I Finally Dug Out This Story...

Written when I was twelve, so copyright 1992. It doesn't have a title, because apparently I could never come up with one that didn't give the ending away...

I woke up this morning to find Dad sitting, as usual, at the kitchen table with the cup of coffee he could not do without. It was – I glanced at the clock – four-thirty in the morning. Four-thirty! He got up early, I knew, but not this early. Come to think of it, there had been some commotion in the night. Maybe something had happened; maybe Granny had died! That would be terrible! Dear old Granny. She was the only one who drank tea in the mornings. She did not believe in coffee. “Too much caffeine,” she said.
Dad got up, mumbling something about getting some sleep. What had he done all night if he had not slept? I knew I would probably find out at breakfast, so I tried to go back to sleep. I kept thinking about all of the horrible things that might have happened, and it was over an hour before I finally fell asleep.
I woke again only a few hours later to find that the family had already started breakfast. Just then, Granny came into the kitchen and I was relieved that she was all right. She headed directly for me, muttering about how she could not face a day without a cup of tea. From the many times she drank it, I had long ago come to the conclusion that she would could not face the world without a cup of tea in her hands.
The children, Andrew and Susan, looked extremely excited about something, but I could not understand what. They were bombarding Dad with questions, like:
“When is it going to come?”
“What are we going to name it?”
What were they going to do, get another dog? Then Andrew asked when Mom would come home and it suddenly hit me that, indeed, Mom was not there! Maybe she had had an accident. Her stomach had been growing lately; was it going to burst? Yet why were the kids so excited then? It was all so confusing.
Just then the telephone rang. Everybody jumped up at the same time and ran to answer it. Granny even forgot her tea! After that, I could not see anything. A few minutes later everything grew silent and I guessed that they had all left. Usually, everybody stayed home on Sunday afternoons. It was a family ritual. Something important must have happened for them to have left so suddenly.
No one came home until around dinnertime. From the conversation they had at the table, I understood that Mom was in the hospital. They kept speaking of this person, Jennifer, but I never understood who she was.
The next morning passed normally, with the children starting school for another week, Dad going back to his job, and Granny doing what she always did when she visited, fooling around in the kitchen.
That night, just when everybody was sitting down for dinner – without Dad (I assumed he was out on business somewhere) – the doorbell rang. Dinner was immediately forgotten as everyone rushed out of the kitchen. I heard a lot of screaming and laughter, but could not see a thing.
Then Mom came in – with a baby! So that’s who Jennifer was! Now I understood everything! But I wasn’t used to any of it. I was going to have to learn to see baby bottles on the counter and hear Jennifer’s wails for milk in the middle of the night. Plus, Dad and the children are planning a secret baby shower! What a lot of work!
I’m glad teapots don’t have babies!

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