Life with three babies continues to be difficult. We have to schedule a time during the night for each of us to do the baby rounds; cuddle and feed, or cuddle and change. It's tiring having to get up at least once a night every night.
I shook my head. "Nick, the last time you told me that, you didn't follow through the second night. I'm not letting you sleep all night first." Poor Nick was seriously stressing out from too many babies. Not enough sleep and he's definitely not comfortable with that many new babies around. I wasn't much better. I love my babies but they are so much work.
"No, Nick. We'll do the usual. I'll check them at 1. You get 4." I rolled over to get what sleep I could before 1 am rolled around.
He's very good with the babies once he gets up. It's just the getting up that he finds difficult.
Well, Joey is special too. They are all precious little babies. They are also sometimes loud, stinky and demanding little babies.
Needless to say, I'm grateful for that. Because the triplets are going to be moving around a lot more soon and having one child old enough to do some things for himself will be good.
It's one of the few times that we can really take a break from the babies.
I tend to use the time to work out or practice my board splitting skills.
All too soon for me, Nick ran out of parental leave and was due back on the base.
"Bye Honey. See you later."
The triplets need the same amount of attention during the day. They can't know that there is only me today.
I tried to give them the same amount of cuddles and attention as they had been getting from both of us. This was keeping me so very busy that I failed to notice for awhile that Nick was late getting home. It was nearly five when I realised.
"No, I'm fine. I was just wondering. Do you know when Nick will be getting off duty? He's usually home soon after three and he's not turned up yet."
"You'll ring his commanding officer and find out? That's great. Give me a ring when you know what's up."
That's odd, I just thought she was going to ring. And Brad too?
"Well, dear. It's about Nick. I didn't want to just ring."
Brad was standing there, rubbing his temples like he had a headache.
My anxiety level started scaling upwards. Did he get hurt? Was he in the hospital? Why didn't the base call me?
Emerald said, "We better sit down, dear. Brad and I want a serious chat."
Emerald sighed and shook her head. "It's not that. I wish it were that."
"I don't understand."
"Nick transferred this morning to a unit that was being posted overseas today. He is taking a two year tour of duty in Simolia."
I was still trying to absorb this news. Nick had done what?
"I knew he was stressing about the babies but he left us? He's gone?"
Emerald nodded sadly. "Two years. Now that he's on tour of duty, there's nothing that can be done to get him back. This is why we had to come over. I didn't want to break this news over the phone."
I wanted to run out of the room, screaming or crying. I wanted to break boards until I broke me. I wanted...
I wanted Nick. But he was out of my reach. And out of our lives.
"Em and I want you to know that we are here for you. We've already told your parents, and our other children Abbey and James. Your parents promised to ring your twin so the entire family knows."
Emerald sighed. "I'm sure. I double checked the duty rosters and the lists of the troops that shipped out today. Nick won't be here for two years."
"Penny, your dad and I talked about it. There will be a sitter coming over every day. Your parents are doing half the cost, we'll be doing the other half." Brad said softly. "I know it's not the same but ring someone in the family any time it gets too much."
Tears were starting to flow. How could Nick leave now? Those babies would be toddling around everywhere, Buddy was ... oh god, Buddy was so close to his dad. How can you tell someone his age that Daddy is gone?
I was a ball of misery. A plate of food appeared in front of me then eventually disappeared again. Babies cried and were quiet again. And the world finally went away until the next day.
For the fans of Jerod (Shrimp) Grant