That Wasn't What She Had In Mind by BethShelby
Stop writing prompt entry
Lannie was four, and as far back as she could remember, her life had been pretty much okay. All of the grown people seemed to think she was special, and she usually got a lot of attention, but suddenly that wasn’t happening any more. Lannie didn’t understand why. What had she done so people didn’t love her anymore?|
It all started one day when everyone seemed to be excited about something. Her Daddy told her that her grandmother would be staying with her, because he and her mother had somewhere they needed to go.
“Why can’t I go?" She’d begged. "Are you going shopping? I can sit in the basket.”
“No honey, you can’t go where we are going. Only grown people can go. You stay with Granny Speers. I’ll be back after a while."
"Will Mommy be back too? Why is she taking her overnight bag?"
"She’ll be back in a couple of days, and we’ll have a surprise for you. You like surprises, don’t you?”
“Is it my puppy? You said we might get a puppy one day."
“No puppy. This will be better than a puppy. You’ll see. Give me a kiss. We’ve got to go.”
Her mother had given her a quick kiss too, and they were gone. She had fallen asleep before her Daddy got home that night. He was gone again when she woke up the next morning. The following day, both of her parents returned home, and her mother was holding something in her arms.
Lannie was so excited, thinking she was about to get her present. She rushed out of the house to greet them. Her mother leaned down so she could see what was in the blanket she was holding. Lannie's eyes grew wide with shock. When her mother pulled aside the pink blanket, it revealed a tiny, red-faced baby.
“Look what we’ve got, Lannie. This is your new baby sister,” her mother said.
Lannie’s mouth turned down and her lips quivered. She looked as though tears were about to start. “Why you get that? I didn’t ask for that. I don’t even like dolls. I wanted a puppy.”
“This isn’t a doll. She’s a real live baby. She sleeping right now. She’ll grow. You’ll see, and then, you’ll have someone to play with,” her daddy told her.
“You’ve got me. We don’t need nobody else. I wanted a puppy that I could play with.”
The front door opened and Granny Speers rushed out and began to gush over the new addition. Lannie went back inside and picked up her stuffed dog. She went to her room pouting. She needed to let them know they had made a big mistake. Maybe they wanted to replace her.
During the next few weeks, things didn’t get better. This new baby was taking all of her mother’s time. Everyone who came to visit acted as if the new baby was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen.
Lannie knew better. The baby made horrible noises. She had stinky diapers, and she burped up disgusting white curds of milk. Her mother was so tired she didn’t have much time for Lannie. Surely, they must realize by now what a mistake they had made by bringing home that baby. Maybe, if she was really good, they would realize they didn’t need this baby. Maybe, they could take the baby back and get a refund.
Several days later, the washing machine broke down, and a repairman came to fix it. He walked past the bassinet which her mother had placed near the kitchen and looked down at the baby.
“Is that your baby sister?” he asked Lannie.
She stared at him without answering. He was a stranger, and she’d been told not to talk to strangers. Besides, it wasn’t her baby. She didn’t want anything to do with it.
“She sure is a cute little thing. I need me a little baby like that. I may just take her home with me when I go,” he teased. “What would you have to say about it, if I decided to take that baby with me?”
Lannie stared at him with wide eyes. This is good, she thought. This is the answer for everyone. He wants the baby. Now, Mommy and Daddy will have more time for me, and things will be like they used to be.
The repairman finished his job, and her mother got out her checkbook to pay him. Lannie waited for him to come and get the baby, but he and her mother were walking toward the door.
Oh, no, she thought, he’s forgotten. What if he leaves without her? I need to help him remember.
She ran to the bassinet and began to tug at the baby. Surely, she would be able to get her out. She didn’t look much bigger than her doll, but she was a lot heavier than she looked.
How could she get her out? She tugged really hard on her one of her arms and finally she made some progress. Just a little more and she would have her. Finally, she was able to pull her over the edge of the bassinet. She eased her to floor just as the baby started to fret.
Lannie grabbed one of her legs and started to drag her toward the door. The baby let out a piercing cry and her mother whirled around and yelled,” STOP!”
“STOP! LANNIE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Her mother rushed to the baby and picked her up with a look of horror on her face.
The repairman, who had been about to walk out the door, looked startled.
Why on earth did you do that, Lannie? Her mother asked as she cuddled the baby, who had finally stopped crying.
“But Mommy, he said he would take her. He was about to forget. I didn’t want him to leave without her. We might not be able to find anyone else who wants her."
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