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The New Baby

What jealousy can do

Moon and Back Graphics
painting by Tom Sierak


                                            The New Baby.

   Josie and her little sister Pippa, stood at the lounge room window watching for their father's car, he had gone to the hospital to pick up Mummy and their new baby brother, and they should be back soon.   

    Pippa was bouncing with excitement," I wish they would hurry", she said, giving an extra big bounce, and nearly knocking one of Mum's good vases off the coffee table.

    "Be careful," said Josie, "Mummy would be upset, if you broke that."

    Just then they saw the car being driven up the driveway.

    "They're here, they're here," squealed Pippa, as she raced to the front door to meet her parents.

    Gran came to the door of the lounge room, "Come on Josie, come and see you're baby brother," she said, taking Josie by the hand and walking to the front door.

    Mummy and Daddy were just coming in the front door as Josie and her grandmother got there, Mummy had the baby in her arms and Daddy bent down to pick up Pippa, who was still bouncing up and down, squealing with delight.

    Let me see, let me see, I want to see the baby." Daddy walked over to Mummy and let Pippa take a peak at her baby brother.

    "Ooooh," sighed Pippa in awe and was silent.

    Mummy leant down so Josie could have a look at the baby snuggled in her arms.

    Josie, looking at him said, "He is so red and wrinkly."

    Walking back to her bedroom, Josie thought, "He's so ugly. I wish Mummy hadn't got him, I suppose things will be different round here now, Mummy will be so busy with the new baby she won't have time for Pippa and me, we will be forgotten."

    Josie didn't realize it but she was feeling jealous, she didn't like the way she was feeling but she couldn't help it, she wanted to love her baby brother just like she loved her mother and father and Pippa.

    Josie thought to herself, "I really do want to love baby Matthew, but I just don't seem to be able to."

    Grandma stayed for another week, to help with Josie and Pippa and the housework while Mummy looked after the baby, then she went back to her own home and Grandpa.

    Pippa was always wanting to help with the baby and Mummy would let her watch while she was bathing or changing him, sometimes she would let her put some powder on him.

    Mummy was always trying to get Josie to come and join in, but Josie always stood back.

    "I wish it wasn't school holidays," thought Josie, "I can't wait for school to start again, then I wouldn't have to be here all day and watch Mummy and Daddy and Pippa going ga ga over the baby all the time."

    Pippa couldn't understand why Josie wouldn't have anything to do with their baby brother, "Come and look at him," she would say, he's so lovely and he grabs my finger

when I put it near him, and he smiles at me too."

    But Josie would just turn away and tell Pippa to be quiet.

    "I wish that he had never come," Josie would say to herself, as she lay in bed at night, "I wish he would go away, things were much better before he came".

    All this jealously and resentment was eating away at Josie, she was having bad dreams at night, that woke her, and she couldn't get back to sleep for a long time afterwards, She would lie on her back in the dark, staring at the ceiling, thinking, "I wish Mummy would come in, but she won't because she has Matthew now."

    Josie wasn't eating much either and was losing weight and looking quite pale, her mother was getting worried about her and kept asking her what was wrong, but Josie didn't say anything.

    Mrs.Andrews even took Josie to the doctor, but of course he couldn't find anything wrong with her.

    Of course if Josie would only tell her mother what was troubling her, she would soon learn that she had nothing to be jealous about, her mother and father loved her just as

much as they ever did.

    One morning, when Matthew was nearly two months old, Josie woke up early with a strange feeling that something was wrong; she hopped out of bed and went into the kitchen to find Mummy, but she wasnt there.

    Grandma was there and she looked like she had been crying.

    "Come here, Josie sweetheart, I have something to tell you." said Grandma.

    Josie felt a queer, sick feeling in her stomach, as she ran to her grandmother.

    "What's wrong Grandma, what's wrong, is it Mummy, or Daddy? Josie knew it wasn't Pippa, because she was asleep in her bed in their bedroom.

    Suddenly she new, and looking up at her grandmother with big frightened eyes, she whispered "It's the baby, it's Matthew isn't it Grandma?

   "Yes, sweetheart," said Grandma, putting her arms around Josie. "He was suddenly taken very sick last night and Mummy and Daddy had to rush him to the hospital, they rang me to come and look after you and Pippa."

     "It's my fault, it's all my fault," sobbed Josie, tears pouring down her face. "I wished he had never come, I wished he wasn't here and now my wish is coming true. Oh Grandma!

What will I do?

     Josie's body was shaking with heartbroken sobs, her grandmother held her closely until the sobs subsided, then taking some tissues wiped the tears from her face.

    "It's not your fault, Josie, you mustnt think that, it's not anybodies fault that Matthew is sick, these things happen sometimes to test us, so stop blaming yourself. That's a good girl, "said grandma as she gently rocked the frightened little girl.

    Josie took a tissue and blew her nose and looked at her grandmother with pleading eyes. "But what can I do grandma, how can I help, how can I make up for the awful things I have been thinking and feeling? I really hated my little brother," gulped Josie.

    "Pray," said Grandma. "Let's kneel down right now and ask Jesus to forgive us, and to make baby Matthew better."

    Josie knelt  down beside her grandmother at the kitchen table and prayed. "Oh Jesus, please Jesus, please forgive me for hating Matthew and for all the awful things I have been thinking and please make Matthew better and bring him home so I can love him."

    Josie and her grandmother remained kneeling in prayer for a while, then got up and holding hands walked into the lounge room and sat down.

    "We won't tell Pippa that Matthew is sick just yet," Grandma said breaking the silence.         "Do you want something to eat Josie? You must be hungry.

     "No thanks Grandma, I'm not hungry, I will have a drink of hot Milo though, thank you" answered Josie.

     When Pippa woke up, her grandmother told her that her mother and father had taken Matthew to the hospital as he wasnt very well and she was there to look after her and Josie.

      Little Pippa was only four years and didnt fully understand the seriousness of the babys illness.

    Josie played with Pippa all morning but her thoughts were with the baby all the time and she kept praying under her breath. "Please Jesus, please, please make Matthew well and I promise I will try to be a good girl. Thank you Jesus."

    After lunch, Grandma put Pippa down to sleep and she and Josie sat in the lounge room, Josie curled up beside her grandmother on the big chair, and Grandma read to Josie from the Bible.

    Josie drifted of to sleep, it had been an exhausting day for a young child and she hadn't been sleeping well for weeks either.   

    The ringing of the telephone, shattered Josies sleep ,she looked up, wondering where she was for a second.

   Grandma was hurriedly getting up to answer the phone.

   Josie held her breath. "Was this the hospital ringing, did they have good news or bad news; please Jesus, let it be good news," ran her thoughts.

    It seemed such a long time before grandma came back from the kitchen where the phone was, but at last she was back.

    Josie looked at her Grandmother, heart pounding; grandma was smiling. "It's good news, sweetheart, that was your father ringing from the hospital, Matthew is out of danger but will be kept in the hospital overnight under observation.

Mummy and Daddy will be bringing him home from the hospital tomorrow," Grandma told her laughing happily.

    Laughing, Josie ran to her grandmother and threw her arms around her waist, "Oh! I am so glad, Grandma, my prayers have been answered, thank you Jesus, thank you with all my heart."

    Josie began to dance round the room she was so happy.   

     What are you laughing for Josie?" came Pippa's sleepy voice. "I'm hungry, I want something to eat, what are you jumping about like that for Josie?

    Josie grabbed Pippa and danced her round the room until she was laughing too, they danced until they both dropped, still laughing into grandmas lap.

                                             A Happy Ending.





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