Life was going along okay when my mother and father dropped the news. Bam! Just ike that.
“we have something wonderful to tell you, Peter,” Mom said before dinner. She was slicing carrots into the salad bowl. I grabbed one.
“What is it?” I asked. I figured maybe my father’s been made president of the company. Or maybe my teacher phoned, saying that even though I don’t get the best grades in the fifth grade, I am definitely the smartest kid in the class.
“We’re going to have a baby,” Mom said.
“We’re going to what?” I asked, starting to choke. Dad had to whack me on the back. Tiny pieces of chewed up carrot flew out of my mouth and hit the counter. Mom wiped them up with a sponge.
“Have a baby,” Dad said.
“You mean you’re pregnant?” I asked Mom.
“That’s right,” she told me, patting her middle. “Almost four months.”
“Four months! You’ve known for four months and you didn’t tell me?”
“We wanted to be sure,” Dad said.
“It took you four months to be sure?”
“I saw the doctor for the second time today,” Mom said. “The baby’s due in February.” She reached over and tried to tousle my hair. I ducked and got out of the way before she could touch me.
Dad took the lid off the pot on the stove and stirred up the stew. Mom went back to slicing carrots. You’d have thought we were discussing the weather.
“How could you?” I shouted. “How could you? Isn’t one enough?”
They both stopped and looked at me.
I kept right on shouting. “Another Fudge! Just what this family needs.” I turned and stormed down the hall.
Fudge, my four year old brother, was in the living room. He was shoving crackers into his mouth and laughing like a loon at Sesame Street on TV. I looked at him and thought about having to go through it allover again. The kicking and the screaming and the messes and more much more. I felt so angry that I kicked the wall.
Fudge turned. “Hi, Pee-tah,” he said.
“You are the biggest pain ever invented!” I yelled.
He tossed a handful of crackers at me.
I raced to my room and slammed the door, so hard my map of the world fell off the wall and landed on the bed. My dog, Turtle, barked. I opened the door just enough to let him squeeze through, then slammed it shut again. I pulled my Adidas bag out of the closet and emptied two dresser drawers into it. Another Fudge, I said to myself. They’re going to have another Fudge.
There was a knock at my door, and Dad called, “Peter…”
“Go away,” I told him.
“I’d like to talk to you,” he said.
“About what?” As if I didn’t know.
“You know what baby!”
“We don’t need another baby.”
“Need it or not, it’s coming,” Dad said. “So you might as well get used to the idea.”
“We’ll talk about it later,” Dad said. “In the meantime, scrub up. It’s time for dinner.”
“I’m not hungry.”
I zipped up my bag, grabbed a jacket and opened my bedroom door. No one was there. I marched down the hall and found my parents in the kitchen.
“I’m leaving,” I announced. “I’m not going to hang around waiting for another Fudge to get born. Good bye.”
I didn’t move. I just stood there, waiting to see what they’d do next.
“Where are you going?” Mom asked. She took four plates out of the cabinet and handed them to Dad.
“To Jimy Fargo’s,” I said, although until that moment I hadn’t thought at all about where would go.
“They have a one bedroom apartment,” Mom said.”You’d be very crowded.”
“Then I’ll go to Grandma’s. she’ll be happy to have me.”
“Grandma’s is Boston or the week, visiting Aunt Linda.”
“So why don’t you scrub up and have your dinner, and then you can decide where to go,” Mom said.
I didn’t want to admit that I was hungry, but I was. And all those good smells coming from the pots and pans on the stove were making my mouth water. So I dropped my Adidas bag and went down the hall to the bathroom.
Next superfudge part 2.