The Fourth Season
Parental Advisory Rating: L, N, AC
Break out those V-Chips, everyone!
Created, Produced, Written and Directed:
Episode TEN: Roll, Baby, Roll
Brennan looks at me, her favorite bear in her mouth. She carries him around everywhere. He smells like Mama. "What?"
"Watch me!" I lift up my arm and push with my knees and Im moving. Up, up, up, until Im laying on my side, and then
Im back on my stomach. Darn.
"What was that?" Brennan asks. Before I can answer, she goes back gumming on her bear.
I chew on my fist for a few minutes. Okay, Mama showed me how to do this last night. She kept rolling all around, and making Mommy laugh. I like it when Mommy laughs so Im gonna roll too. "Be nice."
Brennan holds her bear with her feet. "I am nice."
I dunno. She cried last night, and made Mama get up to see us. Mama said that wasnt very nice. I try to keep quiet at night, unless I get hungry. Or wet. Or miss Mommy. Or miss Mama. Or get cold. Or scared.
Let me do this again.
Lift my head. Push up with my hands. Move my knees up a little. And, lets see I need to I need to
Darn, I forget.
Mama, come show me again. "Mama!"
"Shes making dinner."
"Whats wrong, sweetie?" Mommy asks from where shes sitting. She puts down the paper shes holding and comes over to me. Her hands slide around me and she lifts me up. Holding me close, she pats my back.
"Thats nice, Mommy."
"Whats wrong, sweetie?"
"I want Mama to show me that rolling thing."
"Are you hungry?" she asks, not understanding me. Mommy kisses me.
She and Mama kiss me a lot. So does Kam. He likes to kiss my feet. It tickles. "No, Im not hungry yet, Mommy. I need to roll so I can make you laugh."
Ah, good, she finally understands. Sometimes I think she and Mama cant talk very well. They dont seem to know what Brennan and I say most of the time. "Mama!"
"Can you bring in the cereal? I think Collin is hungry already."
She gives my diaper a firm pat. This seems to be how she checks for problems. I bang her on the chin. "Im fine, Mom." Doesnt she think Id tell her if I was all sticky or wet?
Mama comes over and takes me from Mommy. She lifts me up in the air and for a moment Im flying. "Yea! Thats fun!"
Mommy laughs. "Hes talking up quite a storm tonight. I think he has something on his mind."
"I wanna roll."
"Oh, really, little man?" Mama asks, kissing my cheek.
See, they kiss me a lot. "Yeah. Can you show me that rolling thing again? I want to do it; it looked like a lot of fun."
"Well, then, lets get you some food." Mama puts me on the floor while she goes over to the table.
Im not hungry. Im just glad Im back on the floor.
"They think youre hungry," Brennan laughs. "You dont speak very well."
I stick out my tongue at my sister.
Okay, let me try one more time. Lift head. Push with arms. Push with knees. Now, I need to slide my left arm over this way and
Mama picks me up.
"Mama! Mama! I was almost there! I was almost rolling!" I close my eyes and kick, wishing theyd leave me on the ground. How can I roll if they keep picking me up?
"Collin, chér, whats wrong?"
"Put me down!" I kick again.
"I think hes scared," Mommy says, coming over. She scratches my back. "Honey, whats wrong? Maybe hes tired."
I hear Brennan laughing on the floor.
"Im not tired! I wanna roll!"
"You better just eat, Collin," Brennan calls. "Otherwise, theyre gonna make you go to sleep. Theyre gonna put you up in the room all alone."
I dont wanna be alone. I want to stay here. Everyones here. Everyone but Aunt Brian. But he went out with that guy who came by the house. He smelled like dogs, and Kam really liked him, so I guess hes okay.
I listen to Brennan and stop kicking. Mama tucks me under her chin and begins dancing with me. She and Mommy dance like this a lot. "Thats better, huh? Whats wrong, Collin Lee? Have we been ignoring you tonight?"
I shake my head. I dont want to talk anymore right now. It doesnt seem to help.
