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The next morning Sharon found herself watching Billy sleep next to her. He was cuddled close, occasionally nursing on his binky. She held his diapered bottom, occasionally patting it gently, noticing he was awfully wet. She held off changing him because she didn’t want to wake him, and she was enjoying watching as he slept.
Sharon’s thoughts turned to Cathy’s words. “Which makes me happier?” she thought. She didn’t know if she could answer that. She loved cuddling him and playing with him when he was looking at the world as an infant. She knew that for certain. She also knew she loved the way he responded to her cuddling him when he was her nine year old.
What would happen when he reached the toddler stage? Would he fight getting past it? She had a feeling that Cathy was right, he wouldn’t want to leave that part of his life. It would take a great deal to get him to see that growing up had benefits and rewards. He’d been through it once, and she imagined it didn’t look all that appealing to him with how things went. If only she could turn back the clock and change how they had handled things the first time.
“Wish in one hand…” she thought, not even bothering to finish the old saying. She knew better to lament over mistakes of the past. The best she could do now, is to not repeat the same mistakes, and hopefully not make any new ones.
“What are you wrestling with over there?” Sharon heard Rick quietly ask.
“Cathy asked me a question yesterday that really bothers me. She wanted to know which makes me happier, when Billy’s an infant or a nine year old.” She told him softly.
“Hmmm…I can understand how that would be a difficult one for you to answer.” He offered. When she didn’t respond, he asked “Do you have an answer?”.
“I don’t know, I love both. Does it have to be one or the other? Can’t I have both?” She replied.
“Hon, look at him, you do have both.” Rick responded with a smile.
She thought about that. He was right, of course, she did have both. “I guess that’s the part that bothers me, how long will it be before things change?” She asked.
“Would you rather he stayed the way he is from now on?” He asked without any sign of judgment.
“No. I may love to cuddle and play with him, and I definitely love nursing him, but I don’t want this to be his whole life. We saw he has so much potential, there’s almost nothing he couldn’t become.” Sharon answered.
Rick was relieved, but fought to keep it from showing. While he too enjoyed the time he had with Billy now as a little baby, he didn’t want him to be stuck this way. “Honey, do me a favor, don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Live in the moment. Cuddle him, play with him and definitely enjoy nursing him, worry about the future when it happens. It’s impossible to predict how this is going to go. For all you know, this could take the same amount of time it took the last time.” He told her.
Sharon smiled. “You’re right.” she told him.
“Of course I’m right. Aren’t I always?” he said with a chuckle.
“Yeah….about that…ummmm….no.” she said laughing softly.
“Cathy also told me that she didn’t think he would want to move past the toddler stage, and I think she’s right. How are we going to handle that?” she asked him.
“Well, I’ll tell you honestly, this time I will not support pushing him. I didn’t know what to do the last time, but after seeing the results of that, I won’t do it again. I’ll encourage him, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s up to him this time.” Rick answered.
Smiling Sharon said “You said the same thing I did. I definitely agree with that.”.
“Well, then that’s settled. It’ll make it easier that we agree though.” Rick told her.
“You’re definitely right about that. I can’t imagine how things would be if we didn’t see things the same way. It would probably be hard on Billy.” Sharon responded.
She looked back down to Billy, sleeping peacefully and gave him a gentle pat on his wet bottom. She turned to take a drink of water from the glass on her nightstand and as she went to put it back, she almost dropped it.
Unfortunately, this startled Billy awake, his arms flying straight out to his sides, his legs extending fully. A second later, he pulled arms and legs back in and began to cry.
“I am so sorry Baby, did Mommy scare you?” Sharon asked him as she pulled him into her arms. She held him close as he cried, rubbing his back. “It’s OK Baby, Mommy’s got you.” she told him as she began gently rocking him.
“Shhhhh…I’ve got you.” she said as she rocked him. When he finally calmed down, she decided she may as well feed him. Baring her breast she offered him her nipple.
Billy lay on his side nursing and slowly, his eyes closed. She let him lay nursing in his sleep. “Can you get me a lap pad? His bottom is awfully wet and I’m afraid he’ll leak. I really don’t want to interrupt his nursing after scaring him.” Sharon asked her husband.
“Sure Hon.” Rick said and left to get a waterproof pad from the nursery. He came back in a moment later and gently lifted Billy’s bottom off the bed, spreading the pad under him.
Billy never made a sound as his daddy laid his bottom back down.
This gave Rick an idea, and he reached for a dry diaper and pulled three wipes from the warmer. A second later, he had Billy’s sleeper off his legs and his bottom. Two minutes later, Billy was zipped back up, a dry diaper hugging his bottom, smelling of fresh baby powder.
Rick leaned down to give him a gentle kiss, moved to kiss Sharon and then asked “Want some breakfast?”.
“Sure.” Sharon said with a smile. “In a sea of rocks, I’ve found a diamond.” she thought as she considered how much she loved Rick.
“French toast coming right up.” he said and left for the kitchen.
A few minutes later, Becky came walking into her parent’s bedroom, and climbed up on the bed, sliding under the covers, snuggling over next to Billy and Sharon.
“Morning Sweetheart.” Sharon told her.
“Morning Mommy.” Becky replied.
Sharon smiled, Becky looked cute all snuggled up to Billy with her arm over him, her hand gently holding his chest. “Daddy’s making French toast, it should be ready in a little bit.” Sharon explained.
Becky smiled and said “I love Daddy’s French toast.”. And gave a big yawn, closing her eyes. A moment later she was back asleep.
Sharon couldn’t remember the last time Becky had snuggled with Billy. This was yet another wonderful consequence of his situation. It was so much better now, they weren’t fighting any more. Becky was protective of him, watching to see that nothing hurt him.
Rick came in a little bit later and couldn’t help but smile as he saw Becky holding her brother close. “Breakfast is ready.” he whispered to Sharon.
“Can you get the monitor base?” she asked him as she broke Billy’s seal on her breast and gave him his pacifier.
Rick was back a few seconds later with the monitor, plugging it in.
Sharon got up, lifted the comforter and put the body pillow that Rick had bought under the covers along her side of the bed, tucking it in so it wouldn’t move.
Becky stirred just a bit, snuggled a bit closer to Billy, getting more comfortable.
“They look so cute together, don’t they?” Sharon whispered.
“Yes,” Rick said as he moved up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “they sure do.”.