by Sherry Morris

One day Mommy and Daddy brought home a baby. They said it was ours and was joining the family. I took a look. It was small and bald with a wrinkled face and yuck in its eye. Mommy kept cooing, ‘So precious’. Daddy’s phrase was, ‘What a beauty.’ I checked to see if they were talking about something else. They weren’t. They’re always coming up with odd ideas, saying I needed a playmate and how difficult it was to be an only child. At least they’re right about that! They brought home a cat once. It lasted two weeks, then jumped out a window that’d been left open. Would the baby last longer? I suggested putting it in the cellar. No windows there.

Like idiots they put the baby in their room and nobody slept a wink. Putting it in the wheelie bin seemed perfectly acceptable–Daddy said that’s where Mommy’s alarm clock belonged when it made awful sounds. Mommy said, ‘Don’t be silly’ and took the baby back.

Mommy says now the baby is six months old, we’ll play together. I doubt it. I look at it (finally!) sleeping in its cot. I wait for it to get bigger. Nothing happens. I’d heard giving a pinch helps grow an inch. Turns out that isn’t true.

There are Danger Stairs in our house. They give big hurties. Mommy and Daddy put a gate up and always check to make sure it’s closed. Nobody knows how the baby fell. It can’t tell us. Certainly not now. They took the baby away; it wasn’t even crying. Mommy was. A lot. Daddy says the next few days are critical. He’s hoping for the best. Me too. It’s certainly not easy being an only child, but I’m doing the best I can.