Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finleigh Fights Back

Finleigh Bridges loved school. Until  one day, she didn't. It all started out on the playground when Stuart Duncan, a boy she had never really liked anyway, started calling her "Fatty Finleigh". Now, Finleigh was not by an means the skinnest girl in the world. However, she was not by any means fat either. Perhaps she was just a tiny bit chubby. Nevertheless, Stuart gave her the nickname and it stuck.

The first time it  happened Finleigh had been playing on the slide with a group of other kids. She had just reached the top and was getting ready to slide down. She was happy and laughing and smiling and having a good time as she usual was. Over all, Finleigh was a very happy kid.

Stuart walked by and called out "There goes Fatty Finleigh!" The other kids laughed.

Suddenly Finleigh stopped smiling and laughing. She didn't feel happy at all. She felt horrible. She felt like she wanted to crawl into a hole and die. She slid down the slide quickly and then went off and sat by herself in a corner for the rest of recess.

She hoped it was just a one time thing. She hoped that Stuart would forget about it and that by the next day it would all be over. However, he didn't and it wasn't. The nickname stuck and other kids started calling her that too. All the joy and fun went out of school, and it became something to dread.

She started playing sick and doing everything she could to get out of going to school. Her parents were concerned, but Finleigh wouldn't tell them what was wrong.

"What's the matter?" teased her older brother, Brian. "Are you ashamed because you are not as smart as me?"

A single tear fell down Finleigh's cheek and then another and another until she was full out crying. Brian felt really bad. He really loved his little sister and didn't mean to upset her. "I'm sorry." he said sincerely.

Finleigh shook her head. "It's not that." she said through her tears. Before, she knew it the whole story had come pouring out.

Brian was outraged. He wanted to go right to Stuart's house and beat him up. "Don't do that." Finleigh begged. "That would only make things worse."

"Then you've got to fight back yourself." suggested Brian. He offered to show Finleigh how to throw a punch, but she declined. She didn't think she could really beat anybody up, and she didn't want to. Besides, Stuart was bigger and stronger than her. She didn't think she could beat him up if she wanted too. She thought about what Brian said though. Maybe, there was a way she could fight back without resorting to violence.

The next day in school, she got her chance. The teacher, Miss McCarty, was passing back the math tests they had taken the day before. Finleigh glanced up and saw a big giant red F scrawled at the top of Stuart's paper. She smiled inwardly. She knew she had what she needed to fight back.

That day on the playground before Stuart had a chance to call out Fatty Finleigh, she called out "Stupid Stuart!" The other kids started laughing and calling him that too.

Then, something surprising happened. Big tough Stuart started to cry. Then, he ran off and hid under a tree at the far edge of the playground.

Despite, the fact that Stuart had started it and he had put her through months of torture, Finleigh felt bad. She knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of the teasing, and it was not a good feeling. She went off after Stuart.

"Go away." he said instantly turning away from her when he saw her approach. He was so upset he didn't even bother calling her "Fatty Finleigh."

Finleigh didn't go away. Instead, she sat down next to Stuart. "I'm sorry." she said, and she meant it.  "I  know it doesn't feel good to be teased."

"No, it doesn't." replied Stuart.

"I'll make you a deal. I won't call you Stupid Stuart anymore if you don't call me Fatty Finleigh."

"Okay." agreed Stuart quickly anything was better than this torture.

They went back to the other kids. "I'm sorry." announced Finleigh. "What I meant to say was "Super Stuart."

"Thank you, Friendly Finleigh." replied Stuart.

Well, of course, those nicknames weren't as fun to the other kids but they got used to them and besides, they all went along because nobody wanted to be the next one to be teased.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Go Ask Mommy

Gaby Nicoletti lay sprawled out on the couch watching her favorite TV show. Her little sister, Bria sat on the floor beside her. "I'm bored." whined Bria.

"Shh!" said Gaby putting her finger to her lips but not taking her eyes off the TV.

Bria wandered over to the sliding glass door and looked out at the snow piled up on the patio. Bria loved playing in the snow. "Can I make a snow puppy?" she asked eagerly.

"Go ask mommy." replied Gaby still not taking her eyes off the TV. Bria wandered off in up the stairs in search of their mother.

A few minutes later, she returned. She pulled on her heavy white snow boots. Then, slipped into her  fluffy pink fur jacket. She tugged opened the sliding glass door and wandered outside.

