A/N: What kind of chapter title is this? HUSH THEY’RE DIFFICULT AND IT KIND OF WORKS….>.> *shrug* lol, not much else to say this time around except enjoy! =D
It might have been because of the efforts Noah and I had recently taken to make our relationship stronger, or maybe it was because Buttercup was such a big help, or perhaps it was even because Reed was much more independent than before, but also having Aspen to take care of wasn’t actually the end of the world. Yes, we got a little less sleep, and yes sometimes we felt like our heads were spinning as we tried to keep track of what was going on with everyone, but overall, things were going as smoothly as they could with three young children and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Today, things were about to get even easier though (hopefully?) because it was finally Reed’s birthday! Instead of being sad though, this time Noah and I were in the highest spirits, excited to see our second child start school. It was so rewarding watching our children grow, and this transition was no different.
As in typical Winters fashion, we held a small birthday party with the family. Reed continuously tried to stick his hand in the cake while we sang happy birthday, but I kept him just far away from it that he couldn’t reach.
“Okay Reed, now blow out the candles and make a wish!”
“I want cake!” Reed declared, and then he pursued his little lips together and attempted to blow out the candles, which he did successfully (with a little help from me). He clapped gleefully—now he would get to do “big kid” stuff just like his older sister. He was looking forward to going to school like her and probably even more excited that he wouldn’t have to be confined to a crib any longer.
The first thing Reed did as a big kid was to, of course, grab some cake, which he sat down and ate happily. He was getting easier and easier to please it seemed, which was a real change from the two year old who never used to be happy with anything. Now he was an adorable young man full of high spirits—I suspected that he would have no trouble making friends at school.
The birthdays didn’t stop there though because next up was Aspen’s birthday! I hadn’t even realized time was going by so fast. Was it actually possible that my last little baby was already growing up into a toddler?
“He has your hair! He looks just like you!” I cried out happily to Noah.
“He has your eyes! He looks just like you!” Noah said at the exact same time as me.
“What?” we both asked, looking at each other in surprise. Buttercup started laughing, which caused Reed to snort into his slice of cake….thus making Noah and I laugh as well. And of course Aspen wouldn’t be left out, so he began to laugh as well.
And through all that laughter I couldn’t help but feel incredibly blessed—I had a wonderful family.
Aspen took immediately to the block set, studying the pieces and trying to figure out where they would fit best. He made happy noises as he tried to fit the cylinder into the square hole, but once it was clear it wouldn’t fit he started screaming.
Apparently, Buttercup was weird in how calm she was and this was the norm. Argh!
Frowning, Aspen looked at the cylinder again and then down at the holes, looking as studious as a little toddler could. To my surprise, he immediately picked out the right one this time, pushing the cylinder through the circle.
“He got it,” I said in surprise, my eyebrows raised.
“Already?” Noah asked, looking up from his book. “Huh, looks like we’ve got a little genius amongst us,” he smiled.
“Apparently,” I agreed with a laugh. Buttercup had taken awhile to figure out the set, and Reed even longer because of his stubborn tendencies (the square WILL fit into the circle! >:O). I watched Aspen as he continued to play, giggling as he figured out each new shape. Perhaps we did have a little genius in our house.
If I had doubts before though, I didn’t anymore. Aspen picked up on all his skills quickly—especially talking. Once he said his first word “boc!” (block), he began to pick up on more words had an impressive rate, quickly adding “mama,” “dada,”, “baba,”, “bu-cup (Buttercup),” “Weed (Reed…unfortunately pronounced….),” “fish,”, and loads more. After awhile I couldn’t even keep track anymore.
“Bu-cup! Pway, pway!”
“What do you want to play?” Buttercup asked, putting down her homework and sitting down on the ground with Aspen.
“What was that?” Buttercup asked playfully, covering her face. “Oh no, where did I go!?” Aspen’s eyes went wide as he looked at Buttercup worriedly. “Peek-a-boo!” she suddenly cried out, taking her hands away from her face. Aspen burst out into giggles and I couldn’t help but smile at the sound.
“Mom?” I heard a little voice from behind me, sounding upset.
“Hey Reed, what’s wrong?” I asked, turning around to see Reed looking up as me sadly.
“My head hurts.”
