7 Months Old:
Today, that noisy woman who calls herself my mom tried getting me to say "Mama."
I laughed in her face and gurgled out," Da-da."
She sighed, but quickly recovered from the disappointment. "No, I'm Mama. Can you say Mama? Maa-maa?"
Drool dribbled from my open mouth as I stared at her in disbelief. Did she really think that by saying that word slowly it would make me want to repeat it? Of course I knew she was Mama. Unlike most babies, I was a genius, birthed by the smartest woman on the planet. I knew everybody's names, including my own! But why would I start talking now when all my needs were met by simply crying?
That noisy woman kept trying to get me say "mama," but I held strong and didn't give in to her demands. How dare she tell me - a princess- what to do! I sucked on my thumb and allowed myself to get distracted by everything else in the room. I was over this conversation and wanted her to know that.
"We'll try again tomorrow," Mom mumbled, her head hanging in defeat. She scooped me up in her arms, stood up from the floor, and started walking in the direction of my bedroom.
"Wait, I'm not ready to go to bed!" I screamed, but all that came out were a couple of panicked grunts. I was still inexperienced when it came to talking.
Mom patted me on the back to comfort me." It's bedtime, honey. The book says I have to keep you on a sleep schedule." Cradling my head, she gently laid me down in my crib.
"I'm not ready for bed! Pick me up at once!"
Furious, my face turned red and my little hands balled into fists. Ooh, I so wanted to pull on her hair and scream in her ear.
Mom twisted something on the machine hanging above my crib. Gentle music began to play, and the baby animals floating above my crib started to move in a continuous circle. It was oddly soothing.
"Nighty night, Bulla," Mom whispered, her voice sounding so far away as I became entranced by the musical spell that encouraged to me to sleep.
12 months old
Today was the most frightening day I've ever experienced.
Mom bought me a poofy pink dress to wear, which was itchy and difficult to walk in.
"Take this off at once!" I screamed, but all that came out was an enraged cry. Mom laughed at my misery and took pictures. She didn't even have the decency to turn off the camera flash! The couches sitting to my left and right blocked me from escaping. Behind me were the windows that overlooked the backyard. I glared at the blue haired woman that was my mother. Oh, how I wished I could say words other than "Da-da," "Ba-ba" and "Hi."
"Happy Birthday Bulla," Mom cheered, satisfied with the photos. She leaned forward and kissed my head. I quickly wiped away the kiss. She didn't notice. " You look so cute today! Aww, I have to show your Grandma these pictures! I'll be right back."
Mom left me alone in the living room in search of Grandma. The living room was baby proofed. She was confident I would be okay on my own for a while.
I stopped crying about the dress. Something shiny and musical had caught my attention. I crawled, then walked to the end of one of the couches. There, forgotten on the cushion, was a cell phone! And it was ringing!
It took both of my pudgy hands to lift the phone to my ear. Inside the phone I heard a familiar voice. It was Grandpa!
I giggled. Why was Grandpa hiding inside a little phone? Was that even possible? I wanted to know what else the cell phone could do, so I slapped at the phone screen. I had seen Mom and Brother go quiet and tap their phone screens with their fingers a lot, which looked boring since the phone never made noises or "mooed" like a cow.
After hitting the screen I held the phone to my ear. It made purring noises at first, then a woman's voice spoke.
" 9-1-1 what's the location of your emergency?"
I squealed into the phone. It was amazing that more people other than Grandpa could hide in the phone! How did they get in there?
"Please stay on the line. I'm sending help right away." The woman in the phone said after I had stopped squealing. Good. I'm glad someone could understand me. I really didn't want to spend another minute stuck wearing an uncomfortable dress.
I fell down on my butt, startled by the vicious tone of Brother's voice. He rarely spoke to me, let alone yelled. Brother stomped over to where I sat, snatching the phone out of my hands.
"Hey, I was playing with that!" I gurgled, making more distressed grunting noises.
