Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another New Arrival Part 2

One morning, after a particularly bad night, Robby suggested that we go pay our friends a visit and see how they were holding up. I thought this was a good idea.

We crept quietly across the room and climbed cautiously up to the curio to check on them.

They were all asleep, finally. Poor Eugene and Rapunzel! How exhausted they looked!

Robby leaned over and whispered, "Let's come back later. I think we should let them sleep."

I wholeheartedly agreed. Robby dropped soundlessly to the bed below, and I carefully turned to do the same. But as I did, I suddenly lost my balance and grabbed onto Beast'sbelle's husband's alarm clock in my panic.

Instantly, a jarring conversation between two radio talk show hosts blared into the silence.

I was so startled, I lost my grip and tumbled head first to the bed below.

And of course, Eugene and Rapunzel (and both babies) woke up with a start!

Thankfully, Robby was there to catch me, so I didn't end up landing on my head. I was so mortified, though. I couldn't believe that I'd messed things up when my friends had finally gotten some much needed sleep!

Once Robby made sure I was okay, he went back up and turned off the alarm. I followed slowly after him, feeling quite ashamed of myself.

I apologized over and over again, almost crying in my embarrassment. Eugene was a bit grouchy, but Rapunzel assured me that all was forgiven.

Eugene fell back asleep almost instantly, as did both babies. Robby decided to leave so that Rapunzel and I could have some time to talk.

I carefully took the sleeping Emmaline from Rapunzel to give her a little break.

"So, how are you holding up?" I asked Rapunzel timidly.

My friend promptly burst into tears. "Oh, Belle, I don't know why I ever thought I could be a good mother. I'm a wreck!!" She looked away and wiped her eyes. "I'm so tired I feel like I could sleep for 3 weeks straight without waking up. Emmaline is completely beyond me. I don't know what to do! I know I should probably just let her cry, but I'm so desperate for sleep, it's just easier to hold her. Abigail's now completely off her schedule, Eugene is snappish because he's tired too, and I'm just...I don't think I can do this!"

I had never seen my friend so worked up like this. Normally I was the one doing this to her!

I didn't really know what I could say that would help, so I just put my arm around her and let her cry.  It was probably good for her to get it all out of her system, anyway.  My poor friend!  I'd never seen her cry before in all the time we'd known each least not like this.  I didn't blame her one bit, though.  I would have been in doll therapy by now if I were in her shoes!!!  I mean, I've heard it said that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture in some countries.  It's amazing that mothers everywhere aren't completely insane!!!

At that moment, Robby popped up over the edge of the curio again. 

"Sorry to interrupt," he began hesitantly. 

Rapunzel, embarrassed to be caught showing such emotion, wiped her eyes and tried to look like she hadn't been bawling.  It didn't really work, but it was a noble effort.

"I was just coming to see if you were ready for Belle and I to take our first babysitting shift," Robby continued.

I glanced at him in confusion.  He gave me a look that said Just play along.  I nodded slightly. 

Rapunzel looked confused, too.  "What?" she sniffled.  "But...we didn't...I mean...I couldn't..."

I came to her rescue.  "Robby and I wanted to do this for you, and now seems like the perfect time.  You could use the sleep, and we could use some practice..." I stopped myself, flustered.  Oh great, Belle!  Now it sounds like you and Robby are practicing for parenthood!  When would I ever learn to keep my big mouth shut?  I purposely did NOT look at Robby as I said, "That is...uh...we need to practice so we can be great babysitters.  That way, you guys can ask us to watch them whenever you need it..."  You're babbling again, Belle!  Just quit before you make it worse!

"I don't know what to say," Rapunzel began, her eyes filling with tears again.  "I hate to let you do my job, but I'm so tired!"

"Give yourself a break," I responded gently, patting her on the back.  "Most parents don't go from zero to two kids in 4 weeks!"

Rapunzel managed a little smile.  "Well, if you guys are sure you don't mind..."

