“I think I’m in trouble,” Mary said to Katie Sue. “I neglected to tell my parents something.”
Katie Sue patted her friend on the shoulder and replied, ” Just tell them it slipped your mind, but you’re telling them now.”
“This is big thought Katie Sue. It requires a lot of responsibility to pull it off and I just blew it. They won’t let me go ahead now – I’m sure!”
“Mary stop being so silly! They love you, and spoil you rotten, too, by the way!! They’ll forgive you. Do you want me to be there when you tell them?”
“No.” She hesitated, thinking that maybe it would be good too have someone there, for backup. “No, I’ll do it.”
“As soon as we sit down for supper.” Mary hung her head, already playing out and dreading the scene.
Six o’clock rolled by. Mary had warmed the meal and set the table. She wondered why she had done that. It was sure to set off alarm bells. Her mom came home first. She did a double take at the table setting. “Someone must be hungry tonight! How was your day Mary?’
“Pretty good. How about yours?” she asked.
“OK. Dad called me to say that he’s going to be late. Did you want to go ahead and eat?”
“Um, well, sure. ” she replied, thinking that she may have bought some time. Maybe she could tell her mom first. She played with different way to say it:
“Mom, I have something that I neglected to tell you..”
“Mom I have something I wanted to tell you and dad – together…”
“Hey, Mom, guess what? I have a surprise I was going to tell you and dad about at supper…”
Which way should she tell her? Being seven was tough! She wish that she would have said something when she first found out. The phone rang, taking Mary out of her thoughts. “Mary! it’s for you.” her mother said. As she drew closer to the phone, her mom said,”It’s Katie Sue.”
“Hey Katie Sue, what’s up?” Mary tried to sound light.
“So – how did it go?”
Mary tried to muffle the phone. “Didn’t do it yet. Dad’s going to be late.”
“Well tell your mom. She’s cool.”
Speaking louder, Mary said, “OK, great, I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
“Wha-” the phone went dead. “Really?” Katie Sue stood there looking at the phone, dumbfounded.
“That was short.” Her mom observed. Mary didn’t respond.
Dad, whistling, entered the door. He was not too late after all. “Good evening, lovely ladies! I’m starved! It looks like I made it just in time.”
OH NO! Mary was going to have to ‘fess up. Chatter was light at the table during the meal. However, Mary’s parents noticed that she seemed troubled. As she toyed with her meal, Mary was still trying to figure out the best way to ease into the story.
Finally, she started. “Mom, Dad, I…I have to tell you something. I neglected to tell you, that, well I have been given something from school.” Her parents immediately started thinking about what would so bad to cause her to act like this, and not get a call from the school. ” I…I should have told you as soon as I found out, but I was afraid.” The tension was starting to build. ” I n-neglected to say…” Oh why wouldn’t she just say it already! ” that, well, that I am going to have a hamster.”
You could almost hear the air go whoosh, as her parents, breathed again. They turned to face each other and chuckled softly. “Mary, Mary!” her father started, “A hamster! Of all the things that I was thinking, I did not expect the word hamster to come out of your mouth!” He pretended to be stern. “Young lady, what made you neglect to tell us?”
“I know that I can look after it, Dad! I didn’t mean to wait so long. I was sure you would say no and I already told Mr. Fitzgerald I would take it and you said yes and…” Her Dad interrupted. “You know Mary, that pets require responsibility, and your neglecting to tell us, does not go in your favour.”
Mary hung her head. She knew it. It was just how she thought it was going to happen. Now what? She had to tell her teacher that she lied. Oh, why did she do that?
While her head was down, Mom winked at Dad. He responded. “Well Mary, I hope you understand that if we agree. You will need to help with chores, no complaining, keep your pet clean, watered and fed. Most of all, you need to be sure that it does not escape!! I do not want rodents running through the house. Do we have a deal?”
Mary lit up! “Oh! Yes! Dad thank you – thank you! It comes with the cage and everything! Mr. Fitzgerald said that I can bring the babies back to school anytime!”
“Babies?” Mom and Dad chorused.
“Oh! Did I neglect to tell you she’s pregnant?”
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