“Again?” I asked, concerned. I felt his forehead with the palm of my hand, but he felt normal as usual. Perhaps he wasn’t sick, but he kept getting all these bad headaches. They were the worst when he and Buttercup came home from school—where Buttercup would run into the kitchen to do her homework and Reed would go lay down in their dark room to relax.
“Yeah, I don’t know why it keeps hurting,” he complained.
“Here, why don’t you go lay down and I’ll bring you some warm milk with honey. Would you like that?”
Reed smiled and nodded, walking into his bedroom. I hurried into the kitchen to prepare his milk, wondering if I should be worried. The headaches didn’t seem to be that bad, but they bothered him enough to make him have to take little “time-outs” to relax and that just didn’t sound normal.
“Hey babe, did you see this?” Noah asked as he walked into the kitchen. I turned toward him and saw him frowning at a note he had in his right hand, Reed’s backpack in his left. “It looks like our little man isn’t doing so well,” he said, concerned.
“Huh?” I asked, reaching out for the note. I looked down at the note, which turned out to be a progress report. His grades weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either, which seemed odd considering Reed was a pretty bright kid. My eyes scanned the report to the teacher’s comments: Reed is a very friendly, smart child, but he seems to have trouble paying attention during class and often whispers to his classmates during lessons. If you would like to sched-. I stopped reading for a moment, thinking for a moment, and then my eyes suddenly widened as an idea popped into my head.
“Noah! I think he needs glasses!” I said excitedly, happy to have figured out everything. “We know he can do this stuff, but it says he has trouble paying attention, and the whispering? I bet he’s asking his friends what the board says! I used to do that all the time before I finally got glasses! And it explains all the headaches too!”
Noah looked skeptical for a moment, but as I explained myself realization seemed to dawn on his face too. “Huh, you know, that makes sense. Where is he now?”
“In his room. I was just making some warm milk with honey for him—he has another headache.”
“Well, let’s go bring that to him and talk to him.”
“Oh, no! I’m sorry I didn’t show you guys the report card! I was afraid you guys would get mad,” Reed cried as he saw both Noah and I walk into his room. He sat up on his bed and looked up at us worriedly, looking genuinely sorry.
“It’s okay,” I said with a smile, handing him a warm mug of milk. “Hey…when you’re in class, can you see the board okay?” I asked in a light tone, trying to sound merely curious.
“Umm,” Reed stalled, thinking for a moment. He took a sip of his milk and then looked back up at us uncertainly. “Well, sometimes Ms. Miller writes too small and then I have to scrunch up my eyes to see. And sometimes she uses the yellow marker and then I can’t see at all and have to ask my friends!” he said exasperatedly, clearly annoyed that the yellow marker even existed.
I smiled, the story sounding extremely familiar to me. “Well buddy, we think you need glasses.”
“Glasses?” he asked, his voice faltering.
“Yup, just like mom!” Noah said, gesturing to my eyes. “Then you won’t have any troubles seeing the board anymore.”
“But everyone will make fun of me!” Reed yelled in alarm. “Tina got glasses and everyone told her she looked like Eliza Thornberry because she has red hair and wears it in pigtails. They’ll call me Harry Potter!! One kid already does because he says I look like him. Now I really will!” he cried, looking thoroughly stressed out.
Noah laughed. “Hey, when you’re in high school, the girls will love that,” he said with a grin.
“Ughhh, dad! That’s gross!”
“Well, if they call you names, ignore them. They’ll get bored soon enough, and besides, Harry Potter isn’t so bad. They used to call me frizz-head.”
“Yup,” I said with a nod. “Because of my hair. It was even more curly then.”
“That’s stupid and mean! There’s a girl in my class with curly hair and everyone calls her Goldilocks, but I told her that Goldilocks was cute and got to hang out in a bear’s house, and that was awesome so she shouldn’t feel bad about that,” Reed rushed out, his cheeks turning slightly pink.
“You like a girlllll,” Noah teased, poking Reed in the side.
“Do not! They have cooties!”
“Do too! You like her!”
Sigh. Sometimes I wondered if I had four children instead of three. Of course…just the other day I was skipping around in the sprinklers instead of gardening. THERE ARE NO ADULTS IN THIS HOUSE!
The next day, I called Ms. Miller and told her about my suspicions and that Reed would be late to class today because I was taking him to the eye doctor. She seemed to have an “Ohhhhhh,” light bulb moment as well, telling me that that was fine and that Reed should just bring a note from the doctor with him, so off we went.
