I sat in the office, pouring over the books. My rounding belly got in the way more than not. I had to stand to reach a file that I needed while yelling out. “What’s goin’ on over in section four? Are those grapes ready yet? We’re gettin’ behind in these orders.”
“No ma’am. They’re almost ready but not quite yet.” Anthony was the newest man on our staff. He had light blonde hair with brown eyes, tall and lanky, and he fit in wonderfully around the office.
“Well, we need to do somethin’ about that. Production is gettin’ backed up because of it. Talk to the sun for me, would ya?”
He laughed. “I’ll see what I can do about scheduling an appointment.”
Just then the phone rang and I grabbed it. “Tanner Vineyard, Elyse speakin’. How may I assist you?”
It was my mom. “Hey there, baby girls. How are you an’ the baby?”
“Everything’s fine. I’m still livin’ off shakes an’ ice cream.”
“Oh, that’s good. I think. So, the news now is that Tania an’ James are havin’ another boy. That girl just can’t seem to get a girl outta that man.” She chuckled. “So, that makes three for her now. I think you two are havin’ a marathon for grandkids.”
“Oh, there’s no way she’ll pass me by. We’re not plannin’ on stoppin’ any time soon. Logan is five, Chloe is four, Corey Junior is three, Elizabeth is two an’ Jay is one. Every year we seem to be able to make another one, so until they stop comin’, we’re gonna keep havin’ ‘em. Logan, Chloe an’ Corey Junior are finally out of diapers. Elizabeth will be soon because she always makes faces an’ hates the ewwie in her diaper. That’s the first sign, so right now, we basically have Jay in diapers, an’ the new one will make two.”
“I’m amazed you guys seemed to have boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, so my guess is the next one is a girl.”
I smirked. “Oh, like ya don’t already know.”
“No. This time I don’t, yet. Oh my…”
“Well, it seems Mike is gettin’ married again.” She laughed. “…an’ the girl is only twenty-one years old.”
“Oh Lord, Mike the dick strikes again, huh? As long as he stays up there an’ stays outta my town.”
“Hopefully, he didn’t lie to this one though.” She yawned. “Sorry sweetie, the three-hour difference kills me. I’m goin’ to bed. I’ll call ya in the mornin’.”
“Night mom. It’s time for me to get home to the brood anyway.” I hung up, finished what I had to do in the office, and then headed home. It was just a short walk across the field. I opened the door and it sounded like a zoo inside. “Mommy’s home...”
“Mommy, mommy…” Logan ran over, jumping into my arms. “I wrote my name!”
“You did? Good boy! Did ya like it?”
“I like it! Elizabeth took off her diaper running around the house today. She said no ewwie and ran.”
“Well, soon she won’t be in diapers.”
He played with my hair. “You mean, she’ll be a big girl like I’m a big boy?”
“Yes, it does happen.” I kissed him before setting him down on the floor. “Where’s daddy?”
“He’s talking to Chloe. She wrote all over the wall. He’s telling her why that’s not good. I’m good, right Mommy?”
“Yes, baby. You’re my wonderful little man. Go play with your brothers an’ sisters.”
Logan ran off to go and play and brag about how mommy said he was a big man.
I went in search for the artist and her critic, or so Logan explained. I leaned against the doorframe listening to him talking to our four-year-old daughter.
“You see when you do things like this, it means we have to have someone come in and paint. That means you have less Christmas presents this year. You don’t want that, do you?” Corey asked as she sat on his knee.
“No daddy… me no do it again.” Chloe looked up at him with those blue eyes of hers. “Me was trying to draw you perty picture.”
“Oh, is that what you were doing?” He looked at the line of crayon that went from one wall to the other in just a straight line. “…and what exactly did you draw?”
“A horse!” She looked at him sadly. “You see my horsey?”
He turned and made a visible point of looking again. “Oh, yeah, I see it now! Wow… that is one fine horse… that smudge of dirt got in my way.”
“That’s his nose!”
“…and a fine nose he has too!”
“Next time, stick to paper, okay?” He told her setting her down on the floor, kissing her forehead.
“Okay, daddy.” She ran off to go and play again and waved at me as she ran.
I laughed walking over, joining him on the couch. It was Saturday, which meant my day in the office and his day at home with the kids. I only worked part time. “Nice decoration. You’re gonna have to hook me up with your interior designer.”
He laughed, putting his arm around me. “Yeah, she said it was a horse. I thought she was going to clobber me when I couldn’t tell that one line was a horse.”
“That’s our kids! Ya know, I remember someone tellin’ ya not to finish the drywall an’ just leave it blank for them to be able to draw on the wall… an’ what did you say?”
“I said they would stick to the paper. I know, you were right. The wall was written on.”
“I like to be right.” Suddenly we were bombarded as all the kids rushed in and climbed on us. “Oomph, I think we’ve been invaded.”
“Do you still want that baseball team?” He asked as he was climbed on.
I laughed, holding up my hand to stop kids from falling over. “Oh yeah, I do.”
He leaned over, kissing my nose. “Good because I love your brats. They’re so creative.” He winked. “Who’s hungry?”
“Me!” All the kids yelled.
“Follow me then because chow time’s in the kitchen. Okay then, everyone in your highchairs, or get in your seats!” He said, standing. He picked up the baby before he was trampled as he led the way into the kitchen.
I laughed, struggling to get up. “Oh yeah, that’s my tribe. Mommy’s hungry too. Can I eat?”
“No” and “Yeah” were mixed responses.
There was someone fighting over someone else getting more of something than all the others. We had some food fights, we had some good times, and we had some bad. However, just as I predicted, the holidays with children were extra special.
This is my family. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
To think… it all happened because of lies, sacrifices, and alibis.
…and we lived happily ever after… or did we?
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