"Chloe, could you come here a moment, please?" Mrs. Taylor motioned me to her desk. "Your daddy is here to pick you up a little bit early, so get your backpack from the hallway and I'll put your folder in." She kept her voice low.
"Okay." I walked fast to the hall and grabbed my backpack and jacket. MeMe had told me this morning I would probably be picked up early if Momma and the kid came home.
I tiptoed back to Mrs. Taylor's desk. She shoved my folder inside my backpack and zipped it up. "I'll see you tomorrow." She winked.
As I walked toward the front office I wondered if having Momma and the kid home would make things a little better. Poor MeMe just couldn't seem to help me with the Read Across America Week dress-up days. Hopefully Momma would have time to help me with Wacky Wednesday tomorrow.
"Hey, there's my girl. Come on. I brought Momma and Peyton home." Daddy patted my back. "It'll be so good to have everyone back at home together again."
I smiled, but I wasn't sure how I felt.
Daddy pulled the front door open and a shrill cry echoed our way. I glanced up at Daddy. He nodded and gently pushed me toward the living room.
Momma held the kid on her shoulder and banged on his back. She smiled. "Chloe, sweetie, come here." She held one arm out. I could barely hear her above the kid's screaming.
I ran into Momma's arm and she hugged me. "What's wrong with him?"
"Probably gas. Babies sometimes have trouble with that." Momma patted his back more.
All of the sudden a huge burping sound flew out of the kid's mouth. How could something so small burp that loud?
"There now. He should feel better." Momma slid him off her shoulder and into her elbow.
He stared at me.
I looked at Momma. "Tomorrow is Wacky Wednesday. I need to wear my clothes all backwards and crazy."
"That sounds like fun."
"Yeah and then on Thursday I need to dress like some story character."
Momma patted my arm. "We'll have to think about that." She stood up slowly. "Right now I need to change a diaper."
Momma shuffled past me, and my nose sniffed at the wrong time. "Ew." I fanned my nose.
"Here, let me take him," MeMe said.
"Are you sure?" Momma said.
"Of course. Come here you little precious thing."
"He doesn't smell too precious to me." I continued to fan my nose.
I settled into bed after Daddy tucked me in. As he walked out loud crying came from the kid's room across the hall. I rolled my eyes. Didn't he know I needed to get some sleep for school tomorrow?
Twice during the night the screaming woke me up.
The next morning when MeMe woke me up, I was so tired.
All day long at school I yawned and yawned.
Everybody in Mrs. Taylor's class was talking about what character they were going to dress up as tomorrow. I still had no idea.
At home that afternoon everybody was so busy with the kid that I knew exactly what I needed to do. "Momma, Daddy, can I go over to Sara's house?"
"Be back before supper," Daddy said.
I nodded and dashed across the street. When I stepped onto the small porch, the front door opened.
"Well, hello there. Your Momma just called and told me you were coming for a visit." Sara smiled.
"Yep. I need some help." My shoulders drooped.
"Come on in."
I followed her to the den and plopped down into a chair.
"Now, what can I do for you? You look a little down."
"MeMe came to stay with me. She isn't very good with the dress-up days at school. Then Momma and the kid came home and it got badder. That kid screams so loud. He made me wake up last night. Momma says he gots gas." I rolled my eyes. "So I asked Momma to help me with dressing up like a story character, but she just doesn't have time. Everybody's so busy with him. I just don't know if I'll ever get used to that kid." I folded my arms across my chest and huffed out a big breath.
"It will take some time to get used to him. But he has to get used to you too."
Sara nodded. "Just think about it. When he was in your momma's belly, he didn't have to cry for anything. He had everything right there. Now he has to cry when he needs something. And he has to get used to you and being out in the big world."
"I never thought about that."
Sara leaned forward and rubbed her hands together. "Now, about that story character. I think I have just the thing."
"Yeah." She jumped up and grabbed a book from her tote. "Have you ever read this book about an imaginary friend?"
I shook my head.
Sara read the story to me.
"I love that story."
"Me too. You can go as an imaginary friend. We'll make you a name tag. I have a lanyard you can borrow."
I jumped up and down. "I love it." I hugged Sara. "Thank you."
She winked. "Here, use my markers and decorate your name tag."
I couldn't wait for everyone to see who my story character was. Sara let me borrow her book, so I could show everyone where my character came from.
Why do you think Chloe thinks she will never get used to having her little brother home?
If you had to dress as your favorite story character, who would it be? Why would you dress as that character?