"I can't believe they have baby wipe warmers now." Henry said to Elizabeth as he cleaned Kate. "Your tiny little butt doesn't have to get cold ever!" He exclaimed to the baby as he tickled her tummy.
"How can things have changed so much in just fourteen years? Baby monitor apps, regular swings aren't good enough, even the toys…I feel like a first-time parent. I'm not going to say I don't appreciate some of these things, especially things like the breathing monitor, but wow, this got so much more complicated." Elizabeth said with a sigh, they were packing to leave for the farm and it was a lot more stressful than she had originally expected. She was suddenly very grateful for her detail because it meant more space for baby things. "Even the pacifiers are more complicated," she joked as she tossed several wubbanub pacifiers into one of the many bags filled with Kate's things. Her tone was light but she was clearly stressed out.
Henry finished getting Kate dressed and she suddenly started to whimper. Henry picked her up and walked over to Elizabeth, "Here you go, sweetheart. I think she needs Mama." He was pretty sure her Mama needed her as well.
Elizabeth smiled as she took her daughter and it looked like some of her stress melted away. She rubbed her back and the baby started to quiet down.
"How about we take a break from packing, order some dinner, and watch some tv?"
"Finally, I'm starving."
A little while later they were downstairs and Elizabeth was visibly more relaxed after eating and feeding Kate. They put on the tv and were content just to relax together.
Jason arrived home after a little while, "Hey guys."
"Hey baby," Elizabeth said when she saw her son enter the room.
Jason smiled, "Hi, what are you guys doing?"
"Introducing your sister to John Oliver."
"Seems appropriate," he joked.
Henry laughed, "We thought so."
Jason smiled and sort of stood awkwardly next to the couch.
"Do you need something, buddy?" Henry asked. He was sitting in the corner of the sofa and Elizabeth was curled into his side with Kate resting on her chest.
"Can I, um," Jason looked anywhere but at his parents, "can I..uh… hold Kate?"
Elizabeth's eyes lit up, "Of course you can hold her!" Jason had really done a 180 but he still seemed to be a little nervous around his baby sister. The girls were constantly fighting over who got to hold Kate while Jason seemed content with just being around her and fussing over her when she was with someone else.
Elizabeth sat up a little on the sofa and wrapped her hands securely around her daughter. Jason sat down next to his mother. Elizabeth could tell he was nervous and she wanted to calm him down. "Jase, I know she's tiny but she's not made of glass. You don't have to be so nervous around her, sweetheart."
Jason pursed his lips, "I just don't want to accidentally hurt her."
Elizabeth's heart melted at his candor, "It's going to be fine." She gently lifted Kate off her chest and transferred her over to Jason. "Just support her neck. You've got this, baby."
Jason took Kate and he looked tense for a minute but he finally eased up and settled into the cushions. He smiled down at his sister and Elizabeth couldn't stop smiling, as Jason seemed to relax as he was holding Kate. Henry got up and announced he was going to make some tea.
Elizabeth couldn't stop staring at Jason and Kate. Jason was smiling down at her and she was wide eyed as she looked up at him. "Recognize me yet, Kate?" Jason asked. "It's okay if you don't, you're only a week old. We have a lot of time to get to know each other."
Elizabeth could not help herself as she watched her two youngest children, her two babies, and she started crying. Jason reached up to touch Kate's little hand and Elizabeth knew it was just a reflex when Kate wrapped her little hand around Jason's finger but she couldn't control her emotions and she started crying.
Jason looked really nervous by his mother's reaction. "Mom, are you okay? Am I doing something wrong?"
"No! Sweetheart no, you're doing everything right."
Jason furrowed his brow, "Well...are you okay then?"
Elizabeth kept trying to compose herself but it was only making her cry harder. "I'm so sorry baby, it's just seeing you and Kate makes me so happy." She managed to sputter out between sobs.
Jason wasn't comfortable with this so he called out for his Dad. "Dad, can you come out here?"
Henry walked around the corner and into the family room. "What's going on, buddy?" He couldn't help but smile when he saw his wife crying on the sofa and Jason holding Kate looking confused and nervous next to her.
"What is happening to Mom?"
Henry laughed and walked over to his wife to put his hands on her shoulders. "She's fine, buddy. She's just emotional. It's perfectly normal."
Jason didn't look convinced.
Elizabeth calmed down a bit with Henry's hands on her shoulders. "I'm so sorry, baby, Dad's right I'm just really emotional and seeing you being so good with Kate just sends my hormones into a tizzy."
Jason frowned and shook his head, "Mom, too much information!"
Elizabeth and Henry both laughed. "Oh, calm down, it's perfectly normal. She's doing just fine. Mood swings are perfectly normal. Just make sure she's okay and then call me to reign her in if need be."
