Usuki Singing Stars #17: Know What's Best for Jhoud
This is dedicated to Invaderlei and her adorable baby Aisha Jhoud!
"Here comes the ball, Jhoudie!" Cuddles said as he gently rolled a red rubber ball towards his cousin.
Jhoud eagerly crawled towards it and grabbed it with both hands. "Look Cuddles, I got it!" The baby Aisha cheered happily.
"Hooray for Jhoud!" Cuddles cheered. The snow Bruce had been having fun with his little baby cousin ever since Auntie Lei dropped him off yesterday. Jhoud was to stay with Snaw and his pets while Auntie Lei visited Faerieland for the weekend.
"What can we play now, Cuddles?" asked Jhoud.
"Uh... oh, let's play with my bocks!" Cuddles suggested. "You want to make a new castle for Cuddles Jr?" Cuddles Jr was a snow Bruce plushie Jhoud owned and played with everyday.
Jhoud nodded eagerly. "Let's go get the blocks!"
"Okay!" said Cuddles and he immediately ran upstairs to retrieve his block box form his bedroom. Once he came downstairs, He ran into the living room and dumped all of the plastic blocks onto the floor and sat beside Jhoud. As Cuddles began the construction of the block castle Jhoud picked up a blue block and curiously placed it into his mouth.
"Oh Jhoud, be careful!" a voice cried nearby.
Jhoud took the block out of his mouth and looked up to see a frantic-looking pink Bruce run towards him. "Hi, cousin Sparkles!" he said happily. "We're making a castle for Cuddles Jr!" He pointed to the plushie, who was sitting on the sofa chair.
"Want to help us?" asked Cuddles.
Sparkles shook her head and began placing the bocks into its container. "You should have known better than giving little Jhoud something he could choke on!" she scolded Cuddles. "And these blocks can be very harmful if stacked too high."
"But we were just having fun," Cuddles insisted.
"Yeah, we were!" Jhoud insisted.
"Well I'm sorry," said Sparkles, "but as long as our sweet little Jhoud is staying with us, I will make sure he won't get hurt by anything or anyone in our neohome!"
Cuddles groaned loudly as soon as his sister had left the living room. Ever since Jhoud had first arrived to their neohome, Sparkles had done everything she could to baby-proof every room the best she could. She had placed every toy with small parts in the upstairs closet, placed rugs on the hardwood floors of the living room and dining room, and placed special plastic gates around the entryways with each room as if to keep Jhoud away. The worst part, however, was when Sparkles had dressed Jhoud up in a frilly nightgown and matching bonnet. The nightgown was always too tall and frilly for Jhoud to try to walk in and the bonnet always fell over her eyes. Luckily, though, he had his other cousin who would eagerly take the bonnet off so he could see. "So, what should we do now?" Cuddles asked. "We can't make Cuddles Jr a castle without blocks."
Jhoud sighed. "Sometimes I wish I wasn't a baby pet when I come over..."
Cuddles gave Jhoud a grin. "But you're such a sweet little baby-kins! The only reason Sparkles is doing this is because she's crazy."
"Yeah, she is!" Jhoud agreed.
"Want to go outside and play in the grass?" asked Cuddles.
Jhoud clapped his hands. "Let's go there now, Cuddles!"
The next day, cousin Leimong came over to attend an afternoon tea session with Sparkles. She was greeted warmly by Sparkles at the front door, who had greatly admired the Aisha's new Christmas look. "Auntie Lei had me painted a while back," Leimong explained as she seated herself on a velveteen chair in the parlour. "Do my antlers look strange coming out of my lil red wig?" she wondered.
Sparkles poured tea into Leimong's cup and shook her head. "No, I think they look cute!" she insisted. Suddenly the pink Bruce stopped talking and quickly dismissed herself from the parlour while Leimong sipped her tea. Then she ran towards the living room and gasped in shock as she watched baby Jhoud jump off of the living room couch and land into a soft pile of pillows and cushions. "Cuddles, what are you doing?" Sparkles demanded. "Don't you know Jhoud could get hurt?"
"Snaw said it was safe," Cuddles insisted.
Sparkles shook her head and looked down at Jhoud. "And why aren't you wearing the nightgown and bonnet I made for you?" she asked the baby Aisha.
Jhoud sighed. "Because I hate wearing your frilly bonnets and dresses," he insisted. "And I don't like it when you ruin my fun with Cuddles!"
