Have you met the hubba bubba bird
I’m singing a bit louder than I should, but she loves it. Clapping her little hands together.
Habi dabi dabi dabi du dubi bird
She tries so hard to say the words, makes me want to laugh just looking at her.
Have you heard the Hubba Bubba song
Silly little song, little song, little song habadi du
She is even more eager now. Really loves that song.
Oh, the bird and the song, it doesn’t really know what’s going on in the world
I give her the small rock and she waves it around as if it is the greatest gift you could give a chubby, little baby.
It doesn’t really know, doesn’t know, doesn’t know, habadidu
She is laughing. I can see people watching us smiling. Everybody loves a happy baby I guess.
Oh, hubba bubba, habi dubi dubi dubi du
She hits the rock into her stroller as if to make a drumming sound. Just like I taught her. Already in love with music. She is a fast learner, my little baby.
“Oh my God, that is just such a cute baby.”
I smile. She is. I know.
“Oh my, look she is smiling at me,” the old lady turns towards me. Almost proud.
“She is a very happy, little baby,” I say, as I try to push the stroller carefully past her. Greg is not going to be happy if we’re late again. He doesn’t get how this baby thing works, if your pushing a stroller down the street with a happy baby in it, people are going to try to stop you, they will try to talk to you. It is just the way it is. He thinks the whole stroller thing is such a waste of time anyway.
“Why can’t you just take the car,” he says, “it will be faster.”
Greg and his ideas, babies need air. Need to see stuff. Smile at people and be told how cute they are. Point at birds and be told how clever they are. Babies like that, and sometimes you need to let them throw a stone and tell them how strong they are or naughty. I guess it depends.
The old lady doesn’t seem to want us to go. Grabs on to the stroller.
“How old is she?”
“Only a year,” I say smilingly, but we really do need to go.
“And her name?”
Greg didn’t like it, but his mum really wanted her to be called Allie. I get it. Greg pretends like he doesn’t get it, but I do. When she started her little sales pitch with, what would make her the happiest grandmother in the world, I was already sold. Allie is such a sweet name. Perfect for our baby. Greg said that it was sick. It isn’t sick. His sister has been dead for many years now. To name our baby after her is just a good thing. More like an honor I think. We miss his sister Allie, but she is gone, still our baby will have a connection to her because of that name.
I can see the old lady lean down towards her. Touch her chubby baby cheeks. Allie giggles. Clapping again. The old lady finally lets us pass.
“You take good care of that baby now,” I can hear her say.
I will. There is no need to tell me. Allie is my first priority. She is. Greg thinks I’m making too big a deal of her. He seems tired of the whole thing already. Started talking about us taking a trip only the two of us, but it seems too soon. I can’t just leave Allie with someone else now. Allie tries to turn around in the stroller to see me. Her little hands waving in the air, still giggling.
“No more playing around now, Cutie, we need to get home.” We hurry along the sidewalk. Greg, really isn’t going to be happy with me.
“So, you haven’t been to work or anything, but still you haven’t managed to make dinner,” he sits in his chair with a newspaper in his lap as I get in the door.
“I’ve been out shopping some baby things, Allie needed …” he interrupts me, “No I get it, Allie needed something. She always needs something, doesn’t she?” He shakes his head. Just stares towards that view that he wanted so much. It is an amazing view, it really is, but it was he who wanted this fancy apartment. This was his thing. Allie apparently was my thing. “I need dinner,” I can hear him mumble as he gets up. Walks towards the window.
“You couldn’t just order something?”
I pick her up. She looks so serious. A baby shouldn’t look this serious, almost like she gets that something is wrong. My happy, little baby. My Allie. Her grandmother’s favorite. I thought at least that would make Greg happy, but it didn’t really.
“I’ll put her down for a nap,” I say as I walk out of the room with her. He is still standing there in front of the big windows staring out on that beautiful view. I remember how happy he was when we finally could afford this apartment. It really meant something, didn’t it? That we kind of had made it. Hadn’t we? He wanted a family too. It wasn’t only me, not back then at least.
I put her down in her bed. The small dolphin figures above her move soothingly around
“Go to sleep now, Cutie,” I whisper and she closes her eyes. Grabs a hold of one of the dolphin toys in her bed. She loves them. I have never seen a baby be so obsessed with dolphins before. I have thought about taking her somewhere to see them, I just have a feeling that it can’t be dolphins in captivity. I know it might sound silly, but a mum knows these things about her baby, and I just think that it would make her sad if she thought they didn’t want to be there.
“They called from your job today,” he says as I come out into the living room again.
“They wanted to know when you’re coming back.”
“Uhm,” I go towards the kitchen, probably best to try to make something for him before he gets even angrier.
“When are you going back?” he says turning towards me.