"Not at all," Robby assured her.

Rapunzel handed Abigail over to Robby (I still had Emmaline in my arms), gave us a few instructions, and after flashing us a grateful smile, lay down in exhaustion next to Eugene.  I think she was asleep before we had a chance to leave!

Meanwhile, Robby and I slowly and carefully made our way down the curio with the babies.  We settled ourselves in a comfy spot at the head of Beast'sbelle's bed and let the girls finish their naps.  I hoped that Emmaline would be good for a change and let her parents sleep. 

"Pretty crazy, huh?" I asked Robby, taking care to whisper so I wouldn't wake the babies.  "I wonder if they're regretting their decision to become parents."

"I'm sure there are times when the thought has crossed their minds," Robby agreed.  "But they'll be fine.  It's just going to take some time.  Parenting isn't as easy as it looks."

I raised an eyebrow.  "And what makes you the parenting expert all of a sudden?"

He smiled.  "Well, I do know everything," he said teasingly.

I let a giggle escape, then froze.  Emmaline stirred in my arms.  "Oh no!" I said under my breath.

Emmaline looked up at me with sleepy eyes.  I waited for the screaming to begin.

But to my amazement, she didn't cry!  She just looked up at me curiously. 

"Would you look at that," Robby said in amazement, letting out the breath he'd been holding in.

I couldn't believe it.  "I guess I must just have a way with babies," I joked.

"Maybe she's just getting a little more used to her surroundings, too," Robby suggested.

"Oh, thanks!  I'm glad you're so confident in my abilities," I said, pretending to be offended.

Robby chuckled at this. 

At that moment, Ben appeared in front of me.  "How are the babysitters surviving over here?" he asked with a little smile.

I suddenly lost all capability of speaking. 

"Fine," Robby answered for me, rather stiffly.

"I'm astonished that you managed to end her crying!" Ben said, looking down at me.  "I was sure she would cry forever, and we'd be doomed to a new life of sleepless nights."

Recovering my voice, I said, "She just needed some time to adjust.  And I'm not expecting her to stay this way.  She's bound to cry again in her life," I said teasingly. 

Ben didn't smile in return.  "I must confess, I've never understood the fascination babies hold for others.  They're so helpless and noisy."

My heart sunk a little at this.  I mean, sure, I wasn't planning on becoming a parent any time soon, but it was something I hoped for in the future.  A future that I secretly hoped would include Ben.  Hearing him talk that way about babies was a bit discouraging.  But maybe he just hadn't been around them that much.  And if Emmaline had been his only exposure to them, maybe he'd just gotten a bad first impression.

"Oh, come on," I said, carefully getting to my feet and trying to keep my voice light.  "Babies aren't all bad.  Look how cute she is now."  A crazy idea entered my head.  "Why don't you hold her?"

Ben looked at me as if I'd asked him to stand on his head.  "Surely you're joking."

"Come on, what's the harm?" I persisted.  "Just for a minute."  And before he could protest, I handed her over.

Ben held her away from his body, as if he were afraid of her.  For a moment, Emmaline and Ben just stared at one another.  Then, Emmaline cooed for the first time since her arrival.  A small smile escaped from Ben's lips before he could hide it.

Then Emmaline sneezed and let out a sudden shriek.  The spell was broken.  Ben shoved Emmaline back in my direction, a flustered expression on his face.

It took me a while to calm her, but Emmaline did stop crying. 

Ben didn't leave, but he kept eyeing Emmaline suspiciously, as if he was waiting for her next outburst. 

"That wasn't so terrible, was it?" I asked, when Emmaline had calmed down.

Ben gave me a disbelieving look. 

I looked down at my feet. 

"You do seem to have a way with her," he admitted grudgingly.

I could feel my cheeks heating up at his praise.  "Thank you," I said quietly.  "I'm not sure why...I've never really been around babies before this.  She's probably just getting a little more comfortable with her surroundings."  I tried to figure out why this conversation sounded so familiar, but my similar conversation with Robby had completely slipped my mind.  All I could think of was those piercing blue eyes looking down at me.

