Sunday, December 29, 2013

Can I Phone a Friend?

Celia Humbert was bored. She went looking for her older sister, Gordanna. As usual, Gordanna was on the phone. "Do you mind?" Gordanna exclaimed angrily as Celia approached. She practically slammed the door in Celia's voice. For lack of anything better to do, Celia hung around outside her sister's door. She put her ear to the door and listened to Gordanna's half of the conversation. Gordanna laughed into the phone. Celia was jealous. She couldn't wait until she was old enough to call her friends and spend hours on the phone with them too just like Gordanna.

"What are you doing, Celia?" asked Mommy as she walked by holding a load of laundry.

"Nothing, mama." said Celia quickly moving away from her sister's door. She followed her mother off down the hall. When Mommy put the laundry down on her bed, Celia sat down beside it. "Celia!" exclaimed Mommy giving her an unhappy look. Celia bounced off the bed and landed in front of the wooden night table. She starred at  the cordless phone lying on the table.  She thought about how much she wished she was old enough to spend hours on the phone like Gordanna and sighed heavily.

"What's the matter, sweetie?" asked her mother with concern.

"Nothing." replied Celia. Her mother gave her a look that said she knew something was going on. Celia sighed again. She never could keep anything from her mother. "When am I going to be old enough to talk on the phone with my friends like Gordanna does?"she asked finally.

Mommy smiled. "Don't be in such a rush to grow up." she said. "It'll happen before you know it.

Celia frowned. That wasn't much of an answer. She wanted to grow up now. She went off into her own room and picked up her little pink toy princess phone from out of her toy box.  She pushed a bunch of buttons and then, put the phone to her ear. "Why,  Hello Maryellen." she said into the phone "It's me, Celia."  Maryellen was her pretend friend. After a minute or two, she got bored. Real friends were better than pretend friends and real phone conversations were better than pretend ones too. It was no fun just talking to herself. She frowned and disappointedly threw the phone back into her toy box. She wanted to phone a friend for real.

Celia went back to her mother's room. Mommy smiled when Celia entered the room. "Are you feeling better?" Mommy asked cheerfully.

"I want to talk on the phone with my friends like Gordanna does!" insisted Celia. "Can I? Can I please call Bianca?" she begged. Bianca Tate was her best friend. They'd grown up together since they were babies.

Mommy still didn't think Celia was old enough to talk on the phone with her friends. "Maybe, when you're a little bit older." she said.

Celia frowned and wandered off unhappily.

Every day, after that, she asked her mother. "Am I old enough now?"

Her mother constantly put her off until one day, she finally wore her mother down. "Okay." she said as Celia was sitting down to lunch  and asking for the hundredth time when she could call Bianca on the phone. "after lunch, you can call Bianca."

"Yeah!" cried Celia excitedly. She gulped down her milk and practically swallowed her peanut butter and jelly sandwich whole. As soon as she was done, she jumped out of her seat. "I'm ready now, Mommy." she said.

She went into the living room and sat down on the couch. She made herself comfortable. Mommy helped her dial Bianca's number. The phone rang twice and was picked up by Bianca's mother. "Hello, Mrs. Tate." Celia said politely into the phone. "Is Bianca there?" Mommy nodded approvingly at Celia's polite manner.

After a minute or two Bianca came to the phone. "Hello?" she said.

"Hello, Bianca. It's me, Celia."

"Oh hello, Celia. How are you?"

"I'm fine." answered Celia. "How are you?"

"I'm fine too." replied Bianca.

After that, Celia didn't say anything. Seconds went by and then minutes. Still, Celia did not say a word. Mommy couldn't believe Bianca was doing that much talking. She was usually quite a shy and quiet little girl. Mommy put her ear near the phone. She didn't hear anything. Apparently, Bianca wasn't talking either. It was just dead silence. Celia was so happy though and so proud of herself. She sat there with the phone to her ear not saying anything and not hearing anything but with a huge wide smile on her face. Mommy couldn't help smiling too.

Just then, Gordanna stormed into the room. "Who's on the phone?" she asked accusingly as though the phone were her private posession.

"What happened to your cell phone?" asked Mommy.

"It needs a charge." replied Gordanna. She looked around and saw Celia on the phone and looked at her mother in surprise. Then, she waited a minute or two impatiently stamping her foot. "Is she really talking or what?" asked Gordanna angrily when Celia still hadn't said anything.  She went over to Celia and leaned over and put her ear near the phone. There was  still no sound coming from the other end of the phone either. "Mom!" she whined. "She is not even having a conversation!"

Celia gave her a nasty look. "Do you mind?" she hissed in a whisper. It was something Gordanna had often said to her.

