Chapter 3 Summary

How I Came to Life

August loves hearing about his own birth because his mom always makes it a funny story. Whenever she tells it, August and Via end up laughing uncontrollably.

Nobody expected August to be born looking the way he looks. Via had been born a few years earlier, and her birth was completely normal. Because of this, nobody ran any special tests when August was in the womb. A couple of months before he was born, the doctors realized he had a cleft palate and a couple of other problems they called “small anomalies,” but nobody thought much of it. 

The night of August’s birth did not go particularly well. His mom’s regular doctor was not on duty, so a stranger, a very young guy, delivered August instead. One of the nurses kept letting out loud, smelly farts every few seconds. Everyone was grumpy except for August’s dad, who kept cracking jokes to make August’s mom laugh.

When the baby August was finally born, the room fell silent. The young doctor fainted. A nurse rushed out of the room with him before his mom even got to see him. His dad followed the nurse, dropping and breaking his video camera in his rush to find out what was wrong. 

The farting nurse stayed behind, and she practically had to wrestle August’s mom to make her stay in bed. Meanwhile, the farting nurse shouted at the young doctor to get up and stop being a total disgrace. During this ordeal, the nurse let out “the biggest, loudest, smelliest fart in the history of farts.” According to August’s mom, it was this fart that woke the doctor up.

When August’s mom tells this story, she acts it all out and uses sound effects for the farting noises. August finds it absolutely hilarious.

In spite of everything, the farting nurse turned out to be a wonderful person. She stayed and comforted August’s mom all night, even when August’s dad came in and told her that their new baby was very sick and might not live. When August survived to the next day, the nurse held August’s mom’s hand when she finally got to see him.

According to August’s mom, her first sight of August’s “tiny mushed-up face” was not traumatic at all. All she noticed was her new baby’s beautiful eyes.

At the end of the chapter, August again addresses the reader directly:

Mom is beautiful, by the way. And Dad is handsome. Via is pretty. In case you were wondering.