by Miki Yamuri and LilJennie
“Goodness, it’s a cold day out,” said Mommy TJ as she brought Baby Jennie inside. “I hope your heater is working, Lisa! Feels like it is.”
“Oh, yes, it’s working, thank goodness,” said Mommy Lisa. “Why don’t you set Jennie down in the playpen after you get your wraps off -- Miki’s already in there.”
TJ got Jennie’s coat off her, despite the little girl’s wiggling. Jennie was just trying to turn around and look in the playroom because she wanted to see her friend Miki. She could have just waited a moment, but that’s not how it works for toddlers. TJ picked Jennie up again and carried her into the playroom.
Miki stood up using one of the soft plush chairs and started clapping her hands as she shrieked, “JENNIES!”
Jennie’s eyes get big as she shrieks her pleasure back. Mommy TJ places Jennie on her feet, then Jennie toddles over to Miki and both girls hugged.
Miki said happily, “Is so goo ta sees u Jennies. Baby Missteded u tons over tha night.”
Jennie nodded, “Yups, Gotsa new kinna monser ta tells u about.”
Miki’s eyes get large as she whispers conspiratorially, “Really? What kinna monser?”
About that time, The girls heard Mommy TJ say, “Why in the world did you let it get so cold?”
Mommy Lisa replied, “Silly me, I left the freezer door open and all the cold got out.”
Both women giggle as they sit at the table and start to deal out cards.
Miki turned to Jennie and said excitedly, “Didja hear that?? A new monser loose. Is called a Cold.”
Jennie replied softly, “Isat why it gots so cold out?”
Miki nodded her head until her ponytails flew.
Lisa looked in on the girls and saw them whispering together in one of those ways they had just before they came up with some fanciful excuse for making a huge mess.
Lisa comments, “I think our princesses are about to get into something. I see them conspiring now.” TJ and Lisa giggle.
“The fridgy freezy thing is ‘posed ta keep the colds in?” Jennie was asking Miki. “And they all gotted out? Oh nooooo … now they gonna run around ‘n make it cold forever! But … hmm … that means more snow ta play in …”
Miki sucks her thumb thoughtfully as she thought of the large, wet snowflakes that had been falling most of the morning. Then, another thought came to mind as she remembered playing in the sprinklers and in the pool. If those cold thingys got out … it might not ever get warm enough to play in them.
Miki said with worry in her voice, “Ummm … is they out n makes it aww cold n stuffies ,,, we no getsa pway inna sprinklers or tha pool no more.” Then she pokes out her bottom lip adorably in a pout.
“Oooo you right!” said Jennie. “It could mean … no more swimmin … no more playin inna sandbox … and … no more ICE CREAM!” There were tears in Jennie’s eyes. “Miki! We gotsa do somepin!”
Miki said softly, “Lots catch colds alla time. Mus b easy … ya think?”
Jennie put her pacci in her mouth and sucked on it furiously as she thought about what a cold would possibly look like.
Miki clambered to her feet, then toddled into the kitchen and up to her mommy, Lisa.
Miki asked adorably with big innocent eyes, “Mommy, whatsa cold looks like … and how ya catchteded one?”
Lisa pats Miki softly on her thickly diapered bottom and replied, “Why in this world would you want to catch a cold? I know baby wouldn’t want to be sick.”
Miki’s eyes got bigger as she asked, “Ya meana cold makesa baby sick?”
TJ and Lisa giggle.
Lisa said, “Of course, a cold is mean to babies especially. Makes you have fevers and runny noses … “
Miki screeched in fear as she toddle/ran back to the playroom and Jennie. She quickly explained what her mommy had told her. Jennie’s eyes were as big as saucers by the time Miki had finished.
“You mean that if we catch the colds … we get sick? But if not … we no gets summer no mores!” Jennie looked very worried. “But Miki! The babys of the world is countin on us! If we no catch em … they all be sad!”
Jennie paused and thought a moment.
“Wait … what if there issa nother way to catch ‘em?” Jennie began again. “I mean … they can stay inna fridgy freezy thing an’ nobody gets sick right? So there gotsa be a way to catch em wifout gettin’ sick!”
Miki said softly, “We gotsa seea cold 4 we can catchted one ya kno.”
Jennie nodded as the girl’s eyes fell on a large bottle of baby powder that had inadvertently been forgotten on one of the low end tables by the sofa. They both smiled as Jennie said, “We can makesa huge clouda powders by th fridgy forozy thingy and catchted one cuz we sees its feet prints.”
Miki takes the bottle of baby powder and toddles into the kitchen with it. Lisa sees what Miki is doing too late as Miki pulls the top from the powder and throws her hand up, releasing a huge cloud of sweet smelling baby powder all over the refrigerator.
