okay." he said. He followed Hilary to the playroom although he didn't seem so happy about it.

"You sit here, Daddy." said Hilary showing him to a chair. Daddy squeezed into the little chair, but he didn't want to break it so he decided to sit on the floor next to the table. Hilary decided that would be okay. She didn't ask him to dress up because she knew he wouldn't fit into her dress up clothes anyway. She did find an old straw hat for him to wear though.

"You be Prince Charming and I'll be Cinderella." said Hilary.

Daddy raised his eyebrows, but he said. "Okay."

Hilary lifted the little pink tea pot. "Would you like some tea, Prince Charming?" she asked.

"Why yes, thank you, Cinderella." replied Daddy. "And I must say you are looking mighty beautiful this fine day." he added really starting to get into the swing of things

"Why thank you, Prince Charming." said Hilary. "Daddy?" she added in a whisper. "Are you sure you never played this before. You're really good at it." She poured him some pretend tea and sliced him some pretend cake. Then, it was Daddy's turn to serve her. Afterwards, they decided they were really hungry. Daddy let her serve real cookies on her tiny toy plates and real water in her tiny toy cups.

After a while, they heard the sound of Mommy's car in the driveway. It was followed by the sound of the front door opening and then the sound of Mommy's footsteps on the stairs. "What are you doing?" Mommy asked peeking in the playroom door as she passed by with an arm full of packages.

"I am having tea with the princess." explained Daddy.

Mommy seemed surprised. She had never seen Daddy playing tea party before. "No what are you really doing?" she asked.

"I'm serious." replied Daddy. "I am having tea with the beautiful Princess Hilary.

"And I am having tea with the best Daddy in the whole wide world. "exclaimed Hilary throwing her arms around him and kissing him.

"And I am having tea with best Daddy in the whole world!"

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fiona The Flower Girl

Fiona Wallace was 7 years old. Her sister Bridget was 22 . They had the same mother but not the same father. From the moment, Fiona was born, Bridget adored her and the feeling was mutual. When Bridget went to college, every semester Fiona couldn't wait for the semester to end and Bridget to come home. She was so happy when Bridget graduated and came back.

Bridget had only been home a short time when Fiona was playing in the backyard one day. "Hey Fi!" she called to her little sister. "Come and talk to me."

Fiona couldn't help smiling. Nobody but Bridget called her Fi. She came up to the patio and sat in a chair next to her sister. As soon as she settled herself, she looked up into her sister's face. Bridget's face held a very serious expression. "Is everything okay?" asked Fiona worriedly.

"Oh everything is good." Bridget assured her with a smile. "Everything is really good. I just have something to tell you."

Fiona couldn't imagine what it could be. "Okay." she said eying her sister curiously.

"Justin and I are getting married." gushed Bridget all in a rush.

Fiona's jaw dropped. She sat there stunned but didn't stay anything.

"You like Justin, don't you Fi?"

Fiona nodded. Sure she liked Justin. He was really nice to her. He took Fiona to the Boardwalk with he and Bridget and won Fiona stuffed animals. Still, she would rather have Bridget stay living with her than be married to Justin.

"There's more." said Bridget excitedly.

'More?' thought Fiona unhappily. Bridget was already going to be getting married and moving out. What else could there be? She wasn't sure she wanted to know.

"I was kind of hoping you would be the flower girl at my wedding."

Fiona didn't say anything.

"You would get new outfit just for the wedding"

Fiona was a little bit interested now. She loved getting new clothes.

"You  could wear a pretty gown ."

"Like a princess?" asked Fiona. Now, she was even more interested.

"Like a princess." said Bridget. "And you'd get to hold a basket of flowers."

"Pretty pink ones?"

"Pretty pink ones." promised Bridget. "And you'd get to walk down the aisle just like me."

Now, Fiona was really interested. She loved being the center of attention. She thought about walking down the aisle in front of all their friends and family wearing a beautiful princess dress and carrying a basket of pretty pink flowers. She smiled. "I'd like to be your flower girl." she said to her sister.

"Great!" said Bridget lifting Fiona into her arms and kissing her.

The next few months were taken up with wedding preparations.A place for the wedding was picked. Bridget got a wedding dress a beautiful ball gown covered with beads. Fiona got a dress too. A long pink satin dress with a purple sash. A band was hired. Flowers and food were picked out.

Finally, the day of the wedding arrived. Fiona felt so grown up in her pretty dress and with her hair pinned up. She even had a new gold locket around her neck that Bridget and Justin gave her for being in the wedding.She walked down the aisle proudly holding her flower basket and smiling. During the rest of the wedding ceremony, she sat in the front row with her mother and father.

