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Hazel Woodfolk (31 years), Jude Woodfolk (30 years), Bea Woodfolk (1 year),
(Mandy McCarthy – 67 years, George McCarthy – 69 years, Morgan Russo – 29 years, Emma McCarthy – 22 years,)
narrated by Hazel
Jude and I have been married for sixteen months, when it’s said that way it seems like hardly anytime at all. I can’t really recall my life without him or Bea in it though. I don’t know what I did with my time, that I always felt so busy and rushed before parenthood, because I know the true meaning of a busy schedule now. I couldn’t imagine myself any happier than I am now though.
Sometimes it seems too good to be true. Jude is as romantic and thoughtful as he was when I fell for him. Bea has been a dream come true, when parents-to-be imagine their future children, they dream of Bea. We moved her to a big girl bed, and she doesn’t climb out at night. In fact, she tells us when she’s tired, and tries climbing into her bed on her own.
She’s happy to entertain herself too, so me and Jude’s alone time doesn’t suffer. He can tell me about his day, or help me put away laundry and she’s perfectly content to bang on her toy guitar. I think Jude is hoping she’ll be musical like he is.
Jude mentioned having another one, he wants our kids to be close in age. It wasn’t something I had really thought about, me and my siblings are all rather far apart. But the idea grew on me pretty quickly. We decided we would try and leave it in the hands of fate, I’m not over any hills, but I know my fertility has dropped since we got pregnant with Bea.
I had to tell my Mom about our trying. Grandkids for my mom aren’t exactly news, my brother Finn has given her a slew of them, seven to be precise. But everyone knows that Mom prefers me, or at least we get a long the best. She fights with Finn over his parenting and finances pretty regularly.
I wasn’t disappointed, Mom was pretty excited. I swore her to secrecy. But I know Dad will be just as thrilled. With all the friction with them and Finn, they don’t see his kids very often, plus Finn lives out in Millwood. Whereas we live just a few blocks from Mom and Dad, and they are welcome to come over anytime.
And they do. Dad is trying to teach Bea how to walk. In fact, everyone is trying to teach her how to walk, all as confident in their abilities as the next. But so far, no go.
She’s nineteen months, and everyone is worried there’s something the matter with her legs. I know better. She’s capable of walking, she just chooses not too. Morgan, my friend, and pediatrician, agrees with me after assessing Bea. Morgan says that Bea measures tall for her age, and it might be her height that makes walking more unstable for her than shorter kids.
While Jude plays one Saturday afternoon, Morgan, Bea and myself do some errands for her upcoming wedding, afterwards we stop by to watch Jude play. Bea loves watching her Daddy play guitar, and jams out with her musical toys.
Morgan’s parents have been less than approving of the match, and they’ve caused hiccups in the planning. Her mother seems to be going along with accepting the marriage, and wants to be involved, but her father is giving everyone the cold shoulder. Regina wants the wedding at their cabin in the mountains, but Morgan thinks it would make Zeke’s mom, Kenzie uncomfortable to stay in the house.
On top of it all, she can’t buy her wedding dress until she knows where she’s getting married at.
Originally she wanted my sister-in-law, Nicole to make the dress, but she’s running out of time for that. Nicole told her she needs the custom order in by May 15th, and not a day later.
After leaving Planet Java, Morgan goes to her future-in-laws for a BBQ, and I head home to lay Bea down for a nap. I trade weekends off with Rebecca, which works out great, except I miss Jude. Weekends are the best for tips, so he’s booked almost all opening hours.
My Mom and Dad usually spend Saturday over if I’m off, and Mom helps me clean the house up. It never gets totally out of hand, but there’s always something that can be picked up or washed, especially dishes.
Dad doesn’t help clean, so much as he stalks Bea to see if she’s awake. I’ve spotted him peeking over her just in case she was pretending to be asleep. I don’t think a kid could have a sweeter grandpa.
