As Mike tried asking her for a cookie while she was huddled over her sewing machine, Elly yelled "Can't you go bother someone else for a few minutes?! I'm trying to get things done!!" Well, at least he'd stopped asking "Who else is there?" and saying "You're always doing something." That just made her madder. One of the first things Mike Patterson could remember was that his mother never seemed to have time enough in the day for him, never wanted to listen to what he had to say and never wanted him to do anything fun. He couldn't do anything without being told that Mommy is busy, Mommy needs time to herself or that Mommy is very disappointed. He couldn't speak without being told that Mommy will not be argued with and yes, you are arguing, wait until your father gets home. Every so often, though, he'd seen a look in her eyes that confused him. That's because she looked almost as if she were frightened of him and wanted to run away from him. That was impossible, though. She was so big and he was so little...how could she be scared of him? It was as confusing as asking himself why Daddy was always angry with him for doing stuff he did. One time, he'd smacked some kid for calling him a name and Daddy spanked him and said that that would teach him not to hit people. Mike couldn't talk to him without being told that he was arguing either...except, of course, when he was being told that mommies have things inside them called 'hormones' that make them act all weird and want things that they shouldn't really want. Things like jobs that keep them away from the home, for instance. Maybe that was part of why she was always mad. These weird hormone things must be what made her hate him so much when she was supposed to be a real mom and love him and not yell about how he was an accident who brought chaos into her life because he hated to see her smile. How was that possible? Everyone knew that grown-ups couldn't laugh or smile unless they were Uncle Phil.
He might not have had much in the city neighborhood where he lived but at least he could count on being looked at. Then the bad thing happened. The thing that made his life such a mess. Mommy and Daddy were having a new baby without asking him if he'd wanted to share anything. Sharing. Humph. What that meant was that Mommy swooped down and took stuff he had away without asking him if he wanted to give it away and not caring anyway. The baby this, the baby that. The little creep wasn't even born yet and already they loved him more. All of Mommy's friends said how great it was to have a new baby instead of a dumb, boring old four year old so he wished and wished that the stork would not visit.
But the stork did visit and he was a fink. That's because instead of a kid brother he could actually play with, they'd had a dumb, weak, silly girl. Everyone knew that girls couldn't do anything, Dad and Mom and television said so. What made things worse is that he could do things and be ignored while all she did was sit there and everyone loved her and hated him because he wasn't the baby any more. He was just some kid that they didn't have time for and who had to work and work and work and never play or talk or complain about leaving all his old friends behind because they moved all the way into the country. Heck, he couldn't even play with his new friend Lawrence without the little pain tagging along to remind him that he wasn't free. Not that having Lawrence around was all the way a good thing. That's because his mom and Lawrence's mom would talk about how hard it was to be a parent and how bad a kid he was and how he tied her down.
About the only good thing besides Lawrence was the dog that the nice, friendly lady gave them even though Mom said No like always. It was always the same. He'd ask for something, she'd look scared for a second and then yell No. Scary weird girl hormones. It must be why Deanna down at his kindergarten couldn't take teasing like one of the guys. Ah, well. At least there, he could run and play and talk. The lady there didn't like it either but at least she didn't yell.