Growing Up

Tom looks around Sibbys room, with all its rich furnishings that the Grantham's insisted on installing. He doesn't really want them, to be honest, but it makes Sibby happy, and so it makes him happy too. She is one now, and very happily toddling about with Isis, who is getting old, and Pharaoh. Everyone is getting excited about the new baby, and Tom can't help reflecting bitterly that they seem to be preparing better than they did for his darling, his only love. It is hard for him to be completely without her, but he still loves her, and loves Sibby more every day. He is dreading what will happen when she realises about Sybil and asks that question. But it will be ok. It will.

He is startled back to reality when Matthew grins at him and rolls his eyes at Mary, who is saying to Cora and Violet, 'Oh no… Andrew is such a dull name… I could never have a child named Andrew!'

The dowager agrees with a 'Yes. I once had a cousin called Andrew… dreadful man, he died in horrible seizures. Better not name it after him, dear, you wouldn`t want his luck!'

Tom smiles back at Matthew, who then says 'Mary, darling, do I get a say in this?'

'No. Men have horrible taste in names. Imagine if it was a girl and you called it something like Jane. I couldn`t bear it! But,' she adds with a coy glance over her shoulder, 'You may help organise the room.'

'Well...I… that's very generous! Thank you.' Says Matthew sarcastically. Tom is surprised. Matthew has always been under Marys thumb. Now he is standing up to her. Good for him!

'Oh, yes Matthew. Can we look at the farm down over the hill this afternoon? I think that it could really be improved.' Tom says.

'Yes, of course. I will be down in a minute.'

Just then Sibby toddles into the room, one arm around Isis' neck, and a redfaced nurse running after her.

'Dadda…this my dog-dog…hee hee!' She laughs her sweet laugh, and Tom picks her up and whirls her around, a lump in his throat.

His baby.