Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jenny Lomax-Hammond Ch. 3 All My Daughters Part 1

After Liara was born, life at the Hammond home became a little noisier and a little busier. Loni Faye was still sleeping  in the nursery; while baby Liara’s crib resided in the master bedroom for now. Meanwhile, they had begun to think about decorating the large rooms that would be Loni Faye’s once she had her birthday. Lonnie was all for doing it now, but Jenny wanted this room to be just what Loni Faye would want. She insisted they wait until after the birthday when Loni Faye could contribute her own ideas. 

The former uber-bachelor, Lonnie, had changed his ways for a family life and had no regrets. He continued to be helpful with the kids, although he still had a cooking show that kept him very busy. Both he and Jenny were excited because the girls’ birthdays were right around the corner.  Jenny loved both her girls very much and showered them with attention, it didn’t get rid of the miss-Chelsea sadness in her heart, but it helped a little. She had not seen her grown daughter, nor had she talked to her, since the night Larry Max ordered her to go.  Now Chelsea was married to her high school sweetheart, Trey Lassiter. 

It was hard to picture Chelsea and Trey both grown—she still had a vision of them holding hands at 16. She had quit trying to contact Chelsea long ago—she would not speak to her mother. Jenny could not blame her but she missed her oldest daughter more than she could tell anyone but Lonnie.  She had so much happiness now, but the rift between her and Chelsea was like a thorn in her heart. The boys, Michael, Courtney and Andy, they kept in touch sporadically. She’d avoided their weddings for Chelsea’s sake. She heard regularly from Larry Max who kept her apprised of the latest happenings. Before she’d married Lonnie, Chelsea and Larry Max had formed the habit of meeting for coffee once a week, but it was a little trickier now with the children.

One day Lonnie came home from work and before he could change his work uniform, Jenny informed him it was “time”.

“Time for what?”

“For Loni Faye’s birthday! I’m putting the candles on her cake right now. Would you mind bringing her here?”

“Oh! Yeah, that’s right!”  He went into the living room where Loni Faye was playing with her xylophone. Scooping her up in his arms, he carried her to the cake in the kitchen.  He adored this little girl and part of him was sad to be saying goodbye to the toddler, but he was also excited to see become a grade-schooler—he would be able to really talk with her and to take her places like the Woodland Park and Rapid Racers Roller Rink.

The next minute Loni Faye went from toddler to child before their eyes. The first thing she did was run to her father and hug him. 

After they polished off the birthday cake, Jenny served spaghetti which would soon become one of Loni Faye’s favorite meals. Loni Faye loved both her parents, but even as a toddler her preference for her father had been marked. Now it was obvious, she mimicked Lonnie in many ways and plainly adored him. Her personality had many natural traits like Lonnie’s as well; she was quite neat and tidy, had an even-temper, loved music of all kinds and had a bubbly engaging personality that few people would be able to resist. She was eager to start this new phase of her life. The next day she trotted off to school while Lonnie stayed with Liara and Jenny headed off to town to purchase a new wardrobe for Loni Faye.

Loni Faye turned out to be a very social child and soon made friends in school. In no time, she was hauling a different child home every day after school.

“They seem to always be boys, though,” Lonnie remarked to Jenny one day, “Doesn’t she go to school with any girls?”

“I wouldn’t worry about that; as I child I tended to have more boys as friends than girls, too.” Jenny meant that to be comforting to Lonnie but it most certainly was not. He looked at Jenny skeptically,

“Just ‘as a child’? I don’t think you changed much as you grew up.  You have to admit that has been—until now--one of your weaknesses and one of my mine—this tendency to over-focus on the opposite sex, so I don’t consider it a good sign. I want her to have friends, but I think it would be better at her age if she brought home little girls, too.”

Jenny was stung by his criticism but at least he included himself as well, so she said, “Okay, never mind the critical remarks. She’ll bring home a female little playmate soon, you’ll see. It’s no big deal.”

One of the first boys Loni Faye brought home on the bus was Ty Generica. A seemingly quiet child who played pinball with her and stayed to eat pork chops with Loni Fay and Jenny. His family of five had just moved to Pleasantview. Lonnie was working late and when he came home Loni Faye ran out to the sidewalk to hug him. She returned to where Ty was waiting and hugged him goodbye. Her Daddy was home now; she’d see Ty tomorrow at school.

Loni Faye did indeed have input on her bedroom décor. She loved color, and the brighter and more of it the better. Jenny said she could also decorate the bathroom that was right next door. Jenny and Loni Faye had a lot of fun consulting with home décor books and dragging Lonnie to Lowe’s Hardware and Home Improvement Plus. Even after they finished the room Loni Faye became as addicted to HGTV now as Jenny already was. 

A short time after Loni Faye’s room was finished; it was time for baby Liara’s birthday.

“She looks just like Loni Faye!” Lonnie exclaimed as he brushed the colorful confetti out of Liara’s hair, “Just like her! It’s amazing!” his voice dropped to a whisper, “It’s like she was cloned.”

Jenny said, “Yes, well, she does look remarkably like her, but remember, she’s her own person, she’s Liara.”

Lonnie looked at Jenny in surprise, “Of course she is, I just meant that the physical resemblance is more than just sisters…if they were the same age anyone would think they were identical twins.”