“I think maybe that I need a bit more time,” I get a couple of frying pans on the stove. Get the vegetables and the chicken from the fridge. I am a quick cook. I really am. Effective. That stupid meal of his will soon be done and then maybe he won’t be so grumpy anymore.
“Really, you need more time,” he sighs, comes to stand by the counter to watch me work. “You have been home longer than we agreed on already.” I know. I know. The bills. This apartment. This life. It’s all linked to me going back to that job sooner rather than later.
“Mike seemed quite anxious, had some new project that he needed you on.”
“I’m sure he does,” I pour the chopped vegetables in the frying pan, just stand there for a moment watching them. “He always have a project that he needs me on.”
“Oh, come on, he said you could even bring her.”
I can see him getting angry. Can see his knuckles get white.
“I’m not bringing Allie to that place.”
“Oh my God, Anna listen to yourself, she would be fine there. She wouldn’t care at all.”
I don’t say anything. The food will be finished soon. Maybe I’ll wash some of Allie’s clothes instead.
“I don’t get how you aren’t be bored with all this shit,” he finally says it, “to be honest I remember how you used to be Anna and if I had known how this was going to change you I wouldn’t have said yes.”
I watch the frying pan as I drop it. The vegetables falling out on the floor.
“Oh, really Greg,” I shout, even though I promised myself that I would try to avoid all this. “You know what this is, this that you wouldn’t said yes to?” The old Anna would probably have hit him across the face or something at least I am calmer now, “This is our goddamn baby and she is not something that you can just hand over to some strangers when you feel like it.”
I must have fallen asleep. My pillow is still wet from the crying. I turn to the other side of the bed. Almost expect to find Greg there, but of course it isn’t night time yet. I need to get up. See if Allie needs something. She is probably done with her nap by now. I look at the baby monitor with the little blinking light. I would have woken up if she had cried, right? Of course I would. Greg always complains about me being such a light sleeper now. I look at my watch and back at the baby monitor. It has been 2 hours, she normally doesn’t sleep that long. I can feel it in my chest, even if I don’t want to feel it. Greg says that I need to stop being so anxious about everything and I have tried. It’s just that it is beating a little faster that heart of mine. 2 hours, that is longer than usually, but normally she would wake me up. I would have heard her on the monitor.
I open the door to the living room, but he isn’t there. The door to Allie’s rom is open. I walk across the floor towards it. My heart still beating a bit too fast, I just can’t wait to see that face of hers. Chubby cheeks and big smile. My happy, little baby.
“Allie,” I look into the room. Her bed is empty. I stand there for a moment, a bit insecure what to do. It hasn’t happened before that I have come to get her and she hasn’t been there. Not once. So, Greg must have taken her out. Right? Okay, no big deal. He is her father after all. Maybe he is pushing her around in her stroller right now? I shouldn’t have gotten that angry with him. I get where he’s coming from. I get it. When we planned it, I said I would be home with her for 3 months. We would get a nanny or something. We even hired the nanny, but when she came I just couldn’t let her have Allie. Then Greg said we should try day care, but I just couldn’t do that either. All the other babies tumbling around on that floor. It just didn’t feel safe. I just didn’t.
Work started calling almost every day. I stopped answering. Apparently, I promised to do so many things, Mike and his projects, and I know that they’re right. I did promise, or old Anna promised, but I just don’t feel like old Anna anymore. I sit there on our couch. Look at that view. I will have to move. I get it. This apartment is too expensive, it is. It’s an old Anna apartment, and new Anna just don’t need this anymore.
I can hear the sound of the key turning in the door. I don’t get up. Just sit there looking at the door as he pushes it open. Greg. Gorgeous Greg. At least that is what my old girlfriends used to call him. I wonder if I would have liked him as much if it hadn’t been for the fact that they liked him so much.
He looks at me as he come in. All alone. No stroller. No Allie. My heart isn’t even beating fast anymore. It barely feels like it is beating at all. Starting a family was harder than we thought. I never could have imagined it. It just didn’t seem to work for the two of us. Then I had to take all those hormones, and still nothing got better. The eggs wouldn’t stick. Getting pregnant seemed like the hardest thing in the world. Impossible, but old Anna never really thought anything was impossible. Probably why she was so good at her job.
“Where is she?”
He just stands there.
“I returned her,” he hesitates, “it had gone too far, Anna.”
“Hi Anna,” I can see someone from the other side of the office, is that Jake? “Finally, you’re back,” he shouts, makes his way towards me as the others look up from their desks. “Anna,” I can hear my name from too many sides of the room, but to be honest I don’t really have time for this. I just pretend like I can’t see them.
