I hummed as I rocked Joshua to sleep, a soft smile on my face. I was never more content than when I had my son in my arms. But it wouldn’t be so long until I wouldn’t be able to rock him like this anymore; he was two and half now and growing like a little weed. Before long he would be three and it was just a short jump to childhood from there. As excited as I was to see him grow up, I would always cherish this time with him.
After he was finally down for his nap, I left the nursery and went to the kitchen to make lunch. It almost seemed funny now, how horrible of a cook I had been when I met Houston; I wasn’t quite a master at it yet, but everything I made now was a far cry from my previous specialty of eggs and toast. I even had a few fancy dishes in my repertoire that I liked to pull out for special occasions or just when I felt like it.
After lunch, I checked on Joshua before going upstairs to paint. It was remarkably freeing to know that I didn’t have to paint anymore; soon after having Joshua, I decided to quit my job. We were quite comfortable with just Houston’s income and whatever I made from selling the occasional painting.
I lost myself for a little while in the brush strokes and was almost finished with my latest piece when I heard Joshua crying. I cleaned up and went downstairs to tend to him. “What’s wrong, my darling?” I cooed at him.
He was fussy and I found myself wishing Houston was home; he seemed to have a magic touch when it came to Joshua. More times than I could count, Houston had come to the rescue when it came time to putting the fussy boy down to sleep. As it was, it took me a while, but I was able to calm him down again. Checking the time, I realized it was time to start dinner.
I was just finishing up the pasta primavera, Houston’s favorite, when he got home from work. “Hello, sweetie,” he said before kissing me hello.
“Hi, baby. How was work?” I made us each a plate and we sat down at the table.
“The chief is giving me hell, as usual. He thinks I’m gunning for his job.”
“I mean, aren’t you?”
He laughed. “I am, but I’m not trying to push him out. He’ll retire soon enough. I don’t need to get pushy with an old man. How was Joshua today?”
“He was great. He got a little fussy this afternoon, but that didn’t last too long. While he had his nap, I did some painting. I really love how this painting is coming along.”
Houston smiled. “That’s wonderful. Will this one be a keeper?”
“It might be.” I loved how supportive Houston was of me. Never once had he suggested I should leave my job; that had been my own choice, and he had supported it. He was always asking how my current painting was going and we still made time when we could to visit galleries, only now we took Joshua with us.
After dinner, we snuggled on the couch. “Hads, I was wondering, when do you think you might want to give Joshua a sibling?”
I smiled softly and leaned my head on his shoulder. “I want one now, but I think it might be better if we waited until Joshua was older. It might be a little overwhelming, having two babies in the house.”
He kissed my hair. “That sounds good to me.”
“Shit!” I glared at the broken glass on the floor, as if that would make it go away. I lumbered to get the broom and swept the glass up. Which was an ordeal. At six months pregnant, I felt as big as the house I was in.
I hated climbing the stairs to my own bedroom, so I dropped down onto the couch. I had realized quickly that I hated being pregnant. Hate might not have even been a strong enough word for how much I disliked this whole experience. The morning sickness – which everyone had said would only last for the first trimester – had never gone away. I might as well live in the bathroom. The list of things went on and on, but the absolute worst thing was that I wanted to woohoo all the time. I actually craved it. Only Huy apparently had no interest in a gigantic whale. If I weren’t so perpetually irritable, I probably wouldn’t even blame him for it.
As it was, I tended to blame him for everything. Which is only fair, since he has no end of issues with me.
I had gotten up early because the baby’s kicking and the nausea had woken me up. Huy had to work today, so I kindly (in my opinion) decided to get up and make him breakfast before work. When he asked why I didn’t eat with him, I told him that Junior, as I had taken to calling the hell demon inside me, would just make me throw it up.
Huy had scowled at me. “You shouldn’t talk about our baby like that, Camille. What is wrong with you? You wanted this too.”
“Just because I want to have this child doesn’t mean I have to like this part of it.” Why couldn’t he understand that? I loved our child; I hated the pregnancy. I hated the way I looked, the way I felt, but I didn’t blame the baby for it. Huy was the only one who apparently couldn’t distinguish between the two.
Huy glowered as he ate his breakfast. “What kind of mother hates being pregnant with her own child?”
I stared at him, unable to believe he had just called me a terrible mother. If I said anything now, nothing good was going to happen, so instead I got to my feet. “I’m going to the park.” I needed some time away from the house.