Almas had given birth to fraternal twins. She and Gage named the first born a girl Brava and the second born a boy Biff. I picked up Baako, Gage put Biff into a crib and Almas sighed and put Brava on the floor. She looked so tired and worn out, carrying twins at her late age had been very hard on her. She trudged up the stairs. “Where are you going?” I asked her. “To make good on my agreement with the council.” she answered back, I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me but she just did not seem happy to be going to the new teaching position.
A few hours after Almas got back from reporting to the school principal that she could start teaching on Monday, Badr started to crawl. We pulled out the only outfit we could find for him to wear. Almas was happy that he had our mothers hair, I was worried about his eyes being so crossed. Almas asked if he would outgrow the condition. I answered honestly,that I didn’t know. I’d had to leave the medical community before completing all the research needed to become a full doctor, something our small town desperately needed. She nodded at Brava in Gage’s arms and said, for better or worse she will be the one to carry on the family name.
Almas naming her heir so soon alarmed me, when I started to question her about it she responded with “well she is the only girl, and it’s to late for me to try for another girl! Plus were would we put another child? Answer me that!”
I backed off and decided bed was a safe option, she was right on all points, as it was the baby’s would have to take shifts in the crib. As I was about to get into my sleeping bundle, Almas asked if I would be ok with all the baby’s by myself. “Once Baako is old enough to start school I can leave the school, but I’m not allowed to quit before then” She told me. I told her I would manage.
As Almas and I settled in to get some sleep I could hear Gage teaching Badr how to sit on the small pot. That Gage was starting him on it already would make life just a bit easier for me when they where both at work.
Within hours we learned that until we worked out a good up – down baby schedule, us adults were going to be getting very little sleep. Almas rapidly made a discovery that alarmed all of us, Biff would make happy chortles whenever one of his siblings was screaming because they were unhappy. Almas and Gage gave each other a look that I couldn’t decipher. I was tired and wanted to sleep so I put Baako in the nearest empty crib, with no space for additional cribs it didn’t matter that none of us knew how to craft a spare one.
That first day that both Almas and Gage went back to work was probably the longest day in my life. I was desperate for sleep in any form yet every time I went to take even the shortest of naps one of the baby’s needed something, food, a clean bottom, or just to be held and cuddled. I hoped that either Almas or Gage would be home soon and I could get some sleep but then I wondered if they were any more alert than I was, we had all gotten about the same amount of sleep … zero to none.
It was mid- afternoon before any of us got to take a nap. It was not a long one either. I began to wonder how long our body’s would take the strain before one of us passed out from exhaustion.
Between bottles, diapers and snuggle’s Gage announced that he had been promoted but he was worried about the upward move because he needed to learn how to work with tools something none of us knew anything about. This could be a problem he told Almas in an undertone. I pretended not to hear. It had to be hard on them to never get any privacy around here.
I was watching Almas with Badr when two things hit me, her hair had gotten longer and she wasn’t pinning it up anymore. The second thing that hit me was she was 50. I began to wonder if either of us would live long enough to see all four of the baby’s reach adulthood. Our mother had with us, but she hadn’t been as old as Almas was when she had the two of us either.
After a few months we managed to get a rhythm down that gave us a small amount of sleep. Then came a day we hadn’t expected which we took full advantage of, the roads got closed down again because of all the snow on the roads. We enjoyed the added rest and even managed to do some more potty training with Badr. Almas was fretting because we hadn’t taught him how to walk or talk yet. I pointed out that the fact we were so sleep deprived that the act of getting him on the pot to potty was a minor miracle. Almas conceded the point and tried to get some additional sleep.
Almas and I were both trying to take a nap when Gage let out a loud whoop of excitement. Almas asked him what he was so happy about, Gage replied that Badr knew how to use the potty chair on his own. Almas looked ready to throw her pillow at him instead she grumbled and rolled over on to her other side.
One evening while an exhausted Almas was struggling to stay awake and teach Badr how to talk I got Gage’s attention. I talked with him about how I thought Brava and Biff might start crawling soon. I used the twins as a way to bring up the possibility of having him take over documenting Almas life and eventually documenting Brava’s life story or at least until one of her brother’s could write. Gage seemed taken back by the request. He also thought I was being a bit dramatic since Almas and I had some type of flu bug on top of the sleep deprivation. I told him that I just didn’t want any gaps in the family history that was all, and that I fully expected to be able to write our story for some time yet. I just wanted him ready to take over when the time came. I even showed him where I had the pages stashed.
What I didn’t do, or tell him about, was show him the pages that had both our mothers glyphs and the language of the valley that were hidden at the old property. I didn’t know how much or little Almas had told him of our history and I wasn’t going to be the one to tell him that we were descended from a person who came from another planet. As far as I was concerned if that bit of information died with Almas and I it would be better for her children, and the ones I had unwillingly fathered.
Before we knew it , probably because we were so sleep deprived, the twins were ready to crawl. I told Almas that 4 crawling baby’s would be easier to care for. She looked at me, patted me on the shoulder and pointed at Baako, “Only three brother dear, Baako is almost ready for school.” I was happy yet sad to know that he was almost old enough for school.
Of the four it looked as though only Baako had inherited his fathers hair color.