After a few minutes, she returned shivering. "It's too cold out there." she explained to her disinterested sister. "I want to make a snow dog in the house."

"Go ask mommy." replied Gaby who was not even listening.

Again Bria disappeared up the stairs. She returned shortly. She opened the door once again and scooped up a bunch of snow and went off down the hall into the playroom.

"Can I paint my snow dog?" called out Bria after another few minutes.

"What?" asked Gaby who had no idea what her sister was talking about. All she knew was that it was incredibly rude that Bria kept bothering her while she was trying to watch her show. Whatever it was Bria wanted Gaby didn't want to be bothered with it anyway. "Go ask mommy!" Gaby yelled back finally.

Bria came out of the playroom and once again went up the stairs. Soon, she returned and disappeared back into the playroom. Meanwhile, Gaby continued to watch TV.

Suddenly there was a loud crash from the playroom. Gabi jumped up and rushed to see what had happened.  Bria was sitting in the middle of the floor all covered with paint and surrounded by ice and snow.

"Bria!" exclaimed Gaby. "Did mommy really say you can do all of this?"

Bria looked down at the floor and then looked up at her sister with wide innocent eyes. "Well, she didn't say no." she replied finally.

"What do you mean?" demanded Gaby. "What did she say?"

"She didn't say anything. She's sleeping. So I took that as a yes." admitted Bria.

Gaby just shook her head. She supposed it was partly her fault for not paying more attention to what her littel sister was actually doing. "Come on, Bria." she said. "Let's get this mess cleaned up before Mom wakes up."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Picky Patti

Patti Larsen was picky. Every morning, she had a plain bagel for breakfast. It had to be plain and it could never be toasted. For lunch, she had peanut butter and jelly. The peanut butter had to be smooth and the jelly had to be grape. For dinner, she ate plain pasta with a tiny little bit of marinara sauce on the side. All, she would drink was orange juice without the tiniest little bit of pulp in it, chocolate milk or water.

She was not only pick about food either. She was picky about everything. She only wore pants never skirts or dresses. Her favorite color was purple. She wore lots and lots of purple but never any pink. She hated pink. She always wore either her favorite brown shoes with buckles or white Keds sneakers. She always wore her long hair down never up.

Mommy and Daddy and her older sister, Pam were always trying to get Patti to change. They were always trying to get her to try new things. "Try it. You might like it." they told her. Patti didn't think so. She wasn't interested in changing, and she wasn't interested in trying anything new.

Life went along and Patti was happy until one day Patti found out her favorite aunt, Aunt Betty was getting married.At first, Patti was thrilled that Aunt Betty was getting married. She had never been to a wedding before, and she was looking forward to it. When Aunt Betty told her, "I want you and Pam to be flower girls at my wedding." Patti was even more excited. Aunt Betty even invited them to come help pick out outfits to wear to her wedding. Patti eagerly looked forwarded to it and was so excited when the day they were going shopping finally came. Mommy, Pam, Patti and Aunt Betty all set out for the stores.

After they had been to several stores Aunt Betty was getting discouraged. Patti had seen lots of things she liked but Aunt Betty didn't like any of her suggestions. They decided to go to one final store before heading home. As soon as they walked in the store, there it was - just the outfit Aunt Betty was looking for. "It's beautiful!" Pam gushed excitedly. Mommy nodded in agreement. Patti, however, was horrified. It was this pink sparkly dress. She would never wear anything like that.

Nobody noticed how upset Patti was. Aunt Betty quickly picked out one of the dress in Pam's size and one in Patti's. Pam excitedly hurried into the dressing room eager to try it on. Patti stood still and didn't move. She wouldn't even take the dress out of Aunt Betty's hands.

"What's the matter, Patti?" asked Mommy.

"I don't want to wear that." protested Patti.

"Oh that's okay." replied Aunt Betty quickly. Patti instantly felt better. She was so glad that Aunt Betty understood. However, Aunt Betty didn't. "It's okay sweetie." she said gently to Patti. "You don't have to be in my wedding if you don't want to. I understand."

Patti instantly felt worse. She did want to be in Aunt Betty's wedding. She just didn't want to wear that horrible pink dress. She started to cry.

Aunt Betty found a chair by the dressing room and sat down. She took Patti on her lap. "I am only going to get married once, and I want it to be special. I want it to be the way I want. Do you understand?" she explained to Patti. Patti nodded through her tears. "If you want to be in my wedding. You are going to have to wear a pink dress and nice shoes and put your hair up because that is what I want. " continued Aunt Betty.

