Leticia spent most of the morning after our sleepover with James. He warmed right up to her, which confused me for a moment until I remembered that she loved playing with him back when we were kids and he was a baby. I guess there’s no need to hire a nanny now- Leticia’s here!
The First Day of School
I wake up to the sound of crying. As I get dressed and do my make-up and hair, I listen for the crying to stop, but it doesn’t. When I leave my room, I see my mom walking unsteadily into hers. Something’s up, but I’m not sure what. She doesn’t respond to the crying, either, so I go into the nursery to figure out what’s going on myself. Someone’s got to, after all.
As soon as I step into the room, Andrew stops crying and starts making cute little gurgly sounds. Since he’s not crying anymore, I turn to leave the room, but that just makes him start crying again. I sigh and head back over to the crib to pick him up.
I literally have no idea what’s wrong. He doesn’t smell at all, which I’m pretty sure means that his diaper is fine, but I have no idea what else to do. It’s the gurgle of my own stomach that makes me think of it- food! I grab the powdered formula and stare at the instructions, trying to figure out how to make it. I’ve heard all sorts of things- that you need heated water, that formula is bad for kids, that you’re supposed to use a certain kind of bottle. The formula container doesn’t confirm nor deny any of this- it just tells me what ratio of water to formula to use, as well as how to get the formula mixed up properly. “Plum, Andrew- what do I do?” I say, then instantly feel guilty for swearing in front of my little brother. He’s only a baby though- he won’t remember any of this, right? “Too bad you can’t tell me how to do this.”
Then I come up with another idea. I speedwalk to Edward’s room, hoping that he’s awake, and knock on his door. When he answers, I can tell that I just woke him up, so I try to be nice in my request. “Can you please figure out how to make formula for Andrew? I have absolutely no idea how to do it!”
He yawns, holding a finger up. “One minute,” he says, grabbing his phone. I’m about to say that our younger brother is more important than what’s happening in Simstagram, but then I realize that he’s looking up how to make baby formula. Why didn’t I think of that? Then I wouldn’t have had to wake him up.
“Here you go,” he says, passing his phone over to me. I read through the instructions, and once I see how many different places there are to mess up, I ask him, “Can you please make this?”
“How will you pay me back?” he replies.
“I’ll make breakfast for the whole week,” I reply, and he nods in agreement as he takes Andrew from my arms.
When I step into the kitchen, the first thing that I notice is a funny smell. When my foot hits a pile of something, I look down at the floor to see that there’s trash all over the place. I would rather make formula no matter how many tries it took me to get it right than clean up this mess. I grab a trash bag and get all of the junk into it as fast as possible. I’m about to take it outside when I look at the clock and notice that it’s almost time for the rest of my siblings to come down for breakfast. I put the trash bag in the kitchen garbage can instead and hope that no one asks what’s in it since I have absolutely no idea. Then I open the fridge to figure out what to make for breakfast. It’s almost empty, but there’s still some veggies and salad dressing left. I guess breakfast salad is better than no breakfast at all.
I’ve just about finished tossing the salad when my siblings and niece come down. Edward and Angel come in first, and I can tell that Edward is glad that I kept up my end of the bargain. “Andrew’s okay?” I ask him, and he nods in reply.
“By the way, can you clean up the breakfast dishes as well?” he asks. “I know that it’s my turn, but I need to… er… meet with someone, so I need to leave the house a bit earlier today.”
“Let’s see, now what will that cost you…” I reply, a smirk on my face. “I know! I’ve been needing some new music, so how about you hand over that iTunes gift card that I know you haven’t use yet.”
Edward stares at me, eyes wide open. “How did you…?” he asks, then notices that Angel and I are giggling. “Oh, I see how it is,” he says. “My daughter and my sister are conspiring against me.”
I roll my eyes at him. “More like using my resources.” That makes him stop teasing, and he heads to his room to get the gift card.
“Are you excited for your first day of school?” I ask Angel as I get her a bowl of salad.
She shrugs. “As long as I don’t end up with the same teachers that Elizabeth and James had.”
“Oh? Why’s that?”
“I don’t want them thinking that I’m going to be really good at something, because I’m not. And I don’t want to be, either. I don’t want to stay up half the night like they do, practicing something, and then get up late and complain about how little time there is and how tired I am all day.”
I stare at her, surprised. I always thought that there wasn’t anything wrong with being good at something, but I guess I’m wrong. James and Elizabeth do complain a lot, and they still haven’t come down for breakfast. Then I hear two sets of feet come down the stairs.
It’s Mom and James. Shortly after they come in and grab their food, Edward comes back down with the gift card. He hands it to me without a word, then sits down to have his salad. I’m confused about why he’s so quiet until I actually take a look at Mom. Her skin looks paler than usual, like she’s not feeling well, and combined with what I saw of her a couple hours ago….
“Mom? Are you feeling alright?” I ask.
“Of course, sweetie,” she replies. Something’s wrong with her speech, though I’m not sure what it is. It’s not that she’s calling me “sweetie” either, though that’s also a bit unusual.
As I finally sit down to my own bowl of salad, I set up a new album to download while I eat. I can’t wait to listen to it with Leticia and Lauryn on the bus- maybe it’ll make the day a bit better.