My mommies are liars. They promised they wouldn’t forget about me but they did! It’s all because of stupid Ethan. My new baby brother.
They never have time to play dolls with me or do anything. It’s all about him.
And if they aren’t doing something with him, they’re doing something with my other baby sibling, Seraphina.
I used to not hate Ethan, back in the summer when he was born. It was actually pretty cool, cause I could always make him laugh.
But it quickly became obvious that all he was good at was taking up my mommies’ time! Ugh. Life would be so much better if I was an only child. Jaden’s an only child and he says his parents always have time for him. He says too much time but he doesn’t know what it’s like to have parents that don’t even care. It sucks. Even before stupid Ethan was born, at least one of my mommies would be able to help me with homework or whatever. Not like I really care about homework cause that’s dumb and boring, but if I don’t do it then I have to stay inside to finish during recess which is when I see all my friends. Why did they even have to have another baby? It was fine when it was just Seraphina and I. Two kids is the perfect number. There’s one for each parent to take care of. Unless somehow you have three parents but I don’t think that can happen. I sighed, staring up at the ceiling before getting my clothes on.
School was the best part of my day. At least my friends care about me, because at this point I’m sure my moms wouldn’t notice if I fell if the face of the Earth. I clamped my notebook shut before I had to look at the blank page too long.
“Valentina, you ready?”
Oh great, so Mommy remembered me today? “Yeah,” I yelled down, and then lowered my voice to mutter, “whatever.”
“Cereal’s in the fridge,” my mom said, “and Pop-Tarts are in the pantry.”
Ooh, what did she do wrong? Trying to make up for all those days they spent practically no time with me? It’s not just every day you get offered Pop-Tarts for breakfast and there was no way I was turning that down. Uh uh. I quickly ate it as I watched Mommy feed little Seraphina her breakfast. Why can’t she do more for herself? If my baby sister could at least feed herself, I’m sure mommy would be able to play with me sometimes. Princess Ruby and Princess Topaz were just about to defeat the evil master of darkness when my brother just had to be born. Mommy set Seraphina down and looked over to me.
“Okay, you’ve got everything?”
We walked down all the steps without really saying much at all. What was there to talk about? All she ever talks about is Ethan and I am not interested in talking about him.
I looked back up at the house and over to my mommy, who was waving to me before getting on the bus. All those steps make our house look like a castle even if it takes forever to walk up or down them. I slid into my seat right next to Jaden and pulled my notebook out.
“Ok, did you do the homework?”
“It was easy!”
“So you have it?”
“Yeah,” he replied, pulling out his matching notebook. “I have all of them except the last one, but I’m sure Emily has that one.”
I nodded, copying down the answers quickly. If my mommies could’ve explained it to me I’m sure I could’ve done it but they were too busy trying to make my dumb baby brother shut up.
“Ugh, my mommies are the worst,” I complained after finishing writing all the numbers down.
“All they care about are my baby brother and little sister – not me.”
He shrugged, putting his notebook back. “I don’t have any siblings so I can’t help you.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know. You’ve said that like 50 times since my brother was born. I wish I was an only child.”
“You do not. I wish I had a sibling.”
Emily got on the bus in the moment and motioned for us to schooch over. They fit us three to a seat until fourth grade.
“Whatcha talking about?”
“I have an older brother,” she exclaimed, grinning, “what about siblings?”
“Oh, older siblings,” I gasped. I hadn’t even thought of that. I’ve always been the oldest, the big sister, ever since I can remember. The idea of being the little sister to someone was weird. Really weird.
“How could you not think of that?” Jaden asked, giggling.
“Oh shut up,” I laughed.
“You gonna take back what you said about wanting to be an only child now?”
“Am not,” I insisted without a thought, then squeezed my eyes shut. “Wait, lemme think about it.”
He laughed, shoving me playfully, and I shoved him back.
“Ok, do you want to be an only child?” I asked Emily.
“No way,” she replied, “sometimes I hate my big brother, but he’s great most of the time. Almost like another parent, but without caring about the rules.”
“Oh yeah,” I said, nodding, “Do you have the answer to question 15 for math?”
She dug around in her backpack, flipping the pages. “It’s 18.”
“Where are we meeting for recess?” She called to us as we all started walking into the school.
“Swings,” I called back, “make sure to tell Amaya too.”
“Got it, Vali!”
I smiled, looking over to Jaden. We had the same teacher. She was okay, I guess. She wasn’t too pushy and didn’t give us too much homework, and that’s really all you can ask for in a teacher.
Come on, this person decided to spend their life teaching math and stuff. My kindergarten teacher was awesome, though. She always did arts and crafts with us and it was all just fun. But second grade is a lot more work. We do word study, math, and science before going to lunch, and then the best part of the day – recess.
“Ok, class, we’re doing a fun little spelling bee today, so get ready!”