Lisa shrieks, “Baby, Just what in this earth are you doing?”
Miki turns around. She recognizes the tone in her mother’s voice, she’s about to get it … but good.
TJ gasps as she puts her hand to her mouth, her eyes are big with worry. She stands quickly and says loudly, “JENNIE!? I hope you aren’t getting into things!” She then leaves the kitchen table rapidly for the playroom.
What she found was astounding. There was Jennie in the playpen … or was it? There was a Jennie-like shape in there, wearing all of Jennie’s clothes, but when TJ approached, she found that it was actually a pile of dolls and plushies wearing Jennie’s outfit. That meant …
“Jennie? … Where’s my baby? Aren’t you getting cold?”
“M-m-me h-hopes s-s-so,” said Jennie from behind the door to the kitchen. She was wearing nothing but her diaper and was shivering. TJ looked around the door and gasped when she saw her. “G-g-gotta c-catch the c-cold n g-get it b-back inna f-fridge so it c-can be s-summer ag-gains,” she explained, teeth chattering.
“You’re going to catch cold, all right,” said TJ, “if you don’t wear your clothes! Come on, let’s get you dressed again.”
“B-but, the c-cold,” Jennie tried to say as TJ took her hand and pulled her to her feet, leading her back toward the playpen.
“Believe me, you don’t want a cold, baby,” she said. “And don’t worry about summer. It comes when it’s time for summer, every year,” she explained as she put Jennie’s sweatshirt and overalls back on her. “The cold weather goes away, and then, later on, the cold weather comes back, and it’s winter. You don’t have to do anything. There. Now keep those on! OK?”
“OK, Mommy,” said Jennie, hugging her.
“Now, I’m going back out to see how Lisa is doing,” TJ said. “I think she’ll be bringing Miki back in here, so just wait for a minute, OK?”
She lifted Jennie into the playpen.
“OK, Mommy,” Jennie said again. TJ left the playroom, leaving the door open.
Jennie looked at the doorway.
“The cold was gonna come in here n gets me,” she said quietly to herself. “But it was gonna see the fake me in here. Me really was hidin behinda door. It was gonna gets stuck inna playpen. But now …”
Now Jennie really was in the playpen. So she watched the doorway. She couldn’t see anything. The cold wasn’t coming -- or was it? Were colds invisible? It wasn’t very fair if they were, but so many other things were invisible -- tempers, fairies, sunbeams when they were hiding -- so it wasn’t out of the question for there to be invisible colds too.
What if the cold was coming in the door right now? What if it was right in front of her? What if it was right behind her? She turned around and saw noth --
“Jennieeee!” called Miki.
“AAAAAAAAAAA!” shouted Jennie, startled, spinning around to see Lisa carrying Miki back into the playroom.
Lisa put Miki back in the play pen. She said sternly as she shook her finger at them both, “Now, girls, I don’t want either of you doing anything strange like that again … Hear?”
Miki nods her head as she whimpers and pokes out her bottom lip.
Jennie asked, “Is u OK, Miki?”
Miki nods and said in a sniffly voice, “Unn huh. Am otays. Mommy done poppeded me onna butt tho. Put lotsa powders aww over tha freezie thingy sos isa cold gets out, can see its footies inna powders.”
Jennie nods as she replied, “Is we can seea cold, no gotsa worries about it no more.”
Unnoticed by TJ and Lisa, the freezer door slightly opens and a pair of ice blue beedy eyes peers out, then the freezer door silently closes … although not before the thing got some of the baby powder all over its head.
TJ said as she threw a King of Hearts on the table, “ Jennie was trying to catch a cold … or it’s what she told me.”
Lisa replied, “Miki said some fool thing like that too. Sometimes I wonder where they get some of those ideas of theirs.”
About that time, both women heard the freezer door shut softly. They both looked to the freezer just as a cold chill passed them by.
Lisa said, “Darn,” she pointed to a trail of powder leading from the kitchen towards the playroom, “I missed some of that powder. Give me a minute while I clean up that mess.”
Lisa gets up from the table and goes for the vacuum cleaner in the hall closet.
“It wouda been a goo plan, Miki,” Jennie said. “The cold was gonna come outta the frozey thing n come gets the fake Jennie … annit woulda maked feetyprints inna powder.”
“Uh huhs,” said Miki. “Then we coulda … umm … I dunno what. But then Mommy n TJ woulda seened the prints n then they no think we so sillys.”
“But how we gonna … umm … Miki … does you thinks it feel … cold in heres?” Jennie looked around.
