If Darlene seemed at odds with Sidney over Stanley 's condition, his well being, or the possibility of an emotional tether to their youngest offspring, it was merely the brute force of the maternal instinct hat had overcome the aging mother.
In fact, when the answering machine took that first call from the police, it was Darlene who said, "Don't pick it up! If we're lucky he's dead - If not, I don't even want to know."
But later, the curious nature of the condition of their boy, the hints of potential profit that lurked burbling just under the base of his skull: talk shows, book deals, options - hell, they'd been contacted my a major toy manufacturer who wanted to pay dearly for rights for the name and identity of " Stanley The Headless Wonder Doll! " - they found something inside each of them that, when polished by desire, managed to look awkwardly like diffident care, strangulated love, or some other common pathology that passed for familial attentiveness.
"He's the worst on both of us and nobody's math can add those things together without sobbing at the end of it!"
Sidney winced in the parking lot, "I mean, they'll know we hate him befor I hang up my hat!"
But they hadn't counted on Darlene's maternal instinct.
One look at half a head and it didn't matter how horrible the little shit had been to the world, it was her little shit! Her little shit without a face!