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The Jacksons – for Dec. 9, 2010

Andrew Jackson leaned back in his armchair and gazed intently at the little bundle that lay cradled in his arms. “He’s unbelievably cute,” he said. “Are you sure he’s yours?” Andrew’s son Randy, who was relaxing on the couch, laughed.

“He’s mine alright,” he said. “Although I see what you mean. He’s a lot better looking than either you or I, isn’t he?”

Andrew studied the tiny face of the little child for another moment. “He looks like you did when you were a baby actually,” he said. “He just doesn’t look like you now.”

“Really?” said Randy. “Everybody keeps saying he looks like his mother. Which seems to me like a good thing,” he added.

“He could do worse, that’s for sure,” said Andrew.

“Let me hold him!” Randy’s sister Jennifer appeared as Andrew spoke. She stood impatiently next to him. “It’s my turn!”

“Hush now,” said Andrew. “You’ll wake the little feller up. And Grandpa’s turn is over when Grandpa says. Or when little Andrew decides he wants his mother.”

The baby stirred, and a tiny hand poked out from inside the blanket. Jennifer reached down and put her pinky finger on the little palm and watched the tiny fingers close around it.

“Wow! He’s got quite the grip!” she exclaimed, wiggling her finger. She stared at her little nephew and then turned to look at her brother. “How come you named him Andrew?” she asked. “That’s not very original.”

Randy grinned. “I voted to name him Randy actually,” he said. “But I lost that vote.”

“Sheesh,” said Jennifer. “That would have been even less original than naming him Andrew.” She paused. “And how can you lose the vote if there’s only two people voting? Wouldn’t that be a tie?”

“You’d think so wouldn’t you?” said Randy. “But here’s the thing. It turns out that a husband and wife each get one vote but if the vote ends up in a tie then the wife’s vote automatically becomes the tiebreaker. Who knew?”

“Did I not tell you that when I told you about the birds and the bees my son?” said Andrew. “I guess I should have. But I suppose I thought it was just common knowledge.”

“Nobody told me,” said Jennifer. “Till now.”

“Oops,” said Randy. “I guess I let the cat out of the bag.”

“It doesn’t really matter,” said Andrew. “She would have figured it out eventually. They all do.”

“Anyway Dad,” said Randy, “that’s not the most important thing you left out when you told me about the birds and the bees.”

“Ugh,” said Jennifer. “Please, I don’t want to know!”

Randy laughed. “Or do you? But now you’ll never know because I won’t tell you.”

“Good,” said Jennifer. She reached down and touched the baby’s cheek. “So what are we going to call him? Andrew Jackson the Second? Or just Andy?” She chuckled. “Dad can be Andy and the baby can be Andy Too. Or Andy Two. Get it?”

“Yeah I get it,” said Andrew, “but nobody ever called me Andy, so it doesn’t make any sense.” He leaned down and gave the sleeping child a little kiss on the forehead. “He’s my little R2D2,” he said.

“Oh puhlease,” said Jenni fer, then changed her tone and added, “please Daddy? Can I hold him now?”

“Yes you can,” said Andrew. “But I warn you I may take him back at any moment.” He reached up and placed the tiny bundle carefully in his daughter’s arms.

“Omigosh,” said Jennifer in a whisper. “It’s like holding a doll!” She looked at Randy. “Allison was never this small was she? I don’t remember her being this small!”

“Well no, actually,” said Randy. “Allison was over a pound heavier when she was born than Andrew. And I think we probably will call him Andrew, and not Andy. Because Andy is too much like Randy which will just lead to all kinds of confusion. He’d always be going “but Mom, I thought you were talking to Dad” and I’d be going “why would Mom be telling me to do my homework?” and he’d be going “how am I supposed to know if you have homework or not” and so on and so forth. So I think we’ll just stick with Andrew.”

“Andrew Jackson the Third,” said Andrew. “Because there was that other Andrew Jackson. The president.”

“Well you can all call him Andrew,” said Jennifer, “but I’m going to call him Andy. In fact, I’m going to call him Raggedy Andy. Because he’s a doll.”

Randy gave his sister a big smile. “That he is,” he said. “And I expect he gets that from his Auntie Jenn.”

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