"Well, I should go," Ben said abruptly.  "I have plans for the morning."

"Of course," I replied breathlessly. 

He gave me a small smile and a curt little nod before disappearing around the large floral pillow.

I sank down to my seat again, feeling all dreamy and lightheaded.  I found out later that Ben paused around the corner and stared back at me before continuing on his way. (There are dolls everywhere in Mama's room, so I have all sorts of extra sets of eyes in there!) ;)  It's probably good that I didn't know at the time...I would have floated to the ceiling right then and there...I'm sure of it!

My dreamy reverie was interrupted when Robby cleared his throat. 

"Oh, Robby!" I said, startled.  "I'd almost forgotten you were there."

He nodded.  "Yeah, I kinda noticed that."

I blushed again.  "Sorry...I just...well, never mind."

"You know," Robby said slowly, "I really don't understand what you see in that guy.  I mean, the way you're acting, you'd think he'd just told you something wonderful.  I think he could talk to you about the weather and make you lightheaded."

I avoided his eyes.  "He complimented me.  There's nothing wrong with being happy about that."  I suddenly became engrossed with fixing the Velcro on Emmaline's onesie.  "Besides," I said defensively, "someday you'll know how it feels, too!"

At that moment, Emmaline officially decided she'd been good long enough.  She began wailing, and nothing I did would soothe her.  I focused all of my attention on her and left Robby to his own thoughts. 

A few hours later, Eugene and Rapunzel joined us.  They still looked tired, but there were smiles on their faces. 

"Hey, how are you guys feeling?" I asked over Emmaline's whimpering.

"Much better, thank you," Rapunzel said.

Robby got to his feet.  "Maybe you and Belle would like a chance to talk," he encouraged, handing Baby Abigail back to her.  "Eugene and I could take a walk while you girls visited here."  And within moments, the guys were on their way, and Rapunzel and I were left with the babies.

"Typical males," I said teasingly, shaking my head.

Rapunzel gave me a distracted smile.  She was staring down at little Abigail, playing with her tiny fingers and toes and taking in every last detail.

"Are you okay?" I asked her, shifting the still fussing Emmaline in my lap. 

Rapunzel nodded and looked up at me.  "I'm just a little embarrassed, that's all.  I really thought this would be easy.  It's what I've always wanted, and I've always loved children.  I...I had no idea how hard it would be."

"You're doing a great job," I assured her.  "You and Eugene have just had to deal with a lot of changes in a short time.  It would be rough on anybody!"

"I know," Rapunzel.  "I just feel bad that I was so confident before this.  You must think I'm a complete idiot."

"What?" I said incredulously, almost laughing.  "I don't think anything of the sort.  Don't we all do things like this?  I know I've gone through things that ended up being more challenging than I originally thought."  I patted her hand.  "Cut yourself some slack, okay?"

Rapunzel smiled.  "Thank you, Belle.  I don't know what I'd do without you."

I grinned back at her.  "I'm just glad that I'm finally able to give you some advice.  Normally it's the other way around!"

My friend gazed off at something unseen.  "I've learned so much through all of this.  I feel like I've aged about 10 years."

I pretended to scrutinize her.  "Hmm, you don't look any older."

"What?" she asked, coming back to the present. 

I gave her a cheeky grin. 

"Okay, you've been hanging around Robby too long," she said with teasing disapproval.

I nodded and rolled my eyes.  "Tell me about it!  I can't believe I'm stooping to his humor!"

Rapunzel eyed me casually.  "He's been a good friend."

She didn't fool me.  I kept my voice light.  "Yes, a very good friend."

"Maybe...more than a friend?" she offered. 

"Nope!" I said firmly.  "He's my pal and that's all.  I don't think I'll ever think of him as anything else."

