This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
The first four months after Charles (Charlie) and Sarah were born, all they did was cry. The only time they did not cry was when the twins were eating. They had to be held and rocked constantly.
Vanessa went from someone who did not crumble under pressure to a sleep-deprived, barely functioning zombie. As much as she loved her children, there were times when she wanted to walk out the front door and never come back. Often Vanessa felt the dark tentacles of depression try to creep into her life, and it was a struggle to not fall over the edge and be consumed by the stress of taking care of four children. Vanessa felt like a failure because nothing she did could make Charlie and Sarah feel better. Bryson attempted to be as suppositive of his wife as he could. Bryson cut back on his hours at work to pick up the slack at home with the older boys. Bryson’s parents kept Joshua and Nate more often at their house, or one of Bryson’s sisters would have them.
As Sarah and Charlie got older, the bouts of crying stopped. Sarah was feisty, and she pushed the limits whenever she could. Her first word was “no”. She had perfectly choreographed temper tantrums that she performed whenever she did not get her way.
Charles, who by the age of two was called Charlie, was sneaky and liked to play mind games with his siblings and parents. Since Sarah was very outspoken and loud, the adults focused on her and what she was doing a lot of the time. Charlie learned to do his dirt quietly and in a way that would make his parents think it was Sarah that did it. The main issue that Charles’s parents had with him was his obsessive curiosity about the world around him.
During Charles’s potty-training days, he was fascinated with flushing the toilet. That was fine, but then he started putting things in the toilet to watch them go down the drain. One afternoon, Vanessa was making lunch for the kids when she noticed that it was a little too quiet. She went into the hallway and saw that there was water all over the floor. She followed the water trail into the bathroom, where Charlie was standing with his socks soaked from the overflowing toilet. There were rolls of toilet tissue unraveled all over the floor. Charlie was in the process of shoving a roll of toilet tissue into the toilet. As Vanessa screamed for Charlie to move away from the toilet, he smiled, grabbed the toilet handle, and flushed once again.
Sarah and Charlie were a babysitter’s worst nightmare, but there was a child in the neighborhood that all babysitters feared more than they did Sarah and Charlie, and that child was Anna Rose. She had the appearance of an angel because of her big beautiful brown eyes, but it did not take long to realize that she was the devil’s spawn. She made Charlie look like the poster child for good behavior.
To be continued next week