Afterwards, there was a big party. There was lots of dancing and food. Fiona had never had so much fun in her life. She had also never partied as long or stayed up as late. At the end of the night as Bridget was saying good night to the last few guests, Fiona sunk tiredly into a chair.

A few minutes later, Mom, Dad, Bridget and Justin came looking for her. "Thank you for being my flower girl, Fi." Bridget said. Fiona didn't say anything. "Fi?" said Bridget. Fiona still didn't say anything.

"Look." said Justin pointing to Fiona. "The poor little thing is all tired out." He pointed to Fiona fast asleep in the chair.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lily Writes A Letter

Lily Alcott was 5 years old. She was in kindergarten. She was learning how to to read and write and spell. She loved practicing them too. She was always begging her Mom and Dad to let her read to them. She was always writing letters all over her the blackboard on her big easel or on stray pieces of paper. She was always asking her Mom and Dad to give her words to spell. She even tried to give herself words to spell. Sometimes that worked okay. Other times, she came up with some pretty interesting spellings.

Lily sat at the the little pink wooden desk in her room one afternoon trying to spell words when her Mom came in waving a postcard. "Lily!" she called out . "You got mail!"

Lily jumped out of her seat and excitedly and clapped her hands with delight. "Oh boy!" she exclaimed. She loved getting mail and she hardly ever got any. She didn't even ask who it was from. She just kept jumping up and down excitedly.

"Don't you want to know who it's from?" Mommy teased finally.

Lily bobbed her head up and down. Yes! Yes! Yes! She took the postcard from her mother. She couldn't read the whole thing. She could just read the top where it said "Dear Lily" and at the bottom where it said "Love Grandma" and a word or two in-between. "Can you read it to me?" she asked her mother eagerly.

Her mother took the card back and read "Dear Lily,  I am having a wonderful time and meeting all kinds of charming people. Yesterday, we road down Lombard Street the crookiest street in the world. Today  we are going riding on a cable car and going to a chocolate factory. I can't wait to come home and see you, my beautiful granddaughter. Love Grandma." She handed the card back to Lily.

Lily smiled thinking warmly of her grandmother. "Where is Grandma?" she asked her mother.

"She's in San Francisco visiting Uncle Bob." Mommy reminded her.

"Oh yeah." replied Lily a little bit sadly. She really missed Grandma. She and her grandmother were really close. She turned the postcard over in her hand and looked at the picture on the front. "What's that?" she asked her mother.

"It's a cable car."  Mommy explained.

"Oh." said Lily. She thought about Grandma riding on a cable car. That made Lily miss her even more.

"You know," said Mommy, "You can write Grandma a letter back."

Lily liked the idea of it, but she didn't know if she could do it. She had never written anyone a letter before. "What would I say?" she asked.

"Tell her we got her letter and how much you miss her." suggested Mommy.

"That's a great idea!" exclaimed Lily. Now, she was really excited about it. She got Mommy to give her a pretty purple flowered piece of stationery and she took out a pencil and sat down at her desk.

"Do you need my help?" asked Mommy.

"No, thank you." said Lily. She was a big girl. She wanted to do it all by herself. She sat at her desk. She wrote in big letters on her piece of paper "DEAR GRANDMA, WE GOT YOUR LETTER. I MISS YOU. LOVE LILY." Then, without showing it to her mother, she put it in the envelope and sealed it up. She gave it to her mother to address, stamp and mail.

"So what did you write?" asked Mommy a little bit nosily or at least Lily thought so.

"That is between Grandma and me." Lily replied.

Mommy mailed the letter the next day.

About a week later Mommy and Lily were sitting next to each other on the couch and watching one of Lily's favorite movies on the DVD player. The phone rang. Mommy paused the DVD and answered the phone. "Lily," she said "It's for you." 

Lily was surprised she didn't usually get many phone calls. What an exciting month she was having,  a letter and a phone call. She put the receiver to her ear. "Hello?" she said into it.

"Hello, Lily." said a familiar voice.

"Hi Grandma." said Lily excitedly recognizing the sound of her Grandmother's voice. "I love you and I miss you."

"I love you and I miss you too dear." said Grandma. "I am calling to tell you that I got your letter and it is the nicest letter anyone has ever sent me."

"Thanks, Grandma." said Lily happily. She was glad Grandma liked her letter. She was really proud of herself.

Nellie the Night Owl

Nellie Abernathy did not like to go to sleep. She would do everything to avoid bed time. "I need another drink, Mommy." she begged. When Mommy gave her a glass of water, she would sip it really slowly. Then, she would ask for another.

"Go to sleep, Nellie." Mommy would say kissing her on her forehead. She turned off Nellie's light, left the room, and shut the door.