Rapunzel seemed to sense that this wasn't the best time to pursue the subject.  She stroked Abigail's soft head.  "I really couldn't have made it without you two stepping in last night."  She looked up at me again, and there were tears in her eyes.  "Thank you, Belle."

"Anytime," I grinned, relieved that the subject of Robby had dropped. 

As if on cue, Emmaline let out another of her bloodcurdling shrieks.  We both jumped and then laughed together.  Rapunzel took Emmaline back and handed Abigail over to me. 

It was wonderful to see a smile on Rapunzel's face again.  Emmaline would most likely never be an easy baby, but at least Rapunzel was more relaxed and had a more realistic view of things now.  And whenever she needed me, I'd be there for her.  That's what friends were for.


Elliebob said...

These are so good! I read them like they are a book. This made my day. I love to see new postings up. Thanks Belle and Beast'sBelle!

beast'sbelle said...

Thank you, Elliebob! :)


Anonymous said...

Is Ben a Christian? That's the most important thing!

beast'sbelle said...

Hi Anonymous. That's definitely the most important thing in any human relationship. I'm trying to figure out how to put this without sounding really horrible. Ben, Robby, and all of us (the 12 inchers, at least) are not Christians. Basically, it's because we're...plastic. That's one of the awesome things about being have the amazing chance to believe in Jesus and go to Heaven.

I know that Tess and Maggie and the other 18 inchers have said they are Christians. I'm not exactly sure how that works, since they are also plastic...

Anyway, I hope this answers your question. If I were human, that would be the first requirement on my list. :)


beast'sbelle said...

Beast'sbelle here. I've tried to stay off of this blog and let Belle do all the commenting, but this comment was important enough that I thought I should respond in person.

Obviously, my faith is a very important part of my worldview. However, for this blog I decided to just use some of the principles I've learned about relationships and parenting rather than making it specifically Christian. The main reason for this is what Belle just stated: they're dolls.

My 18" dolls are "Christians". This came about because when I started blogging for them, I was writing as if they were human characters rather than actual dolls. By the time I changed things so that they were actual dolls, I'd already made mention of their faith. While it concerned me that my faith might be cheapened by assigning it to dolls, I decided that for the sake of consistency I would keep things the way they were. For this blog, I did things differently.

I just wanted to address this because I heartily agree that the most important thing for a Christian in any human relationship is making sure the person they are interested in is also saved. Sorry to wreck the illusion of Belle doing her own writing, but I decided it was worth it to answer this question. :}

Okay, I'm handing things back over to Belle now. :)

beast'sbelle said...

Okay, that was weird!! As if Beast'sbelle is in control of what I write on this blog! Power hungry much?

I wish she'd ask for permission before posting things on here. Hmm, I think I'm beginning to understand how Tess and Maggie felt the first time I posted on their blog without asking. :{

Anyway, moving on! I've been working like mad trying to get caught up on my posts!! I hope to have a few more up for all of you this week. :) Talk to you later!


Mary said...

Eeeee, I take a break from the computer to find one of my favorite blogs has done 2 posts! The first thing I thought was, poor Rapunzel, having to care for that fussy baby! Then I thought, poor Emmaline, she must me tired from crying so much! The I thought, poor Belle, she must have been so embarrassed! Then I thought, poor Belle, losing her ability to speak whenever Ben walks by! (LOL) Then I thought, poor Ben, being scared of a baby! Then I thought, poor Robby, becoming nonexistent whenever Ben walks by! Then I thought, sigh, the post has ended. :)

beast'sbelle said...

Lol...Mary, you made me smile with your comment! :) I'm glad you are enjoying my blog so much. I'm hoping to pull off posting several times this week. Things are pretty crazy, so I don't know if I can do it, but I'm sure going to try! :}


Anonymous said...

I totally understand! It's just weird thinking you guys aren't Christians lol!

beast'sbelle said...

Yeah, we are rather in the minority in this house! ;) Mama says she hopes we can be "parables" or "allegories", whatever that means!