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

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Errol Flynn Family Ch. 6 Pt. 3 Middle Daughter

Lalique had been thinking for a quite a while that she should check out the Wildlife Woods Park. It was right across the street and she’d lived here for a few years now yet she had never been there. She used to like to fish when she lived at home, but hadn’t touched a rod and reel since she moved out of her parents’ house.

So on her next day off she walked across the street to check it out. She found fishing more relaxing than she remembered, or was it just that a child or teen found no need to “relax” so her memories were more about achievement than enjoyment of the activity itself? Always she had been more concerned about the number of fish she caught and the bigger the better. Now it wasn’t really important to her to compete on that score. It was a beautiful fall day and the sky was bright blue. Besides she loved to cook and eat fish, so any she caught would be a bonus.

While there she ran into or at least spied several people she knew; Josh Burb, Elaine Ottomas (Brian’s sister-in-law whom she’d met at the street dance), an old friend, lovely Allyn Ferguson, who was the new bride of the deliciously wicked Nicky. More significant or at least more newsworthy the sinister but handsome Edward Cullen showed up and--when a fish gave too hard a tug on his line--fell smack on his butt.  Lalique coughed to cover her laughter. She winked at Edward to show she meant no unkindness. He winked back at her as he stood back up and retrieved his fishing pole. He’d always seem to move so gracefully in Lalique's opinion. Perhaps he hadn’t really fallen by accident?

Later in the afternoon a sneaky and obviously malevolent character came into the park and was hovering behind Allyn and Lalique, muttering softly and sounding like Snidely Whiplash. He was trying, evidently, to talk to one or either of them. Lalique paid no attention but could see it was making Allyn nervous so, barely glancing over her shoulder, she spat out,

"Take a hike, buster, before I call the cops.”

He gave her a fierce scowl but did slink off to another part of the park. Allyn smiled weakly,

“Gosh, Lalique, you’re fearless.”

“Nah, I could tell he’s basically a non-physical type although with nefarious intentions. In other words, he’s a gutless pickpocket.”

Allyn nodded in agreement, but said,

“I think you’re right about him, but I still think you’re brave.”

“I don’t know about that,” Lalique cracked, “I just don’t tolerate fools gladly and I have a BIG mouth. Basically, if you irritate me I’m a witch on wheels.”

They both laughed but she thought ruefully, yep, that’s me; crotchety but courageous Lalique.

“Is there anything you ARE afraid of?” Allyn asked playfully more to compliment her than to get an answer. No reply was expected and none was given.

That night Lalique thought about the question, though and an answer did come to her,

Yes, I’m afraid all right; I'm afraid of being alone and unloved the rest of my life but even more; I’m afraid I’ll never know the joy of being a mother. She had never told anyone except her older sister, Yvette, how much she'd always wanted a family.

This insight gave her pause. She couldn’t make her Prince Charming magically arrive at the front door—that was clear, but she didn’t have to remain childless. It was time to take her life in hand. She went to the bookshelf in the living room and removed an old tome. It was from a long ago sociology class and was titled “You Too Can Parent”. Lalique sighed and began to read.


For a month or so Lalique had been mulling over her options. She’d made up her mind that she would definitely have a child of her own, but now the question was how she would go about getting said child. She no longer expected to get married. She thought about just finding someone among her old boyfriends and having a try at reviving their relationship for a short while, but that was just a quick passing thought. Lazy, she chided herself, and dishonest. 

Finally, she came to the conclusion she would use artificial insemination. Articles she’d read said she would get the hereditary and genetic information about the donor. The hardest thing would be telling her parents; well, telling her mother.

Meanwhile, she realized the house was too small; she didn’t mind for herself but if she was going to have a baby that was different. Lalique didn’t want to lose space in her yard so she planned to “raise the roof”. She got a decorator and contractor and started right away. 

The project provided a lot of room. She kept her living room and kitchen pretty much as it was but now a staircase was at the back of the dining area.
Downstairs she did have two feet added to her old ballet room. Then she knocked through one wall in the living room into her former bedroom making an alcove and now she could have a baby grand and donate her upright to the Children’s Home. The other half of the bedroom was joined with two feet of the music room to make a large playroom. 

"Eye candy", Lalique told her decorator, "I want "eye candy" in this room. It's to be a room specifically for fun (with learning on the side) and I want to reflect that in design and color."

At the far end of the hall there still remained a tiny dance room to use for practice; she liked to do that for the exercise now, if nothing else.

Upstairs were three large rooms, one was her bedroom which she painted a soothing shade of her favorite color; green. She moved her black and white Yoshi screen upstairs from the living room to hide the exercise machine. There would no longer be room for it downstairs anyway once she put in a high chair. The middle room was the nursery which they were still working on, since Lalique kept changing her mind on colors and styles. And the other was, for now, a guest room. There were two bathrooms upstairs as well. One was done in cool restful blues and was an en suite for the master bedroom, the other was in warm earth tones and opened into the hall.

The small little house she’d had now looked massive from the outside. All was ready; she just had to go to the clinic. She had not told anyone but when she began her home improvements her mother knew something was up. 

Lalique had avoided going over to see her parents as soon as her pregnancy began to show, but she could hardly ignore phone calls from them. 

Finally she asked her mother to come over and now that she was in her second trimester, it was obvious to anyone who saw her that she was expecting. She confessed her plans to Olivia who was shocked that Lalique had kept this secret for so long, but mainly was concerned that Lalique was having a baby just to feel loved by someone.

“Dear, you’re extremely intelligent; you know this is a big responsibility and you’ll  be going it alone.”

“I know,” Lalique tried not to be defensive about her reasons and then asked Olivia in a quavering voice, 

“Mother, don’t you think I’ll be a good parent?”

“Of course you will, dear! But tell me that you aren’t doing this from a totally selfish position and I’ll feel better.”

“Of course I’m lonely; of course I want someone to love me, doesn’t everyone? But I want a baby because I, well, I guess I'm more of a nurturer than I thought. I think I have room in my heart and my home to give a child love and understanding.”

That she had the room was now an understatement.

“You wanted a child who is biologically yours, I take it?” Olivia asked.

Lalique hesitated as they walked out to the sidewalk.

“I know; I did consider adopting, but I really wanted to pass along my family genes I guess. Perhaps later, though.”

Her mother hugged her and said as she left for home,

“Well, you seem to know what you’re doing , dear. Let me know anything I can do to help. And, Lalique, please come see us soon, we miss you very much, you know."

One of the last things that needed to be done was to get all the baby clothes and items she still needed.  Telling herself that for all she knew she would really excel at this child rearing thing and maybe want to adopt later, she blew lots of money at the furniture stores in Bluewater Village. Then she trudged over to Amelia's Closet and purchased toddler clothes for both a boy and a girl. Her last trip was to Goth's Apparel in Pleasantview where she bought some new post-maternity clothes for herself and some beautiful silk toddler dresses that were a specialty of Goth's.  By the time she left there her feet and back were killing her and, groaning, she hailed a taxi and headed for home.

She was suddenly getting a little nervous and scared about the actual birth of this new little being. She decided that now, more than ever, she needed the counsel of her older sister, Yvette. Up until now Yvette had not wanted to intrude because Lalique had been so secretive. Now she happily accepted the invitation, though. She promised to come over the very next day which was Sunday. Mark would be spending the day doing things with Simone anyway, so that freed up Yvette's day. The two sister would be able to talk with no distractions. The relief Lalique felt was immense.

The waiting was almost over...