“Oh, thank God, Anna. It’s you,” I can’t avoid the hug as Miriam gets a hold of me, “Mike has been driving me crazy, talking about Anna this and Anna that, finally he can have his Anna back,” she’s laughing. Jake has reached us. “I have something I need to show you,” I can hear him says as I continue walking through the corridor. “Some of the projects are struggling a bit I must admit,” I don’t answer them. They want to talk to old Anna, but I’m still new Anna. Haven’t changed back.
I open the door to Mike’s office, take a quick step in and close the door right in front of them. I can’t deal with them now. Mike turns towards me smiling.
“Greg said you would come back,” he laughs, “I got to be honest it has been too long, we need you here.”
“Mama,” she stretches her chubby baby arms towards me, tries to get off Mike’s lap.
“Give her to me.”
“I know,” he smiles, “isn’t she amazing?” He lifts her up, my little baby. She looks too serious again. Babies normally doesn’t look that serious I know. Her big, blue eyes looking straight at me. “You know if I didn’t know better I would have thought that you and Greg actually had gotten yourself a real baby,” he laughs. “I’m just saying I couldn’t tell when Greg brought her here, if I had seen you with here on the street I would have had no idea.”
This office. I have always liked it. It has that great view, just like the apartment. “Only you could make something like this, Anna,” he nods, “there is no doubt about that.” He holds her too hard. She stretches her hands towards me again, wanting to come to me, but it doesn’t help her when he is holding her and she is still a baby. “How on earth do you get her to grow?” he shakes his head in amazement, “I’ve never even heard about that,” he looks at me, “does the wiring just stretch?” He is an idiot, just a rich idiot. Always has been. I don’t say anything, and he turns towards the window again with my baby. “Is this about money, Anna?” he is standing there looking at his view, just like Greg, he loves that view, “Cause I get it, you need a new contract, a new office,” he nods, still holding my baby, “more of everything, right?”
“I don’t really need that much,” I hesitate, try to smile, “if you just give me my baby.”
He looks at her. My little Allie.
“Your baby, really?” he smiles, “I don’t think so.”
She looks like this little, chubby baby, he is right about that. She could fool anyone. On the outside. No chance to tell her apart. I’m sure. “Company property this one,” he touches her chubby cheeks. She looks so serious. I know. Too serious. Babies don’t look like that. Like they get it all.
Have you met the hubba bubba bird
I whisper. Mike looks at me.
“What the fuck are you talking about, Anna, have you’ve been smoking something?”
She looks like nothing but a chubby baby. A happy baby. She does. He said so himself. Holds her as if she was just that, even if he knows, he can’t help it. He could drop her on the floor right now and she wouldn’t get a scratch, but he wouldn’t do that, because she reminds him too much of a real baby. Like the one he got at home. One of those who would break if you did drop them. Funny thing that is. How the human mind works.
Habi dabi dabi dabi du dubi bird
She looks at me. Big, blue eyes, all serious. I can’t hand her the rock this time, but she will find something. Just like we practiced. Just in case we would need it. I watch as her small hand grabs on to the paperweight, lifts it up into the air as if it weighs nothing. Smash it into his head. Just like nothing. He falls. Drops her. Doesn’t really matter though, she can take it. My sweet, little baby.
“So, what do you think?”
She turns towards me, smiling, in one of those old lady dresses filled with flower patterns.
“It’s great,” I say, trying my best to smile just like her. “Just what we’re looking for, might be a bit too expensive for us though.”
“Well, it is a nice place,” she seems insecure, “close to the beach and everything.”
Allie makes one of her enthusiastic noises as if trying to agree with her. The old lady looks at her. Can’t help smiling.
“That baby of yours is just too cute, isn’t she?” She shakes her head in amazement. “Reminds me of my granddaughter.
Allie claps her hands. Giggling loudly.
“Yes, she is a very happy baby,” I hesitate, “and I think she is going to love this place. She seems to already have gotten quite the obsession with dolphins so she might end up as a real beach girl growing up here.”
“You know what,” the old lady nods as if she finally has agreed with herself, “Don’t you worry about the money, we’ll figure out something you can afford,” your baby is just too cute to say no to.”
I hope you have enjoyed “Hubba Bubba Bird”, the story as well as the song, and I really hope that you would like to hear more songs and read more stories
About the song:
Vocals/lyrics/ukulele: Therese J(Me)
Mixing/Bass: Dan Grubbs
If you like the that have been used to illustrate this short story, they are all from morguefile.com. All the photos have been edited, but the first photo is by rupertjefferies, the second photo(soundcloud) is by Gsaule, the third photo is by kconnors, the fourth and fifth, the sixth photo is by mconnors, the seventh photo is by bav and the last photo is by JimMunnelly.
© Hilde Therese Juvodden, MyStoriesWithMusic, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hilde T.Juvodden and MyStoriesWithMusic with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. – Simply don’t steal my stuff 😊