Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 19, 2000

A long wait for a helper for father


My name is Joleen. When I was five years old, I lived on a farm with my mother and father and my little sister, Melanie.

Our farm had cows, goats, and pigs. Every morning, Melanie and I got up early and went to the barn with Mother and Daddy to help with the chores. I couldn't wait until I was big enough to help Mother milk the cows.

After the chores were done, we went back into the house to eat our breakfast.

One morning at breakfast, Mother asked, "How would you girls like to have a baby sister or brother?"

Melanie said, "Let's have both of them. Then, I can play with one, and Joleen can play with the other."

But Daddy said, "I think we will only ask for one baby. There are many other families waiting for babies, too."

I asked my mother if she would rather have a baby boy or a baby girl.

She said, "I think a baby boy would be nice. Then, he could help your father with the work in the barn when he gets older, and you girls can be my helpers."

So, we decided to put our order in for a baby boy to come to live with us.

Soon, fall came and I started school. I loved going to school, but Melanie was too little to go with me, and she was very lonely at home all day without me to play with her.

"Can we go get our baby boy tomorrow?" Melanie asked Mother one day. "I need someone to play with."

"Not yet," Mother answered. "There is a lot of things left to do to get ready. We have to buy some clothes for the baby, and get a crib, and some other things, too."

We waited and waited for that baby to come. It would be great to have a little boy to help Daddy with the farm work so we could be Mother's helpers.

Soon, the field work was done. One morning, Mother said to Daddy, "If you have time, maybe we could get the baby tomorrow."

I went to school the next morning, and Melanie went to Grandma's. When I came home, Daddy told me that our little baby boy had arrived.

"Mother has to stay with your little brother for a few days, but they will both be home soon," Daddy said. "If you girls are very good, we can go and visit Mother and the baby tomorrow night."

Well, when we went to see my little brother, I couldn't believe how tiny he was.

"I think its going to be a very long time before that boy will be able to work in the barn with Daddy," Melanie said.

"I guess we will have to help Daddy longer than we figured," I agreed.

When Mother came home with my little brother, he seemed to cry all the time. He was so tiny, and my mother spent a lot of time taking care of him.

"Maybe we should have ordered a little girl instead," Melanie said.

"We just have to wait for him to grow up," I told her.

"I think its going to be a very, very long time," Melanie said.

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