Brother held the phone in the air with two fingers. He made a disgusted face." Eww, you drooled on it." He wiped the phone off on his shirt.
I raised my hands in the air, hoping he'd give it back to me since he clearly didn't want it anymore.
"NO! DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH MY STUFF AGAIN!" Brother shouted, scaring the crap out of me. He had never shouted at me before. I didn't know what to do.
"What did you do to her?" Mom demanded, rushing into the room. She picked me up and searched my body for any wounds, only letting out a breath when she saw that I was unharmed. My pain was emotional, not physical.
"I...I didn't..." Brother tripped over his words.
Still screaming, I pointed my finger at Brother, hoping mom would understand that I wanted the cell phone in his hands. Brother glared at me like I had betrayed him somehow.
"I didn't do anything to her! She had my cell phone and I took it away, is that a crime? Are you going to put me up for adoption now?"
"Why would I put you up for adoption? " Mom sighed.
" Ever since Bulla was born you've only cared about her. It's like I don't exist to you anymore!"
" That's ridiculous. Of course I care about you, Trunks. I love you. I'm sorry if it feels like I've been ignoring you, but Bulla is a baby and she needs more attention-"
The doorbell rang. Still holding me in her arms, Mom walked away from Brother - away from the cell phone - to answer it. I screamed louder. Three people in costumes were at the door. Mom stiffened as one man pointed a toy gun at her. I instantly stopped crying. The mood in the room had shifted.
"Don't move!" The man pointing the toy gun at mom shouted.
The other man pointed his toy gun at Brother. It was funny seeing brother raise his hands in the air like he wanted to be picked up. Silly Brother. He was too big to be carried!
The woman wearing the same blue costume as the men gently took me out of my mom's arms. I laughed a lot when the strangers in costumes made Mom and Brother lay on the floor while they searched the house for someone. Suddenly, I remembered that these people were sent to help me.
I pointed at the cell phone laying next to Brother, gibbering madly to the woman holding me, hoping she'd give me the phone. After a few minutes, the woman returned me to my mom, and all of them started laughing about something.
"Dad would've given me the cell phone if he was here. He always does what I want," I pouted after the strangers left.
Later in the day, Mom set me in my high chair at the table. Everyone I had met since being born was there, smiling at me. I was uncomfortable at first. What exactly did they expect me to do? Did they expect me to finally say "mama" or something? I wasn't sure if I was supposed to cry or smile back at them. My uncertainty grew as they started to sing:
"Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Bulla
Happy Birthday to you."
Just when I had made up my mind to cry, the singing stop. Some of the crowd gathered at my left parted, allowing Dad to walk through with a cake. I was mesmerized by the glowing pink candle on top of it. It was a tiny cake made just for me. Mom appeared moments later with a larger cake to share with the guests, but it didn't have a candle on it like mine did.
Dad gently placed the cake in front of me. He had forgotten that awesome things like candles were supposed to be kept away from curious babies like myself. I wasted no time reaching out for the candle.
"Vegeta, stop her!" Mom gasped.
The boy standing next to my high chair leaned forward and blew out the candle's flame before I could grab it. Stunned, I looked over at the boy. " Why would you do that?" The boy stared back at me with big, black, innocent eyes. I fell in love with him right away.
"Sorry, Bulla. You can't touch the candle. It would hurt," the boy said. I could never remember the boy's odd sounding name, but I recognized him as Brother's Friend. His hair always stuck out out in weird directions, and today was no exception.
I smiled at Brother's Friend. He wasn't trying to be mean to me. If Brother's Friend said that candle hurt then I believed him. I dug into the cake with both of my hands and started to eat.
"Hey! She's eating all the cake!" Kakkarot whined.
"That's her cake, Dad. Bulma is cutting the other cake right now, see?" Gohan responded.
The best part of my birthday happened when Mom set me down in front of a bunch of shiny boxes. Mom brought out her camera again. The camera flash went off every time I reached out for one of the shiny boxes. The shiny exterior of the box ripped with ease, exposing the nose of a toy. I stopped. Did all of these shiny boxes have toys hidden inside, and were they all for me?
