I read an article on the worst Mother's Day gift given and received. It was very funny and inspired this chapter. And yes, there are at least two women out there whose husbands are like Ralph and helped their wives discover new "hobbies."


"Sorry, I'm late," Derek panted as he came running up.

Ralph and Sam looked at their friend in surprise. Sam was the first one who found his tongue.

"D, did you forget something?"

"Like a babysitter," Ralph added.

"We're shopping for Mommy," six-year-old Cameron Venturi explained.

"Daddy needs us," Cameron's twin, Taylor, replied with a decisive nod that knocked some of her dark hair out of her pig tails.

"Yeah," Derek agreed before looking down at his three-year-old daughter sitting on his foot. "Kel, baby, switch feet, okay. Daddy's right foot is falling asleep."

With a giggle the little girl quickly switched feet.

Ralph watched the scene looking appalled. "D, how are we going to buy lingerie with your four ankle bitters?"

"I don't bit ankles," Cameron shouted, appalled.

"Daddy," Taylor asked while yanking on Derek's jeans to better get his attention. "What's lingerie?"

"Pajamas," Derek quickly replied. Turning back to his friends, he added, "Jake's taking his nap and he can sleep through anything." All three of the men looked down at the baby strapped to Derek's chest in the baby carrier. Jacob Venturi was indeed sound asleep despite the noise of the mall all around him.

"Why didn't Ralph say pajamas?" Taylor asked. Like her mother, she never let anything go.

"He was trying to be cool," Derek explained.

"Oh," she answered thoughtfully.

Glad to be off that topic, Derek turned back to his friends. "You can't get your wife pajamas for Mother's Day, Ralph."

"Well, I was thinking of acting like I forgot the day and then after the kids are in bed…"

"Ralph," Derek exclaimed. "Impressionable children. They repeat everything they hear."

"You shouldn't have brought them," Ralph sulked.

Sam laughed. "Derek's right, Ralph. As a veteran Mother's Day gift buyer, I can tell you that you won't be getting any with either of those gifts.

"Get any of what?" Kelly asked.

"Cookies, sweetheart." Turning Derek grabbed Cameron, in an attempt to keep the child from wandering off, and said, "Why did my children have to get Casey's curiosity?"

Once again, Sam started to laugh. He remembered when he had first found out that Casey was pregnant. Boy or girl, he knew Derek was going to pay for all the crap he had put his parents through over the years. He just couldn't wait until Derek's baby girls were old enough to date. That would be all sorts of entertainment right there.

"Fine," Ralph sighed. "I'll just get her welding gloves."

"Welding gloves," Derek repeated, distracted as he tried to get the twins to not run around the department store.

"You think a welding mask would be better?"

"Ralph," Sam asked, completely confused. "Since when does your wife weld?"

"Well, she said she was interested in picking up a new hobby."

"So, you picked welding?"

"It's a useful skill," Ralph protested.

"Cameron George Venturi, put down that bottle of perfume and come here!"

Rolling his eyes, Sam asked, "Why didn't you leave the kids home with Casey?"

"Because we're replacing the toaster since someone wanted to toast their plastic toast," Derek said with a significant look at Taylor.

"But Daddy, I wanted to use the real toaster."

"Not without Mommy or Daddy there, remember?"

"Yeah," Taylor sighed heavily.

"But," Ralph protested. "I thought Casey once said toasters were bad presents."

"We've already got Case's present. We're just replacing the toaster. Cameron, hang onto my belt loop and do not let go, do you understand me."

"Fine," the six-year-old sighed.

Now that only Taylor, his best behaved child, was the only one loose, Derek breathed a sigh of relief and turned back to his buddies.

"Somehow, Ralph, I just don't see Trish as a welder. I could be wrong."

Sighing, Ralph looked around the store. "A watch?"

"Good idea," Sam agreed. "I'm getting one of those mother's necklaces. What about you D? What did you get Casey?"

"A day off," Derek sighed as he grabbed Taylor around the waist to stop her from running around and knocking over a display.


Casey smiled as she walked into their bedroom to fine her husband lightly dozing on the bed. Crawling up next to him, she kissed the side of his jaw.

Groaning, Derek pulled his eyes open. Giving her a sleepy grin he replied, "Did you have a nice Mother's Day?"

"The best," she replied, curling up next to him.

Fingering the colorful beaded necklace the twins had made for her, he said, "I told them you would only wear this for really special occasions."

"Well, this is a special necklace."

"Ralph wanted to get Trish welding gloves."

"I'm lucky to have the Mother's Day master," Casey teased.

"Yes," Derek replied with a prideful smirk. "You are."

Laughing, Casey slapped his chest in mock anger.

Growling, Derek flipped his wife over so he was hovering over her. "You're playing with fire, woman."

"It's a good thing I don't care, hum?"

Attacking her neck with his lips, Derek muttered, "Yes, it is."

Casey just laughed and hugged her husband even tighter.