January 8, 2014

In Which Mona Sees for the First Time

May 21, 1184

"Excuse him," Adinaye sighed as she lifted her whimpering infant to her shoulder. "He's used to spending every waking moment with his sister; now that she's gone, he's not sure what to do with himself."

You and me both, Wick, thought Mona, though her unease had nothing to do with Wick's sister.

Adinaye had given birth some days back now, and today was her first venture from her castle since having Wick, and Wick's first ever. She had brought along little Emeline too, but when Telvar and Avirelle's nanny had suggested taking the kids to see a performing troupe in the market, not one of the three of them could refuse. Well... only Avirelle technically couldn't, though Anna had insisted she'd enjoy it. Telvar and Emeline wouldn't.

So that left Anna with a nice window of freedom, and Adinaye with the only new baby to worry about. And Mona still had Lara.

Was she a horrible mother if, three months later, she still had no idea what the hell to do with a baby?

"They're getting along, then?" Anna grimaced. Telvar had not taken so easily to the arrival of his sister, though he seemed to have grown used to her now.

"She won't leave him alone! She's the one who started calling him 'Wick', even; seems the name has stuck." Adinaye rolled her eyes, but she smiled as she kissed her baby's ear. She liked 'Wick'. They'd probably still call him that when he was earl. Lara had been born Lara. She'd probably still be Lara when they buried her.

But not all children were called by nicknames? Mona's parents had always called her by her given name, and she'd turned out...

Well, like the sort of person who couldn't trust herself with her own three-month-old.

What was wrong with her? She loved Lara just as much as Anna loved Telvar and Avirelle, just as much as Adinaye loved Emeline and Wick. Why couldn't she show it?

"Now, I guess we'll just have to see what he calls her when he can talk. Wouldn't it be adorable if his first word was 'sister'? Or 'Emmy'?"

"A little early to be thinking of first words, but yes, it would," Anna agreed. "Avirelle's was 'tell'. The nanny said she thought it was because Avirelle was going to tell on her brother for pulling her hair, but Adrius likes to say it was short for 'Telvar'."

"If only because she was telling him off!" Adinaye laughed--and little Wick's cooing seemed to be an effort to mirror her. Lara only stared when Mona laughed, which wasn't often these days. God, what was wrong with her? "Though I suppose we'll be hearing Lara's first words before we hear Wick's, won't we? She does have a three-month head start on him."

She wasn't sure how, but the shift in her friends' gazes was tactile against her flesh. Not wanting to meet their eyes, Mona instead turned to her daughter, who made a little babbling sound. Such a beautiful baby. She looked nothing like Mona herself, and while Mona thought Zareth handsome, she doubted that was popular opinion... but their daughter was lovely nonetheless. She looked more like her Aunt Devidra than the woman's own grandchildren did.

She hoped this awkwardness passed before Lara was old enough to confirm this.

"I suppose." She raised her baby to her shoulder, catching a tiny infant smile as the girl's face passed. It was the first time she'd seen that grin. "But I hope that still leaves plenty of time for her to hear something worth repeating."



Van said...

Filler post is filler.

Ann said...

Filler? Really?
I don't think so... Mona's anxieties about motherhood are rather important, I'd say. Maybe not in the grand sheme of things, but to her as a character and anyone she comes in contact with? Yeah, I'd say so.

I guess I should have seen it coming too, that Mona wouldn't settle into her new role without some difficulties, given her own family (if you can even call it that). But alas, I didn't expect it. So I'm glad you brought it up. (Filler, my ... eye.)

Too cute about the baby nicknames and first words! D'awwws!!

And also: Now I know where you got Anna's profile pic from! ^^ (Yeah, I'd been wondering about that. Don't judge me.)

Van said...

Mona has enough family-related anxieties that becoming a parent was bound to be difficult for her. Actually, thinking back to when she and Zareth were in bed and they were musing about their families' questionable fertility, I wonder if that was maybe wishful thinking on Mona's part. She didn't not want kids ever, but she probably wanted more time to brace herself for the possibility, and to figure out how she would approach it.

Eehee... that's actually not Anna's profile pic. ;) Though it is similar enough that I had to do a double-take when I was updating her profile: same room, same seat, same everything. Her profile shot is from a previous post, though I have no idea which one. XD

Ekho said...

Maybe Mona just needs to 'break the ice' and some future event will come to pass and she will bond with her daughter, or maybe it's simply leftover pregnancy hormones, coupled with her anxiety of being a mother? Hopefully time will improve the situation for her, and she doesn't miss out on bonding with her first born, that would really be a shame. :S

Van said...

I don't know too much about babies, but I don't think it's unheard of for a mother to not be immediately attached to her child. I'm sure things will improve for Mona and Lara before Lara is old enough to remember her mother as at all distant.