A few minutes later, Nellie's door would swing open and Nellie would hurry out of the room and down the hall to her parents bedroom. "Daddy, " she would say throwing herself into her father's arms. "I think there is a monster in my room. You better come and check."

Her father would smile and say. "Don't worry I already monster-proofed your room. Come I'll take you back." Sometimes, he would pick her up and carry her. Other times, he would just take her by the hand. He would always gently tuck her back into her bed.

"Can you please sit with me for five minutes?" she would beg making her saddest puppy dog face.

"Okay." Daddy would say. He couldn't resist her sad puppy dog face.

Nellie wouldn't even try to sleep. She would just lie quietly in her bed.

After five minutes, Daddy would get up to leave the room.

Nellie would sit straight up in her bed. "Oh Daddy! Another five minutes. Please!"

"Nellie, it's bed time." Daddy would say kissing her quickly and leaving the room before her sad puppy dog face got to him again.

Still, even when Mommy and Daddy were gone, Nellie wouldn't go to sleep. She would lie in bed thinking and making up stories in her head. She would play with the toys on her bed. She would try to read her books in the dark.

Every once in a while, Mommy or Daddy would come in to check on her. "Nellie go to sleep." they would say when they found her still awake.

One day, Nellie was watching TV. She saw a commercial for a movie she wanted to see. "Oh! The Cutie Pies! I really want to see that movie!"she said excitedly.

"It's on tomorrow morning!" said Mommy.

"I can't wait!" said Nellie excitedly.

That night, Nellie didn't sleep any more than she usually did. The next morning when she woke up, she sat down eagerly in front of the TV. "When is my movie on, mommy?" she asked.

"I'm sorry honey." Mommy said sadly. "The movie was on at 8:00 am. Now, it's 10:00 am. It's already over."

"But mommy why didn't you wake me?

"I tried waking you, but you wouldn't get up. I'm sure you were tired because you didn't get enough sleep last night.

"Oh." said Nellie. She was disappointed. She had really wanted to see that movie.

Daddy came in the room and gave Nellie a kiss. "Hey baby!" he said. "Why do you look so sad?" Nellie told him about missing the movie. "I'm sorry." he said.

"What are you doing?" Nellie asked.

"I'm getting ready to go fishing tomorrow." Daddy explained as he headed into the garage to get together his fishing gear.

"Can I go?" asked Nellie following him. "You've been promising me you would take me fishing."

"Sure." said Daddy, "I guess now is as good a time as any as long as your Mom says it okay."

Mommy agreed, and Nellie was really excited. She couldn't wait to go fishing. She forgot all about the movie.

That night Mommy and Daddy tried to put Nellie to bed early. Nellie wasn't having any of that. She stalled as long as she could. Then, she played with her toys and read her books and did all the things she usually did. She went to sleep as late as ever.

The next morning, Daddy went in and tried to wake her for the fishing trip. "Nellie." he said "Nellie, baby. It's time to wake up."  Nellie didn't budge. Her father gently shook her. Nellie turned over in her bed and buried her face in her pillow.

A few hours later, she woke up and got dressed. "I'm ready to go!" she called excitedly going downstairs and looking for her dad. Mommy was all alone in the kitchen sitting at the counter drinking tea. "Where is Daddy?" asked Nellie.

"He went fishing." said Mommy.

"But he was going to take me!" whined Nellie.

"You didn't want to get up." explained Mommy.

Nellie sat down at the kitchen table and put her chin in her hand. She had really wanted to go fishing. She was tired of missing out on everything good.

Mommy finished her drink. "I'm sorry, sweetie." she said to Nellie.

"Where are you going?" she asked as Mommy started to leave the room.

"I'm going to call Grandma. We are going into the city tomorrow to do some shopping, and I need to make arrangements."

"Can I come shopping?" asked Nellie.

"Sure." replied Mommy. "You can use some new clothes. A lot of the ones you have now are getting too small on you."

Nellie clapped her hands with excitement. She loved getting new clothes.

"But we are leaving early in the morning." warned Mommy.

"I'll be ready." Nellie promised.

That night, Nellie went right to bed. She didn't even ask for one glass of water let alone two. She didn't lie in bed thinking or making up stories. She didn't play with her toys. She didn't try to read her books in the dark. She went right to sleep.

The next morning, she woke up bright and early. She didn't even wait for Mommy to come in her room and wake her. She got dressed and went looking for Mommy.

"I'm ready Mommy." she said.

Mommy was all dressed and ready too, but she was surprised to see Nellie. "Nellie," she said. "I wasn't really expecting to see you. I didn't think you'd get up."

