Mason/Elli – 4

Aiden – 2

Carter- 1.5mo


I had snuck downstairs with Mason, Elli and Aiden trying to avoid waking up Bella and Carter. Last night had been rough for the both of us. Carter seemed to be really fussy having slept only a total of maybe 4 hours the whole night. He refused to take a bottle and only wanted Bella to breast feed. They had both just finally both fallen asleep about 25 minutes ago and I really didn't want the rambunctious toddlers to wake either of them up.

As I walked down the steps I saw Mason sitting at the counter looking like he was half asleep. It wouldn't surprise me if either Elli or Aiden had woken him up and made him come down here. He didn't look like he could do anything. I however couldn't see either Elli or Aiden anywhere in the room. I did notice that someone had turned on the TV in the kitchen and Mason was contently watching Sesame Street in his sleep induced haze.

It didn't take long for me to realize where my other two were because Elli came running past the kitchen heading for the stairs shrieking. I quickly got to my feet chasing after her before she got far enough to wake up her mom and brother. As I picked her up I wiped the crocodile tears off of her face. She continued to scream crying hysterically, and loudly.

"What's the matter El?" I asked gently. It was then that Aiden came through from the living room looking perfectly happy.

"Aiden hit me with his car. He hit my head" she continued to wail.

"Oh sweetie, let Daddy look at it." I pushed her bangs gently off her forehead and looked at the spot she was pointing to with her tiny hands. "You look fine baby. Just a bump. Want me to kiss it and make it all better?" She nodded, so I kissed her forehead and she quickly laid her head down on my shoulder. It was then I could tell she was still tired. I went back into the kitchen and placed her on a stool next to Mason to watch some TV.

Then I went to grab my little trouble maker. The closer I got to Aiden he began to run away from me. From that moment I knew that he was well aware that he had done something wrong. "Hey no. Get your butt over here young man." I quickly grabbed him up in my arms. "Aiden James, we do not hit people. Especially not with toys. You know better than that. You get a 5 minute time out."

He was looking right in my eyes. I began to walk toward the time out chair that was placed in the corner between the living room and the kitchen. "No Daddy. No time out." He pouted as he tried to wiggle out of my arms. I continued towards the chair.

"Sorry buddy. You know the rules. And you know that you did something bad so you have to have a time out."

"No Daddy, I not do it. I not hit anymore. Pease no time out." He began to cry and even though it broke my heart I couldn't give in. If you gave in they took advantage of you.

"It's too late Aiden. You already hit Elli so you have to have your time out and then apologize to your sister." I put him down on the little stool and he began to cry.

I got up to walk away from him and he got out of the chair. I quickly picked him back up and put him back in the chair. As soon as I put him back he cried harder and after putting him back for the third time he began to scream. However, he had finally resigned to being on the time out so I was forced to let him sit there and cry.

It did break my heart though when I heard the baby upstairs start to cry as well. It seems that Aiden's cries had carried up the stairs. "Damn" I mumbled under my breath low enough that none of the children could hear it.

I stood up and made my way up the stairs. Before I went up I turned around to the kids. "Mason and Elli don't try to get down until I come back I don't want you getting hurt. And Aiden you better still be sitting there when I get back or you will just get more time. Got it?" He continued crying but nodded in understanding.

I walked up the stairs and just as I pushed the door to the nursery open I heard Bella shushing the baby.

"Shhh…shhh. It's alright baby boy. Calm down honey." She looked utterly exhausted. She had on her pajamas still her hair was messed up, her eyes looked tired and yet she had never looked more beautiful to me. She was cradling Carter against her chest rubbing her hand across his back. He finally started to calm down as she turned around and found me staring at her.

"Hey babe." I said

"Hey." She whispered. "What's with the crying downstairs. I heard Elli initially but now Aiden is clearly wailing."

She walked towards me and handed over the baby. I quickly snuggled the little boy into my embrace. "Well, Aiden hit Elli in the head with one of his toy cars. Even though I am pretty sure Elli over reacted I put him on a time out and that started the water works. I'm sorry that he woke you up, I know neither of you slept a lot last night." That's all it took and Carter started whimpering again. I sighed as he started rustling against my chest clearly looking for a boob. I quickly handed him back to my wife. "I think he's looking for something I can't give."

She took him out of my arms and grabbing a nursing blanket before following me down the stairs. She sat down in a chair and placed the blanket over her shoulder and began nursing.

