Thursday 16 June 2022

Jake and His Sister by Judith Skilleter a Belgian beer

Jake has a sister, she arrived four weeks ago and life has not been the same since. Her name is Jemima and Jake is fed up

He feels he has been forgotten, he is not heard and attention that was once his and his alone is now going somewhere else – to someone else. He is thoroughly fed up. Even Grandma Mac, who is his favourite person in the whole world, came down from Scotland to meet Jemima and didn’t seem to have much time for him. Jake noticed that Grandma Mac took every chance to kiss and cuddle Jemima while play time with Jake was far less than usual. Jake is very cross with Grandma Mac. If it is possible he is even more fed up.

Grandma Mac and Gampy Mac are Jake’s mum’s mum and dad and they visit often. But they always go home after a few days. They are visitors. They stay in the spare room and do not even properly unpack their suitcases. Jake hoped that Jemima might just be a visitor and he asked Gampy Mac when Jemima would be going back- or at least going somewhere else, going away. Gampy Mac laughed at Jake and ruffled his hair and said “Jake you are so funny.” But Jake wasn’t being funny at all and if he tried hard he could not be more fed up.

Jake is also confused and is wondering how Jemima got into his mummy’s tummy and then how did she get out of it.  He had watched his mummy’s tummy grow and he had been told that a new person was inside. That was so scary! Had he been inside his mummy’s tummy? Was it dark and scary like his bedroom on dark nights? And how did she get out? Did she come out from where his mum does her pees or even from where his mum does her poos? Yuk Yuk Yuk. Might that be why she was born in hospital so the nurses and doctors could wash off the poo or pee so she wasn’t smelly anymore?

Or did she come out of his mummy’s belly button? Did that become a sort of zip fastener when she, Jemima, was ready to pop out?

So one moment when Jemima was asleep – not feeding or pooing or peeing or crying, all of which she does a lot- Jake asked his mum some very serious questions about where babies come from and when do they go away again. His mum had a book with pictures about how babies are made and how they came into the world and she showed it to Jake. It looked and sounded so horrible that Jake was sick all over the new rug. He told his mum that he would never have a baby, no way was he going to do that sort of stuff with his willy. It would hurt too much. Making babies looked very painful. He looked closely at his willy when he was in bed that night (no bed time story, Jemima was being fed and had just made a very pooey nappy) and just couldn’t imagine how it could do all that the pictures said.  He shuddered and put his willy safely back into his pyjamas.

His mum also told Jake that Jemima would not be going away – she was here to stay, she was his new sister.  There was that word again, sister. His friend Tom has three older sisters and Tom says they are all bossy and horrible and used to dress him up in pink dresses and ribbons. Jake hopes that Jemima won’t do that sort of thing to him.

But sometimes Jemima is OK. He is allowed to hold Jemima when she is not pooing or peeing or feeding and he is very impressed when she does all of these at the same time. When he holds her she is almost nice and not at all smelly, Jake thinks she smells like warm buttered toast. Jemima sometimes holds his finger and looks straight into his eyes. Jake thinks Jemima likes him – and perhaps, one day soon, he will like her. She might even play trains with him. That would be so good. Jake is not quite so fed up and puts his favourite train beside her in her cot.

About the author  

Judith Skilleter is new to writing fiction after a long career in social work and teaching. Her first children's novel The April Rebellion, has recently been published. Judith is a Geordie, who settled in East Yorkshire 45 years ago and is married with 3 grandchildren

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