“Mummy, do I have to go to school? I don’t like it.”
I suppressed a sigh, every day was the same battle to get Buddy out the door. “Yes, Buddy, you do have to go to school. Leisure day is coming, you’ll have a whole day off.”
He gave me a look of disgust. “It will never get here.”
“It will get here, I promise. And do you really want to stay home with all the babies?”
“Babies are yucky,” he agreed. “I wish daddy were here, he wouldn’t make me go to school.”
I wanted to tell Buddy a few things about his daddy but now wasn’t the time. “He would make you go. Education is very important, so go to school Buddy Grant.”
He slowly trudged out of the house and to the waiting bus. I watched him go, sad that my little man so disliked school.
After Buddy had finally gotten into the bus, I went and cuddled the babies. When they were all cuddled and ready for another nap, I prepared to go out. “Jake?” I called.
“I’m going out for the morning. Gym, coffee shop and then pick up the things for the birthday party. You’ll manage?”
“Of course, ma’am. Now that the babies are on the same schedule, they aren’t too hard.”
“Thank you, Jake.” My parents were right. A butler was a blessing. Jake took everything in stride, and I could get away for a few hours from time to time.
First stop was the gym. I needed a more thorough workout than the board breaker at home could do for me. The local team was holding a place for me, once I was done with maternity leave. And I have every intention to shine. To do that, I have to be in top shape.
When I’d finished working myself into a good sweat, and taking a shower, I went over to the coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix. I double checked the list of party supplies that I was to get. Jake had a few requirements for food. I wanted to make sure we had enough decorations to suit each of the triplets. Three birthday cakes, a small expense but I’m sure that it will be easier if we don’t have to try to have three toddlers blow out the candles on the same cake.
It was nearly evening before everything was ready and the guests started to arrive. I'd invited the family. Dad, Brad and Em, Stephen and Abby, and Veronica made it. Mum, Vincent and James didn't.
The fact that Mum didn't come worried me. I think Vincent stayed home to keep an eye on her. Every time I see her, I'm worried that it will be the last time.
A look passed between them. “Well, Penny,” Brad said. “We didn’t. We brought you these,” and he handed me a couple of gifts. “The rest are from Nick. They arrived a couple of weeks ago for the triplets birthday.”
The pile of gifts from Nick wasn’t entirely a surprise. He’d sent at least one gift for every birthday and holiday and he usually sent them to his parents or occasionally mine. I think he sent them to parents so there were witnesses to the fact that there were gifts. I'd never deny my children gifts but since I don't communicate with Nick, he wouldn't know that.
"Buddy, it's time. Come down for the birthday party."
"Do I have to?" was the plaintive reply.
"If you don't, you won't get any cake," I said. While it's still fresh, that is. I have a feeling we will have cake in the fridge for ages.
I hate to have to admit it but I prefer them asleep. While they sleep, they are the best babies anyone could want. Then again, there were three of them and when they are all awake, it's nearly impossible to keep up. Without Jake, I have no idea how I'd manage.
Or maybe it was knowing that there was cake in his future. A little hard to tell with a growing and very hungry boy.
"Ronnie, I'm glad you managed to get away from the hospital."
"Penny, you have no idea how glad I am. I barely have time to breath any more. Poor Eddie only gets to see me for about 10 minutes a day, there's just no stopping."
"How are you and Eddie doing?"
"We're engaged," she started to say.
"That's fantastic," I replied.
"Yes, but I have no idea when we will get married. We'll probably have to do a 5 minute civil ceremony at city hall. It's all the time I can get." She sighed. "I love my job but the hours are going to kill me."
Poor Ronnie. The medical profession is very demanding.
By now, at least the family had all assembled around the back, though some of them were more interested in the cake then the birthday.
Not that I could blame anyone. Jake and I got so involved in the decorating, we forgot to put any food out, not even snacks. I'm afraid that if anyone is hungry "Let them eat cake" applies.
Everyone was getting exhausted by now. The third round of 'Happy Birthday'. The third round of singing. The third round of opening presents.
It wasn't long after Joey had finished that everyone started to leave. It's always good to see everyone but it is a relief when the house isn't quite so full.
How would I begin to cope without him?
Oh my plumbbob, tomorrow I have to start toddler taming. Three toddlers, and they all need help to walk and talk.
Em and Brad decided to flirt in front of the house.
Good thing it was one of three.