I liked to nitpick him about it, but he’d made a few contacts and from what I understood he was in talks with the manufacturer about another wave of bikes. His other investors, like Andrew and David—who used to be good friends of his until their investments dried up—had all backed out and Ted had been garnering a bad reputation in the business world. I was glad that he had nothing to do with my family’s business; he seemed mostly content to just let that go for now. Although, I suspected he wanted to get more control in it. God forbid if he ever actually succeeded in this venture.
When I entered the twins’ nursery I saw that Alex was the one crying. I figured as much. I’d taken him to the doctor yesterday with an ear infection and a slight fever. The doctor had prescribed some medication but it could take a few days to kick in. Until then we just had to try to make him comfortable. His brother Nicki was still sleeping soundly in the other crib.
I picked Alex up and held him closely to me. “It’s ok, honey. Mommy’s here.”
Sitting down in the comfortable rocking chair I let him cry against my chest and felt his forehead. He actually felt normal as if his fever had gone down. He wasn’t sweating and didn’t appear to be sick even, but I was sure his ear was hurting.
As we sat there rocking together I continued to try to soothe him and kiss him softly on the forehead. He just needed to know his mother was there for him. We all needed that sometimes. I’d been wishing my mother could hold me for ten years at that point. I thought about it at least once a day. And every time I did it made me so sad.
“Are you ok, baby?” I whispered. “It’s alright. Don’t worry. You will feel better soon.”
Alex seemed to quiet for a moment and then started screaming at the top of his lungs again. He couldn’t get settled, the poor little guy.
I suddenly heard Ted coming down the hallway. Was he actually going to help this time? I’d long ago resigned to the fact that Ted was going to do the absolute bare minimum when it involved the kids, as he did with everything. He was so hot and cold that I never knew what to expect. There would be a few weeks or even a month where he was the perfect husband and father and then he’d revert to his old ways and be the worst person to be around for a few months. I was getting so sick of it. I wanted to leave him so badly, but I knew how much I’d loved him once and I kept hoping that same man would return. Plus, now we had the boys and I didn’t want to complicate their lives.
And Ted had me over a barrel financially. I’d been stupid, reckless. Why hadn’t I signed a pre-nup? Why did I give Ted my Power of Attorney? These were things I’d done hastily. My idiot lawyer had fed me that load of crap and I’d swallowed it. And now I was living with the consequences.
I just had to keep hoping that things would get better. That’s what my mother would have told me. She would have said to have faith and things will work out on their own.
But sometimes she failed to mention that things often went through horrific changes before they finally found their way.
Ted opened the door hastily and stepped into the nursery. I could tell he was angry and I braced myself for impact.
“What the hell is wrong with that kid?” Ted asked.
“He’s sick, remember?”
“Yeah, well he’s making me sick. Can’t you shut him up?”
“I’m trying to calm him down. His ear hurts. There isn’t a lot we can do.”
“I’m trying to get some sleep and that kid is screaming bloody murder night after night. When is that going to stop? Five? Ten years?”
“Welcome to the world of kids,” I said with a smile.
“You love this, don’t you?” Ted asked.
“I love what?”
“This. You love that these little babies need you so much. I think it’s an obsession and I don’t think it’s healthy.”
I had to laugh. “Wow, you are calling motherhood an obsession. That’s rich.”
“We are rich. Why don’t we hire a full time nanny to take care of these brats? We’re both busy and have a lot to do.”
I grimaced. “Why do you always call them that? They aren’t brats; they are our sons.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Ted mocked. “I didn’t realize you were that sensitive about it. Our sons… they are a nuisance is what they are.”
“Everything that disturbs your permanent vacation is a nuisance,” I said. ‘Welcome to the real world, Ted. Life isn’t all a bunch of chocolates and roses. If you find a paradise like that, let me know. Oh, wait—you already have it because I give it to you.”