"You know youre my best guy, right? Would my best guy like some yummy cereal?"
If its so yummy, how come Mommy and Mama dont eat it? But it is good. It tastes different than Mommy. Though I like having Mommy. She holds me real tight and sings to me. She has a pretty voice, and shes always real warm to snuggle against. Sometimes, when Im with Mommy, Mama will come and hold us both. I like that.
I like being with them. And with Brennan.
But I really want to roll.
* * *
"Hey there, pretty girl." Mommy leans over my bed and picks me up. I have to stop crying when she wraps me up in a blanket and holds me close. "Whats wrong? Hmm? Youve been bathed, fed, youve got on nice, clean, warm jammies. Whats wrong?"
I dont feel good.
"Ooo, you have a fever," she says after pressing her cheek to my forehead.
I dont know what you call it, but I dont feel good.
"Lets go downstairs so we dont wake your brother."
I lay my head against her shoulder and let her carry me downstairs. I like riding like this; she always kisses my head. My ear hurts too. Mommy make it stop. I want to cry but cant quite bring myself to when shes holding me.
"Harper?" Mommy calls to Mama even before we get downstairs. "We have a very cranky girl tonight."
"Whats wrong?" Mama reaches us as we get to the first floor.
"Shes tugging on her ear again. Im thinking another ear infection."
Mama takes me and holds me close, kissing my cheek. "Its gonna be a long night." She kisses my sore ear and blows a little, warm air into it.
I like that.
"Ill heat up the olive oil and call the doctor." I sniffle as Mommy rubs my back before leaving us. I dont want her to leave me!
"Whoa there, RooToo!" Mama takes over the rubbing. "Calm down."
No! I want Mommy!
"Shell be right back."
Not soon enough.
"Come on, sweetheart." Mama makes sure my head is covered and Im warm, but I want Mommy to come back. Im gonna cry until she does.
Mama settles down on the couch and rubs my sore ear. "Does it hurt, sweetie?"
Yes, Mama, it hurts. Please, make it stop hurting.
Mommy comes back in and they put the warm stuff in my ear. Thats better. Then I get a nice warm bottle. Thats much better.
Ive got both my moms. My ear feels better already, and now Im getting a bottle. I may survive.
"What did the doctor say?"
"He said we were probably right. We should keep her comfortable tonight, give her baby Tylenol, and hell see us at ten-thirty in the morning unless her fever skyrockets tonight."
* * *
Oh, this will be fun! Mama tugs my favorite T-shirt on over my head and looks at me. "Thats a very handsome shirt you have on there, little man."
I slap my chest and look down at the balloons which decorate it. I like balloons. I point to the blue one. Its the best. Its big. I like big balloons. Mama tied some on my bed one day and I was so sad when they went away. "Thanks. I like it."
"Are you ready to go see your Uncle Robie?"
Oh, yeah! I like Uncle Robie. Hes funny. Hes always making silly faces and he holds me up in the air. He and Mama laugh and Tante Rene is really sweet. She smells good, like Mommy, and shes real soft. Best of all, Christian and Clark will be there. "Lets go, Mama!"
Mama laughs. "Come on, son." She picks me up and we go over to Mommy and Brennan.
Mama leans down and holds me so I can kiss Mommy. I press my mouth against her and she turns and kisses my nose. "You two have fun, and be good!"
We both laugh. We know Mommy meant that for Mama and not for me. Both of them say Im a good boy.
"Bye, Brennan," I call out over Mamas shoulder. She wasnt feeling good last night, but she seems better today.
Brennan waves at me. "Say hi to Kelly for me."
* * *
Kam sees us on our way over to Uncle Robies and he dances around Mama. Hes so silly. I clap my hands and he looks up at me. Before I can move, he kisses my feet. "Aww, Kam!"
Mama pats his head. "You can come too, boy," she says. We both expected it. We always take him when we go over. The three of us head across the grass and knock on the door. I get to bang on it, which is real fun. Im not very loud though and Mama has to help. Shes loud.
