The 65 Magillicuddy were all listening intently and eating popcorn. They loved it when their parents told stories. “Your mother and I were newlyweds, and we found out she was expecting octuplets! After about nine months your mother had the babies,” Mrs. Magillicuddy resumed.
Then Mrs. Magillicuddy went on for him, “It was a happiness-filled night when those eight darling babies came into the world.” 20 year olds Melanie, Mollie, Meg, Mabel, Madeline, Mary, Mona, and Mark all smiled. They knew this was about them, the oldest. “First came Meg, she was the oldest.”
“By about 5 minutes!” Mr. Magillicuddy laughed when Mrs. Magillicuddy paused to pick up Lucy and David who were crying on the floor. Lucy cooed and began to chew the side of the popcorn bowl, and David fell instantly asleep. “Then,” Mrs. Magillicuddy went on, “When everybody else was born we stayed at the hospital for a few days and went home to our tiny house. Life was instantly chaotic. Caring for that many babies was hard! But we managed, and Grandma helped us out a lot.”
“How did you take them places?” Kaylie asked.
Mark and Meg got up and went to the garage. They came back with a funny looking stroller. It was a double decker stroller- Mr. Magillicuddy’s own invention. There were four seats on bottom and four on top.
“That’s cool!” Thomas said, “But how do you see over it to push it?”
“You don’t,” Mark explained. “See this hole?” he asked, pointing to a small opening between the two levels of seats. “The person pushing the stroller can see through it so they don’t go crashing into stuff.”
“Why don’t we use it anymore?” little freckle-faced Mendy asked.
Mr. Magillicuddy replied, “Oh, it just got kind of broken and someone else came out with a better kind. So to go on with the story…On Melanie, Mollie, Meg, Mabel, Madeline, Mary, Mona, and Mark’s 1st birthday we were sitting in the living room cleaning cake off Mark’s face,” Mark grinned, “when the doorbell rang and in came Grandma. She had brought eight teething toys and a box of baby crackers.”
“Yeah,” interrupted Mark, pretending to remember, “Those crackers were extra good after eating all that cake!” Everybody laughed at his joke and then Mrs. Magillicuddy finished the last part of the story.
The older kids who had heard this story before knew what happened, but they tried not to laugh when Mrs. Magillicuddy said, “Grandma held out the toys to the babies and immediately Meg, then Mollie, then Madeline and Mabel and Mary and Mona and Mark and Melanie stood up and took steps towards her. I gasped. They hadn’t ever done that before, and they did it all at once, together! It seemed almost planned! Mark’s little chubby legs were the quickest, and he got the gifts first. Throwing aside the teething toy he took the box of Krazy Krackers and tried his best to open it. Grandma helped him, and pretty soon his sisters were shoving their hands in the box too. And that was the moment I chose to tell Daddy that I was pregnant with Quincy, Quinten, Ryan, and Mallory! Daddy and Grandma were so surprised and happy. The End!”
The audience applauded and rose up to get ready for bed. “Wait!” Mrs. Magillicuddy said and everyone looked at her, “I have one more story to tell you. Around Christmas you are going to get to meet your new baby brother!” The audience applauded even louder and Thomas gave a war whoop.
The room was filled with happy talking and laughing. Mrs. Magillicuddy looked happily about her.
Many months later when the baby was born, Mr. Magillicuddy suggested, “We could name him Zadok. I’ve always liked that name, plus we don’t have anybody whose name starts with ‘z’.” Mrs. Magillicuddy liked the idea.
God decided that Zadok would be the special little ‘caboose’ (the last baby), but a different kind of adventure was coming. Melanie, Mollie, Meg, Mabel, Madeline, Mary, Mona, and Mark who had done everything together (even taken their first steps) were courting 8 siblings who happened to also be octuplets.