Cuddles nodded in agreement. "Yeah... Wait, what's fun?"
"But you could get hurt, Jhoud," said Sparkles. "Don't you want to stay safe in our neohome, your sweet little bundle of joy?"
"No! I want to have fun, and be a pirate!" Jhoud shouted. "And I'd rather listen to my Mommy than to you!" After huffing loudly, the little baby crawled angrily away from Sparkles, who stomped out of the living room.
"Whatever is the matter, hon?" Leimong asked as Sparkles entered the parlour. "I heard shouting and the sound of Jhoud huffing and–"
Sparkles sighed and sank into a seat beside Leimong. "I don't get it, Leimong: I've tried everything to make sure our sweet little Jhoud would have the safest fun possible here. I've even went as far as taking away the blocks!"
"Ah," said Leimong. "So you think treatin' lil Jhoud like a baby was the right thing to do?" She took another sip of her tea.
is a baby!" Sparkles insisted. "That's why he needs my utmost protection!"
Leimong shook her head. "What that little scamp needs is independence, not smothering. Now I've only known Jhoud for a year, and during that year I have gotten to know and appreciate the sweet little baby Aisha he is, as well as how furiously independent he can be without his Mama." After taking a sip of tea, she turned to face Sparkles. "Rather than thinking about what you think Jhoud needs, it's time for you to consider what lil Jhoud wants and what's really best for him. It'll sure beat bein' his second Mother, that's for sure."
Sparkles sighed as she considered Leimong's point. She's right, she thought. I can't keep acting like Jhoud's mother forever... though I still think our sweet little baby needs love and nurturing, and more bonnets, I suppose I can learn to let him have more freedom.
"Would you like some more tea?" asked Leimong.
"No thanks," said Sparkles. She nodded to her cousin and went over to the living room. When she noticed that the living room had been deserted, she looked around until she looked out of the room's glass door and saw Cuddles and Jhoud playing in the backyard.
I have to relax and let them play, Sparkles thought as she opened the door and watched Jhoud crawl eagerly on the grass.
Maybe he won't cut his knee on a shard of glass today? Just to make sure, however, I'll have to vacuum the whole yard before–
"Hi Sparkles!" said Cuddles. He held up a blue rubber ball he was holding. "We're playing catch! Want to play?"
Sparkles shook her head and turned to face Jhoud. "Actually I came here to say that I'm sorry for ruining Jhoud's weekend. I suppose I shouldn't have obsessed about treating him like the baby pet he is."
"Jhoud's a baby?" Cuddles gasped. "I never knew that!"
"I did!" said Jhoud. He smiled up at Cuddles and then turned to smile at Sparkles. "It's okay, cousin Sparkles. Mommy said you would do something crazy like this when she dropped me off! I suppose I can forgive you if you bake me some cookies–"
"Jhoud!" an eager voice cried nearby.
"MOMMY!!" Jhoud cried as he eagerly crawled to Auntie Lei. "Oh Mommy, I missed you so much!"
Auntie Lei twirled as she held up her baby Aisha towards the sky. "JHOUDUMS!!!" she said excitedly. She gave her baby pet a hug. "Oh, I missed you so much! So much, in fact, that I needed my trip early so I could pick you up and bring you home!"
Jhoud clapped his hands. "Yay! I'm going home!"
Cuddles waved. "Say hello to your other siblings for me, mysterious baby Aisha I just met!" he shouted as Auntie Lei escorted herself and Jhoud from the backyard.
"Bye, Auntie Lei!" said Sparkles. After her aunt and cousin had left, Sparkles returned to the parlour, with Cuddles by her side. "Auntie Lei came and picked up Jhoud."
Leimong smiled. "Well, that sounds fine! Now, what shall we talk about now?"
Cuddled raised his arm. "I have a question: who was that lady that took that mysterious baby Aisha?"
Sparkles sighed. "That was our Auntie Lei, Cuddles! And that baby was Jhoud!"
"Oh," said Cuddles, as Sparkles and Leimong laughed. "Wait, who was Jhoud again?"
Leimong shook her head. "Oh Sparkles, I do hope you've learned your lesson about taking care of Jhoud."
"Yes, I have," Sparkles said as she poured herself a cup of tea. "I'll make sure Jhoud has a lot more fun the next time he visits... and I'll also make more bonnets and night gowns too! Oh, he looked so cute in the ones I made him this week!"