"I went to bed right right away last night. Mommy, and I wasn't tired in the morning not at all like I usually am." Nellie told her "And, I got right up this morning."

"See." said Mommy. "That's what happens when you get enough sleep. I'm proud of you, Nellie." replied Mommy.

"Thanks, mommy." said Nellie.

"Now let's go shopping." said Mommy.

"Let's go shopping." echoed Nellie happily.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Miranda Makes Up Her Mind

Miranda Quinn could never make up her mind. She woke up in the morning and stared into her closet. Maybe she would wear her black jeans or maybe she would wear her blue ones. Maybe, she would wear her striped shirt and maybe she would wear her polka-dot one. Maybe, she would wear her sneakers maybe she would wear her flats. Maybe, she would wear her hair up; maybe she would wear it down.

By the time, she finished getting dressed and went downstairs, it was almost time to leave for school. "Sit down quickly. It's late. " her mother told her. "What would you like for breakfast?" she added as Miranda slid into a seat.

Miranda chewed on her lip and thought. Maybe, she would have a bagel or maybe a muffin. Maybe, she would have orange juice or maybe milk.

"Miranda!" shouted her mother finally cutting into Miranda's thoughts. "It's too late. You don't have time for anything. You'll be late for school." She quickly ushered Miranda into a coat before Miranda had a chance to think about which one to wear. She didn't want Miranda to miss the bus.

At school, Miranda didn't get to do her art project because she couldn't decide which color crayon to start with red or blue. She didn't get to eat lunch because she couldn't decide if she wanted a sandwich or a bagel. She didn't play at recess because she couldn't decide if she wanted to go on the slide or the swings first.

When she came home, she was starving. She was grateful that her mom had put out a snack for her and she didn't have to think about it. After snack, she couldn't decide whether to do her reading or her math homework. She just sat there staring into space until her mother said "Miranda! Do your homework! It's getting late already. It will be dinner soon." Miranda looked at her mother helplessly until her mother opened Miranda's pink flowered backpack and took out Miranda's math homework and put it in front of her. "Here do this!" she said.

They somehow managed to get through the rest of the day with her mother helping Miranda to make choices. That night as she was putting Miranda to bed, her mother said. "Miranda, my sweet, this has to stop. You need to learn to make choices without worrying about them so much."

Miranda eye's filled with tears. "But mommy." she said. "Every time,  I pick something I am not picking something else. What if I make the wrong choice?"

Miranda's mother smoothed the hair back off Miranda's face and said softly. "Sometimes, there are no wrong choices. If you don't wear your blue jeans today you'll wear them tomorrow. If you don't have a bagel today you'll have one tomorrow. Do your math first or your reading first, you'll still get them both done if you start doing them. Stop worrying so much about life's little choices so you have more time to worry about the big ones."

"I'll try, mommy." Miranda promised. Her mother kissed her and turned out the light.

The next morning, Miranda went into her closet and grabbed the first shirt and pair of pants she found. She saw her sneakers under her bed so she put them on. When she went to brush her hair she found a pretty purple clip on the counter so she put it in her hair.

She went downstairs and sat down at the table. Her mother had laid out a bagel for her breakfast. "Would you prefer a muffin?" her mother asked.'

Miranda stared at the bagel for a minute without saying a word. Her mother started to say something thinking Miranda was not going to be able to make a choice again. She didn't want Miranda to miss breakfast again. However, as soon as her mother opened her mouth, Miranda quickly said "I don't want a bagel or a muffin. What I'd really like is a Pop Tart."

"Sure. Coming right up." said her mother proudly smiling at her daughter. "Would you like a strawberry Pop Tart or a chocolate fudge one?"

Miranda frowned and bit her lip. She loved them both and hadn't had either in a while. "You choose for me, mommy." she begged finally. Sometimes, it was just easier to let someone else choose.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brittany Makes Breakfast

Brittany Ferris woke up early one morning. At first, she played quietly in her room. Soon, she realized she was hungry. She was going to go wake up Mommy  to ask her make breakfast. Then, she decided to let her Mommy sleep. She, Brittany, would make breakfast. It was the least she could do since Mommy loved her so much and did so much for her. It would be a nice change for Mommy not to make breakfast for once. Mommy would be so proud and happy.

Brittany put her slippers on and tiptoed downstairs into the kitchen. She sat down at the table to think of what to make. She was not allowed to use the oven or stove so anything that had to be cooked was out like eggs or French toast. She was not allowed to use a knife so she could not make anything that required spreading or cutting like a bagel or a sandwich. She chewed on her finger and thought really hard. "I know!" she said finally. "I'll make cereal."

