"These things happen all the time."
Carly could swear that Mrs. Briggs laughs as she shoves the 5lb pink and white bag of sugar into her chest and Carly hugs it , listening to the class snicker and contemplating the idea that maybe Mrs. Briggs volunteered to teach the healthy living class just to torture her.
"The girls outnumber the boys so you and Ms. Puckett will parent your bag of sugar together as a modern two mother household." Mrs. Briggs explains peering at Carly and Sam from the other side of her desk.
"This isn't fair." Carly exclaims loudly glancing helplessly at Sam who just sort of shrugs.
Mrs. Briggs smiles evilly, "Tough noogies."
Carly mouths tough noogies completely confused by the phrase.
"I think it's kind of awesome." Sam mutters and Carly glares at her.
"You only think its awesome because I'll do all of the work."
Sam shrugs, picking up a picture from Mrs. Briggs' desk and frowning at the image. "Exactly."
"Put that down." Mrs. Briggs barks, snatching the photo of Randy Jackson out of Sam's hands and slamming it down on the desk. "There's nothing I can do for you."
"Aw, can't I be a single parent?" Carly pleads and Sam makes an offended noise.
"Oh, you know I love you." Carly soothes quickly before turning back to Mrs. Briggs. "But can't I be a single parent?"
"No, each class project only has one single parent and this semester it is Mr. Benson." Mrs. Briggs explains jadedly. "The parenting couples are drawn randomly, you know that. There's nothing I can do for you."
Carly and Sam both look back at Freddie with his head in his hand staring despondently at his bag of sugar.
"Now, Ms. Shay, Ms. Puckett, please have a seat."
"But…" Carly tries but Mrs. Briggs cuts her off.
"Have a seat!"
"Whoa, don't get your underwear in a twist." Sam grumbles and Mrs. Briggs stands and leans over her desk angrily.
Sam and Carly scurry to their neighboring desk and Carly sets the bag of sugar on her desk.
"Sorry." Sam says with raised eyebrows and Carly shrugs.
"It's alright. It's not your fault." Carly sighs leaning heavily into her chair.
"So," Sam begins, leaning over to poke at the bag. "Which one of us is the mom and which one is the dad."
"You tried to use our baby's insides to sweeten your tea!" Carly exclaims, clutching the bag of sugar to her chest while she stares accusatorily at Sam. Sam who stands on the other side of the kitchen island holding a spoon and a glass of unsweetened iced tea.
"I was only gonna use a little bit." Sam defends lamely and Carly glares, cradling their kid.
"Sam, we're supposed to treat this like it's a real baby. Would you shove your spoon inside a real baby's ear and try to use his brain to sweeten your drink?" Carly questions and Sam frowns thoughtfully.
"If he was full of delicious sugar, yeah." Sam finally decides.
" Don't listen to her," Carly coos to the sugar softly before glowering at Sam, "You know what, Sam? You are a dead beat dad!" Carly declares jiggling the sugar as if it's a real baby.
"Wait, I'm the dad?" Sam asks completely ignoring Carly's accusations just as Spencer walks into the apartment.
"Hey, Chicas." Spencer greets, "What're you up to?"
"I'm trying to have some sweet and delicious iced tea." Sam says eyeing the sugar baby in Carly's arm.
"No, she's trying to give our baby a lobotomy." Carly shoots back.
"Bwah." Sam squeals in a weird goat voice and Carly does it back.
"So how's that whole project going? Being modern parents to a bag of sweetener." Spencer asks walking to the kitchen.
"Fine though we would be doing better if we didn't have to lug that thing around everywhere we go." Sam yawns, leaning against island.
Carly sets the sugar baby down and Sam frowns at it.
Carly put a diaper on the thing and cut out a face of a baby from a magazine and pasted it to the bag of sugar so Sam could tell which end is which because before no matter how many times Carly told Sam that the white part of the bag was the head-ish area she still found the baby resting on its skull in very random places.
"Brody can hear you." Carly informs helpfully and Sam rolls her eyes.
"Brody is a stupid name. Why can't we call it Blaze or Steele?" Sam asks, "Steele is an awesome name."
