Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Errol Flynn Family Ch. 6 Pt. 4 Middle Daughter

Yvette showed up the next morning and was somewhat awed by the changes in Lalique’s house.

“Now I know just how buried we are at the old homestead,” she marveled, “I could have driven by here countless times just going to Goth’s--actually I did so a couple of times in the spring, before you began--but then I was busy making and canning jam all summer. We even opened up a small roadside produce stand at our place. We spent the fall freezing or canning vegetables and selling apples. Of course, Mark also works hard on the restoration business. Seems like with housework, the garden, and sewing for and raising that little fireball we spawned, we just work all the time. Mark gets the groceries, though, and he did tell me that you were having extensive work done on the house, much more than we imagined when Mother told us.”

Lalique smiled,

“Sounds like you and Mark can weather any catastrophe except maybe a stage 4 hurricane. You’re pretty self-sufficient then?”

“That’s true I guess. We have plenty of fish, vegetables and fruit, all we need from the market is dairy, paper products and cleaning supplies and occasionally some fresh chicken, pork or beef. I have no time to bake bread until winter, but in late November, and all of December, January and February we have fresh baked bread at home, too. I’ll bring you some soon. Anyway, you’re house is just beautiful, Lalique.”

“Thanks, I have worked hard on it and it was crazy with a decorator and contractors in and out of here for months. But I think it will be well-worth it. She took a breath,

“Now--tell me all about babies and leave nothing out. I’ve read about three books on parenting and child rearing, fine in a perfect world, but I need the real lowdown, Sis.”

“Gee, kind of the last minute, Lalique," Yvette grinned, "Well, okay, you learn as you go, I can tell you that, but I'm worried that you will need someone to assist you. Mark was a great help to me and neither one of us slept much the first couple months. In your case you'll be doing, in essence, double-duty. What about your teaching job, I take it you are on pregnancy leave?”

“Yes, but I don’t expect to go back. At least not now. Even though I have all the costs of the house, I’ve invested money for years and it has paid off, in spite of the economy. Then living alone in a small house and working a lot, I didn’t have much time to spend much except on clothes and the hair salon. I’m pretty well set for a few years as long as I don’t live beyond my means in other ways." 

So Yvette and she talked for hours about Yvette's experiences bearing and raising a child. They were moving to the living room when suddenly Lalique felt a weird cramp in her abdomen. Like nothing she had ever experienced before.

“What’s the matter?” Yvette turned around and looked, then exclaimed,

“Whoa, Nellie! I think you’re in labor!”

The pain passed quickly and a feeling of incredible well-being came over Lalique. Her child had been born, a boy. He was perfect, strong and healthy with black, black eyebrows and emerald green eyes. She cuddled him and then handed him to his Aunt Yvette, because she felt another earthquake of a contraction hitting her again. What was this?

“Uh oh,” she gasped, “something tells me my work here is not yet done!”

Lalique now had not just one baby, but two. The second baby was a beautiful girl with mahogany brown eyes like her mother. The baby reached up and kissed Lalique which brought tears to Lalique’s eyes as her heart went pitter-pat.

Yvette stayed with her all day to help with the infants. By evening she headed for home and Lalique was left alone with her twins. It was a daunting prospect but she actually managed quite well.

She had thought long and hard about what to name the twins. She had finally decided on names for either gender. Now, of course, she would use both. Following her mother’s heritage who named all three of her daughters French names (Melanie was named after one of Olivia’s most famous characters, Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in Gone With The Wind, but the name was still French) the twins were now Alain Gerard and Desiree Maribel.

Some very quick changes would be made in the nursery to accommodate two babies instead of just one, but for that day, Yvette had called a furniture rental service and they rushed over a second crib. 

The completed nursery:

Left: Lalique with Desiree, Right: Lalique with Alain

She quickly found that all housework and rest had to be done during the twins' nap time. The trouble was they seemed to have developed opposite schedules. Lalique was even thinking of hiring a maid again, it had seemed silly to do it when she lived alone before, however the situation had changed. But for another week more she still resisted her mother’s suggestion of an in-home nanny who could live in the spare room and help Lalique with Alain and Desiree. She had not walked away from her career only for someone else to raise her babies. 

"I am the mommy," Lalique told Olivia. 

"I understand, dear. You would still be their mother, believe me. Your father and I had a nanny for Yvette when she was very small; but it's your decision. Just give it some thought."

After another two weeks of caring for her babies and her house on hardly any sleep agreed that if she could just have a helping hand a few times a week, it would make so much difference. She wanted to care for Alain and Desiree herself, but then again, she wanted it to be quality time. She pondered and researched, worried and wondered.

Finally she concluded that what she needed was a woman in her twenties with plenty of stamina and the right credentials. She interviewed (and checked references of) a number of young ladies from two different agencies but finally knew she’d found her girl in Arlene Jankowski from Garden City, a town on the other side of the mountains. Arlene was 28 years old, had a Bachelor’s degree in childcare, and previously had worked for three years in a pre-school in Garden City, then in a Three Lakes private home for four years. The family there had merely outgrown their need for her services when their child started pre-school at four. A risk of the job was growing attached to the child making it hard to move on. However; although Arlene did hope to have children of her own someday, she still really enjoyed caring for other people’s babies and infants.

Lalique showed her the room that would be hers for free and said she could have three days off a week with the days being Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday one week; and Monday, Wednesday and Friday the other week.

“I’m alternating your schedule every other week so that, occasionally, I can have a day or two during a weekend for socializing with my working friends,” Lalique said.

Arlene agreed to the terms. She told Lalique that three days a week would easily give her time for a life of her own, yet money enough to build up her savings to someday open a pre-school of her own. She didn’t really care which days they were. As for having every other weekend off to see friends. She didn’t have any in Pleasantview yet, but she hoped that would change. Lalique said she would be glad to make a list of the best places in town or in Bluewater Village to make new friends and even offered to have a party (when the twins were a couple months older) where she could introduce people to Arlene.

Lalique knew her mother would have said it would be better if she kept to a professional only relationship with Arlene. Lalique would agree with that in theory. But she found it almost impossible to do. After all, the girl was living right down the hall and caring for her children on a daily basis. Lalique was a strong personality, though, and not many people would have tried to take advantage of her. Devon aside, not many people could.

Once Arlene moved in it took a big load off Lalique. Now she could have time to pamper each twin in turn and, coincidentally, to get some quality sleep once in a while. It was nice to share meals with someone for a change and Arlene had a very pleasant manner both with Lalique and with the twins.  Soon they had a timetable worked out that kept things rolling along smoothly. Every morning Lalique woke up happy and hurried in to look at her beautiful babies. They made her life complete and she knew having them was the best decision she ever made.

Lalique will now have her own story thread and it begins with Lalique Flynn Ch. 1 Swept Away Part 1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The nursery looks great, I love that wallpaper. Boy/girl twins! I am so jealous! lol What a surprise. Go from single, to single mommy of twins... yeah I might have hired some help as well for myself! She seems a good candidate as well, nice choice.