She dragged a chair over to the counter, climbed up and pulled out a bowl. When she climbed down, she didn't bother to put the chair back.

Next, she went to the cabinet and took out a box of Lucky Charms. She pored the cereal into the bowl. A bunch of cereal spilled over the sides of the bowl and onto the floor. Brittany didn't bother cleaning up the cereal she had dropped. However as she continued to walk around the kitchen making Mommy's breakfast most of the cereal on the floor got crushed into the tile.

She got the milk out of the refrigerator and poured some into the bowl. She didn't know when to stop pouring and soon milk spilled over the bowl and made a big wet mess on the counter. She carried the cereal bowl to the table splashing more milk this time onto the floor as she went. She got a spoon out of  the silverware drawer and put it on the table without bothering to close the drawer again.

She looked at the cereal bowl all by itself on the table. Something was missing. Brittany chewed on her finger again and thought hard. "I know!" she said finally. "A drink! Mommy will want a drink to go with her cereal." She dragged a chair to the other cabinet where the cups were. She took down a red plastic cup and set it on the table. Again she left the chair where she had dragged it. She went to the refrigerator and took out the orange juice. She poured as carefully as she could, but still managed to pour about as much orange juice on to the table as she did in the glass as well as a little bit of orange juice right into the bowl with the cereal as well.

She just needed to do one last thing. She opened the pantry and reach for the box of napkins knocking over a bunch of cans in the process. She grabbed a handful of napkins. She took one and put it on the table next to the cereal and orange juice and let the other napkins flutter to the floor.

Just as she finished placing the napkin on the table, Brittany heard footsteps on the stairs. "Surprise, Mommy!" exclaimed Brittany excitedly as Mommy entered the kitchen. "I made you breakfast."

Mommy looked around. She saw all the chairs out of place. She saw the open silverware drawer. She saw messes on the counter, table and floor. She saw her daughter's proud smiling face, and she couldn't help smiling herself. "Why, yes you did." she replied.Then, she sat down to eat her breakfast, and it was very good.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lee Ann and her Little Sister

Lee Ann Vincent had a younger sister, Lucy. Lucy was four years younger. Lucy adored Lee Ann. She followed her everywhere. She copied everything Lee Ann did. She repeated everything Lee Ann said. She wanted to be just like her sister. Lee Ann found it rather annoying.

"Can you please make her stop following me around?" Lee Ann begged their mother. "Can you please make her stop copying me? Can you please make me her stop repeating everything I say?  It's really annoying!"

"You should appreciate having a sister who adores you so much." said Mom. "It's not going to last forever."

Lee Ann couldn't imagine that. She couldn't wait for the day when Lucy would leave her alone. In the meantime. Lucy kept following her around and copying her.

Every day, when Lee Ann came home from school, Lucy was waiting by the door. "Lee Ann!" she would say excitedly throwing her arms around her sister and hugging her. "I missed you!" Lee Ann would give her a little smile and a half hug and then go off to have a snack and do her homework. It wasn't that she didn't care about her little sister at all. She just felt crowded by her. She just wanted some space.

Lucy just didn't get it. Even when Lee Ann was doing her homework, she sat nearby and played and pretended to do her homework too. "I hate homework!" she would say imitating her big sister.

When Lee Ann was 10, she was in the fifth grade. She started a new school. It was just for fifth and sixth graders. Lucy was 6. She started first grade. She went to a different school.

Lee Ann was happy because she would now get home one half hour earlier than Lucy. "At least, I'll have a half hour to myself." she said happily.

The first day, the half hour went quickly. Lee Ann sighed as she heard the door open and Lucy come in happily chatting away to Mom who had picked her up at the bus stop. "Oh great." she thought miserably waiting for the sound of Lucy's footsteps on the stairs as she came to invade Lee Ann's space. She waited a few minutes, but there was nothing but silence. She waited a few more. Still nothing. 'Something must be wrong' she thought. She hurried down the steps.

Lucy was sitting at the table finishing a cheese stick. "Hi." she said when she saw her big sister.

"Hi." replied Lee Ann. That explained it. Lucy was having a snack, and now, she would surely be coming to hang around like always. Lucy finished eating. She and Lee Ann both headed for the stairs and went up at the same time. Lee Ann got ready to tell her little sister to stay out of her room. When she turned around Lucy was not there. She had gone into her own room. Lee Ann just stood there with her mouth open.

After a minute or so, Lee Ann went in to Lucy's room. Lucy was sitting at her big wooden desk with papers and pencils spread in front of her. "Don't you want to hang around while I do my homework?" Lee Ann asked.

Lucy looked surprised. "You hate when I do that." she said. "Besides, I have my own homework to do." she said. "So could you please close the door on the way out."

