Andrew, Andrew, He’s Our Man!

Submitted into Contest #56 in response to: Write a day-in-the-life-story about a first-time parent and their newborn child.... view prompt

12 comments

Funny

(Write a day-in-the-life-story about a first-time parent and their newborn child.)

Picture this, if you will!   I’m a seventeen year old boy, chuck full of energy and hormones!  Until recently, I lived for sports and played my heart out for whatever team I was on.  Then the dreaded hormones kicked in,  not only did my face break out with all kinds of ugly but also I became very distracted from my games by cheerleaders, blondes hanging around playing with their hair and giggling girls in general.

My game became mediocre, my grades were slipping and my preoccupation with skirts predominated everything.   Just one more year of high school then on to college and I had always counted on good grades and an athletic scholarship to get me in, no problem. But now there was a problem,  I needed to refocus but tell that to my hormones.

I decided to look for some gravy electives to sandwich in between the required subjects.  The easy gravy classes would carry my grade point average and all would be ok again.

That is exactly how I got into Let Clay Make Your Day, an art class learning to do pots and vases on a wheel.  That turned out to be very cool.  But my second gamble, Marriage and Family, well it turned into a nightmare.

I’ll get right to it so you will understand my grief.  The beginning was reasonably easy, budgeting and meal planning for nutrition but then the Family part kicked in.  Each student would be assigned and responsible for a replica new born baby.  When I say responsible for,  I mean, we had to keep it with us 24 continuous hours on the days “the baby” was assigned to us.  We had to tend to its every needs, changing and feeding and trying to quiet this preprogrammed screaming kid.  If I was in another class, and the tiny timer buzzed in my “baby” I had to unwrap it right in class and change the diaper, or give the bottle.  I had a journal with the schedule and I was supposed to keep notes on my life with the  little demanding thing.  

I got over my annoyance fairly quickly when a girl I would love to date stopped to help me with a diaper and she mentioned how sweet and yet manly I looked caring for a baby.  Ok. Maybe a hidden benefit.

The down side was, we had twelve students and only three babies so I got the  little screamer every fourth day, rain or shine.  No trades or substitutions were permitted.

And then the collision of my great plan,  a scheduled big important basketball game and I needed to play but I also needed to be the parent to a demanding baby.  My first day with the little whiner.  Somehow I had to make this work, I had to do both.

I tried to adjust the schedule but no matter how I tried either the bottle or the diaper change happened during the game.

We were required to keep the baby with us at all times, to let us see what parenting and being responsible for the needs of a helpless creature was all about.  I had fitted out an extra backpack of mine with a large bath towel and lined the bag with an old sweatshirt.  This raised the baby up so it’s little face would show proving I had it with me at all times.  It also held the diapers, and the ointment for butt rash and the bottles.  It was a good setup.

This should work for the game too.  I just needed to secure the baby so it didn’t come flying out when I did jump shots and other fast moves.  

I’d tell the coach I needed 10 minutes during the game...it was important, my grades depended on it.  He would not be a happy man but then neither was I.  I needed an athletic scholarship so I needed to play my best but with a baby strapped to my back, one that randomly screamed, well it looked like a recipe for disaster.

Everything was going along great.  The baby was no trouble and I was playing well.  

The score was close, too close!  A big guy from the other team fouled me and I had a free throw.  I toed up to the line,  stared at the hoop, took a deep settling breath and the baby let out with a scream!  The ball hit the rim and bounced back to me.  On the second shot I put it through with a swish!  The baby was screaming and the coach was scowling and the buzzer sounded for the end of the period.

I quieted the baby and tried to explain to the coach but he was beyond being reasonable.  He put someone else in,  in my place.  I sat on the bench in a gymnasium full of kids and family and rocked a baby.  It quieted and did a little hiccup and seemed to go to sleep.  Yep, there I sat, humiliated beyond anyone’s imagination.  Then right on schedule, the timer for a diaper change.  What the heck could I do?  So I changed the baby right there on the bleachers.   

The cheerleaders came up with a spontaneous chant…

Andrew Andrew he’s our man, if he can’t do it nobody can!   And the gym went into wild and crazy applause!

The coach growled, “How much longer before you can pretend you're playing basketball Andrew?”  

So I quickly tucked the baby and the baby stuff in the backpack and stood on the sidelines looking like I was again ready to play ball.

I’m pretty sure I might have earned some extra credits for my Marriage and Family class but I sure didn’t do myself any favor with the game.

At the final buzzer, we were up by two points, we won and the baby was wailing so I went on home like a good parent!   No after game girls or fun or burgers at the drive in!

Driving home I thought long and hard about babies.  I had pretty much ignored them before this but now I could see how they can be a real pain in the elbow and other places.

August 25, 2020 04:39

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12 comments

Sincerely Free
13:48 Sep 18, 2020

Havent read this type of stuff in a while. Good writing.

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P. Jean
14:24 Sep 18, 2020

Thank you! Not sure what...this type of stuff...is? Just my take on the prompt. Crazy thing about the prompts, they stretch your mind....can’t imagine writing about a teen boy and a new baby except in this format.

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Sincerely Free
14:45 Sep 18, 2020

Its a story which has probably happened to people and left an influence on their mind in reality. ( thats what i felt )

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P. Jean
15:53 Sep 18, 2020

Cool, thanks for the explanation. Thanks for reading!

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P. Jean
19:13 Sep 17, 2020

Many just like stories. I hope they really read them before liking! I hope you do! Thank you for the likes!

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Kathleen Whalen
19:14 Aug 30, 2020

I really liked this. It was witty and it was a different take on the story prompt. Well done!

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P. Jean
23:01 Aug 30, 2020

Thanks Kathleen. I imagined many would write about the awe struck feelings most have about tiny fingernails and eyelashes. The sweet baby smell, so thought to go a different direction. Glad you liked it!

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10:28 Aug 30, 2020

This idea is such a fun and fresh take on the prompt idea!! A practice baby from school? I would've never thought of that! I definitely enjoyed reading. One thing that I'd recommend for you to incorporate into future stories is "show, not tell." Instead of telling us what the character's problems are exactly, perhaps tease the reader with hints about what's troubling them. I wanted to guess more about Andrew's life and put the pieces together myself rather than be told about it. I don't know if this interferes with your writing style, bu...

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P. Jean
12:40 Aug 30, 2020

Thank you Jordan . I don’t think I have a real writing style but feel that if I weave in enough facts the picture becomes clear BUT YES I agree about show not tell could change and perhaps improve the writing. Thank you for your time and expertise!

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12:02 Aug 29, 2020

It's amazing how you've twisted the prompts into something so beautiful. So...the baby is programmed? Not a real baby? Perhaps it's just to learn, I guess. But it's creative and beautiful. I can't believe it's taken me so long to find your stories and read them. You have a gift and I envy you. I want to read more!

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P. Jean
12:12 Aug 29, 2020

Yes the baby is not real but wets and cries programmed to simulate a real infant for a class he is taking but his grade depends on his responses...to teach teens parenting is a serious and full time job not to be taken lightly. Thank you for you time and thoughts. I appreciate you!

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P. Jean
23:26 Oct 06, 2020

I super appreciate the likes on this story....I went such a weird direction with the prompt, I wasn’t sure how it would be received! Thanks you guys!

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