This was a story I wrote way back in 1991.
When my mom had visitors she would make me read it out to them.
Finally eight o’clock came and the baby show began. The first little bundle came to the door wrapped in a blue blanket. This was my brother. This was a shock though because my little brother had red hair. Two days later my mom came to fetch my brother to show him to us, this time he was wearing a little white vest, a nappy which was ten sizes too big for him and little yellow booties.
Then he was home, how home changed, everyone came to see the ‘little bundle of joy’.
People pitched up that I’d never even heard of, common sence told me to sell tickets at the door, I could have made an absolute fortune.
Then it happened…
There I was sitting watching TV, when a honeyed voice floated from the kitchen, “Oh Dianne… please change Alan’s nappy.”
Okay so I have played with dolls in my life, so my motherly instincts were keen and sharp. Up I jumped and advanced towards a little ‘bundle of joy’ lying in its crib staring, gurgling pleasantly, totally oblivious to eyes spying at me through half open doors and behind fake eyes.
Undaunted I removed the huge silver safety pin. The nappy fell open and the nausea rose as the yellowish green paste became visable. Who could believe that something so small could produce so much in such a short time. I considered going to fetch a wheelbarrow.
The honeyed voice of my mother once again flowed from the kitchen “Don’t forget to clean him properly and put on lots of powder”, I was as green as our carpet and totally unable to answer because if I opened my mouth I only would have added to the goo infront of me. Subconsciously I was wondering where the rubber gloves were. Nobody could seriously expect me to touch this wriggling, squirming, dirty child, let alone clean it up.
Pride overcame nausea and nurse Dianne won the day. The child was clean, the nappy was changed and everyone was so pleased, except me who hastily headed towards the toilet and said goodbye to my lunch.
I remember his first birthday. My mother had spent hours preparing cakes, cookies, coldrinks, coffee, creamtarts, chocolates, and caramel. Finally the guests arrived. We all sang happy birthday to a sleeping child. I had more fun opening the presents and stuffing myself than anybody else. Being the big sister definitely does have some advantages.
One day teeth started appearing in its mouth. Did you know that a teething baby can cry for forty eight hours non stop? No matter what its parents try. Personally I would recommend strangulation or drowning. Thank heaven for grandparents, they took me out for the day. Nobody had ever done me a bigger favour.
At this time, I discovered pop music. Did you know that if you play your music loud enough you cannot hear a baby crying or anyone telling you to look after the crying baby, or for that matter, to turn down your music. However to my disgust Alan liked pop music. It was the only way to shut him up. At the mere suggestion of a wimper the whole family dives towards the hi-fi. So far I have been earnestly engaged in Alan’s pop music education. He now dances and jives at the mere hint of a two and four Rock and Roll Riff and considers, The Boss, Wilson Phillips, or anyone else for that matter who can put two notes together to be a total genius. I’m seriously considering Brahms and Beethoven as an alternative.
The little hell ruins my tapes and splatters my records with chocolate. Thank goodness he is not old enough to wear my shorts or I suppose I’ll find chocolate in their pockets too. The child is a chocoholic.
So here we are today. I have to live next door to a four year old pop music junkie who is addicted to chocolate.
Don’t think I am complaining. It comes in very handy when there is a mess on the floor or something is broken to look very angelic and say “I saw Alan there a couple of minutes ago, it must have been him.”
The only part I don’t like about blaming him is that he gets little love taps, whereas I remember being walloped hard. All this business about child abuse has gone to my parents head. It is totally unfair. Oh bring back the good old days when a hiding was a hiding and not being threatened, with me looking out my window at the next passing of Halleys Comet. I’m not sure what’s better being gated or walloped. I’d much rather have my brothers love taps. Perhaps he should have been assigned to a couple of my hidings.
If the truth must be known life with my brother is not all that bad. He does have his positive sides. He’ll do anything you want him to, he plays for hours and will tell you what happened in the last episode of Loving if you happened to miss it. He etches and carries and takes messages. He is very cute and full of fun, and will play until he drops which is normally around eight thirty at which point he ceases to be a little monster and becomes a tiny little boy trusting and passive.
When he’s asleep he becomes a little angel and the sight of him asleep like a little cherub makes up for any naughtiness he perpetrated during the day.