Jenny nodded, but she looked thoughtful. She took Liara from Lonnie and smiled,

“Well, here I go with potty training again.”

The next boy that Loni Faye brought home from school was a handsome kid named Angelo Severino, his family was brand new to Pleasantview, too, and he stayed for macaroni and cheese and SSX3 before he had to go home.  

Jenny had put Lonnie in charge of teaching Liara to talk; while she concentrated on potty-training and walking. Lonnie was also helping Loni Faye with homework and it didn’t take long before she came home proudly with her first A+. She showed it to Jenny and then wanted it back to personally show it to her father when he came home.

On that same day Loni Faye saw Christopher Cooke in his front yard invited him over. They played with the pinball machine and then ate leftover pork chops that Loni Faye nuked in the microwave. They vowed to be fast friends all their lives and this would be easy since they lived right across the street from each other.

Liara was now walking and talking and Lonnie would no longer let her point and jabber when she wanted something; she had to ask for it using real words. She had taken longer than Loni Faye to learn to speak, but once she had started she picked it up faster and had a bigger vocabulary as a toddler. She spoke so clearly now the family couldn’t resist coming up with new words to teach her.

Lonnie continued to tutor Loni Faye with her homework and she kept up her excellent grades and even won a few little school prizes for her work.   Jenny worked with both girls, but focused attention often on Liara; who was learning so many new things at home.

At last, much to Lonnie’s relief, one Saturday Loni Faye entertained a schoolmate who happened to be a girl. Actually, Kirstie Burb had only been walking down the street when Loni Faye looked out the window and recognized her. They had spaghetti for lunch while they got to know each other better. Once they’d digested their food, they headed out back to the pool and played Marco Polo. Eventually, Lonnie finished his piano practice and joined the girls.

Lonnie had noticed that Loni Faye had developed a little pot belly and mentioned it to Jenny when they were alone for a moment upstairs in their bedroom. Kirstie was still here and she and Loni Faye were talking in the living room--Kirstie was about to leave for home as the sun was starting to go down and she had a block and a half to walk.

“I’m just worried she will have a weight problem as she enters her teens; kids are so mean,” he explained.

“Yes, I know, but she’s very active and I try to limit her second helpings. She’s still a child and I don’t want to make her self-conscious or to make her think she should be striving to look gorgeous to suit the world’s taste,” Jenny shook her head, “Anyway, she’ll probably grow out of it when she hits puberty.”

“If she’s teased about it; she’ll become self-conscious in a hurry.”

“I don’t know, Lon. She’s popular with her friends. I tell you what; I’ll start her on a little, easy-going, exercise program and see where that leads.”

“All right, I guess.”

“Well what do you want me to do—have her get a tummy tuck?” Jenny was suddenly sarcastic.

“Don’t get mad, Jenny. I want her to be healthy and I don’t want her to be ostracized,” Lonnie answered, “Maybe we should talk to her about healthy eating and living?”

“Ostracized? That’s ridiculous, I told you; at least one or two of her friends call here every day! As for being healthy; she runs rings around me.”

They just looked at each other. Lonnie started to speak again and Jenny cut him off,
“For crying out loud, Lonnie--she’s just a kid--leave her alone."

Another disagreement over one of their children was looming. That morning Jenny had cut Liara’s hair short but Lonnie had been so busy he had not seen his youngest daughter until evening when she toddled in to the living room to play. He took one look and motioned to Jenny to meet him upstairs. He skipped the door to the master bedroom and went into the nursery.

“What did you do to her hair?” he hissed angrily when Jenny came in.

“I cut it, obviously," Lonnie was still glaring at her and she went on, "Lonnie, every time one of our friends sees Liara for the first time all they can say is that she is “just like Loni Faye” or even, “My she’s like a little clone of Loni Faye, isn’t she?” Liara is only two but I don’t want her to be continually compared to Loni Faye. So, since I can't stop what other people say, I cut her hair short—I think she looks cute--and she doesn't look quite so much like Loni Faye did at that age. Even you say it sometimes, or words to that effect ‘Just like Loni Faye…just like your big sister’, you know; you’ve heard yourself. I don’t care if she looks exactly like Loni Faye or not. I love both girls better than my life, but Loni Faye is herself; Liara deserves the right to be whoever she is, too, and without undue comparisons. She’s another person entirely from Loni Faye. I wanted her to have a different hairdo than Loni Faye had at that age.”

Put that way it made a little more sense to him; Lonnie was both ashamed for any thoughtless comments he had made in front of either girl and sorry for upsetting Jenny.

“You’re right, I guess I just wish we’d had this conversation before you changed her hair and not after.”

Jenny kissed his cheek,

“Now I have to apologize; I did this on the spur of the moment after there was one comment too many and even Loni Faye was on the phone telling her friend that her little sister was a miniature of her. Well, it’s just a haircut and if you still don't like it in a few weeks, it will grow back.”

One more kiss and they had made up happily.

To be continued very soon...(because Blogger lost the last part of my update for no good reason and it's very late now; therefore the update will now be in two un-equal length parts)  *sigh*


Sim Girl said...

Aww how adorable! LOL I will not say that Liara looks like Loni Faye :-\ haha. So cute though. Love the pool pics and her new room! Very colorful, perfect for a girl!

Lorelei said...

Her room was fun to do :) Hope to get Part 2 in sometime today.