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Titled? ~ 67

November 01, 2017 08:21PM


Chapter Sixty-Seven




Anna Margaret knew that Frederick had sent his sister a photo of the baby and that she had replied a while later. The delay did not need to mean she was in labour. In fact, Anna Margaret assumed she had been doing something official and that good manners prevented her from taking out her phone.

That she had sent for a doctor meant something was happening now. There might not be a response this time and she did not want to frustrate anybody by sending more photos of a baby that was already out while Isabelle was still struggling with hers. If she was.

She wondered for a while if she should notify her parents. They were allowed to know, but she did not want them to walk to her house and reveal it to the world. That was a difficult thing. They would almost certainly give it away if anyone was looking, if they brought flowers or other gifts.

“Ask them over for coffee,” Frederick suggested when she consulted him.

“But we’re not in the habit. Wouldn’t they think that strange?”

“You’re bored. It’s raining. It’s cold. Where could we go? And I baked a cake we can’t eat on our own.”

“Did you?” She had completely missed that. How?

“No, not literally. They’ll forgive you for the lie when they see what we baked instead.”

She emailed her father. They still did not have her mobile number and she was reluctant to give it away at this point. It was even more imperative now to have a safe haven without unnecessary interruptions. If she gave them her number they were bound to call just when she was taking a nap.

Her father might not read the email straight away, so she picked up the baby for a feed. When they were busy – or rather, he was – she heard the doorbell ring. She resisted the initial urge to put the baby back in his bed. She could not; he was busy. Anyone downstairs would just have to wait and make do with Frederick.

She wondered if he minded, but since it had been his own idea, probably not. The baby was not hurrying and she had not yet got the hang of nursing in an upright position. As she was lying on the bed she looked at a YouTube film explaining how to do that. It did not look complicated. Perhaps next time she should try. It would be a rather necessary skill when she was back at work.

When the baby was satisfied, she laid him back in his bed. Before she took him downstairs she would first need to know who the visitor was. Although it was not likely, it might be someone else entirely.

Coming downstairs, however, she immediately heard the visitors were her parents. She walked into the living room. “Hello,” she said, feeling self-conscious for some reason.

“How are you?” asked her mother.

“Great,” she said with a shrug, trying to figure out if Frederick had revealed anything. It looked as if her deflated belly was not revealing enough. She probably still looked nine months pregnant. It was a bit disappointing not to have them point at it immediately. She had a dressing gown on, but it no longer looked as if it could not close.

“You’re bored then?” asked her father.

“Not really.” She did not feel very attractive in her wide clothes and with the huge maternity pad. That thing especially was quite awful. She struggled with taking up a comfortable position. “We just had something to show you.”

“What?” Her father looked clueless.

“Alexander.”

“Who?”

“What?” said her mother, who uncharacteristically seemed to catch on faster than her father. “It happened?”




Anna Margaret had urged her parents to behave normally as they walked home and said that she wanted some rest during the rest of the weekend. She had also asked them not to inform her sisters just yet, because she had no idea if they were able to keep quiet about it.

Her parents seemed delighted with the little boy and she could not even be sure they were going to keep their word, although she had stressed a few times that it was in the baby’s best interest not to be bothered yet. If the birth leaked out before Monday afternoon, she would take the appropriate measures, she had said, although she had not said exactly what she would do.

She was happy, though, that she had taken this hurdle. They now knew and she would no longer have to wonder about an appropriate moment. They had been the first and they could not feel they were being treated as secondary family members simply because they were not royals.

Her mother had asked what she was going to do with the baby. Of course now he was here she ought to know. Tomorrow he was simply going to stay home; that was easy. On Monday she expected to go to work as usual. She could walk, she could sit. There was nothing that prevented her from going.

“Monday…” she said to Frederick.

“You’re taking him.”

“Yes.” That was rather necessary. He needed to drink. “And I have a debate, so I need to go.” She probably had a good excuse if she did not go, but that was her last resort.

“Or should I take him there later, so you can arrive in peace?”

She considered that. If she simply got into the car that was going to pick her up, no one would know yet. Anyone watching her house might move to the office to spy on her there and Frederick would be able to leave unnoticed. If she left the house with a baby, she might be bothered by people wanting to take photos and ask questions and that would hold her up too much. She was not sure how much interest there would be, but it was best not to underestimate anything to prevent unpleasant surprises.

“I need to register him too,” he remembered. “I’ll do that before I come to you.”

