Rugrats All Grown Up

The Baby Between Us

The teacher stood at the front of the class lecturing. Angelica Pickles didn't know what about, because she wasn't really listening. That, however, was nothing unusual. She was barely passing this class, and she'd only taken this "Dynamics for Living" class because she had heard it was an easy A. It involved things like families, the five stages of grief, current events. Piece of cake, right? Well, maybe not so much.

Angelica's purple eyeshadowed eyes peered across the room. She frowned as she spotted some of the disappointments in humanity who also were placed in her class. It was open to all, so the junior high classes comingled, much to Angelica's dismay. It meant that she, a beautiful, mature and self sufficient teenager was forced to be in the company of immature, stupid preteens.

Susie was in the front row next to Angelica. Susie was okay. All right, she was perfect. Maybe, sometimes, Angelica could almost, sort of, possibly call her a friend. Well, she kind of had to get along with Susie anyway. Susie's parents were friends with Angelica's parents.

Then there was Phil. Angelica was positive that he took the class because he heard that cooking and/or eating was involved. She didn't honestly care enough to risk asking the little twerp and risk actually getting an answer. Phil's other half, Lillian, was not in the class. It was a rare moment those twins were not together. Angelica was glad she didn't have a twin. She didn't exactly like to share.

Angelica heard wheezing from the back. Ah, yes, Chuckie Finster. Finster was possible the most pathetic person in the classroom. She'd known Finster as long as anyone, since he and her cousin, Tommy Pickles, were best friends. She grumbled as she heard the wheeze again. She wanted to scream out for Chuckie to invest in some allergy medicine or some nasal strips, but her train of thought was interrupted by the teacher pulling out an ugly, repulsive doll.

"Now, I am going to partner you up. Each pair wil be responsible for one of these." The doll was hideous. It looked like it had been through more than several junior high classes.

"What? Pair up? What's that thing?" Angelica looked over to Susie who just sighed and shook her head. Angelica's eyes had widened in horror. That doll looked worse than her Cynthia doll, who was now hairless and missing limbs.

Susie explained. "You haven't been listening, have you?" But Susie honestly already knew the answer to that one. "It's the chapter on raising children. We are all going to be parents and we have to take care of the doll for a full week."

"You've got to be kidding me! I'm not ready for children? I haven't established my career, my way in this world? I have so much to do while I'm still young!"

"It's a doll, and it's a week." Susie reminded her.

The teacher explained, "Each doll has controls inside that will tell me how many times it's warning has been set off. From the moment it starts to cry, it will count how it it takes for you to soothe the crying. If you drop it, ignore it, not change it, then it will record it all. That will be what I base your grade upon."

An ugly baby to care for all week? One that she actually had to try to ease its crying? Angelica had spent most of her life trying to make babies cry. Could this get any worse?

"Now I will name off the couples. Susie Carmichael and Chad Wilson...Rachel Maddow and Derek Hyde..." Angelica grumbled as she saw that Susie had been paired with the cutest boy in the class. He was also the most popular. He played basketball and guitar. A jock with a rock star side. He was too perfect.

"...Charles Finster and Angelica Pickles."

"WHAT?" Angelica stood up from her desk as Chuckie then shrank down in his. Everyone's heads turned to Angelica, and then by default back to him, which just made his cheeks blush the same color as his hair. Angelica made fists and growled out. "This can't be happening! Finster cannot be the father of my baby! I demand a new partner. This is a conspiracy."

"All partners were picked at random. You have a week to finish your assignment and to write a paper about your experience. Here's your baby." The teacher said, completely unphased to Angelica's plight. Angelica hit her desk just as the bell rang. As the class piled out, each pair was given a doll.

Phil cooed at the plastic doll. "Aww, I think this one kinda looks like me."

Chuckie was the last to get out of his chair and walk to the front of the classroom. He picked up the doll, a pale looking, bald one. As he held it out, looking at it, Angelica grabbed it out of his hands. "Come on, Finster. Let's go."

"Angelica...maybe you should treat the doll a bit more nicely. It is our baby, you know."

She glared at him after those words and Chuckie gulped loudly. "Okay, coming."