He always knows when her eyes first flutter open too, and is in there before she can sit upright. She calls him “papa” and he’s probably her third favorite person in the world. That is of course, hoping me and Jude rank as the top two, but sometimes I’m not so sure; she sure loves her Papa.
They insist on watching Bea when Jude and I both have to work at the same time. I feel good leaving her in their hands, knowing that she literally, doesn’t leave my Dad’s hands. The more I think about it, the more I suspect she isn’t walking has more to do with Dad carrying her everywhere. I make note to tell him that later, while I take Charlie’s order and catch up with him. He’s getting pretty excited about being a Dad again. There’s something about guys talking about their kids that just makes me feel happy.
My waitress, Paige, will probably be leaving for college after next year, and I’m not sure what I’ll do then. I worry that Rebecca might jump ship too. She’s mentioned wanting a second kid, and she’s complained a lot about missing anytime away from her daughter Scarlett. I have a feeling baby number two might mean goodbye to awesome manager.
I don’t worry myself silly over hiring new staff, but I do keep an eye open to see if any customers would make good potential employees. Waitress jobs and even Rebecca’s position as a manager, don’t always reek of lifetime-commitment, here til I retire, kind of of jobs. I’ve considered picking up one of the local community college kids, just to start some training. But I don’t want to spend more money on wages.
My Dad asked me to hire my niece, Emma, but I won’t consider it. She’s here rather often, and without prying, I can tell she’s up to no good. When you work in a popular diner, you get your regular crowd, and the gossip crowd. I’m full aware of what happened at The Red Mill. Like everyone, I hoped that Matthew would return to his wife Jessica, and Emma would stay put with her boyfriend, Chris.
It doesn’t seem to be the case though.
I try to stay out of my family’s business. I don’t want to be a meddlesome aunt, and aside from that, I don’t have the time or energy for any of that nonsense. But it’s hard to not be curious, when so much happens right in my own diner.
For instance, this guy called my niece crazy, and was quite upset with her. I don’t know why he would be, or who he was to begin with. Emma didn’t seem to care ether way with his assessment of her, and I’m not one to agree with strangers over family, but I happen to agree with him.
To make me even more curious. Matthew and Emma were here dancing one afternoon when his wife, Jessica popped in and started apologizing to Emma. I had been concerned at first that there would be a fight, but there wasn’t. Jessica apologized profusely, and I’m flabbergasted on why she would ever do that.
In the end, my favorite part of the week is my days off with my family. We like to walk down the street to Old Town Gardens to let Bea play on the equipment while I do tai-chi. Morgan gave me some vitamins to help prepare my body for conception, and she told me to keep up the exercise. In the end it must have worked, because our first month of trying turned out to be successful. Morgan called to inform me that a little brother or sister would arrive for Bea in December, right when we celebrate our two year anniversary.
I decided to tell Jude once we got to the park.
He was pretty excited, started talking names, and asking if I felt different with this pregnancy than I did with Bea. Did I think it was a girl or a boy. I couldn’t help but laugh, I didn’t even feel pregnant, and if Morgan hadn’t told me, I still wouldn’t know.
Jude decided he had to teach Bea how to walk immediately now, since there was another one on the way. And that she needed to potty-trained before December too.
Bea wasn’t really impressed with the idea of learning to walk though. I’m with her, there’s plenty of time before December, which is good considering the third bedroom is filled with junk.
Notes: Hazel and Jude both rolled the want for a baby a bit back when I was playing another household. I made them wait until I played their house, I figured two years apart was close enough! If I had my say, these two would have waited a bit longer, since I plan to have them stop at two, but alas, I allow them to make their own decisions.
I don’t know why, but Jessica apologized to Emma on her own. And Chuck is the man calling Emma crazy, that’s who she shacked up with after getting out of the slammer. I don’t know why, but he lost his crush on her and called her crazy. But after that, he still wanted to woohoo in the photo booth with her, and she got in the booth… then rejected him! Poor guy had a “rejected in public” so maybe he was right about the whole “crazy” bit.
And I’m quite in love with Bea.