A spelling bee? I didn’t even look at these words once, there’s no way I can spell them. Ehh, it’s fine. I’m sure not everyone else knows all the words either, it’s not a big deal. I totally forgot we’d even gotten a new word sheet. Now that I’m thinking about it, that was the day I came home to find a babysitter because my mommies were at the hospital to bring home my brother.
Jaden went first, and of course, he spelled it perfectly. He’s always the good kid.
“I bet you’re going in two more rounds,” he whispered to me and I rolled my eyes. There’s no way he knows. But sure enough, because the universe hates me right now, he was exactly right. I gasped, turning to him in surprise. He’s going to talk about this at recess forever now.
“Jaden, how – ” I was cut off by the teacher motioning for me to get up there.
“Ok, your word is…because.”
“That’s not right, Valentina, but good try! The correct way to spell because is b-e-c-a-u-s-e.”
I bowed for the class, giggling as I walked back to my seat.
“How did you know it would be my turn?” I whispered to Jaden.
“I didn’t,” he giggled.
“Sure,” I scoffed, looking back over to the teacher.
“Nobody notices me!” I moaned to my best friend as we walked out to the playground.
He crossed his arms, and started to tick off people. “I notice you, Emily notices you, Amaya notices you, and I bet the whole class knows you after that science experiment where you mixed the wrong things and it bubbled like a volcano.”
“I wanted to see what would happen,” I giggled, remembering the experiment, “but really, nobody ever notices me! If my mommies don’t notice me, who will?”
“That’s a lie! Come on, let’s play on the monkey bars today.”
“I gotta get Emily and Amaya then, cause I told them we’re going to the swings.”
“Oh yeah,” he said, “we can swing first.”
He ran off over to where I could already see Emily and Amaya playing.
“Hey, little girl?”
I looked up, crossing my arms at the teenager. “I’m not little!”
“Yeah, okay. What’s your name?”
“Valentina,” I said proudly. “What’s yours?”
“Tally. Did you say nobody notices you?”
“Yea. My moms care more about my little brother and sister than me.”
“Look…if you’re not happy with your life, change it.” She looked over to other girls who probably were her friends. “Bye, Valentina.”
“Come on, we’re trying to see who can jump the farthest,” Emily giggled, pulling me over to the swings.
“I bet I can do it,” I exclaimed, running over to the others. Today’s been great! Too bad I have to go home to my stupid family.
Just as we were able to start the swinging competition, Charlotte and her bestie walked over. Ugh, she’s the worst.
She’s a total suck up to the teachers and puts on the good girl act whenever an adult is around, but if there is no adult, it’s practically war! I glared as she passed by me and she automatically glared back.
“These are our swings,” she jeered as she walked up to me, even though I was still swinging. I jumped off and stuck my tounge out at her.
“What?! They are not! Did you buy them?”
“Well, no, but we always -”
“Then they aren’t yours!”
“Vali,” Emily whispered to me, “let’s just go.”
“So she can win?”
“So nobody gets in trouble. You don’t wanna get detention again, right?”
Oh, right. Detention. Apparently teachers don’t care that Charlotte’s literally evil and deserves to be yelled at. I guess the good things about my mommies being too busy is that they didn’t even notice the detention letter.
“Fine,” I finally said. I didn’t leave cause she deserved the swings or whatever – she definitely doesn’t. But I was being the bigger person by leaving and grown ups always say that’s the good thing to do. And then I could shove that in her face later.
“How do you do that?” Amaya asked with her eyes wide. I’d just sat on top of the monkey bars again. The teachers say it’s not saaafe but I’m eight years old! I can get on and off it just fine.
“I just can… Um, pull yourself up and then get your legs through, and sit up! She just started climbing up as the recess bell rang, and everyone ran the the doors. Everything was so boring until we finally got to leave – that meant I got to go to drama club. It’s the best part of my day besides recess.
“Hello kids, and welcome back to Drama Club,” Miss Alvone announced with a flourish of her hands. She’s the coolest adult ever, not boring like the other teachers. She isn’t married cause she doesn’t need a man (her words) and always dresses so bright and stylish. I bet everyone always notices her.
“As you all know, today is a very special day… the cast list is out!”
I grinned and turned my head to the big sparkly poster labeled CAST LIST. I practiced my lines every night and did everything Miss Alvone told me… I really want to be the lead! Nobody remembers the third dancing tree or whatever. It’s all about the main character. That’s who people remember!
“Go see what you got, and remember: Every role is equally important!”
Everyone was crowded around the list that I couldn’t even see it. Once some of them moved away I squeezed in, quickly reading the list. There was no way! No way! I’m the lead! It says so right there in big legit font for everyone to see. And the added bonus… now Charlotte can’t say my friends and I are losers, I’m the lead in the big school play! Tomorrow the swings are ours!