Chapter One

Little House Weekend

It was a warm Saturday morning. School had just ended a few days before and my friends and I were sitting on my little house porch and enjoying the first real weekend of summer. Who am I? I am Karen Brewer. I do not have a middle name but I think I need one since I am a two-two and have two of everything else so two names would make sense. What is a two-two? I will explain later. I have blonde hair and lots of freckles. I am exactly seven and a half years old. The friends I was sitting with were Nancy Dawes and Bobby Gianelli. Bobby used to be the class bully at our school but now he is okay.

"Oooh," Nancy piped up. "I think I hear the Mr. Tastee truck. I really could use an ice cream sandwich. I am glad Mr. Tastee sells kosher ice cream."

Bobby asked, "What is kosher?"

Nancy shrugged, "I am Jewish and it means that food has to be a certain way and approved by Jewish law."

"Oh I do not understand but that is okay. I am Catholic and we do not have any rules about ice cream. Karen, are you going to come buy ice cream with us?" Bobby looked at me.

"No Bobby. I am not. I do not have any money. My allowance has been cut off until I pay back Daddy for the Club G things I shoplifted." I was feeling sorry for myself about this.

"Oh too bad for you Karen." Bobby looked like he might laugh at me but he did not.

I had an idea, "Bobby and Nancy, can you loan me money for the ice cream?"

"No, Karen," Nancy said patiently, "You were very wrong to steal all the things that you did and it serves you right that you lost your allowance."

How dare Nancy Dawes not loan me money? I thought she was my best friend. I growled at her then tackled her and began slapping her.

Bobby yanked me off of Nancy before I could do much damage, "Geez, Karen give it a break. This is not Nancy's fault. She did not get your allowance taken away from you."

"But she started it," I whined even though I knew that this was not true.

Just then Mr. Tastee came down the block so Nancy and Bobby scampered off leaving me alone on the porch. How gigundoly unfair!

I was still pouting when Mommy and my bratty four year old brother came out of the house. Andrew was wearing a dopey grin on his face and clutching money in his hand. He was probably going to Mr. Tastee. I hated him.

"Hi Karen! I am going with Mommy to get ice cream." Andrew's ridiculous smile got even bigger.

I finally could not take it anymore. I did my animal growl and tackled Andrew. He cried like a baby and Mommy tugged me off of him.

"Karen Brewer! This is not Andrew's fault. You dug your own hole with your greed and dishonesty. Now stop attacking Andrew or you will be spending the rest of the weekend confined to your room."

I frowned but did not say anything else. It was gigundoly unfair of Mommy to want to confine me to my room for Andrew's crimes but I was not going to argue. It was not my fault Andrew was a brat but I knew Mommy would not see it that way.

Soon my friends came back with their ice cream cones. They were chatting happily as if nothing had happened. Andrew and Mommy were right behind them and the four meanie mos sat on the porch chatting and ignoring me.

"How is your summer going so far, Nancy?" Mommy asked her. How come no one ever asked how my summer was going?

"Oh just fine, Mrs. Engle. I am going to Hebrew school and my baby brother Danny is learning to crawl." Nancy smiled but I thought she was a dummy. What was Hebrew school and what did it have to do with Danny?

"That sounds like fun, Nancy." Mommy patted her on the back and went back to eating her ice cream.

"What is Hebrew school?" Bobby asked nosily.

"Oh it is a class at my synagogue to learn about our history." Nancy shrugged and licked her Popsicle.

"I wish we had something like that at my church. It is boring there. My mommy and daddy make me go to Mass and I sleep through it." Bobby and Nancy laughed about this.

I rolled my eyes but then I had an idea. I turned to Mommy and asked, "Nancy is Jewish. Bobby is Catholic. What are we?"

"We do not belong to a church." Mommy answered me. She looked surprised that I had asked.

"Why not?" I demanded.

"Karen, not everyone is. I am not comfortable with attending a church and neither is Seth. Your daddy is not either." Mommy stood up to go in the house.

"But Mommy, Nancy and Bobby go to church. Lots of kids do. It is not fair. I want to go too." I did not really care about going to church. I just did not want Nancy and Bobby to have anything I did not have. After all I am the one and only Karen Brewer and I should get whatever I want.

"Karen, life is not about being fair. Church is important to some families and we respect that. It is not a part of our family." Mommy looked exasperated.

I was not satisfied. "I want to go to church just like my friends. I want to go now."

Mommy shook her head, "I am sorry, Karen. We are not going. When you are old enough to go on your own that will be your decision but while you are a child, you obey my rules."

That did it. I was not going to stand by and let Mommy be a meanie mo. I did my animal growl and attacked but she was too fast for me. Mommy picked me up and hauled me over her shoulder. I began to bite, scratch and kick while shrieking my lungs out.

"I am taking you to your room, Karen. Excuse me, kids." Mommy said that to Bobby and Nancy who were staring at me with shocked expressions on their faces but I did not care.

Mommy took me up to my room and deposited me on my bed. "You stay here until you are ready to behave like a human being. I want you to think about what you did and how disrespectful you were to me."

After she left I kept screaming but already I was scheming in my head. If Mommy would not give me what I wanted, maybe Daddy would. After all, being a two-two like me has some great benefits.