Monday, December 10, 2012

The Journal of Penny Grant - July 3 - Babies and the butler

One thing that must be said for triplets. If you need some distraction from your troubles, well, they are good for that. There is always a baby that needs something. A bottle, a cuddle, a quick change, there is always something.

Especially poor little Ruby. She frequently has a bit of a cough, is more restless and more fussy than the other  two babies. Daisy is the quiet one, she rarely makes even a tiny sound unless she's forgotten at feeding time. Joey is somewhere between. More vocal than Daisy but not nearly as fussy as Ruby.

Then there is Buddy. Poor tyke, I try to make sure that he gets as much attention as possible when the babies are sleeping. Going from a much loved only child to having 3 younger siblings was a huge leap for him. Add in having a parent leave for two years and he was definitely having a hard time adjusting.

"Hey Penny," Dad was over helping. "We've been talking about it. We've decided that instead of a babysitter, what you really need is a butler. When you girls were babies, your Mum and I found a butler to be a treasure."

"Is that 'we' as in you and Mum or 'we' as in the grandparent committee?" I asked.

He grinned. "Grandparent committee? I guess you could call it that. And yes, both families will be chipping in for the cost. We realised that since the babysitters have school most days and go home at night, you could really use some more and permanent help. If you get a good butler, he'll make sure everyone has food, cleans the place and takes care of the babies."

"What happens with a bad one?"

"We send him back to the agency and try again." Dad hugged me. "You are worn to a frazzle caring for 4 little ones at once. And the rest of us know the feeling, having spent time trying to care for all of them while you were out of action. Rather than wear the family out trying to help during their spare time, we can pay someone to do it."

Later that day, Jake arrived and I told him one of the beds in the far bedroom was his. He nodded and went straight to work. There was quite a lot of cleaning to get done, when the babies were all asleep.

Fortunately for me and the butler, it wasn't long before Buddy started school. The difference between 3 at home and 4 at home seemed small but I appreciated having one less child to rush around to tend to.

"Have fun at school today, Buddy. Do what the teacher says and be good for me, ok?" I told him.

He looked at the ground. "I don't like school. It's boring. And I don't like girls. They giggle all the time."

"I'm sorry Buddy but you still have to go." I pushed him firmly out the door and toward the bus. "It's important to get a good education." I kissed him on the head and watched him until he was safely on the bus. The first day, Buddy had been so excited about school. Since then, every day was more of a struggle to make sure he went.

"Take that, Nick Kane Grant." I broke another oak board just to show someone who was boss. It might have been me or it might have been the board. It certainly wasn't Nick, he was far too far away to appreciate the show.

So I was indulging in board breaking therapy when Jake came to ask me a question. "Ma'am, I was just tidying your room. I was wondering what I should do with the letters?"

That was an excellent question. There was a large and growing pile of unopened letters on the bureau in my room. Nick sends one letter a week without fail. I've never opened any of them, I just drop them on the pile. I've seen my Dad eye the pile. I've seen Em eye the pile. But neither of them have actually talked about it to me.

What I should tell Jake is to throw them in the trash, or burn them, or something. "Just leave them. I ..." started to try to explain why I kept them but couldn't find the words. I don't want to read them. I don't want to think about Nick. And I don't want to throw them out.

Jake didn't wait to find out why I wanted those letters left. He had the answer to his question, so he went back to his duties. I was left pondering why it was so difficult for me to do anything with those letters. That lasted until Ruby started fussing again.

I was trying to decide if I was finally going to take Ruby to the hospital for a serious checkup. Her cough just wasn't going away.

"What am I going to do about you, Ruby?" I asked my daughter. Then I finally had a brain wave. Veronica was in the medical profession, she could check Ruby. That's assuming that she can take a long enough break from the hospital routine to come and visit.

I rang my twin and found that she was on call but not at the hospital. "Can you come over and look at one of the babies? She fusses a lot, I'm afraid she might be ill."

Fortunately, Ronnie could come around and check. She arrived in ten minutes and I gave her Ruby to examine.
"No fever. Her eyes look good. Tummy seems fine. Anything odd about the contents of her diaper?"

I shook my head. "Looks pretty much the same as the other two."

"I think that she might have a minor infection. It's not a problem though, she seems fine." Veronica cuddled and cooed at Ruby then handed her back to me.

I sighed in relief. "Thanks Ronnie, I'm glad you could come take a look."

"Now that I'm finally here, maybe I should check on the other two?"

I nodded. "That would be great." My twin took a quick look at the other two babies.

"I'm pleased to say that all your little ones are perfectly healthy," she said as she put Daisy back in the crib.

"Thanks so much for checking. Do you think you'll have time next week for the big birthday party?" It was going to be massive, the triplets officially entering the terrible twos. I was inviting everyone that might vaguely be interested in coming. Jake was looking forward to it, a chance to cater for a crowd of adults instead of a mountain a baby food and baby bottles.

"I'll try. It's usually hectic at the hospital on the weekend. You just wouldn't believe how many stupid things people do on the weekend." We hugged and Veronica left.

Bonus pics

Nick is being very adorable around the house

When he isn't annoying Penny who wants to stare at the same baby as he does.