Say What?


Mamá

The baby crawled by and then plopped on her little behind. Fingers went in her mouth and nose crinkled. Tears rolled down her chubby little cheeks.

Big brother walked over to see what the commotion was all about. “Oh my gosh, what went on here?” Picking up baby he walked into another room. He leaned into his mama and whispered something in her ear.

Me, being the middle child and usually quiet strained to hear the private words. I could hear nothing. When my mama placed her hands over her mouth, I could also see her eyes pop out like a kid tossing a giant jaw breaker.

Curiosity killed my inner cat and I walked ever so softly near Mama to try to hear better. She saw me out of the corner of her eye and took her hand and held it out just like the lady at the school zone saying stop, you are about to be knocked on your ass for getting too close to the curb.

I backed off with my tail between my legs. I went back to my corner and sat down angry because they thought I was too little to know anything.

Mama picked up baby girl and took her to her bedroom to change her diaper and put her in her bed time clothes. Rubbing some lotion on her pink fuzzy skin she swooned saying,”It’s ok little one. Mama will protect you from the big bad wolf“.

Papa was sitting in the den watching television but soon came out doing something I had never observed. He took out his lighter from the pocket of his jeans and he lit two candles. He walked around the room slowly waving his hands back and forth.

I wondered to myself, Is he losing it? What show was he watching? Better tell Mama that Papa is flipping out.

Each of us played musical chairs, shifting feet trying to get comfortable in an impossible situation. I thought about running out the back door to play but I knew I would get a beating from Papa if I went out after dark.

Looks were  exchanged, coughing from this one or that one. Personally, I wanted to say something but then I knew I would get smacked by Mama for speaking out of line. It was better for me to just stay hidden in my own shadows. It kept my nose clean and my rear pain-free.

The windows began to show signs of sweat. The more this constant action was allowed to go untamed, the more fog began to rise. Windows steamed and if you looked across the room eyes were becoming hazy.

Baby was back on the floor across from the perpetrator. Rubbing her poor little eyes as if she was so sleepy.

A knock came at the front door and when the oldest son opened it words spilled over,” Is everything alright over here? You all have a fire or something?”

“Yes mam everything is alright. Just the remains from supper lingering. Mama had a real good meal. Been cooking all day. Steamed up all the windows.”

“Alright then. I just had to check”. the lady looked a little odd at the kid as if he had a big zit on his nose plus a bad buger hanging out the nose. I slammed the door and went back to my spot I had claimed as my own.

Mama and Papa came in together and now they were both spraying cans of air freshener. They were waving their hands in tune to some old foggie music I knew I had never heard before.

Us kids just looked at each other. Baby girl was still rubbing her blue eyes. Tears were starting to fall once again. Mama went over and picked her up rocking her in her arms and finally couldn’t take it anymore.

“Good gosh Grandpa. Can’t you take that outside?”

Grandpa looked at her lips moving and cupped his hand around his ear. “What did you say Missy? I can’t quite make out what you are saying?”

The room became silent and all ears tipped to the direction of Mama.

Mama cleared her voice and sucked in her breath and yelled, “Grandpa, can’t you just go out side to relieve yourself? You’re putting off an odor worse than any dead skunk”.

Grandpa started laughing, his belly beginning to shake,” Is that why everyone is acting stir crazy? Is my passing gas too strong for you? Maybe you shouldn’t have cooked that meal so well. You know I can’t stay a way from those ham hocks and beans.”

Mama started to laugh along with him ” Well I hope you enjoyed it, because it is your last night of beans. I will never make them again. You even have the baby here crying from the fumes. Poor baby’s nostril hairs are plum burnt up”.

Grandpa huffed his way out of his favorite chair and walked over to Mama. I saw her back up a few steps not wanting to get too close. Grandpa neared the baby’s head and planted a loving kiss on it. ” Sorry kiddo. Blame it on your Mama”.

He turned and then walked towards the stair case. He got on the second step and stood frozen for a moment. He turned back towards the family. The kids had taken off for other rooms. The baby began to whimper, and Papa got out his lighter again. Mama put the baby to bed.