"Its Collin!" Clark screams from the other side of the screen door. "Collin! Collin! Collin!"
Tante Rene walks over, wiping her hands off on a towel. "Excuse me, sweetie." She looks down at my cousin who is bouncing up and down, happy to see me. Im happy to see him too.
"Come in, Collin!"
"I cant. Youre in the way." I hate to point it out, but we could be outside for a long time.
He stops bouncing and looks up at his Mama. She smiles and gently helps him step back. He stays there while she opens the door for us. Kam rushes in the opening and heads straight for my cousin. Pushing his nose into Clarks stomach, Kam knocks Clark over.
"Bad, dog!" Clark scolds.
Kam ignores him and kisses his face.
"Kam, get over here," Mama says.
Uh oh. Kams in trouble. Thats the voice she used when I grabbed Mommys ear thing. I dont know why Mommy wears bright, fun things on her ears if theyre not toys.
"Im okay." Clark gets up and wipes his hands on his jeans.
I have jeans too. I wanted to wear them today to show Clark, but Mama put on these shorts instead. At least, I got the balloons. "Kam wouldnt hurt you. Hes a nice doggy."
Clark pushes back some hair from his eyes. "You want to see my new toy?"
"You got a new toy?"
"Yeah. Its big. Its called a " He scrunches up his nose. That means one of two things.
Tante Rene notices it too. "Clark, honey, do you need to go potty?"
He turns bright red. "No!"
Tante Rene and Mama laugh. "Okay."
"Hes a real Kingsley," Mama says, putting me on the floor by Clark. I can sit up pretty well now, if Mama sets me up and I keep my arms just right. Otherwise, Mama calls me a weasel. Or something like that. When she does, she makes Mommy laugh. Weasels must be funny.
Tante Rene hands me a block. I like blocks. "Im surrounded by real Kingsleys, from his Papa to his older brother to his uncles to his Tante Harper to his Grandmere and Grandpa everyone is a real Kingsley. Even your dog."
Kam whines and lays down next to me. Hes close enough so he can kiss my feet in case he gets lonely.
"Youre a real Kingsley too, darlin. Theres no denying us." Mama goes over to a chair and sits down. "Wheres my brother and your eldest son and daughter?"
"He and Christian are having a time out; Kelly is enjoying a nap."
Heh heh heh. Uncle Robie has a time out. I havent ever had a time out, but Christian and Clark have. They say its the worst. You have to be quiet and not do anything. I dont like that. I like to talk and play.
"What did they do?"
"See anything missing?" Tante Rene looks around the room.
I look too. Ooo, I see whats missing. "The lamp!"
"Whats up, little man?"
"The lamp, Mama. The lamp is missing."
"You want a different block?" Mama tries to be nice and hands me a blue block.
I liked the green one better, but I take what she gives me. "Mama, the lamp is missing. Thats why Uncle Robie is having a time out." I point over to where the lamp used to be. It was a pretty lamp, it had lots of colors and it was real nice when it was turned on. I wonder where it is.
Clark looks up from his new book. "Papa broke it."
"Whyd he break it? It was a nice lamp."
Clark bites his book. Its a cloth book but it crackles when he bites it. I wonder why it does that. My books dont crackle. Although one book has this big monster that pops up when I read it, and it scares me sometimes.
"Your brother and your nephew decided that since baseball season was starting, they should toss a ball around. Indoors." Tante Rene must not like playing ball. Thats strange. Mommy and Brennan like it. Mommy is always giving Brennan a ball.
"It was funny," Clark laughs. "The ball hit the lamp and it went ka-bow!" He throws his arms open wide. "Ka-bow!" he repeats, laughing more.
"Oops, eh?" Mama chuckles. She always sounds like that when Uncle Robie is in trouble.
"Something like that," Rene sighs. "Clark, show Collin your new book."
Clark removes it from his mouth and waves it in front of me. "This is it."