An hour and a half later, my little boy had glasses. He picked them out himself and seemed to be none too thrilled with them at first, but once we walked outside he gasped.
“I can see all the leaves on the trees! And every little piece of grass!” he said in awe, staring up at the tree. “These are awesome! I have super vision!” Reed proceeded to run around then pretending he had x-ray vision, but I couldn’t have been happier that he had taken to them so well.
Now I just hoped his classmates wouldn’t give him such a hard time about it.
“I CAN SEE EVERYTHING!!! Hey mom, you have wrinkles….”
“MOM! DAD!” Reed yelled when Buttercup and he came home from school.
“You just yelled right into my EAR!” Buttercup complained, having been right next to him when he yelled.
“Oops, sorry,” he said sheepishly.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“They called me Harry Potter and laughed,” Reed said in annoyance.
“But I could see the board! And Kaylie said that Harry Potter is cute and can do all kinds of cool magic, and said she thought it was awesome I looked like him and then we played together at recess and pretended to be wizards!”
“Reed’s got a girlllllllfriend.”
“I am purple today, bright and happy like a butterflyyyyyyy, in the air! I’m a rainbowwwww today, all the colors of the world. I’m a rainbow today, all the colors of the world!” I looked up from my gardening to see Buttercup skipping around outside and singing gleefully. “I am yellowww today, I shine my light out like the sun!”
I smiled to myself, listening to Buttercup’s song as I tended to my crops. She actually had a very pretty voice and it especially showed when she was singing one of her favorite songs. She had been in really high spirits lately because her birthday was only a few days away. The thought made my heart sink in my chest. She would be a teenager now. For the first time, I actually felt kind of, well, old.
“Mom?” Buttercup said, suddenly next to me. I jumped, having not even seen her walk over. “Did I scare you?” she asked with a laugh, looking up at me amusedly.
“Yes, you did actually,” I laughed, shaking my head. “What’s up?”
“I…wanted to ask you something,” she said, suddenly looking shy. Her cheeks turned pink and she looked away for a moment, unsure.
“Sure, ask away,” I said, looking at her curiously.
“I just wanted to know…well, I was just wondering, do you think- maybe- I could…have a guitar for my birthday?” she asked hopefully, looking up at me wide-eyed.
“Oh I don’t know, hun,” I said, my smile faltering. “They’re really expensive.”
“I know but- it’s the only thing I want! And it’s the only present you ever have to get me, I promise! I really want to learn to play. I want- I want to be a superstar one day!” she announced happily. I felt my resolve slowly weaken and found myself nodding in spite of my worries.
“Your dad and I will see what we can do, honey,” I said, not wanting to give a definitive answer either way.
“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you, mom!” she squealed, hugging me tightly.
“Hey, no guarantees!”
“I know!” Buttercup said excitedly, running off.
I sighed, looking around at my garden. It looked like I was going to be tending to it double-time now. It wasn’t just the guitar though (we technically had enough money saved to get that), it was more that we were currently in the process of trying to remodel our house, which wasn’t at all cheap. It had to be done though, as our family was quickly outgrowing our little two bedroom home. Buttercup growing into her teenaged years also meant that we needed to build her her own room so that she didn’t have to share with her two little brothers—which would have been awkward, to say the least. Still, even though this remodel was definitely going to break the bank, I was excited—we really did need the room.
“Mama?” Aspen asked in an almost-whisper, having not exactly mastered that ability yet.
“What?” I whispered back as I carried him outside to practice walking.
“I wuv you,” he said into my ear, kissing my cheek.
“I love you too, little guy,” I said back, kissing him on the forehead. He giggled and I put him down on the lawn, my heart practically melting. Our baby boy was ridiculously adorable.
As usual, he was learning very fast, but he was still a little uneasy on his feet and needed more practice.
“Are you ready for me to let go?” I asked, holding Aspen’s little hands to keep him steadied.
“Yup!” Aspen said. “Le’ go! Le’ go!”
“You did it!!!”
“I walk! I walk!
“Yes, you did walk!”
How were my children growing up so fast?
