Yeah, but at least you could be like that poor couple that got triplets. Unless…
That was almost comforting. Thank you for the valiant effort.
Nate grinned and placed the two girls down before throwing Aaron over his shoulder and racing around the room. “Can’t catch us, girls.” He called teasingly as he ducked and weaved around the furniture. Aaron screamed and hollered as he lay over his father’s shoulder and the girls yelled and giggled as they tried to catch up.
Daphne made her way through the maze of running legs to her bedroom where, after closing the door behind her, she collapsed into bed. She pulled herself up into a sitting position and reached into the drawer of her bedside table, pulling out a small pill bottle and taking two. She was glad to relinquish the kids to Nate. She loved spending time with them, but man, could they get exhausting. She waited for the anxiety medication to take effect as she unloaded the clothes from the laundry basket and into the closets, which, connected the two bedrooms. Nate’s scrubs, the triplets pajamas. Almost everything went into these connecting closets. Once finished, she returned to the bed, laying gently with her head propped up against the wall. “Work.” She willed in the direction of the pills. Her heart was racing. She breathed gently to try and slow it. She heard the joyful giggling shrieks of the kids outside the door, and the more she focused on them the less of an issue the panic seemed. She breathed a sigh of relief. The last thing she needed to do was give herself away.
Ey, nothing to worry about. There’s so much going about everyone that it’s all good.
I understand. Tired physically or mentally? Both suck the same amount.
To be dramatic I’d say both, but honestly more mentally that physically.
This project turned out to be a bigger struggle for me than anyone could have ever prepared me for.
It had been a long and tiring day. First classes had been a killer, and then he had floo’d to St Mungo’s for his internship there, worked a solid four hours without a break, he’d then returned to school and done another four hours at his Hospital Wing internship. He hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was now nearing 9 o’clock. While Nate had the oportunity to go and see one of the “fans” he’d aquired, he just wanted to go home and spend a little time with the triplets before they got too tired. Daphne had probably already fed and bathed them, but they generally didn’t follow a strict bedtime. They wanted to have rules for their children but not so many it suffocated them.
Nearing their portrait, Nate found himself walking a little quicker. He’d missed them so much. He’d seen so little of them since getting out of the hospital wing. He missed falling asleep with them in between he and Daphne. Opening the portrait, he hurried inside. “I’m home.” Nate called. “Daddy!!” Thalia and Violet came running towards him, as fast as their little legs could carry them, followed by Aaron who had one of his sister’s dress-ups on. “Daddy! Thalia and Violet made me wear a dress!” He pouted. Nate kneeled down to pick up all three children. “Made you or you let them?” Nate asked, with a low chuckle. His son grew sheepish. Nate smiled even though it sent a pang to his chest. He knew how hard it was being the only boy and having to sacrifice yourself just so you had a playmate. “It’s alright, Aaron, how about we do some boy stuff before bedtime?” He was exhausted but as soon as he saw the kids he was instantly lifted. Aaron grinned. “Could we mummy?” Aaron asked, looking at Daphne on the couch.
"Of course, love. It’s not every day Dad gets home before you’re asleep, make the most of it." She answered her son, grabbing the laundry basket and walking to the bedroom to put away clothes, inwardly refusing to make eye contact with Nate as she passed them. "Just come in and let me know if any of you get tired, and I’ll be right in to put you to bed." She really didn’t mind letting them stay up. They would get their sleep eventually, and it was true that they rarely spent any quality time with Nate.
"Mum?" Thalia ran into the living room from their bedroom and asked very seriously, "Am I bigger today?" She climbed into the basket of clean laundry Daphne was folding, forcing her mum to pay attention to her. "He says no."
Daphne paused and smiled at her youngest, and indeed smallest, daughter. She had big green eyes and pale blonde hair just like her mother. “Who says no, sweetie?”
"Aaron says." The tiny little girl said with pouty lips and her hands on her hips.
"Let me look at you." She grabbed Thalia by the hand and helped her out of the basket. "Now twirl." Daphne instructed
"Like a princess?" She asked very seriously.
"Yes, of course, like a princess." The little girl turned round and round and Daphne giggled as Thalia watched her mum expectantly, waiting for an answer.
"You know… I think you have grown."
A look of delighted surprise spread across Thalia’s face. “I’m going to go tell him he can’t play with us.”
"Wait, you and your sister? Why can’t he play with you?"
"Because it’s girls only, mummy." She said matter-of-factly.
"But what does that have to do with whether you’re bigger today or not?"
"Um…nothing." The little girl answered.
"Then… well if you are only letting girls play, it’s not right to leave your brother alone like that. He’s the only boy." Daphne explained to her daughter.
"Well, there’s Daddy. He could play with him." The little girl reasoned.
"Thalia you know Daddy’s busy right now." Daphne reminded her, returning to folding clothes.
Thalia was quiet for a little while before speaking again. “Why is Daddy so busy? Why is Daddy never home?” The girl jumped on top of the newly folded clothes on the sofa, laying her head in Daphne’s lap. Daphne sighed. She knew the kids must have realized how little time Nate spent at the apartment, but she sort of hoped that would remain ignorant. “Baby, Daddy’s just busy at work a lot of the time. He helps people feel better when they get sick or are hurt.”
"Would he help me if I got sick or hurt?" She asked, playing with the hem of Daphne’s dress.
"Of course he would! He loves you very much." She laughed off the question.
"Would he help you if you got sick or hurt?" Thalia pushed the subject even further.
I’m not entirely sure he would, Daphne thought to herself. Nate had behaved exactly as he said he would ignoring her largely until a big issue with the triplets came up. Running out to meet girls late at night, and gone before the sun rose in the morning to get to his various internships. She had to come up with an appropriate answer for her daughter.
"He… would do what was right no matter what. Aaron, Violet come here please!" She called to the other two young children, who hobbled out of their room. They were all getting so big. Violet had gotten Daphne’s pale green eyes and Nate’s dark thick hair, and Aaron was almost an exact likeness of his father.
"You are to play together. You are a family, and you will behave as such. Am I understood?" The two children nodded silently and raced to return first back to the bedroom. Thalia grinned and hopped up from the couch and followed them along. Daphne sighed and laid back against the sofa.
Oh don’t worry, I’ve heard things. I just didn’t think you’d be this feisty.
I dunno. Girls like food right? I could play you some music? I figured I could just lend you an ear though - would you prefer the right or the left?
On the contrary, it sort of worries me that you’ve heard things.
Most sentient individuals like food and music, yes.
I want to know that if I took you seriously, I’d ask you for one and take the other while you were removing the first. But as I know that was a joke, I promise no harm will come to either.
I’m not usually this ill-humored, I swear. I just…I’m very tired.
Wayne Hopkins at your service, m’lady.
If you knew anything about me, you would not be shocked.
And anyway, what could you possibly do for me?
I’m sorry, who are you?