"It makes noise."
Clark nods and squeezes it. It beeps. "I like that noise best." He squeezes it again and laughs.
I lean forward to squeeze it, but forget the rule about keeping at least one hand on the floor. "Ooo " I call out as I fall, face forward, onto the ground. "Ow!" I hit my nose and chin hard. "Ow! Mama! Ow!"
Mama immediately scoops me up. "Hey, little man, did you lean too far?"
"Ow!" I try to answer her, but my lip hurts.
Mama kisses me and holds me tightly. "Its okay, Collin. You only had a boo-boo. Everythings fine."
"I dont like boo-boos." I can feel my lower lip trembling and water running down my face. "I wanted to look at the new book."
Clark holds the book out to Mama. "Here you go, Tante Harper."
"Harper," Tante Rene says to Mama. "Look down."
"Oh, look, Collin, Clark wants to share." Mama and I sit on the floor next to him. I get to stay on Mamas lap so I dont accidentally lean again. She takes the book from Clark and it crinkles. "Did you hear that?"
I nod, sniffing.
Tante Rene reaches for my nose with a tissue. I try to dodge it, but Im not fast enough. Those things hurt. "No." I swat at her hand, but miss.
"There, thats better." She takes the tissue away.
It feels a little better, but I didnt like it. Mama puts the book in my hands and I stare down at it. Its pretty. I like the bright colors.
"See the pretty bunny?" Mama asks in her baby voice. I wonder why she talks like that sometimes. "Wheres the bunny, Collin?"
"I dont know, Mama."
She takes my hand and guides it to the book. Ooo, thats soft. I wonder what that is. I pet the book. "Thats a soft bunny, huh, bud?"
If its a bunny, it sure is.
"Think I should get Brennan and Collin bunnies for Easter?" Mama asks Tante Rene.
"I wouldnt do that if I were you, Harper Lee. I doubt if Kels would like them. They eat everything in sight. Besides, Kam might have an early Easter dinner if you did."
Uh oh. That doesnt sound good.
"We might need to pass then," Mama agrees.
I look over at Kam. Hes smiling. I think he likes bunnies.
* * *
I feel much better today. Mommy and I went to the doctor this morning. He gave Mommy some drops for my ear and it doesnt hurt anymore, but he said I had to keep my head warm and dry for a few days. So instead of going out, Mommy and I are going to work from the office she has in the house.
I like it when we do this. Its fun and sometimes we call Grandpa Stanton. Mommy lets me talk to him now too and he laughs at me. He doesnt seem to take anything seriously. I was trying to tell him about my bear the other day and he kept laughing at me.
My bear is a very serious subject.
My bear is not something to be toyed with, as Mommy would say.
Today we are sending faxes. Mommy lets me help put the papers in the machine but she hates it when I play with the buttons. She said something to Mama the other day about a call to Bombay. I dont know anyone in Bombay. Why would I call there? I simply like the sounds the buttons make when I press them.
"So shall we send a fax up to Aunt Kendra and see if shed like to do some guest spots for us down here?" Mommy asks even as the page goes through the machine.
I shrug. "Sure." Im laying here against Mommy watching what shes doing and playing with my bear and I realize Im kinda hungry. I tilt my head back and try to get her attention. "Mommy?"
Somehow, I get the feeling were speaking two different languages because she doesnt seem to understand me very well right now. Im hoping she improves soon. Mama too. Its very frustrating. I grab her finger and bring it to my mouth and chew on it. That she understands every time.
"Lunch time, huh, sweetheart?"
"Give me just a minute and let me finish what Im doing here."
After she finishes what she was working on she turns me around and kisses my nose. "Straight milk, or milk and cereal for lunch?"
Straight milk, please, from the source. Im sleepy, and I know Ill go to sleep if Im with you.
"Since Im working, why dont we do this the easy way?" She adjusts me and Im settled right where I wanted to be. I love my Mommy. Shes very smart.
I hand her my bear. I know shell keep it safe while I eat.