"I think it's time to say goodbye." said Mommy.

Celia gave her mother disappointed look, but did as she was told. "Goodbye, Bianca." she said into the phone.

"Goodbye." replied Bianca.

"It's about time." exclaimed Gordanna instantly grabbing for the phone as soon as it slipped out of Celia's fingers.

"How long was I on the phone, Mommy?" asked Celia.

"For about ten minutes." replied Mommy.

"Next time, I am going to be on for twenty minutes." declared Celia.

"Next time, you might try talking." said Gordanna.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Lost Puppy

It was mid December. Dulcie Wilcox and her mom and her older sister, Diandra were out shopping in the middle of the holiday rush. The mall was packed. Dulcie had never seen so many people or heard so much noise. She was scared, and she was tired. She held tightly to her favorite stuffed puppy Spot.

Dulcie had Spot since she was 2 years old. Grandma and Grandpa gave it to her for her birthday. She loved the little brown fluffy dog from the moment she saw him. "Doggy Spot!" she exclaimed excitedly as soon as she opened the brightly wrapped package and saw him.

"Spot?" replied Diandra opening her eyes wide in surprise. "That dog doesn't have a Spot on it."

"Spot!" repeated Dulcie stubbornly. Spot it was and Spot it stayed. From that moment on Spot was Dulcie's favorite toy. She slept with him every night, and she took him everywhere with her.

Now,  it was 2 years later, and Spot was still Dulcie's favorite toy. She didn't care that by now his brown color was faded and he was missing one eye. She still took him everywhere and slept with him every night. She wouldn't even let Mommy have him long enough to fix his eye. She barely let Mommy keep him long enough to wash him but when the smell of him became to strong, Mommy insisted on it.

Dulcie felt like she was surrounded by giants. She looked up and found herself  lost in a sea of strangers. She opened her mouth to cry. Just then, Diandra yanked her out of the crowd. "Come on." she said. "You're going to get lost." Diandra picked up Dulcie and took her to their mother who was standing by the mall entrance. Dulcie was so relieved to see her mother that she burst into tears anyway.

"It's alright, baby." Mommy soothed gently as she eased Dulcie out of Diandra's arms and into her own. "We're going home now." She carried Dulcie in one arm and a bunch of packages in the other and headed out of the mall. Diandra followed closely behind with her arms full of packages as well.

At the car, Mommy buckled Dulcie into her car seat. She was so tired from the ordeal of being at the mall that she immediately fell asleep. She awoke as they pulled up in their own driveway and started looking around worriedly. "Spot!" she cried. "Mommy where is Spot?"

"Help her please." Mommy said to Diandra as Mommy herself was busy carrying packages in the house.

Diandra sighed unhappily. She hated that stupid spotless dog and the last thing she wanted to do was help look for it. Nevertheless, she did as she was told and started searching the back seat of the car. The stuffed puppy was nowhere to be found. Next, she searched the trunk. It wasn't there either. She searched around the car in case it fell out when they were unloading but still no stuffed puppy.

She went in the house. Dulcie stood by the door eagerly awaiting the return of her toy. She frowned when she saw Diandra's empty hands. "Where's Spot?" she asked anxiously.

Diandra shrugged. "I couldn't find him anywhere."

A huge tear rolled down Dulcie's face, followed by another and then another until she was full blown crying.  She ran off to find her mother. She continued crying all the way. "Mommy! Mommy!" she cried sadly. "I need Spot."

"Where's Spot?" Mommy asked Diandra.

"Lost." she replied. "I couldn't find him anywhere."

Mommy sighed and nervously put her hand to her cheek. This was not good. This was not good at all. Even when she washed Spot, Dulcie stood by the washing machine and waited for him to come out. She didn't know how they were going to get by with him missing. "We'll go back to the mall and look for him tomorrow."

"Spot! Spot!" exclaimed Dulcie painfully. She wouldn't stop crying so finally Mommy loaded them all back in the car and headed back to the mall. At the mall, they retraced their steps. This time it was even worse. The mall was even more crowded. They were all tired. Mommy and Diandra took turns carrying a crying Dulcie. When they were finished, they were completely wiped out with nothing to show for it. They still hadn't found Spot.

Mommy loaded them all back into the car, and they headed home. Dulcie cried all the way home. It broke Mommy's heart. Even, Diandra actually felt bad for her sister by now.

When they got home, Mommy gave Dulcie a bath. She put on Dulcie's pajamas. She tucked Dulcie into bed with a kiss. All the while Dulcie continued to cry.