Patti thought about it for a while but didn't say anything. She really really wanted to be in Aunt Betty's wedding, but the dress and the shoes and the hair. It was all too much.

"Why don't you just try it?" suggested Mommy pointing to the dress.

Finally, Patti agreed. She went into the dressing room and tried on the dress. Even she had to admit it looked beautiful on her. She couldn't wait to wear it. Maybe, change wasn't entirely a bad thing.

After that Patti became a little less picky. She didn't just wear pants anymore sometimes she wore dresses. She didn't just wear her hair down anymore sometimes she wore it up.

She became a little less picky about food too. Sometimes, she drank strawberry milk and sometimes she ate grape jam instead of jelly. However, she was still picky, and she still wouldn't try everything but at least sometimes she tried things.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Card for Candace

Mia Zambrano was shopping with her mother. When she saw the greeting card aisle, she suddenly remembered that her older sister, Candace's birthday was coming up. "Can I get a card for Candace?" she asked eagerly.  Her mother looked up for a moment from the grocery list she was looking over and nodded, and then immediately went back to her list. Mia looked up at the row of cards and found the ones for sisters. "This looks like a good one." she said reaching for one. She opened it up and read it, then shook her head disappointedly and put it back. "Too silly." she said. She took another one. That one was too sappy. The next one didn't make sense. Mia finished all the sister cards and still hadn't found a card she liked. She started looking at the general birthday cards.

"Mia," her mother said impatiently. "Just pick a card and let's get going. We have a lot of shopping to do."

"But, I can't find one." complained Mia. "They are all too sappy or silly or stupid or something."

"Well, maybe you'll find one at Target." said Mommy. "We are going there after."

Mia immediately brightened. Target had a lot more cards then the supermarket. Surely, she would find a card for Candace there.

When they got to Target, Mia dragged Mommy immediately over to the card section. She eagerly began going through the racks of cards. Still, she could not find a card for Candace. She looked and looked. Then, she walked back and forth and she looked some more.

"Mia," said Mommy tiredly. "Let's get going. I am going to have to go home and make dinner soon."

"But, Mommy." protested Mia. "I don't have a card yet."

"We've been over here for 15 minutes. If you haven't found a card you like yet, one is not going to appear out of thin air."

Mia sighed disappointedly and followed her mother away from the card section.

"You still have time." Mommy pointed out. "Candace's birthday isn't for two weeks."

Mia instantly cheered up. Surely, two weeks was plenty of time to find a card for her sister.

The two weeks went by quickly. Every time they went to a store, Mia searched and searched and still couldn''t find a card that she liked.

"Maybe, your being too picky." suggested Mommy one afternoon at CVS.

Mia angrily glared at her mother. "I don't think so." she said. She wanted just the right card and she was not willing to settle for anything less.

Finally, it was the day before, Candace's birthday. Mia still didn't have a card. Mommy didn't know where else to take her. "I have taken you everywhere I can think of that you can possibly get a card." she said. "I guess you are just going to have to go without one."

Mia wasn't willing to admit defeat, however. She sat and thought for a while and came up with a plan. She went into her room and took out a piece a paper and all her crayons and markers. If she couldn't find the card she wanted to give her sister, she was just going to have to make it herself. Across the front of the card, she wrote "Happy Birthday" and she drew a picture of two sisters.  Inside, she wrote. "Dear Candace, I'm so happy to have you for a sister. Happy Birthday. I love you!" Then, she signed her name and put  it in an envelope and sealed it up.

The next morning when Candace came down to breakfast, Mommy and Mia were already waiting. Mommy was cooking French Toast, Candace's favorite breakfast.  The air smelled delicious, cinnamony with a dash of vanilla.  "My you look pretty today." Mommy said to Candace. "Is it some special occasion?" she teased.

"You know it's Candace's birthday, Mommy." scolded Mia too tired to play along. She ran and got her card and handed it to Candace.

Candace smiled at her, took the card and opened it. For a minute, her expression didn't change. Mia got worried. What if she didn't like it? Then, Candace broke out into a huge grin. "I love it. " she said. "It is the nicest card I ever got. Thank you ."

"You're welcome." replied Mia still beaming. She was sure she had made the right decision and given her sister the perfect birthday card.