Tyler lay down on the slippery baby-toy cushions, sighing in relief. Ever since the little brats Mitchell and Kevin were brought over by their mother, Tyler had had no peace. “If you don’t go to college, then you’ll be helping out around the house!” his mother’s voice rang in his ears. “And that means watching your baby brother and Sue’s kids while I go out with your step father.”
Ahh, geez, Mom, Tyler thought resentfully. Who went to visit their new husband in the middle of the day? Dating was for evenings, right? If they went out at night, I’d only have to watch Jordan but NO… Mom and Todd have to be different.
He’d spent the whole morning changing diapers, feeding babies, and cajoling the brats to sleep. Well he’d finally done it, and gotten his brother’s eyes to close and his body relax between Mitchell and Kevin’s. And now it was time for Tyler’s relaxation.
Tyler’s step-father, Todd, owned an auto-repair shop and frequently brought home pamphlets since their interest in cars and Tyler’s mom were about the only similarities the two of them shared. Todd had brought home a new mini-newspaper just last night, “Wheels for You”, but hadn’t had the chance yet to share it with his step-son. Well, Tyler was in no mood to wait. Todd would surely not make it home before 8 o’clock that evening.
So Tyler retrieved the magazine from his step-father’s study and flipped through it’s pages, feeling content. The minutes passed by slowly, drowned in tire repair tips. He didn’t even notice when the front door slammed.
”Tyler? Tyler James, where are you? Oh Jesus.”
Unbeknownst to Tyler, who sat oblivious in his pamphlet, all three babies had roused themselves and were now crying for food. Of course, Tyler hadn’t jerked himself out of it before his mother came home.
”What in the Hell are you doing?” His mom stood in the doorway, holding three squirming babies under her arms. “I leave you in charge and you ignore your brother?”
”I didn’t want to be in charge,” Tyler snapped, annoyed at being interrupted while in the middle of an article.
”Tyler, you put that thing down right now and take the twins. Now, young man,” she growled when her son sat, defiant.
With a groan, Tyler got up and retrieved Mitchell and Kevin. His mom put Jordan at his feet. “Now you watch these babies until Sue comes back, and then tonight you’re in charge of bathing Jordan and putting him to bed!” Before Tyler could respond, the door slammed behind his departing mother.
Ahh, Hell, Tyler thought with another groan. Maybe I’ll just ignore the brats until I’m done with taking care of me! He placed the twins at his brother’s side and jumped back onto the cushions.
But he hadn’t even opened his pamphlet to the right page when- PLOP! Something large and heavy fell onto his leg. Tyler looked down and saw his brother playing with the folds of his pants.
”Get away, Jordan!” Tyler tried to shake him off but his half-brother had a strong grip, much like his father. Suddenly, Tyler felt a tugging at his sleeve and turned to see Mitchell- wasn’t Mitchell the one in the white sweater?- pulling at his clothes, as though trying to open a door. The other twin- Kevin- was now leaning against his thigh.
Ahh, Hell, Tyler thought again, knowing that if he harmed the babies by shaking them off, his mother would never forgive him.