"Sam, we already named him Brody and it was compromise." Carly reminds, her eyes darting over to Spencer who is now hunched over, peering into the refrigerator. "Fruit kabobs, bottom shelf."
"Thanks." Spencer yells from the inside of the appliance.
"Yeah but I don't see how making the sugar baby a boy named Brody is a compromise when you wanted it to be a girl named Gwen and…"
Carly cuts off Sam with a pointed look, "And you wanted to make it a monkey named Maximillian."
"A monkey named Maximillian? That's awesome." Spencer declares emerging from the fridge pulling a piece of cantaloupe from a skewer with his teeth and Sam gives Carly an 'I told you so' smirk.
"Spence." Carly admonishes.
"Sorry." Spencer mumbles, fruit juice running down his chin. "I'll just leave you two alone."
They both watch Spencer leave before turning back to one another.
"I want you to promise that you wont try to use our baby's guts to sweeten any foods or drinks." Carly requests and Sam sighs exaggeratedly.
"Fine I promise."
"You swear?" Carly asks again.
"Yeah, I swear."
"Okay, now hold Brody." Carly says lifting the sugar and thrusting him at Sam who takes him reluctantly. "Kiss him."
Sam gazes down at the sugar for a moment, licking her lips thoughtfully before shaking her head and pushing him back towards Carly. "I can't, his creepy small face scares me."
"Is this really necessary?" Sam asks flipping through the stack of stapled papers in disbelief.
"Yeah it is, Sam." Carly answers, oddly enough bouncing the bag of sugar on her knee while Sam reads over the lists of Do's and Don'ts Carly has created for taking care of Brody on the couch beside her.
"But its five pages long." Sam tries and Carly just shrugs.
"Taking care of a baby is hard work."
Sam eyes the jostling sack of sugar skeptically. "Are you not aware that the thing you're bouncing on your knee isn't a baby?" Sam asks and Carly stops bouncing the baby abruptly.
"OMG, this square bag of granulated sugar isn't a real person?" Carly asks in mock shock before laughing at herself and continue to bounce.
"Dude, I don't need a five page guide to tell me how to keep a bag of sugar in tact for one weekend." Sam sighs, tossing the list on the coffee table.
"Sam, I left you alone with Brody for two hours and you forgot him at Groovy Smoothie." Carly prompts and Sam winces.
"That happened once." Sam tries lamely and Carly sighs, reluctantly setting the baby in Sam's unresponsive hands. "And I don't see why you can't take him with you to Yakima."
"Because there's a storm there and I don't want Brody to melt."
"Excuses. Excuses." Sam accuses.
"Don't kill him." Carly instructs, standing and Sam watches her.
"Hey Cupcake, how's Yakima?" Sam asks, holding the phone between her shoulder and trying to sound completely under control as she riffles desperately through her closet, tossing clean and dirty clothes over her head.
Where the heck did she put that stupid sugar baby?
"It's very wet. Very very wet." Carly says, her voice laced with static over the line and Sam makes a sound like she's paying attention while jumps up and moves to her dresser, yanking drawers of her bureau hastily. "So I'm glad I left Brody with you because he would be nothing more than a puddle of sugary water."
"Oh yeah, I'm glad that you left Brody here too." Sam grunts emptying the last drawer and standing, scratching her head, glancing around her bedroom anxiously. "We've really been bonding."
"Oh yeah?" Carly asks skeptically over the phone and Sam nods even though Carly can't see her, opening the oak chest at the foot of her bed and riffling through the junk in there.
"Yeah, we went like…bowling and ice skating…Saw a foreign film." Sam says pulling a yo-yo then a fire extinguisher then a basketball out of the chest before shutting it dejectedly.
"You went bowling and ice skating? With our baby made of sugar?" Carly asks as Sam drops to the ground and begins pulling odds and ends from beneath her bed.
"Yeah, little Brody's an athlete but its hard to tell because he doesn't have any limbs." Sam says breathlessly, pulling a hoodie she's been looking for since forever from the black hole that is the underside of her bed but she'd really rather have that ugly sack of sugar.