"Do you need help?" Mom asked. She set her camera on the floor and crouched down beside me, ripping away the shiny exterior from the box I was working on. I gurgled and slapped her hand away. These were my presents, not hers!
Mom left me to tear away at the boxes on my own. The gifts were nice but I loved unwrapping them the most. Once I had unwrapped every present, I found a comfortable spot on the floor and went to sleep. It really didn't matter where I chose to sleep, somehow I always awoke in my crib.
I normally sleep through the night. Maybe there was a noise, or maybe I had sensed that I wasn't alone, whatever the case, I awoke alone in my crib. It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. If not for the nightlight plugged into the wall near my crib, I never would've seen Brother standing there. He had been watching me sleep.
Did he have a bad dream?
Whenever I have a bad dream all I have to do is cry to summon Mom and Dad to my room. Brother didn't know how to cry. Of course he'd come to me for help. I picked up the soft teddy bear that always slept next to me and walked to the edge of my crib. The bars of the crib were too tall for me to lean over, so I shoved the teddy bear between the space of the crib's wooden bars, and held it out for Brother to take. He stared at the bear.
"This is Pinky. She will protect you while you sleep. She's my favorite, but you can borrow her tonight." My face pressed into the bars as I stretched my arm out to him." Here, take her."
Time passed slowly. Brother didn't try to take Pinky. My arm started to tremble. Pinky became too heavy to hold and she fell onto the floor. I laid flat on my stomach and tried to pick her up, but the distance between the crib and the floor was too much. I couldn't reach her.
I grunted." We don't have time to play games right now, Pinky! Brother needs you!"
"I hate you," Brother growled, filling the silence of the room with his voice. He spoke in a low tone so our parents sleeping in the next room wouldn't hear him, but I heard him perfectly." I wish you were never born."
I was so startled by his words and the hateful look in his eyes that my legs gave out, and I fell on my butt. Suddenly, everything made sense. I understood why Brother never played with me, never held me, or even spoke to me. He hated me the same way I hated eating peas.
"Why wasn't I enough? Why does Mom and Dad love you and not me?" Brother asked, his voice cracking with emotion. He looked so sad. I wanted to tell him that he was wrong, Mom and Dad loved him more. They let him have a cell phone and he got to play with cool toys that were off limits to me. All of this was way too complicated for a baby like me to say, so instead I muttered out one word to comfort him. It was all I could do for him in that moment. I hoped that my feelings would reach him once I said it.
"Bruh-ter," I said.
The hateful look returned to his eyes and his sadness vanished. "I'm not your brother," he snarled, bending over and picking Pinky up off the floor. I watched with uncertainty as Brother crossed to the other side of my room. He pulled back the curtains once he reached my window. Mom liked to open the window whenever it was nice out. She had forgotten to close it.
Brother dangled Pinky out the window, then looked back at me.
"No, don't!" I wailed, my face contorting in fear and pain as I reached through the crib's bars, desperately wishing he'd return Pinky to me. Brother smirked - offering me a glimmer of hope - then let go of Pinky.
Brother slammed the window shut, then ran out of the room. I knew I needed to scream a little bit longer for Mom or Dad to come, but what would be the point? Pinky was gone forever. There was nothing Mom or Dad could do to bring her back. I stopped screaming and settled back down in my crib. The baby animals hanging above my crib weren't moving, and there wasn't music playing tonight, but it was comforting having them there.
"Everyone loves me. Brother loves me. He was just mad at me for drooling all over his cell phone, that's why he dropped Pinky out the window. He'll forgive me tomorrow. He might even return Pinky to me. Maybe he'll feel bad for what he did and finally play with me. Brother loves me. He does, I know he does!" I closed my eyes. I was too tired to stay awake any longer. My last thought before sleep overtook me was:
"Brother loves me...right?"
Originally written: December 1st, 2012
Edited: March 17, 2021,