Figuring Out Husbands and Babies by Luvscharlie

I've always wondered why children—siblings that is—seem to oftentimes be two or three years apart. I mean, certainly there are exceptions to that rule. Look at Ron and Ginny for example. There's only one year between them. And with Charlie and Percy, the span is four years, though Molly swears that's because Charlie skipped walking and went straight into an all out run, and by the end of the day, she was simply too tired to… yeah, that sort of makes me queasy, so we'll leave it at that. My mother-in-law offers a lot of wisdom… and at times far too much information.

But I think I may have it figured out. I think it's that by the time our children hit two, we mothers are beginning to miss that constant weight attached to our hip, the baby gurgles and coos of delight. They're becoming independent, and since we can't turn back time, we simply do the next best thing, start it over… sort of.

By the time they hit two, they look like cherubs when they slumber, their little toddler snores and smiles in their sleep warm our hearts. Those screaming infants who demanded to be fed every two hours have left our memories, or at least faded as we once again began to sleep through the night, as they do. Babies are far more adorable when we're well rested.

So by the time our children are toddlers, our guard is down. When our husband says wouldn't it be nice to have another, we begin to think that he might be right. Having another wouldn't be so bad… it might even be nice. There would be tiny toes to tickle and little smiles to warm our hearts.

How do I know these things? Because I have recently fallen prey to such trickery. My little Rosie was growing up and let me just tell you, my heart broke with the first "I'll do it myself." She didn't need me anymore. Or at least that's what my irrational mind heard; my baby was simply not a baby any longer. Those words 'big girl' seemed to be the most wretched in my vocabulary.

And as I sobbed the tears of broken hearted mothers everywhere, that's when Ron moved in. Beware ladies, this is when it happens. I'm sure they have it all planned out. "Don't cry, Hermione. We can always have another." And at the time it seemed like such a caring, thoughtful remedy to our problem.

Mm-hm. Caring and thoughtful, that's my husband… in theory.

Then the baby comes and we have our little Hugo and Ron nudges me in the middle of the night. "Er-my-nee, the baby's crying," he says groggily. "I'd get him but he just wants to eat and I don't have the equipment." And I'm fairly certain I see him draw imaginary boobies on his chest. And no, I don't have any idea how he ended up in the floor after he fell back asleep. No idea. Is it my fault that he twisted himself up in the covers and tumbled out of bed… or something? No, I don't think it is either.

Husbands. They're far more tiresome than children ever thought about being. There are so many times I've considered strangling him in his sleep. Except sometimes he does that smiling thing the kids do, or he pulls me close at night, his hands running over my skin and all thoughts of strangling him go out the window. I want to do other things to him then. Things that include kissing my way down his body, running my hands down his chest, throwing my leg over… and I think I may have developed my mother-in-law's tendency toward too much information. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that my husband does have his share of Weasley charm.

Still today was one of those days—the me-wanting-to-strangle-him kind of days, I mean. I started off with two hours sleep and a screaming, inconsolable baby. The nudge came right away. "Hermione, the baby's crying." I was beyond cranky. "You go get him, and don't you dare draw fake boobies or even say the word 'equipment', Ron Weasley." There was a good deal of muttering as Ron's weight lifted from the bed, but I was far too tired to bother trying to make any of it out.

He slid the baby in beside me, and I remember Hugo latching on to nurse. I even vaguely remember Ron lifting him and the loud burp that filled the room. But that's about it. The next thing I know the morning light is filling the room as Hugo pushes his little baby knees against me, stretching in the bed and cooing those infectious baby coos.

The house is quiet, not the norm for a house with a rambunctious, chattery toddler. And then I pick Hugo up against me and walk past Rose's room and stop. My breath catches to see Ron's long legs folded up as he sits patiently in Rose's too tiny chair, listening to her chatter on to both him and her favourite bear.

"Drink your tea, Daddy."

"Watch what I can do, Rosie." Ron balances the tiny tea cup on his forehead, sending Rosie into squeals and giggles. "Shhh! Remember, Mummy's sleeping."

Rosie puts her finger over her mouth as though to remind herself to be quiet, and I think my heart just might explode at the scene before me. Because even on days when I forget why I ever wanted to be a wife or mother, it only takes one little action like that to send my heart to overflowing.

"Is there room for two more at this tea party? Hugo and I were just discussing how much we wanted some tea."

Rosie clapped her hands together. "Come on, Mummy. Look what Daddy can do. He only spilled it on the rug one time."

Ron cocked a half hearted smile and quickly moved his foot to hide the stain.

But I'll worry about that later. Stains don't seem nearly so important as a tea party with my family this morning.

A/N: Originally written for redheadsarehot's birthday and based on a piece of her art.