"Sure." Carly sighs and Sam rolls onto her back on the floor nervously, already trying to think of a way to get a whole new baby . Getting the sugar would be easy but Mrs. Briggs put a black light stamp on the back of the baby to make sure the kids didn't just get new bags of sugar and disguise them as the original sacks. She'd have Zaplook that black light stamp thing.
Then suddenly, Sam spots him, perched on one of the blades of her ceiling fan and then Sam scrambles to her feet, onto her bed, jumping and grabbing the baby.
"That's weird." Sam whispers staring at the bag of sugar a little frightened.
"What's weird?" Carly asks and Sam drops onto the mattress with a relieved sigh.
"Nothing. Just tell me more about your trip."
Carly expects the worse when she gets back.
She expects Sam to hand her a bag a flour she'd tried to disguise as Brody but instead Sam hands her the same exact sugar baby.
The same exact sugar baby except that its wearing a Cuddlefish band tee shirt, there's a Band-Aid on its head and there's a mustache drawn on the pasted on baby face.
"I like the tee shirt." Carly laughs dropping onto a bean bag, mindful of the baby in her hands and Sam shrugs across the studio in her own bean bag. "But what's with the Band-Aid?"
"Oh yeah, Brody had an accident." Sam says vaguely, not looking up from her cell phone as she texts quickly.
"An accident?" Carly questions, smoothing the bandage absently.
"Yeah, I accidentally hit him in the face with a ladle." Sam mutters still enraptured with her phone and Carly looks at Sam sharply.
"That's child abuse." Carly clarifies and Sam stops texting long enough to peer at Carly over the phone.
"Not if it was an accident and I gave him a bandage."
"Well, why does he have a mustache?" Carly asks tracing the ridiculous handlebar mustache drawn on the pasted on infant face with a black Sharpie and the other girl just smirks without looking up.
"He hit puberty while you were gone but don't worry I told him all about the birds and the bees."
Carly opens her mouth to say something but Freddie walks into the studio with his sugar baby and its drawn on face, looking completely haggard and tired.
"I can't do this." he declares exhaustedly and Carly frowns at him. "I can't take care of this baby alone."
"Calm down lady." Sam sighs, putting down her phone. "It's just a bag of sugar."
"Being a single parent is hard. I don't know how my mom did it?" Freddie cries and Sam rolls her eyes.
"Probably full or regret and animosity."
"The Benson family." Mrs. Briggs calls and Sam watches Freddy stand with his baby in front of the class to do his presentation before glancing irritated at Carly who straightens the clothes she'd put on the sugar bag in the morning.
"I don't know why he couldn't wear what I picked out." Sam hisses and Carly glares at her.
"Our baby is not wearing a little tiny prison jumpsuit. Ever." Carly says in a low voice.
Sam frowns, gesturing at the baby. "But wearing a little sailor outfit is okay?"
"Yes. Brody looks darling." Carly coos.
"He looks like Captain Crunch." Sam whispers and Carly sticks her tongue out at her then suddenly the rest of the class explodes into applause and Sam looks up just as Freddie sits down, finished with his presentation.
"Okay, up next is… The Shay-Puckett family." Mrs. Briggs calls.
"Actually its Puckett-Shay." Sam yells and Mrs. Briggs rolls her eyes.
"Just get up here."
Sam and Carly both get up, heading to the front of the class and then tragedy strikes.
They're nearly to the front but Carly's foot catches on a renegade back pack just sprawled in the middle of the aisle and its like slow motion as she stumbles and little Brody flies out of her hands, tumbling through the air before hitting the linoleum, hard.
So hard that his head explodes open and there's white sugar everywhere.
"NOOOOOoooo!" Carly screams crawling over to Brody on her knees and grasping at the loose grains of sugar.
"Oh my God. You killed our baby." Sam breathes in shock in the silent room.
Mrs. Briggs stands slowly, peering over her desk as Carly tries to scoop Brody's brain back into his body before speaking.
"Sam. Carly. Your baby is dead. You both fail."
Sam moves to put her hand on Carly's shoulder.
"You're going to fail us? We've just lost a child. Don't you think we've been through enough?"