Jason laughed and Elizabeth smacked Henry's hand gently.
Henry went back into the kitchen and Elizabeth reached out to run her hand through Jason's hair. "Do you think she recognizes me yet?" Jason asked his mother.
Elizabeth smiled, "I like to think she does. Look, she's smiling at you. She definitely knows your voice."
Jason smiled down at Kate. He liked that. He reminded himself to make a point to talk to her even if his sisters were hogging her. "Do all babies just automatically know their parents?"
Elizabeth smiled and nodded, "I think so. She definitely knew Dad. When the doctor handed her to him she stopped crying almost immediately."
"I bet she knew you too. I mean, you're the one who made her."
Elizabeth smiled. "Thanks baby. I'm pretty proud of her. I'm pretty proud of you too."
The next day they were leaving for the farm after the kids finished school. The house was quiet as they finished up their packing and Henry figured it was a good time to go to the store and get a few extra supplies and some snacks for the ride.
Elizabeth looked down at the little girl in her arms as she heard the front door close. "Well, baby girl, looks like it's just you and me for a little while."
She smiled down at her daughter who was wide eyed in her arms and she smiled at her. "I think this is the first time you and Mommy have been alone together. Well, alone in this way. Please do me a tiny favor and don't cry because my incision is really painful today and it hurts a lot to carry you around but you know I would do it anyway if you were crying."
She couldn't stop smiling at her daughter. It was strange, she had basically known Kate for nine months but this little period of time where they were alone together for the first time made everything feel all the more real. She rocked Kate in her arms, "I'm your Mommy, baby girl. I love you so much." She cooed. "I'm always here to take care of you, my sweet little angel." She felt herself getting wispy, "I'm so happy you're here." She practically whispered.
She composed herself and proceeded to talk to her daughter. "You know, the first time your Daddy left me with your big sister Stevie, I was so scared. I didn't know what to do with her and she started crying and then I started crying and it was just a mess." She grinned when Kate made a little gurgle. "Then with Ali and Jason I don't think I even noticed the first time I was alone with them, I was so overwhelmed, having more than one little kid is hard. You don't get to focus so much on all the beautiful little things about your new baby quite in the way you want to." She ran her finger down Kate's tiny cheek. "But you, you're lucky, you have the best older siblings in the whole world. You're going to love them so much and you'll learn everything from them. Then you have your Daddy," she sighed, "I don't know how to adequately convey to you that you have the best Daddy in the whole world. And then you have me and even though I've had a lot of practice in this Mom thing, I can't promise you that I'm not going to make any mistakes. But what I am going to do is love you so much every single day and I'm not going to take for granted having a new little girl to love and care for." She tucked her fingers around Kate's head and stroked her thumb down her cheek. Kate smiled at her and Elizabeth grinned. "I think that was a real smile and not just gas, what about you?"
Kate just kept smiling and Elizabeth couldn't stop grinning, "Yeah, it's definitely real. Your smile is already just like your Daddy's. It's so beautiful."
Just then her phone went off and she glanced over at it, seeing Henry's name. She laughed, "Speaking of your Daddy, he has barely been gone for twenty minutes and he is already checking up on you."
She reached out to grab the phone and smiled at the text. Got the prescription. I'm stopping at the grocery and then I'll be back. How's our girl?
Elizabeth laughed and shook her head, "Kate, you already have your Daddy wrapped around your little finger." She texted him back that they were fine and he should take his time and better not be texting and driving and then she set the phone down.
She watched Kate as her eyes slowly fluttered close. "I think you've got the right idea, baby girl."
When Henry arrived back home, Elizabeth was still hanging out in bed with Kate. She had the tv on low but she was seemingly just staring at the sleeping baby. He grinned, "Hey babe, how was baby girl?" He sat down next to his wife and she handed over their daughter. Henry's eyes lit up when she passed Kate over to him. He just grinned down at her as he cradled her against his chest. "Hi baby girl, Daddy's home."
Elizabeth laughed, "You are done for with this one."
Henry shook his head and smiled, "Yeah, I hate to admit it but I think you're right." He turned back to Kate. "But you're my last baby so it's fine," he cooed to his daughter.
I'm finally back with this story! Again, I'm so sorry these have just sat here for a year, life has been…hectic, to say the least! Haha This chapter was supposed to be longer but I couldn't figure out the other part I had written, so I'm posting it and hoping some encouragement from you lovely people might help me with the next part, so please let me know what you think!
I'm seeing Tim's play tonight and I'm so excited! Has anyone seen it yet? I went last year in Vermont and LOVED it so I'm really excited to see it again! Hope everyone is having a great holiday season, thank you so much for reading!
(PS I have a one-shot I'm gonna try to get posted tomorrow morning!)