* * *
"Mommy! Mommy!" I cry. I kick my blanket off me and flail my arms around. "Mommy!"
I hear the door open and I look over. Ah, Mommy.
Mommy leans over the crib and picks me up. "Shh, its okay, honey."
I grab onto Mommy and hold her tight. "Mommy, I saw big bunnies while I was sleeping and they were trying to eat me. Mama said they eat everything in sight."
She rubs my back gently and smoothes down my hair. Its always sticking straight up. Brennan says it looks funny, but she doesnt have much hair so she shouldnt talk. "Shh, relax, sweetie."
I take a big gulp of air. "Bunnies are scary. They have those noses. And that tail." Mommy and I walk over to the rocker. I like the rocker. We sit down and she pulls a blanket over us. Thats better. Its warm. I lay my head on Mommys shoulder. "Im glad you came."
Mommy checks to see if Im wet. Im a little wet because of when the bunny tried to eat me. But Im okay. I just want to hold onto Mommy. "Well change you in a few minutes, okay, Collin?"
I nod my head. "Okay."
"Did you have a bad dream? You dont normally get so upset about a diaper."
"There was this big, mean bunny."
Sensing Im about to get upset again, Mommy begins rubbing my back and rocking at the same time. "Its okay, sweetie, Mommy is here."
"Mommy loves you very much."
"I love you too, Mommy." I feel sleepy already. Mommy is always good to sleep on. Shes so warm and friendly, and if I get hungry, theres always something to eat. I take a deep breath. I can smell Mama on her. Thats nice.
Mommy begins singing and I close my eyes.
* * *
"All right, my little slobber mongers. Lets take Kam for a walk, shall we?"
Uncle Brian pulls the hood up on our stroller and prepares us for our walk. Mama and Mommy are in very important meetings today and Uncle Brian says were going to be spending the whole day together. Which is actually okay because we go fun places like the park.
I make sure I have everything I need: bottle, bear, and blanket. I look over to Collin who is asleep already. He loves to ride in the stroller but never stays awake very long. He misses all the best stuff too.
Uncle Brian calls us guy magnets. Im not entirely sure what that means, but I have a feeling that if Mama ever finds out, shes not gonna like it.
Kam walks right next to the stroller and keeps looking at me. Hes our puppy, but he always listens to Mama and Mommy. Hes a good boy, too. He doesnt like it when strangers try to get too close to us. He always sits real close and growls real low until Uncle Brian tell him its okay.
At the park, Uncle Brian takes me out of the stroller because Im still awake. He sits on the bench and throws a toy and Kam runs after it. They are so funny.
"Well, eww, Kam! Could you get a little more doggie slobber on it next time?" He holds it between two finders and tosses it away again. Kams only going to bring it back, so if he really wants to throw it away, he going to have to wait until we get home and do it when Kam isnt around. Thats what Mommy does with Mamas shirts.
"Ooo, look there, Brennan, hes cute! Wave at the nice man!" He takes my hand and helps me wave at the man who is running past us. "Too bad Doug is sleeping in, huh?"
Yeah, I really dont think Mama would approve of this, but its fun so Im not going to tell.
* * *
This feels really good, Mama. I love bath time. Collin doesnt like it, and he always has a fit, so Mama gives him his first then I get mine. I like it.
"You are such a good girl," Mama tells me when she puts the stuff on my head and rubs it in my hair. I dont have as much as Collin, but mine is the same color as Mommys. Shes has pretty hair. I hope I get as much as she has some day.
Its a little cold tonight, and I shiver. Mama takes the stuff off my head and finishes up my bath, then wraps me up nice and tight in a fluffy, warm towel. This is very good.
"Hows my favorite girl doing?" Mama smiles at me and rubs my head with the corner of the towel. "Your ear feel all better?"
It sure does. It doesnt hurt anymore. I knew you and Mommy would make it better. You always do.