"Good morning mommy!" both of the twins exclaimed at the same time.

"Good morning babies."

"Goo mowning momma." Aiden chirped in from his perch in the corner. " I get up now?"

She looked at me and I nodded so she responded to him. "Yeah you can get up now." He quickly ran straight to her and clung to her leg. She leaned over the best she could without disturbing the baby and kissed his little lips before ruffling his hair. "Good morning baby. Now go apologize to Elli and then Daddy can make us some breakfast." She winked at me and I laughed. We let Aiden apologize as I pulled out some pancake batter and fired up the skillet.

"Jeez is the little man really hungry?" She had been nursing for a while.

She frowned and shook her head. "Not really he just latches on but doesn't eat very much, but when I pull him off he will fuss so I just let him sit. At least he isn't crying."

I put a plate of pancakes in front of her before returning to the counter to fix up a few plates for the kids and cutting the pancakes into smaller bites. I grabbed a plate for myself and sat next to my wife. "Do you think he's coming down with something? Normally that can make them want to breast feed instead."

"I don't know maybe." I moved the blanket away and pressed my hand to Carter's forehead.

"Well babe he feels a little warm. I'm going to go grab the baby thermometer and if he has a fever I think we should head to my parents and see if my dad can figure out whats going on." She nodded in agreement and I grabbed the thermometer.

I tried to put it in his ear but Carter started to squirm and cry. Then I heard and Uh oh from Elli and turned around to see that she had been trying to get more syrup out of the container and spilled it all over her lap. I rubbed my face and handed the thermometer to Bella and I went to handle Elli.

"What were you doing baby girl?" I asked as I grabbed the syrup from her hands.

"I wanted some more seerup." She pouted at me as I stood her up on the stool.

"Next time ask mommy or me to help you ok?" I grabbed her pj shirt and pulled it over her head along with her taking her pj pants off. I left her in her pull up to finish her breakfast. I figured we'd put all the kids in the bath after breakfast anyways. I threw her dirty clothes in the laundry and went back to the table. "So what's the verdict?"

Bella frowned and looked concerned. "He's up to 101.2."

"Ok well you go get some Tylenol in him and I will clean up the munchkins and call my dad to let him know we are on the way."

It wasn't long before we were buckling all of the kids into the car. Bella had Carter and as soon as she placed him in the car seat he began to cry. She tried handing him toys and the other kids tried to gain his attention but he just continued to cry and that's how the entire ride was all the way there.

I grabbed Carter out of the backseat as the rest of the family made their way to the house.

"Gamma!" I heard all the kids yell and saw my wife hug my mom.

It wasn't long before I was being hugged as well.

"Hey Edward. Oh you poor baby. What's the matter little man?" Yeah just like with the rest of my children, I was quickly bypassed for the child in my arms.

"Is dad in the office?" I asked.

"Yeah just go on up honey. Grandpa will make you feel better baby." She said patting his head and I walked past both my mom and my wife, kissing them both on the cheek as I went and walked up the stairs into my dad's office.

I pushed the door open knocking on it softly before I did. "Knock knock."

"Hey Edward, come on in son. Let me take a look at him." I handed over Carter and took a seat in the chair next to my dads desk. I watched as Carlisle checked his breathing with a stethoscope and then looked in his nose and ears. "Well he definitely has a double ear infection, which is probably the cause of all the crying, the fever, and the wanting to breast feed. When the babies are breast feeding they have much more control of the amount of intake. Bottle feeding goes a lot more quickly. And while that is why most parents prefer it to breast feeding, with an ear infection slower formula intake puts less pressure on his ears and means he wouldn't be in as much pain. So until he starts to feel better I would just follow his signals on the feeding."

I nodded in understanding taking Carter back into my arms. "Yeah that sounds reasonable."

"I will call in a prescription for amoxicillin and then you will be able to pick it up on your way home today. Make sure to start his doses tonight."

"Okay" We both walked out of the room and back down the stairs to meet the rest of the family in the kitchen. However once we got down stairs I noticed that all of the kids must be in the playroom in the basement and my mother and wife were seated in the living room.

I handed Carter to Bella and instantly he was looking for food once again. The poor boy was probably just really hungry seeing as he didn't want to eat very quickly he wasn't taking in much.

Bella pulled a blanket out of the diaper bag, draped it across herself and began nursing. "So what's wrong with the little man?" She asked.

