Previous superfudge part 2.
Before then end of the week, fudge asked the big question. “How did the baby get inside you, Mommy?” So Mom borrowed my copy of How Babies Are Made, and she read it fo Fudge.
As soon as he had the facts straight, he was telling anybody and everybody exactly how Mom and Dad had made the baby. He told Henry, our elevator operator. Henry smiled and said, “That’s a mouthful for a small fry like you.”
He told the schecker at the supermarket. Her eyes gor gigger and bigger until Mom said. “That’s enough, Fudgie.”
“But I’m just getting to the good part,” Fudge said.
“Peter,” Mom said, “it’s getting very warm in here. Why don’t you take Fudge outside?”
He saw a pregnant woman on the bus and said. “I know what’s growing inside you, and I know how it hot there too.” The woman got up and changed her seat.
He told Grandma. She said to my mother, “Anne, do you think it’s wise for him to know so much? In mu days we talked about the strok.”
“What’s a strok?” Fudge asked.
“It’s a big bird,” I told him.
“Like Big Bird on Sesame Street?”
“I like birds,” Fudge said. “I want to be one when I grow up.” “You can’t be a bird,” Grandma said.
Because you’re a boy.”
“So what?” Fudge said, and he laughed like crazy and turned somersaults on the floor.
Fudge never stopped talking about his favorite subject. He told his nursery school class, and his teacher was so impressed she phoned and asked Mom to come to school. The children had a lot of questions for her. So mom went to Fudge’s class and enjoyed it so much she offered to come to my class too. I told her, No thanks!”
I hadn’t told anyone she was going to have a baby, except Jimmy Fargo. I tell him just about everything.and Sheila Tubman knew, because she lives in our building and could see that Mom as pregnant.
“She’s very old to be having a baby, isn’t she?” Sheila asked one afternoon.
“She’s thirty-four,” I said.
Sheila opened her mouth. “Oh, she’s really old!”
“She’s not as old as your mother,” I said. I had no idea how old Mrs. Tubman was, but Sheila’s sister, Libby, was thirteen, so I guessed that Mrs. Tubmab was older than Mom.
“But you don’t see my mother having a baby, do you?” Sheila asked.
“No… but…” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. I didn’t understand what she was getting at anyway.
When I went upstairs I asked Mom, “Isn’t thirty-four old to be having a baby?”
“I don’t think so,” Mom said. “Why?”
“Grandma had Aunt Linda when she was thirty-eight.”
“Oh.” So my mother wasn’t the oldest woman in the worls to be having a baby. And Sheila didn’t know what she was talking about, as usual.
On February 26, while my fifth grade class was on a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my sister was born. Later I found out that she was born at exactly 2:04 in the afternoon, just as we were in the Egyptian Room, studying the mummies.
They named her Tamara Roxanne, but for weeks everybody called her The Baby. “The Baby is crying.” “The Baby is hungry.” “Shush… the Baby is sleeping.””
Soon, instead of calling her the Baby, Mom started saying dumd things, like “How’s my little Tootsie-Wootsie?” as if The Baby could answer her. “Does my little Tootsie-Wootsie need to be changed?” yes, almost always! “Does my little Tootsie-Wootsie need a feeding?” yes, almost always!
And Mom’s little Tootsie-Wootsie never slept more than two hours at a time. Every night I’d wake up to her howls. Turtle, who slept at the foot of my bed, woke uo too. Then he’d howl along with her. A regular duet!
Next superfudge part 4.