We go into our room so I can get dressed. Mommy has Collin and hes having dinner. Its almost bedtime and pretty soon well be all snuggled down and ready to sleep. You simply cant help it after a warm bath and a warm bottle. Its a rule.
I know its a rule, because Mama said its a rule, and Mama is always right.
* * *
I cling to Mama a little tighter than normal. Were in the hammock in the backyard, and it always scares me. Mama gets in first, and Brennan and I lay on her, and then Mommy joins us. Thats always scary because we start swinging really high. Then Mommy takes either Brennan or me, and Mama puts her arms around Mommy, and
Im glad the swinging has stopped.
I hold onto Mamas shirt. Its warm outside, and it smells really good. Mama says its the magnolia tree, but I think its her and Mommy. Brennan and I agree that they smell best, of all the people we know.
Mamas hand is on my back, making sure I dont slip. "Ready for the Easter Egg hunt this year, chér?"
Mommy snuggles closer to us. I reach out with my foot and I touch Brennan. "It should be fun. Lots more kids to run around."
"And a couple who dont yet, but who will still be expected to participate."
Mommy pats Brennan on the back. "Im sure we can take em all."
"Thats my girls. Of course, it might be difficult, if youre helping Christian and all."
Mommy begins laughing. "Are you still put off that he asked me last year and not you?"
"I was always his favorite aunt until a certain blonde-haired, green-eyed lady came along. Ever since then, Ive become invisible."
Not to me, Mama.
"Not to me, sweetheart," Mommy says what Im thinking.
"Uh huh," Mama whines. She sounds like Kam when she does that, all growly and funny.
"Next year should be really fun. The twins will be running around by then, Kelly too, and well have eight kids under five years old."
"Mon Dieu!" Mama says.
"I promised Mama that wed dye some eggs for the hunt. When do you want to do that?"
Mama laughs and I bounce on her chest. "Whenever Brians around. Hell do them all with flair."
"I doubt if well be seeing much of Brian with Doug here, but Im sure if I leave them out, the egg fairy will see to them."
For some reason both Mama and Mommy find this really funny and the hammock begins swinging far too much for my taste.
* * *
This is it. This will be the day. Today I will roll all the way over. Mama and Mommy are pretty quiet. Theyre working around the house. Im on the floor with Brennan. Shes still a little cranky with her ear thingy, but shes feeling better. Were all taking good care of her.
I lift my head and get a look around. All clear. No one is going to try to look at my diapers or lift me up or make me eat or nothing. I snuggle my legs up under me and push down hard, and I push with my arms. Up, up, up. Okay, now I need to put my left arm right about
"Harper! Come quick!" Mommy yells, breaking my concentration.
Mama runs over. "Something happen?"
"Not yet," Mommy says, "but it will. Watch Collin."
Ooo, theyre watching me. Okay, I can do this.
"Dont blow it," Brennan warns.
"I wont." Okay, knees tucked up. Arms pressing down. Head lifts up, turn it. Now put my arm a little to the left and
Ooo, Im on my side. Yea! Almost there. I reach for the floor behind me. Its a little scary, but Im pretty sure its still there. As I reach, I fall over onto my back. "I did it!"
"Collin! Way to go!" Mommy begins clapping.
"You rolled over, little man!" Mama praises, dropping down beside me. "You just did it! Not long now before youre crawling."
Crawling? That sounds cool.
"Try that again, sweetie." Mama lifts me up and puts me back down on my tummy.
Aww, Mama, I just got on my back, now I gotta do it all again? Okay, knees, arms, head, twist, and roll!
Mama leans over me and claps. "Whos my favorite boy?"
"Show off," Brennan says beside me.
I laugh and enjoy the ride as Mama picks me up and carries me over to Mommy. "Look at this big boy, Kels."
"Hes all ours, too," Mommy says sounding like she might cry.
"Mommy, dont cry. Rolling makes you laugh."
"Yeah, well keep him." Mama gives me a big kiss, and then she kisses Mommy.
Please keep me. I really like it here.
And I can roll.
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