Speaking of growing, our remodel was finally done! It left us with practically no money (hopefully with my next harvest I could afford the guitar), but it also gave us the space we needed. Now we had an upstairs, with an extra room for Buttercup and an additional bathroom (or at least it would be one once we got the funds to furnish it).
When we accumulated more money, we also wanted to put up walls in what was now a storage room and turn that into a bedroom and bathroom as well, but for now this would have to do. We wanted to extend the living room too, but that would also have to wait until later.
It was a work in progress, clearly, but I already felt like the house was loads better than it had been.
“Guess what, brother!”
“What?” Reed asked, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s my birthday today!!!!!!!”
“I know you told me like five times!” >:O
I laughed to myself as I set up for Buttercup’s birthday party—a real party too! We had invited all of Buttercup’s friends and some of ours as well to celebrate and Buttercup could not have been more excited. She ran around the house singing and whenever she saw someone the first thing she did was gush about her party.
“Hey Aspen, it’s my birthday today!”
“Hey, I wasn’t talking to YOU!” Buttercup said to Reed’s back as he raced out of the room.
Well, luckily for Reed, and perhaps the rest of us too, 5 PM came along and it was time to start Buttercup’s birthday! I still couldn’t quite believe it…my little girl was going to be starting high schoolnow, and then she’d graduate and get a job and find a boyfriend and they’ll get married and have kids and—woah, woah woah, Aubrey, one step at a time here!
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you-!!”
“You look like a monkeyyyy, and you smell like one too!”
“Well that would make you related to a monkey! Hmph!” Buttercup retorted, sticking her tongue out at Reed.
“Alright, alright guys, settle down. Make a wish, Buttercup!” Noah said quickly before an argument started.
Buttercup thought for a moment and then closed her eyes, blowing out the candles.
This was it…she was no longer our little girl.
She was now a beautiful young lady.
Everyone cheered and the cake was immediately served. Reed bolted to the table so he could get one of the first slices.
While everyone was occupied with small talk and cake though, I came up to Buttercup. “Hey, mind coming upstairs for a second? I need your help with something.”
“Err, yeah, okay,” Buttercup said, looking confused as to why I would take her away from her party.
“It’ll only take a second,” I assured. Buttercup nodded and we both made our way upstairs, something we were all still getting used to after living for so long in a one-story house. “Right in here,” I said, walking into Buttercup’s bedroom. She must have been RIGHT behind me though, because a moment later she screamed happily right into my ear.
Of course, there, in the corner of her room, was a hot pink (her favorite color) guitar. I had JUST earned enough money to buy it and had stuck it in here while Buttercup was at school.
“YES!” Buttercup shrieked. “Oh my gosh, it’s absolutely perfect!!!! Look at it! Mom! Mom, you’re amazing!!”
“So it’s okay? The model and the color and all?” I asked her seriously.
“YES! It’s perfect!! It’s even better than I dreamed!” Buttercup squealed, practically exploding with happiness. “Thank you so much!!!! You have no idea how much this means to me!” She looked up at me, beaming, and then threw her arms around me in a huge hug. “Thank you, mom. I love it.”
“You’re welcome,” I said with a smile. “I’m so glad you like it.”
“How can I ever repay you?” Buttercup asked once we pulled away. “I know the remodel cost a lot and- just- wow, mom. Wow.”
“You can repay me but not doing anything stupid—so no getting arrested, punching someone, dealing drugs…none of it!” I said with a laugh. Buttercup laughed as well and nodded.
“Deal,” she said with a grin. “I love you, mom.”
“I love you, too.”
More than she would ever even fully realize.
A/N: Arghhh, another abrupt ending! Oh well, lol. This chapter was a little rough for me to write since it was mostly business with birthdays, but hopefully it was still entertaining. I see why legacy writers get sick of writing about birthdays…and I’m only on generation 1! Yeesh, lol. That being said, generation two will probably start in about a chapter or two (maybe three?), so get ready for that! I’m super excited and hope you are too, but first I have to wrap up this one- and that means MOAR BIRTHDAYS. >:O Lol, but as always, thanks for reading guys! =D
Oh, and Buttercup’s birthday party totally was a real party, but all the guests decided that it would be awesome to HANG OUT IN THE BATHROOM (“Awww yeah! This cheap toilet rocks! WTF!?) and the only people who cared were that blonde chick and Reed. Pfft. Even my simself just stood in the doorway. GRRR!