Saturday 15 June 2019

'Making Babies' by Rebecca Field

Harry bounds around, looking for something sharp enough to cut through worm flesh.

“Do you know, if you cut a worm in half, then you get two!”

Harry has a dinosaur raincoat with a detachable hood. I wish I had a raincoat like his instead of my plain yellow one.

“I can’t find anything,” he says, dejected.

I didn’t want to see him try to split the worm anyway. We watch together as it continues its confused journey across the wet school playground, aware that at any moment it may be crushed underfoot by a screaming child.

I wonder who will be picking me up from school today. Daddy says that the baby in Mummy’s tummy is making her sick and she needs to get plenty of rest, so probably it will be Grandma again. She always forgets to bring me a snack and never lets me go to the park on the way home. She asks a lot of questions about what I’m learning and the teachers and holds my hand too tight when we cross the road.

If the baby comes out too soon it will be too small because it hasn’t had enough time to grow, and it might die, Dad said. I told it to stay inside, but Mum laughed and said it doesn’t understand our language yet and the words would sound all muffly anyway, like when I put my head under the bathwater and pretend I can’t hear anything when it’s time to get out. I don’t know how it will know when it is supposed to come out if it can’t hear things properly. Maybe it might stay in there forever, getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Mum says I didn’t want to come out, then when I did I was all wrinkled like a prune. A prune is like a big raisin she said, but I’ve never eaten one.

I hope the baby is a boy, then I can teach him to play football with me and Harry. The baby has its own room already. It has white walls and a white cot and white curtains too. There are drawers with white clothes in. I hope it likes white. My favourite colour is black but Mum says that isn’t a good colour for a bedroom so I have blue instead.

I think about the worm and wonder if I could be cut in half and grow another head and another pair of legs. That way Mummy wouldn’t have to grow a baby in her tummy, and she could have two children just like she wanted. Another me would be fun I think.

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