Both girls began to feel the chill in the air. Their breath started steaming from their mouths as goose bumps rose on their exposed flesh. Jennie’s eyes get huge in fear as she sees some weird marks on the floor made from baby powder.
Miki noticed about that time and shrieked, “Jennies! Tha cold thingy is inna playroom!”
Lisa started the vacuum cleaner and caused the girls to shriek louder and hug each other in fear.
Lisa looks over in wonder as the girls hold each other tightly. She does notice that it has gotten to be a bit chilly in the playroom. Lisa leaves the vacuum running for a second as she went to the electric oil heater and turned it on. It was then, that the vacuum made a terrible noise, then stopped working. Miki and Jennie noticed that something in the bag was moving. They could see the imperceptible movement as it seemed to collapse.
Miki pointed at the bag on the vacuum and began to jump up and down as she screeched, “Mommy! Mommy! You cacheded tha cold! It inna thingy there.”
Jennie began to jump up and down as well. She could plainly see that the bag was moving. Both girls looked at each other and nodded. They knew that the cold was in the bag.
“What? There’s something in the bag?” Lisa asked, turning the vacuum off. She poked the bag with her hand. “It’s cold … did you girls spill any ice on the floor?” Both babies shook their heads no. “Of course not; where would you have gotten ice from the playpen?”
“Don’t lets it out Mommy!” urged Miki.
“Don’t be silly, Miki,” said Lisa. “Whatever it is, it’s staying in there. Unless it’s one of your toys. Then I’ll rescue it. But I made sure all the toys were in there with you two.”
The girls were making such a fuss, Lisa took the vacuum outside to the back yard. As she opened the bag, an extremely bitterly cold wind blew past her. A light snow started to fall at first, then became heavier as time passed. Lisa managed to empty the collection bag, and removed the yarn that had managed to entangle itself around the beater bar. By the time Lisa had finished and gone back inside, she could already feel that familiar tickle in the back of her throat.
“You were sure out there a long time,” said TJ as Lisa came in. “Sure you didn’t want any help?”
“Don’t be silly,” said Lisa. “You’re our guest. Besides, I just wanted to empty the vacuum out into this trash bag outside, so I wouldn’t get dust all over the floor.”
“Well, OK,” said TJ. “While you were out I made us some more hot chocolate. It’s the good kind, real chocolate, from Switzerland.”
“Oh thank you so much!” Lisa said, putting the vacuum away in its closet. “That’s going to feel so good …” Suddenly she sneezed.
“Uh-oh,” said TJ, “I hope you didn’t catch a cold while you were out there.”
“Oh nooooo,” said Jennie to Miki in the playpen. “Didja hears that Miki? Your mommy catched the cold!”
Lisa could feel it. She knew she was coming down with another cold. She quickly mixed up a batch of chamomile tea and honey … and added a dab of rum for good measure.
TJ laughed, “If the chamomile doesn’t help, at least the rum will make you feel good.” Both of them laughed as Lisa poured her a cup.
Miki said to Jennie, “Is mom catchteded da cold, how we gonna puts it back inna freezie thingy an keeps it from gettenaways?”
Jennie put her favorite paci in her mouth and sucked it furiously in thought. Neither girl could come up with a way to make sure the cold was locked up for good. Suddenly, Miki spotted the temperature control on the electric oil heater. She could feel the radiated heat it created.
Miki said, “What ifs … what keepsa cold lockteded awy … is heat?” Jennie stopped sucking on her paccie as her eyes got big. Miki continued, “See. when mommy turnded on that thingy … tha cold hid inna bag of that sucky thingy.”
Jennie glanced at the window that looked out the playroom into the back yard. All she could see was the heavy snow falling and the wind whipping it around.
Jennie said worriedly, “Is we no catchteded it an makes sure it lockteded up … we no ever gonna … gonna has … “
Both girls looked at each other with big eyes and screeched at the same time, “ICE CREAM!!”
They both wailed unhappily for a moment at the thought. Suddenly Jennie stopped. “Wait,” she said. “Only one way ta do it.” She whispered in Miki’s ear. Miki whispered back. They both giggled. The whispers and giggles continued.
A while later, Lisa and TJ came in to check on the two girls. Both of them had soaking wet diapers, of course, and each girl’s mommy, expecting this, had brought dry diapers to change them into.
When they were done, Lisa asked, “OK, you can go back to playing, but before we go, would you like mini hamburgers or chicken nuggets for supper?”
Miki and Jennie looked at each other. Then they turned to Lisa and said together, “Chickeeeeeen!”
“Pwease,” Miki added.
“Uh huh -- pwease,” Jennie added too. “Chickin.”
TJ and Lisa giggled. “You two are just so cute,” said TJ. “I think Jennie gets it from her Mommy.”
