Hope you enjoy this. I didn’t get the ground rules in this one, but I think it worked better without them.
Tomorrow should be a much longer piece. I have the day to put it together.
Rick was just pulling a bowl out of the cabinet when Becky wandered in to the kitchen. She had a thoughtful look as she moved toward the refrigerator. “Need to rinse it out first Pumpkin.” he advised her.
“Oh. I wasn’t thinking, sorry Daddy.” she replied sheepishly as she veered toward the sink.
“It’s OK Pumpkin, I still love you.” he said with a chuckle.
Becky turned and moved to Rick’s side so she could give him a hug. “I’m sorry I got so upset.” she told him.
“Hey, Sweety. I’m glad that you had a hard time with that.” he responded. Becky looked confused so Rick quickly clarified. “I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right. What I mean is, there would be something wrong with you if hearing your brother hurting like that didn’t bother you. If you didn’t get upset, I would have been concerned.”.
“Oh.” she replied still hugging him.
“I was proud of you earlier.” he offered.
“Because you had a really good opportunity to tease your little brother, and you didn’t. That was a very mature thing to do.” Rick answered.
“I can’t, not about that. He was hurting too much.” she said with a concerned look. A moment later she smiled up at him and added “And he’s not my little brother, he’s my baby brother, at least for today.” with a smile.
Rick hugged her a little tighter for a second to show his appreciation for her willingness to go along with what they had decided was best for Billy. “You have any questions about all of this?” he asked her seriously.
Becky stood pondering for a moment and asked “How long is Billy gonna be a baby?” with a serious expression.
“I’m not sure Sweety, I think this is helping your mom as much as it’s helping Billy, so I don’t exactly think it’ll just be today.” he answered. Seeing how much Sharon enjoyed being close to her little boy, he had a good idea neither of them would want to end this quickly.
“Oh.” she responded, stood thoughtfully for a moment and asked “Will it change us?” with a worried look.
Rick considered this for a moment. “It’s changed us already.” he thought to himself. “Billy’s a lot happier and so is Sharon.” he continued musing, but he knew that’s not what she was asking him. “It’s going to change some things, but no, it’s not going to affect the way you and I, or you and your mom get along Sweety. I promise.”. He didn’t think he really needed to, but he would talk with Sharon about this later.
“OK.” Becky said with relief.
“Why don’t you get him his bottle now, huh?” Rick suggested.
“It’s ba-ba Daddy, Mom said it that way for a reason.” with an exasperated tone. “She said it that way so he’d feel better.” she instructed him.
“Hmmm…I must have missed that.” he said trying not to laugh.
“Oh Daddy!” she replied as if she was a grown woman exclaiming “Men!”
Rick couldn’t help chuckling as Becky took the bottle and rinsed it out, then filled it with grape juice. Two minutes later she was moving toward his bedroom.
Sharon had only been cuddling Billy for a moment or two when Becky knocked on the door. “Come in Sweetheart.” she said loud enough to be heard through the door.
Becky opened the door and couldn’t help smiling. Sharon stood, holding Billy close. “He just looks so sweet like that.” Becky thought as she took in the sight of him snuggled up with his mommy, nursing on his binky wearing nothing but a diaper. More so when she noticed that pooh bear was centered on his padded bottom.
Sharon noticed Becky’s expression as she stood there with his bottle in her hand. This gave her an idea that she thought would help both of them. “Sit down in the rocker Honey.” she told Becky.
Becky moved to the rocking chair and sat down, prepared to wait patiently while her mother finished dressing him. Her eyes got wide when Sharon shifted Billy in her arms and gently laid him across her lap.
“You’ll be fine.” Sharon told her comfortingly, as she reached over to pick up Billy’s blankie and handed it to Becky.
Billy, meanwhile had also widened his eyes at this development. Sharon saw he was nervous, but didn’t want to intervene unless it was necessary. “They need to figure out where they stand.” she thought. She saw him try to sit up, with a fearful expression as she moved back from them to sit on the bed. Sharon placed her hand on his bare chest and pushed him gently down as she said “Lay back, Baby. You’ll be fine, I promise.”. Billy’s eyes filled with tears and it took a great deal of determination to keep her from picking him up, but Sharon was steadfast in her belief that this would be good for them both, and sat down on the bed.
Using her nickname for him when he was three, Becky said soothingly “It’s alright Bug-a-boo, I’ve got you.” as she covered his chest with his blankie.
Billy turned to look at his sister. She hadn’t called him that in a long time. Unconsciously, his hand grasped the corner of his blankie as his mouth worked on his binky. She knew he was scared. She’d had the perfect opportunity to be mean and make fun of him. Laying there in just a diaper, Billy didn’t think he could feel more vulnerable than right now and he didn’t know if he could trust her.
The defining moment was when Becky leaned down to kiss him on the forehead, pulled back to look him directly in the eye and whispered “I promise, I won’t hurt you.” with a solemn voice and moist eyes.
Tears running down the side of his face, Billy knew she wasn’t talking about physically hurting him and she was serious. “She’s telling me she’s OK with this.” he thought, stunned. Silly as it was to him, he felt safe now, protected. She could have laughed at him, but instead she tried to comfort him. He had never seen this side of her, except yesterday when she’d given him a hug and apologized. Then it occurred to him, “She must’ve known then.”. This was new territory and he didn’t know what to do. He felt awkward.
Becky saw he was still anxious. She looked to her mom for help. Sharon nodded toward the bottle, sitting on the nightstand out of Billy’s view. Smiling gratefully to her mother, she pulled his pacifier out of his mouth, surprised at how much it took to do so, reached over and picked up the bottle and offered it to him saying “Here Bug-a-boo, drink your ba-ba.”.
Before he realized what he was doing, he had closed his eyes, taken the nipple in his mouth and started nursing, lost in the softness of his blankie, the wonderful sensation of nursing and the feel of Becky gently caressing his chest. With each suckling motion, the tension drained out of him like the juice out of his ba-ba. He snuggled a little closer and breathed a blissful sigh.
Becky smiled from ear to ear as she looked down upon her new baby brother. She didn’t really understand why he wanted this, but it had made things better. As far as she was concerned that’s all that mattered. Seeing him respond to her attempt to show him it was OK gave her warm feelings inside. She felt protective of him now, and if she had her way, she wouldn’t ever have to listen to him cry like that again. “He’s just so…” she started, but didn’t want to sound like a parrot, repeating her self over and over, so she was looking for the right word when her mom finished it for her.
“Adorable,” her mom said smiling. “I know.”.
“What is he gonna wear now?” she asked excitedly. “Did you buy any more baby clothes for him?”.
“Becky!” Sharon halfheartedly admonished her daughter, “He’s not a doll you know.”. Then after a short pause, quietly answered “Not yet.” with a small smile.