Lee Ann didn't know what to say. She wasn't used to Lucy being the one to throw Lee Ann out of the room. She wasn't sure she liked this turn of events.

Just as she backed out of the room and shut the door, Mom suddenly appeared in the hall. "Our litte girl's growing up." said Mom pointing toward Lucy's door.

"Wasn't it just yesterday that she was a cute little baby?' asked Lee Ann.

"Wasn't it just yesterday that you were." said Mom. She smiled at Lee Ann. "It looks like you've finally gotten what you wanted. Lucy stopped following you around. Lucy stopped repeating everything you say. Lucy stopped copying you."

"Yeah," replied Lee Ann, "but I kind of miss it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Delaney Doesn't Know

16 year old, Delaney Ulrich came home from school one afternoon. Her mother's car was not in the driveway. That was not usual. Her mother sometimes had errands and things to run in the afternoon. Delaney was old enough to have a house key and let herself in.

As soon as she walked in the door the phone started ringing. Delaney was sure it would be Grandma. Grandma called almost every day at this time. She always liked to talk and talk and ask a lot of questions. Delaney sighed. She really didn't want to get on the phone a long time. She just wanted to have a snack and get her homework done.

"Hello, Grandma." Delaney said a bit tiredly lifting the receiver to her ear. She felt as though she had already had a long conversation with Grandma even though she had just picked up the phone. Grandma was always asking the same questions every day, and she never wanted to get off the phone.

"Hello Delaney." said Grandma cheerfully. "How are you?" She sounded really happy but than she always did. Grandma was a very upbeat person. Delaney didn't see how anybody could be so happy so much of the time.

"I asked how you were." repeated Grandma.

"I don't know." replied Delaney.  She hadn't really been listening. She was looking around to see if her mother left a note or something. Sometimes, Mom left a note; sometimes she didn't. It depended how long she thought she was going to be gone.

"Where's your Mom?" asked Grandma.

"I don't know." replied Delaney. She still didn't see a note. She went to the refrigerator and took out the orange juice and poured herself a glass.

"What are you having for dinner tonight?" asked Grandma. Grandma was always very interested in what they were eating. That was was one of her favorite questions.

"I don't know. " replied Delaney again. She took a bag of chips out of the cabinet and sat down at the table and ate her snack as Grandma continued talking.  Grandma loved to talk. She could go on forever. Today she was saying something about going with a friend to Atlantic City. Delaney wasn't really paying that much attention though. She just wanted to eat her snack and get to her homework so she could get it over with and relax.

"Delaney!" said Grandma.

"What?!" said Delaney swallowing the last of her chips and washing it down with a gulp of juice. She realized that Grandma had stopped talking about her trip and was asking Delaney questions again. Delaney tuned back in to the conversation.

"I asked if you were picking up Tad and Tracy at the bus stop today." said Grandma. Tad and Tracy were Delaney's younger brother and sister. They were twins. They were 8. Sometimes, when Mom was out Delaney picked them up at the bus stop.

"I don't know." replied Delaney. It depended when Mom got home.

"Are you making dinner?" asked Grandma. She knew that sometimes when Mom was late, she left dinner for Delaney to heat up.

"I don't know." replied Delaney yet again.

"My Delaney," said Grandma "That is an awful lot of I don't knows. Don't you know anything?" she teased.

"Why yes, Grandma!" replied Delaney. "I know a lot of things. You're just not asking the right questions!"

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mommy Always Comes Back

Elena Garitty sat on the edge of her mother's bed looking as though she were about to burst into tears any minute. "Do you have to go Mommy?" she asked opening her big brown eyes widely and pouting her lips and making her best sad puppy face.

Mommy smiled and patted Elena on the head. "You know I do." she replied. "I promised Aunt Amelia I would help her with the new baby. I'll only be gone two weeks. You'll hardly notice I am gone."

"Of course. I'll notice you're gone. I'll miss you!" declared Elena grabbing on to her mother and clinging for dear life.

"Elena,"" said Mommy gently loosening Elena's grip. "I've been gone before.

"Yes, but not this long." replied Elena.

"I have to finish packing now, sweetie. Would you like to help me?"

Elena nodded. Inside she was screaming No! No! No! I don't want to help you because I don't want you to go Mommy, but she knew if she said it out loud it wouldn't do any good so just kept quiet.

Soon Mommy was done packing. She took her suitcase down the stairs. Elena trailed behind looking as sad as ever. At the door Daddy joined them. He kissed Mommy and said. "Drive carefully. Call us when you get there to let us know you made it there safely." It made Elena feel even worse now that she had the added worry of thinking that there was a possibility that Mommy wouldn't make it there safely. She hadn't thought about that before.