Diandra felt even worse. She wanted to do something for her sister. She offered to let Dulcie sleep with any of her stuffed animals, but Dulcie didn't want to. Diandra decided to go outside and look one more time.  She was just about to come in the house when she spied a brown fluffy ear sticking out of the rosebushes next to the front steps.  She went over and looked more closely. Sure, enough it was Spot.  He must have fallen out of one of the packages when they came in the house. Diandra  picked him up, dusted him off, and carried him excitedly into the house. "Dulcie!" she cried rushing into the house.

"Sh!" said Mommy appearing at the top of the steps. "I finally got her to go to sleep." She smiled when she saw that Diandra was carrying Spot. She let Diandra sneak into Dulcie's room and stick Spot in her arms. Dulcie's stirred and opened her eyes for a minute. "Spot." she whispered happily hugging him tightly to her before closing her eyes again. Mommy and Diandra smiled.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who Will Play With Pippa?

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and Pippa Mitchell was bored. She wanted somebody to play with her. She went in to her big sister, Darla's room and flopped herself down on the edge of her sister's bed. Amelia as usual was on the phone. "Amelia, will you play with me?" Pippa asked hopefully making her best wide eyed pouty lipped puppy dog face. Surely, even Amelia wouldn't be able to resist that.

"Pippa!" hissed Darla angrily pointing toward the door. "Can't you see I'm on the phone?!"

Pippa slowly dragged herself out of her sister's room and off to find somebody else.  She found her brother,  Grayson in the den watching TV. "Play with me Gray." she pleaded plopping herself into her brother's lap. Grayson let her stay in his lap but he didn't take his eyes off the TV.  "What are you watching?" asked Pippa cheerfully.

"Car Auctions." replied Grayson.

"Car Auction?" repeated Pippa in horror as if he had said he was watching a scary monster show or something.

"Yes." said Grayson. "Look at that!" he exclaimed excitedly pointing to the screen. There was a car on the screen that looked to Pippa like any old red  car. "It's a classic 67 Mustang!" explained Grayson.

"Oh." replied Pippa quietly sliding out of her brother's lap and slipping out of the room. 'A show about cars? How boring' she thought to herself. She was already bored. She didn't need help with that.

She went into the kitchen. Her Mom was sitting at the table with a stack of cookbooks. "Mommy, will you play with me please?" begged Pippa leaning over her.

"Not now, honey." said Mommy. "I'm looking for something to make for Grandma's birthday dinner this weekend."

"I'll help." offered Pippa excitedly. She flopped into a chair and started looking through cookbooks too. "How about this?" she asked eagerly pointing to a recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Mommy gave Pippa a half smile. "Macaroni and cheese is your favorite meal not Grandma's." Pippa smiled back. She closed the cookbook she'd been looking at, put it in a pile of books,  and picked up another."Pippa, please." said Mommy looking up again from the book she'd been looking at. She had a not very happy expression  on her face. "You are mixing up the piles." she said to Pippa. "Why don't you go find something to do?"

Pippa stuck her lower lip out in a pout and slowly dragged herself out of the room. 'If I had something to do I'd be doing it.' she thought miserably.

She went to find her Dad. She found him out in the garage sawing wood. "Hi Daddy." she greeted him warmly. "Will you play with me?"

"Sorry, kitten." he replied. "I'm building shelves for Darla's room."

"Can I help?" asked Pippa eagerly. "I'm a good helper."

"I know you are, kitten. " replied Daddy, "but I'm working with tools, and I don't want you to get hurt. Go on and play." He ushered Pippa away from his workspace.

'He thinks I'm a baby.' thought Pippa angrily. She went back into the house. She took out  her Monopoly  game and began moving the pieces around the board. Soon, Darla came in. "I'll play." she said sitting down beside her sister.

"What happened to the phone?" asked Pippa. "Did you have a doctor remove it from your ear?"

"Very funny." replied Darla not really finding it funny at all. She started dealing out the money.

Just then Grayson walked by. "Deal me in." he said coming in the room and sitting on the floor beside them.

"What happened to your car auction?" asked Pippa.

"It's over." he replied.

Mommy came up the stairs and came to see what they were all doing in Pippa's room. She sat down and decided to play too. "Did you find a recipe?' asked Pippa.

Mommy nodded. "I decided to make Shepard's Pie." she said. "It's Grandma's favorite."

Daddy poked his head in the room. "Is there room for one more?" he asked.

"How are the shelves coming, Daddy?" asked Pippa.

"I will need to get some more nails tomorrow." replied Daddy. He sat down between Mommy and Pippa.

"Hmm." said Pippi thoughtfully. "Nobody wanted to play with me before. You all were busy. Now suddenly you're not busy and everybody wants to play?" She frowned  at her family and then she quickly smiled. "I'm okay with that." she said. "Let's play!"