“Hey! Where do you think Miki gets it from?” said Lisa, elbowing TJ as they left the playroom.
“OK good!” said Jennie. “They gone -- and it not too cold in here yet so they dunno we pulled out the plug.” She looked over at the electric heater, its plug lying on the floor.
“Now we gotsa lissen careful,” said Miki. “I gotta call Mommy in here ta plugs it back in at justa rightest time.”
The girls felt the skin on the back of their necks begin to crawl. They quickly turned towards the window, what they saw was a pair of ice blue eyes set in an angry monster face staring in at them. It looked like a big blast of ice crystals and snow all swirled together.
Miki hugs Jennie tight as she pointed to the window. Jennie nods, “Yups, it commin fo us now.”
The creature vanishes from sight in a swirl of sub zero winds and swirling snow. It didn’t have long to wait as Lisa came and opened the back door to let the cat out for a bit and back in . Lisa smiled at the cat’s antics as it swatted playfully at the large snowflakes that were falling heavily in the wind.
The creature didn’t waist any time as it came in the door on a swirl of frigid wind as Lisa shut the door.
“OK, I’m gonna get the chicken nuggets out,” came TJ’s voice from the kitchen.
“All right,” called Lisa, “I’ve preheated the oven, so it should be ready by now.”
Turning to the two girls, Lisa said, “It sure is chilly in here, girls; is the heater -- now, what in the world? How did the plug fall out?”
Lisa reached down to plug in the heater, just as Jennie could see down the hallway that TJ was opening the door to the freezer. At the same time, Miki saw a swirl of frost and snow hanging in the air behind Lisa’s back, looking at them with its icy blue eyes.
“Now, now, Auntie Lisa, now, Mommy, plug it in plug it in!” Miki and Jennie shouted quickly.
“OK, OK,” said Lisa as she plugged the heater in. “Don’t know what’s got you two in such a mood.”
The frosty swirl turned its eyes upon the heater and drew back, startled. It zipped out of the room and headed toward the coldest place it knew inside the house.
“Here we go,” said TJ, “they were buried under the ice cream. Won’t the girls be surprised later?”
She took the box of frozen chicken nuggets out and closed the freezer door. Scattering them quickly on a baking sheet, she opened up the oven and reached down to slide the baking sheet inside.
The icy swirl almost made it to the freezer, only to find the door shut right in front of it. It bounced off the door like a snowball that had missed its target, then pulled away, disoriented. Was that the freezer door? It looked like it. The icy swirl jumped toward this new door.
TJ closed the oven door and set the timer. “They’ll be done in about 20 minutes,” she called. She did not notice the panicked flashing blue eye-like lights that flickered against the glass window in the oven door.
TJ stopped and slightly looked over her shoulder as she left the kitchen. She wasn’t real sure, but she could have sworn she heard a noise of some kind. She takes a quick glance around, before returning to the table and having some of the hot Chamomile Lisa had made.
Through the oven view glass, the creature melted and evaporated as the temperature rose to 400 within. The wonderful aroma of the chicken nuggets began to fill the air.
Miki let Jennie out of the embrace they had been sharing and slowly climbed out of the playpen. She slowly toddled down the hall to the kitchen. She could see the small puddles where the melting creature had been. Miki returns to the playpen and tells Jennie everything she saw.
“Do you thinks … we did it?” Jennie asked Miki. “Did we … catch that cold?”
“Guess there only one way ta knows,” said Miki.
Once dinner was done and the two baby girls were in their high chairs with their bibs on, Miki asked, “Mommy? Is you feelins OK?”
Lisa turned and looked at baby Miki with a strange expression on her face. She thought about how she felt, and to her amazement, she felt normal. Her throat didn’t have that scratchy dry feeling and her nose wasn’t running anymore.
Lisa replied softly, “I’m feeling wonderful. Especially since I have 2 beautiful little girls like you to keep me on my toes.”
Jennie and Miki giggle as TJ lifted the highchair tray and lifted them out and set them on their feet. After a quick face cleaning and hand cleaning, the girls toddled off to the playroom once again.
Miki says gleefully, “We done saveded warm days for alla babies.”
Jennie nods, “An now can play inna sprinklers n go dig inna sand turtle.”
The girls looked at each other for an instant before they both screamed at the same time, “AN HAS ICECREAM!!”
Lisa said to TJ, “I think the girls want some ice cream. I can hear them screeching it.”
TJ looked out the window at the swirling snow and shook her head, “Only our girls would want ice cream on one of the coldest days of the year.”
The women looked at each other before they started giggling. Lisa began to deal the cards once again.
~~The End ~~