Mommy kissed Elena. "I love you my sweet. Be good for your Daddy."

"I love you to." replied Elena. She watched Mommy open the door and go out. She watched Mommy get in the car and pull it out of the driveway. She watched Mommy drive down the street. For a long time after Mommy left, she just stood by the window staring outside.

Elena and Daddy had a good week together. They played games and watched movies and went to the park. Of course, all of that was when Elena wasn't in school and Daddy wasn't at work. Elena never usually got to spend that much time with Daddy. It was fun, but she still missed Mommy. When she and Daddy were busy together, the time passed quickly. The rest of the time passed by slowly. Every day, Elena would ask "Is Mommy coming home today?"

Every day, Daddy would reply. "Not today kitten." Kitten was his special name for her.

Elena would sigh and say. "I miss Mommy."

"I miss Mommy too." Daddy would reply.

One day when Daddy and Elena were sitting on the bed, Elena said "Daddy?"

"Yes, kitten? " replied Daddy.

"What if Mommy doesn't come back?"

Daddy smiled at Elena. "That's silly," he assured her, "Of course, Mommy is coming back." he insisted. He showed her the calender and they marked a big circle on the day when Mommy would be home. Now, Elena didn't have to ask Daddy anymore. She could just look at the calender. Every day, she crossed off a day on the calender which meant it was getting closer and closer to the day Mommy would come back. Elena couldn't wait.

Finally it was here! The day Mommy was coming home. Elena felt like it was a celebration. She put on a pretty dress and waited. All day, she stood by the window and watched and waited eagerly. Mommy never came. Daddy was wrong, Mommy wasn't coming back. Maybe, she didn't love them after all. Elena's heart was broken.  Daddy took her up to bed. He didn't say anything, but he looked worried too.

A few hours later, Elena was awakened by a gentle kiss on the check. Her eyes fluttered open. "Mommy!" she said excitedly. She grabbed Mommy and hugged her tightly. "Oh, Mommy. I missed you."

"I missed you too." replied Mommy hugging Elena back tightly. She didn't seem to want to let go any more than Elena did.

"I thought you weren't coming back." Elena scolded her mother finally pulling away. "I waited all day, and you didn't come."

"I'm sorry, sweet." replied Mommy. "I had some car trouble, and it took me longer than I expected to get home."

"But you're here now." said Elena happily. "I wish you didn't ever have to go away again." she added feeling sad at just the prospect that Mommy might ever have to go away again.

"Well, I can't promise you that I'll never have to go away again." said Mommy honestly. Elena frowned. "But I can promise you that no matter when I go no matter where I go no matter how long I am gone, I will always come back."  Elena smiled and hugged her mother tightly again.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jennifer Tells Jokes

Jennifer Oakes loved jokes. She loved hearing them and she loved telling them. Most of all, she loved making up jokes. The only problem was the jokes she made up weren't very funny. Nobody ever laughed at them.

"Can I tell you a joke, Daddy?" asked Jennifer. Daddy shook his head and tried to leave the room, but Jennifer stopped him by putting her hand on his arm. "Why don't cows fly?" she asked. Daddy shook his head. "Because they aren't birds!" exclaimed Jennifer laughing hysterically at her own joke. Daddy didn't laugh at all. He just smiled at her and left the room. Jennifer frowned. Daddy just didn't get it, but she knew she could find someone to laugh at her jokes.

Just then, Jaime, Jennifer's older sister entered the room. She went into the refrigerator and grabbed a can of coke and went to the cabinet and got a bag of chips and sat down at the table. Jennifer's eyes lit up. Jaime would surely laugh at her jokes.She sat down next to her sister. "Let me tell you a joke." she said. Jaime jumped out of her seat in a panic and grabbed her stuff. "Where are you going?" asked Jennifer. "Don't you want to hear a joke?"

Jaime shook her head. "No! No! No!"

"But why not?" asked Jennifer.

"Oh come on, Jen, " said her sister, "you're a terrible joke teller." She hurried out of the room with her snack before Jennifer could say another word.

Jennifer pouted. "No, I'm not!" she called after her sister. Jennifer was determined to show her sister that she was not a horrible joke teller. She would tell her best joke and that would show her. "Why are elephants gray?" she yelled out to her sister, but there was just silence. Jaime was already gone. "Because they're not green." said Jennifer softly to herself since there was nobody else around to listen to her great joke. This time she didn't even laugh at her own joke. It was no fun laughing all alone.

Mommy entered the room with Jennifer's baby sister, Jillian. Mommy put Jillian in her highchair.