“That sounds good. If I feed him just before I go, he should be fine for a while.” She would have to practise a bit more to nurse in a chair. By the time she got to work she would have to be good at it. Well, that was her own goal. Perhaps no one else would even notice or care. “And then what?” It was still really difficult not to be able to plan her day.

“I don’t know.” Frederick shrugged. “I haven’t got a lot planned this week because I knew he might be arriving. I can keep him entertained on Monday.”

Anna Margaret was not sure the baby would already want to be entertained. He was not sleeping as much as she had always heard babies did, but he seemed to be content just lying there. She crossed her fingers behind her back. Hopefully it would stay that way.

Of course he chose precisely that moment to start fussing. Before they got to him it was a full-blown cry.

“All right,” she said doubtfully after she had picked him up and he had gone amazingly quiet. “I fed him an hour ago, didn’t I? Is he tired?”

“Bored,” Frederick guessed.

“Already?” But she sat down with him on the couch and switched on the TV. She could not imagine doing that for six weeks.




By the end of the weekend Anna Margaret felt she had made some progress when it came to feeding the baby. She had also made some progress in finding out what he wanted. When he made a noise, he was either hungry or bored. She spent a lot of time sitting with him in her lap. Which was fine for today, she decided, but in the coming days he would have to be satisfied with something else. It was good that he seemed to like Frederick as well, although he mostly fell asleep when he was sitting with his father.

Florian and Murielle came by to see them on Sunday evening and the latter revealed that their little brother had arrived. She even showed them a photo and apologised that her parents had not sent anything themselves. “Mum wanted to come over, but I think Dad tied her to the bed,” she said as if this was the most normal thing in the world. “He wouldn’t let her go, at any rate. But they could have sent you a message, yes. I’m not sure why they didn’t. Maybe they’re still working on it.”

Frederick sent one to his sister before Murielle finished speaking.

“We were allowed to let you know about it, though. Don’t worry,” Murielle added.

“Is she all right?” asked Anna Margaret.

“Mwah. Physically I suppose, yes.”

“But otherwise?”

“I think it’s quite a relief that he seems to be all right. It’s always a risk, isn’t it? Especially when she sent everyone away. Oh gosh, these doctors must still be thinking it was a false alarm!” she chuckled.

“He was born at home then?” Anna Margaret asked.

“Yes.”

“What did your father think of that?” She expected Philip not to have supported anything that would have endangered the life of his wife and child.

“He probably liked it, because he also had to help with homework at the same time.”

Florian had been fiddling with his bag. “Can I take a picture of yours? I took some of Max and –“

“Some?” his sister interjected. Evidently she disagreed.

“Max?” Frederick asked. “Surely that’s short for something.”

“Surely you’re right,” said Florian. “Florian, Julian, Max – you can fill that one in.”

“But yes, you can take pictures of Alexander as long as –“

“Alex. Great combo with Max.” Florian unpacked his bag. He had come prepared. “I hope you haven’t already released a picture.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s sort of my job and Mum –“

“Well, it’s my child and I decide.”

“I take better photos.”

“I’m not paying you for them.”

Florian grinned. “All right, but I’m not sure Mum trusts you to release a suitably classy photo.”

“I haven’t heard from her, so I’m sure she does.”

“And no one takes the heir to the throne seriously,” Florian sulked for effect.

“I could have told you that,” Frederick informed him. “Do focus on photography in the meantime.”

“And where is the boy?”

“In the living room.”

Anna Margaret was sort of stationed in the doorway, so she could oversee both spaces. Murielle was already looking at the baby. She had just weighed him. “Good,” she decided. “He appears to drink well.”

“Now that,” said Florian, approaching. “Is not royal attire.”

“And what you’re wearing is?” Frederick retorted, although it was a good deal more formal than what he was wearing himself.

“I am not to be announced. Trust me, if I get married or something I’ll wear something that passes muster.”

“I don’t think we bought anything suitable for an official photo,” said Anna Margaret, although she was not worried in the least. Florian was not to be taken seriously and he knew it. He was simply looking for something to do with his life. “But we have lots of things suitable for babies.”

“I’ll take a photo of his head. Or I could just take a few and let Mum decide.”

“Don’t take her so seriously. I went shopping with her and she never said a word,” she advised.
SubjectAuthorPosted

Titled? ~ 67

LiseNovember 01, 2017 08:21PM

Re: Titled? ~ 67

Sarah WaldockNovember 02, 2017 09:19PM

Re: Titled? ~ 67

AlidaNovember 02, 2017 06:51PM



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