Baby in the House

Six year old Lacey always loved babies, until one day her parents brought home her new baby brother, Conrad. His tiny hands and feet, cute little face and nose didn't impress Lacey as much as it did her parents. They watched him every second they got the chance. Of course Lacey's parents told her months before she'd be getting a baby brother. They said they still loved her because she'd always be their first born. Her pigtails and button nose were the cutest on the block, but it was now overlooked because of this new baby in the house.

The cries and gurgles would start early in the morning and wouldn't stop until little Conrad was eating or sleeping. The house smelled of baby talc and lotion, and every corner was occupied by large stacks of pampers or wipes. The babie's room had be transformed into something of a blue mirage, with dangling toys and stuffed animals. Lacey regarded this as an invasion of her love, an overstepping of her boundaries. She was encouraged to hold the baby, feed him, and take photos with him. Lacey was never told how this new kid on the block would make her feel.

Lacey's only comfort was to stay outside as long as possible, and be the boss of all the other kids. When it was time to come in for dinner, she thought of ways to avoid little Conrad. She kept her secret to herself. Smiling at the right time, and putting on a pretense, everytime her mother asked if she loved her baby brother. When school started that September, Lacey found herself among a group of noisey, snagger tooth second graders. Her new teacher gave them their first assignment that day; tell everyone about your summer vacation. Lacey had such a boring summer, she wanted to keep it to herself.

Lacey sat in the back of the crowded room, not one to be seen or heard. Each student stood up and gave their summers event as best they could. When it came to Lacey, she hesitated and shyly stood up.

"Can I tell everyone my story tomorrow?" she asked
"Why tomorrow?" asked the teacher, confused
"I need another day to think about it" said Lacey, while the other kids snickered.
"Well Okay. But you'll be first tomorrow"

When she came home, she tried to avoid little Conrad as much as possible. Most of the time she did, but on occasion she'd get caught trying to evade the little bundle of joy. "Lacey, sweetheart come in and say hello to Conrad" said her mother. "Okay, but first I have to put my books away" said Lacey, ducking into her room, never to return. That evening her mother cornered Lacey, and put the baby in her arms. Conrad spit and gurgled, laughed and cried, while Lacey held him as if he were a doll. Slowly, she began to admire him, laugh at his gurgling, and liked how he smelled. Then she thought, this was the stranger who stole all the affections from her. This was the little one who took away what used to be hers.

That evening Lacey's teacher called her home to ask about the new baby. Lacey's mother promised to send her a picture through Lacey the next day. So Lacey put it in her book bag and forgot about it. The next day Lacey thought feverishly about what she would tell about her summer. Immediately, the teacher asked Lacey to come to the front of the room. Then she remembered the picture of little Conrad in her bookbag. She smiled.

"My summer was fun. I did some things like ride my bike, learn to swim and the best thing about the summer was my new baby brother, Conrad. He's got a round head, fat cheeks and little hands and feet. At first he cried a lot and I didn't like him, but now he's nicer. I get to hold him and rock him, and feed him his bottle. I love my baby brother, and he love's me. That's how my summer was" As Lacey sat down, the class clapped and the teacher asked her to pass the picture of Conrad around. Everyone said they wished they had a baby in the house.

That afternoon when she got home, she ran straight to Conrad's room. Her mother was curious about this new attitude Lacey had, so she let her hold the baby. Lacey held him everyday now. Admiring his pretty eyes, fat cheeks and cute nose. She never realized that now she was a big sister who could boss him around, and take charge. Her love for him grew each day. Lacey never missed another day not appreciating her little brother. Even when they grew into adults, Lacey always used the opportunity to prove that she was the oldest. She never let little Conrad forget it.