December 25, 2014

In Which Winter Would Not Intrude

September 26, 1188

"Were you a good boy for Winter today?" Lady Rona cooed as she picked up her youngest--youngest for about another month, anyway--and greeted him with a tickle. "Well?"

Dally only giggled, so Winter took it upon herself to answer. "He was a very good boy. You weren't too uncomfortable at the school today, were you, my lady?"

"Oh, Winter. I'm pregnant--not an invalid. I'll need plenty of time off after the baby gets here, so I might as well work all I can before." At least this baby seemed to be going easy on her employer, Winter supposed. If word among more senior staff was to be believed, both Darry and Aspen had been easy babies, but Yvanette had been the pregnancy from hell. Dally had been bearable for Lady Rona, but certainly not ideal. This one seemed at least calmer than their closest sibling, though maybe not so tame as the two before him. "Rough as they can be when they're inside, they'll have you running around all you can when they're out!"

"Oh, don't I know it." Though, she supposed it wasn't impossible that children were better for their nannies than their parents. Lady Rona's children didn't give Winter any trouble, or at least any trouble they couldn't help but give her, and neither had any of her previous employers'. Her stepchildren were darlings, and two of them barely qualified as children any more besides. It was only a matter of time, she guessed, before she knew for sure. "But speaking of that, I, uh... I do need to talk to you about... um, time off."

"Oh!" In no need of any further explanation, Lady Rona set Dally down, then returned to her full height, hands clasped together. "Winter, are you expecting?"

Winter smiled. "In the early part of April, yes."

"Oh, how exciting! I'm so happy for you." And she didn't look like she could have been lying, not with that giddy spark in her eye. "You'll make an excellent mother."

"Thank you. When I'm back after my leave, would you mind if I brought my baby along with me?"

"Not at all. It won't be too much younger than mine, after all; they ought to be fine playmates."

A funny thought, her baby playing with the child of a knight, the grandchild of a duke. How amused her dear mother would have been! "I should hope so."

"Splendid! I know Had probably has some of your stepchildren's baby things lying around, but if you need any more, don't hesitate to ask; between my children and my nieces and nephews and my younger siblings, my family always has plenty."

"That's very kind of you."

"And I hope you won't worry too much about the birth. It's worth it, I promise--for all the ones you've seen were just as disgusting as the ones I've seen, I'm sure of it."

Seen? "Actually, my lady... I haven't seen a birth."

Lady Rona's eyes widened. They were the same as Darry's--and rather like whenever the boy stubbed a toe. "Really? Not once?"

Winter shook her head. "I moved around a lot. I had friends, but most of them never had children while I was living near. I didn't have any sisters, and most of my female cousins lived in different shires."

"Oh. Well, awful a sight it is, you should see at least one before your time comes. Trust me, you'll be better off knowing what to expect." Lady Rona ran a hand over her baby's mass, then locked eyes with Winter again, grinning.

"You'll attend my baby's birth next month."

Winter blinked. A trusted lady's maid aside, surely that wasn't a servant's place. "Oh, I couldn't intrude."

"It wouldn't be intruding. Besides, I insist, and everyone knows better than to refuse a laboring woman anything she wants." She gave her stomach another pat. The baby must have been kicking. It wouldn't be long before Winter knew what that felt like. "And you'll be spending so much time with little Celina anyway that she might as well know you from the start."

"You think it will be a girl then?"

"Oh, I know she's a girl. The fun will come in seeing what yours is." Did Lady Rona want to attend Winter's baby's birth? She guessed that would be all right. Apart from Had's sister and sister-in-law, she hadn't given it too much thought... "Promise me you'll be there."

"All right." Yes, it would be gross, and painful--that much she'd figured. But Lady Rona was right; it would be better if she saw it done before attempting to do it herself. "I'll be there."



Van said...

Merry Whatever-You-Celebrate-And-If-You-Don't-Celebrate-Anything-Then-Enjoy-The-Time-Off!

Ekho said...

Oh wow, grown up Rona blows my mind, I love her! And you know how much a I love babies, I'm sure Winter will be a great mother, and it's awesome she has Rona being so supportive and encouraging.

Van said...

Rona's growing process occurs in surges. She's her stubborn self until something kicks her into high gear, but she retains her improvements. Her last big spike occurred when she found out about Yvanette's condition.

Winter will be an excellent mother, and more importantly, she won't give up herself to do it. And while Rona has as many flaws as anyone else, she's steadfast in her support for people she likes.

Winter said...

I have to laugh! I would absolutely be the Medieval nanny who somehow managed to never see anyone give birth. It's very sweet of Rona to invite her and to agree to come to Winter's. After sharing in Rona's child-rearing for this long, it'll be comforting to have her there for her own foray into it.

Van said...

Heheh. That might not be the worst luck in the world. XD

Dramatics aside, Rona does have her heart in the right place, and she and her kids are very fond of Winter. She's happy to give Winter all the help she can.