Jennifer instantly brightened up. "Mommy!" she said excitedly. "Do you want to hear a joke?"

"Not now, honey." she said. "I have to feed Jillian." She set a cup of yogurt in front of the baby and proceeded to feed it to her.

Jennifer decided to tell her a joke anyway. It would be a really funny one and Mommy wouldn't mind.
She closed her eyes and thought really hard and tried to come up with a good one. Finally, she thought of one. Her eyes lit up and she smiled. "Why did the dog bark?" she asked. "because that's what dogs do!" she added after a minute when her mother didn't say anything. Jennifer started laughing, but stopped when she noticed Mommy wasn't laughing. Mommy wasn't even smiling.

Mommy was looking at her shirt and frowning. Thanks to baby, Jillian there was yogurt splashed all across the front of  Mommy's shirt. "Watch her for a minute, while I go get another shirt." Mommy said to Jennifer as she hurried out of the room.

"Do you want to hear a joke?" Jennifer asked her baby sister. Jillian smiled at her sister as she ate her yogurt. Jennifer took that as a yes. "Why do babies make messes?" she asked. "Because they can!" she answered her own joke and began laughing.

Jillian smiled and began laughing too. Jennifer laughed even harder. So did Jillian. Jennifer hugged her. She didn't even care when the baby covered her with yogurt. She was so happy she had finally found someone to laugh at her jokes. Sometimes, it was good to have a little sister.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Stupid Bowl

Something was happening, Haylee Norwood knew it. She just didn't know what it was, but she kept hearing everyone talk about it excitedly. The stupid bowl this, and the stupid bowl that. That's all anyone talked about these days. Haylee couldn't understand why people were so excited about something that had the word stupid in the title. Anyway, whatever it was it was happening today. She figured she better quickly  go find out what it was. She didn't want to miss out.

She went in her mother and father's room and found her mother. Her mother was on the phone looking very unhappy. "I ordered it two weeks ago." she said angrily into the phone. Haylee should have known better than to interrupt her mother when her mother was on the phone especially when she busy yelling at somebody on the other end. However, she really wanted to know what the stupid bowl was so she went over to her mother anyway.

"Mommy," she said softly when she approached her mother. When Mommy didn't answer, she touched her mother's arm to get her attention. When she still didn't answer, Haylee called out "Mommy!" again, but this time louder and began shaking her mother's arm.

Mommy temporarily moved the phone away from ear and gave Haylee a red angry look. "Not now, Haylee." she scolded. "I am having a house full of company today and the sub shop can't find our order."

"But Mommy." said Haylee. "I want to know what the stupid bowl is."

Mommy put her finger to her lips, shook her head and motioned for Haylee to go away. Haylee frowned and slowly exited the room. She went downstairs and found her father vacuuming. "Daddy," she said, "What's the stupid bowl?"

Daddy couldn't hear over the noise of the vacuum. "What's that?" he asked.

"What's the stupid bowl?" Haylee asked again a little bit louder, but Daddy still couldn't hear her.

He shook his head. "Later, pumpkin." he said. "I'm kind of busy right now." He continued vacuuming. Haylee frowned again and went off to look for someone else.

She noticed the basement door was open and was starting to go down when her she saw her brother, Greg coming up carrying a couple of chairs."Greg," she said. "What's the stupid bowl?"

"Haylee, get out of the way before you get hurt!" yelled Greg. He didn't even answer her question. Haylee frowned once more and sighed. How was she ever going to find out what the stupid bowl was if nobody would tell her? She slowly dragged herself back upstairs. She headed for her room. All she wanted to do was lie down on her bed and feel sorry for herself. She was going to missing out on the stupid bowl because she didn't know what it was. She figured it must be something great because a lot of people seemed really excited about it.

As she walked by her sister, Zoey's room, she noticed Zoey sitting on the bed painting her toenails. She decided to take advantage of the fact that Zoey didn't have the phone attached to her ear for once and ask her about the stupid bowl."Zoey, what's the stupid bowl?" she asked quickly as she entered the room before Zoey had a chance to tell her to go away.

Zoey stopped painting her nails for a minute and looked up. "The what?" she asked in surprise.

"The stupid bowl." repeared Haylee. "You know, the stupid bowl that everyone is talking about."

"Oh." said Zoey as she suddenly understood. "You mean the Super Bowl. That's a big football game."

Haylee's eyes opened wide. She couldn't believe it. A football game?! Everyone was getting so excited about a football game? "Are you sure?" she asked finally.

Zoey nodded. "Yes." she said. "The Super Bowl is a football game." She went back to painting her nails.

Haylee hated football. She couldn't believe that so many people could be so excited about a football game. "That is stupid." she said.