Enfant Terrible
by Maggie the Cat ([email protected])

The baby sat in its specially-designed, completely supportive chair that would keep its spinal cord aligned and its head from falling forward. It had been fed a properly warmed, measured amount of formula. It was wrapped nicely in warm, snug, yet roomy clothing made of breathable, hypo-allergenic fibers.

So why was the insufferable creature screaming?

Monet stared blankly at the child, wondering what could possibly be annoying it. Five hours with the baby and it was already becoming the most nerve-splitting chore she'd ever faced....

Intitally, she had been secretly pleased that she had recieved the prettiest baby. Precious silver curls, those sweet little ankle-wings (Monet wasn't quite clear on the aviatory merits of such small wings, but certainly her child could do no worse than that Namorita person), and a seemingly placid, unruffled personality.

And, indeed, the baby had been quite pleasant, all things considered. It had remained quiet through the rather forceful feeding, the terrifying ordeal of having a baby seat built around it, and the parceling in layers and layers and layers of clothing.

So what now?

Monet folded her arms and bit the knuckle of her index finger, slightly worried. How would it look if she, Mlle. St.Croix, self-proclaimed "Premier Student", failed so utterly at tending to a mere infant?

As she was debating the merits of hiring a nanny to disguise as herself, Angelo stopped in at her door, no doubt making the rounds to investigate and generally irritate. "Nino's makin' a lotta noise there, chica," he said smugly. Monet could tell he was cataloguing her shortcomings for later derisive conversation with the others, and the thought was pestilent.

She drew a breath, not deigning to turn and look at him. "I believe your baby is choking, Mr. Espinosa," she intoned ominously. "Whu-? Ahhhhh, shi--"

"Please, Angelo. Gentle ears."

Two hours later, some of its smotheringly warm clothing removed, settled into the crib each student was provided with, Monet's baby cooed contentedly as its "mother" gently hummed Bubak and Hungraricus' early 18th Century gypsy music, allowing her finger to be clutched.

Music. It was as simple as that, and Monet found her earlier apprehensions to be almost laughable.

"Perhaps I should give you a name, mon petite," she mused. "Dieu, I haven't even found if you are a girl or a boy!"

Monet smiled at her baby and wiggled the tip of her finger against its stomach, listening to its giggle with no small thrill.

Then she paused.


Momentary panic. Then the genius kicked in, and Monet's frozen, horrified face relaxed slightly. Maintenant--a solution.

While the baby's bodily function sensors timed how long it was left in its soiled diaper, its vision recorded its mother as she stood up straight, focused her eyes on the distant wall, and promptly turned into statuary.

Inside her facade of autistic trance, Monet smiled in relief, tuning out the baby's cries. Thank Heaven for psychological turmoil....