Baby Brother Nightmares
Victoria, Age 11, Bayside, NY

It was just another school weekend, with my hopes high for Monday. I was sitting on the creaky patio, drawing a picture of the deer grazing across the street. It felt like a perfect Saturday, until- "Honey, time for lunch!" my mother called.

"Coming!" I answered back, setting down my sketch pad as I dashed into the house.

I sat down at the table in front of my mom, staring with hungry eyes at my plate. As I ate, I noticed my mom barely lifting her fork. I glanced at her curiously, but continued to eat. After I was done, my dad walked into the kitchen, and kissed my forehead. I love my dad. He always cheers me up when Iím in a bad mood. I turned back to my mom. All of a sudden, she said, ďCan we go into the living room? I need to tell you something.Ē I nodded, and followed her into the family room. I sat down on the leather couch.

"Whatís wrong? Did I do something bad?" I asked nervously.

She laughed. "No, of course not!" I stared at her intently. Then, finally she said, "Youíre getting a brother in a couple of days!"

"WHAT!" I shrieked, not being able to tell if I was excited or scared.

A few months passed, and my baby brother, Daniel, would never stop crying. I was finishing my homework, and I heard him wail. I was cleaning the dishes, and he whimpered in his baby chair, hungry and parched. If that wasnít enough, I had to look after him as well, and let me tell you, feeding him wasnít exactly a dream come true, and diaper-changing wasnít something that I would look forward to.

One Tuesday, I was walking home from school with my friend, Isabelle, telling her everything about my baby brother. "He canít stop whining!" I told her. "I have to take care of him every day, against my own will!" I continued to complain, while Isabelle was busy looking at the clouds. Her wispy, blonde hair brushed against my face.

"Are you listening?" I asked, a small grin spreading across my face.

She snapped back into focus. "Huh?" she asked dreamily. I laughed.

Then, it came to me. "Wait!" I cried, stopping in my tracks, frightened. "I forgot to put Daniel in his crib this morning!" I ran away, praying that he would be asleep on the floor, somewhere.

I burst into the house, tossing my book bag aside, screaming, "Daniel!" I ran to the kitchen. He wasnít there. I went upstairs, but he was gone. I searched everywhere, even the cupboards. Finally, giving up, I sat down on the floor, unsure what to do. I sobbed quietly, trying to figure out what to say to my mom when she got home. I felt guilt drop down on my shoulders, slowly eating away at all my courage. If only I had been more responsible! I went outside to wait for my mom. Unexpectedly, I heard a familiar bawling, coming from the trash can. My hopes suddenly lifted, and I anxiously looked around. I ran over to the trash can, and as I lifted the lid, I found Daniel looking up at me, his eyes bigger than the moon. I cried out happily, "Youíre here!" I picked him up and brought him inside to give him a bath.

A couple of hours later, my mother came back from work. "Iím home!" As soon as I heard her voice, I ran downstairs.

"Oh, you arenít doing homework?" She asked, fumbling with her bag and setting it down on the coffee table.

"No, Iím not." I answered. ďI found that siblings are more special than you think.Ē She looked at me curiously, and I went upstairs, away from her confused face.

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