"He has a double ear infection. I called in a prescription so you can pick it up on the way home. Sorry to tell you honey but for the next few days it's going to be nothing but constant nursing. You have to let him control the intake as not to put pressure on his ears and put him in pain. Which means he will be nursing more often and much more slowly. However in order to get him to take the medication I want you to mix it in with a regular bottle and use a nipple with the smallest hole to provide him with more control. He should be fine in a few days, but you might not get very much sleep." My dad responded.

She nodded before we all heard Carter start to whimper as he unlatched. He refused to reattach but continued to whimper so Bella placed him on her chest and rubbed soothing circles on his back trying to get him to burp but he continued to whimper. She laid him down in her lap and lightly massaged his tummy until he let out a large burp.

"Oofta little man. I bet that made you feel better huh?" She smiled down at him and he cooed back at her. She placed him back in her arms and it wasn't long before he fell asleep.

I sat down next to her wrapped my arm around her shoulders and looked down at Carter sleeping peacefully. All of my children looked so calm while sleeping. While they were awake it was something completely different. Just as I thought it we heard commotion coming up the stairs. It seemed as though the kids were all fighting.

As the door to the basement opened we found Aiden in tears and Elli clearly mad while Mason, ever the calm one, bringing up the rear looking bored out of his mind.

"Hey what happened?" I interrupted their yelling before they woke up Carter, again. I turned to my children and waited for an explanation.

"Ewwi pusheded me and I falled off the couch." Aiden could barely speak between his sobs.

"He took my dolly Daddy." Elli said as she crossed her arms in front of her chest and huffed. OH man, we were going to have problems when she got older.

"Come her Aid. Let me look at you." As he moved in my direction I turned my attention to Elli. "Elli you know better than that. You can't push your brother."

"But Daddy it was MY dolly. It's the one that Grandma gave me special to keep at her house."

I looked at Aiden's arms which he had clearly landed on as he was holding it close to him. It didn't look like anything was broken but he was getting a pretty good bruise along his wrist. "Aiden, go show Grandpa buddy. I don't think anything is too bad but have him check just to make sure."

"She wasn't playing with it. I was just brushing her hair." Aiden said as he got picked up by my dad and placed in his lap.

"She's still MY dolly. You can't play with her!" Elli was insistent.

Bella cut her off quickly. "Elizabeth Cullen. We talked about this. We do not talk like that in this family. You have to share. Grandma didn't buy the doll only for you to use. If you weren't playing with it then Aiden can use it too. And we NEVER push people."

"But momma it's MY dolly." Elli pouted.

"That's fine. It can be your dolly, but honey you have to share. Now you have a 5 minute time out in the corner. Go sit." Bella wasn't going to let her just get away with it.

Elli turned around and started walking to the time out chair. Yes my parents had one too. "It's no fair. She's MY dolly." She stomped her foot.

"You're pushing it kiddo. I can make it ten minutes." I stated watching her tantrum.

"No Daddy." She froze in her spot and looked at me.

I got up and picked her up placing her in the chair. "You need to sit here for 5 minutes Elli." I was kneeling in front of her.

"But Daddy, it's not fair…"

"SHH. Elli stop talking baby or you're going to make it worse. You know that you have to share, even if they are your toys, and under absolutely no circumstances are you allowed to push." I tried to explain. As a parent you learn really fast that you can't punish a child if they really don't understand what they did wrong. It defeats the purpose.

She started crying as I got up to leave her there. "IT'S NOT FAIR! SHE'S MY DOLLY!"

I ignored her and went back to my place on the couch.

"Sorry mom and dad, I think the kids got up a little too early and are a little tired. I think when Elli is done with her time out we should head home. I think everyone could use a nap."

"It's alright honey. We both know how kids can be." My mom replied.

"I think Aiden may have sprained his wrist from the impact of the fall but we will see what it feels like tomorrow. When you get home put some ice on it and make him take it easy tonight. Just give me a call if anything changes with either Aiden or Carter ok?" My dad said as we all got up getting ready to leave.

"Yeah that sounds good." I said before making sure Bella had the diaper bag and the baby. I went over to a still crying Elli and picked her up taking her out to the car. As I loaded my family in, Carter woke up crying again because Elli was still crying and I looked over at Bella who was rubbing her hands on her face. "You alright babe?" I asked.

"Yeah let's just get home and get them all in bed. I can't handle anymore screaming."

With that sentiment I put that car in reverse, pulled out of the driveway and then grabbed Bella's hand in mine. That's where it stayed until we got home.