The baby was still sleeping but 14 year old Joost didn’t care. It was “HIS” baby, his job to take care of him. So when Joost returned from school each day, he always ran to the baby’s crib to get the baby.
The baby’s crib was in Mom’s room, across from the bathroom. Joost walked in, and plucked the baby out of the crib. Baby Greg woke immediately and started to coo at his big brother. Mom however, was not quite as forgiving. She had just gotten Greg to sleep as he had been up most of the day, fussing because of the new tooth he had just started cutting.
Mom had asked Joost again and again, not to just run in when he came home from school, and pick up the baby, to ask first. Those requests had fallen on deaf ears, for when it came to Greg, nothing would deter Joost from, as he would say, “taking care of my little brother.” Mom thought to herself she would have to take a different tactic to get Joost to understand.
Having 7 kids, and working part time as a registered nurse, since Greg had been born, was often frustrating. She was a good mom, and usually very patient. When she did lose her patience, her temper was more often laced with silly humour than with actual fear. She would tell us, “I am going to trade you to the Indians, for buffalo meat.” This was a threat we all took quite seriously, for one day after loosing her temper with Wilma, (the oldest) she packed us all up the in Chevy station wagon and drove us out to the Indian reservation. We then had dinner with Dan George, and his family. (We didn’t know then, that Mom had been friends with them for over 5 years) Following dinner, they offered Mom some buffalo meat to take home, and we all quaked in fear, wondering which of us she would trade to him for it. We collectively let out a huge sigh of relief when each of us was allowed back into the station wagon to come home.
Mom knew she must be creative in getting Joost to understand about asking permission to get the baby up if he was sleeping, following his return from school.
The following day, just before school let out, she took the baby buggy, and placed it in the front hallway closet. As kids we were not allowed to use the front door, we had to enter through the side door, so she knew Joost would not notice the buggy in the front hall closet. Then she placed Greg in the buggy for his nap. After one more chore, she sat and waited for Joost to come home from school.
As usual Joost came storming in, stripped off his coat and shoes and ran to the baby’s crib to get Greg. When he got there, the crib was empty. Thinking Mom had Greg in the living room, Joost ran there, and stopped short when he saw Mom on the couch reading the newspaper.
“Where’s Greg?” Joost asked.
“Oh I sold him to the Indians for buffalo meat this afternoon,” Mom replied coolly.
“You did not. Where is he?” Joost did not believe she would sell the baby.
Handing Joost the key to the deep freeze, Mom said, “Here is the key to the deep freezer, you go look for yourself.”
Grabbing the key, Joost ran down the back stairs to the basement, and opened the deep freeze. There lying right on top, was what Joost thought was the hind quarter of a buffalo . He screamed! Mom had wrapped her fake fur coat, which was brown and had very long hair on it, in a drycleaners bag, and then placed the wrapped coat in the deep freezer, in the basement.
His scream of course awakened Greg who had slept obliviously through all the commotion. Joost found him in the front hall closet. Mom then told him that he was NOT to run to the baby’s crib and pluck him out without permission any more.
From that day forward Joost always asked if he could get the baby.
PS: This is a true story from my youth. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much I enjoy the memory. KNR
©2010 Kitty N Roy