It's a Juggling Act

Xanadu Weyr - Siebith's Weyrbarn

Covered in rough, weathered wood, aged by the weather and the sun, the irregular grayed clapboards outside of this weyrbarn lend the place has a rustic, masculine charm. White shutters and window boxes overflowing with brightly-hued tangles of flowers on the lower windows and flowering vines twine about the supports for the porch overhang add a feminine touch, softening the stark stone steps leading to it.

The worn stone floor of Siebith's area is just inside the large sliding door. The living area of the weyrbarn has an open, airy layout gives the utilitarian, bachelor-like plain white-washed walls and simple hardwood floors a sense of wide open spaces. A sturdy mahogany-toned table with chairs that somehow manage to match despite their variety accent the earthy, wooden tones of the kitchenette. The same dark reddish hues are in the door at the far side of the barn, as well as in the low-slung coffee table in front of the plush, worn couch. Dusky sea-blue rugs are scattered here and there. Dark golden curtains hang on either side of the many windows and partition off the loft up above, led to by a black wrought iron set of ladder-like stairs. Lilies arranged in glass vases on the tables provide a crisp of white counterpoint to the dark wood tones.

A new addition, the bedroom has walls of the same plain white, but the floors are made of newer wood, still shiny with polish. A four-poster bed of the same red mahogany takes up the most of one wall of the small space, a blue-and-cream linen coverlet spread on the wide mattress. A set of wooden bureaus take up the bulk of the wall opposite while another wall has been painted upon in the very center with a seascape mural, its crisp blue waters and sandy shores. The final wall is graced by a feminine-looking writing desk stacked with papers and bedecked with knick-knacks. Over the bed, a set of stained-glass windows allows golden-brown light mingled with white whorls and blue haze to shine into the room with the rising of the sun, though both panes are able to be unlocked and swung wide to accept lake breezes.

It's been one of those days. Hold visits in the morning, a quick lunch and a visit by the nursery and then swamped with paperwork and thus kept late. Unable to get out and relieve the nannies, someone either snagged the Weyrsecond during his dinner or sent someone for him when Thea didn't show up. Rensea has departed and thus the evening care of the twins fall solely to their parents. At least usually it does, unless the couple are off taking a walk or caught up in some sort of late work. Night time is bedtime for the babies, thankfully. But first they must eat. And thus it is that Thea enters the weyr with an unfinished stack of documents to find the pair being fed the smushed food by their daddy. What fun!

What fun? Perhaps its fun to watch the disaster that's likely in the midst of occurring when Thea enters to the sound of happy baby squeals. At least someone's happy about the mess being made. D'had is not of that opinion despite the smiles he gets from the twins with their messy messy hands and faces. The sound of the door is what causes him to turn. "Thank Faranth," he says flatly, leaving what remains of their dinner on the table as he moves to stand.

Oh not so fast!!! Thea can read the writing on the wall and thus she's fending the idea of rescuing D'had from that messy chaos away with lift of that stack of paperwork like it's a shield. See the clean white sheets? Must stay so. She sends him a radiant smile - she IS glad to see him after all day without - even as she backs towards the couch while blowing him a kiss from a safe distance. He's got goopy food all over him, after all. "Oh, you're doing fine, Donn. Gotta finish these tonight." She holds them up as proof. "I'm just here for… moral support?" Or is that entertainment value from her point of view?

D'had snorts, falling back to the chair he was sitting in almost as soon as she's started making her point. And then people wonder why he hates paperwork? "Why can't they do this before they give them back?" They being the nannies and them being the twins. It would be so much easier on his part. At least he's almost done now? Coos and giggles are the greeting for Thea from the pair though the same sounds are given for D'had as he picks up that spoon again and messy fingers make grabby hands for it.

"Because they have too many in there to do it without a bigger mess?" Thea pauses just before flumping back on the couch to watch D'had resume feeding the pair, a smile trembling on her lips for the picture. It is SO cute! Then she's settling, kicking off her shoes and curling her legs under her with that stack on her lap. Marella's the one grabbing at her spoon, her mouth wide open and her pretty eyes almost crossed as the spoon nears her mouth. Muir, meanwhile finds the finger-painting in smooshed carrots fun, but not quite entertaining enough. One tiny hand lifts and smacks down with his palm in the puddle, instantly splattering everything within four feet of him in tiny orange spots, himself, his sister… Dark eyes widen as he makes eye contact with his now be-spotted daddy. Eyes that change from surprise to delight. AGAIN!!!! Smacksmacksmack!

D'had mutters, but doesn't actually say anything in reply to that. What? They couldn't make an exception for him? He's far too busy trying to get that bit into the girl's mouth without her grabbing hold and making a mess of it to notice the boy until there's carrot very nearly in his eye. Blink. Sputter - yes some did get on his lip if not in his mouth. Marella's managed her bit if half ends up on her face and or hands and then the thing is set down to try and stay the hands of Muir. "Hey, hey hey," D'had starts, reaching for the boy's hands while attempting to keep more from getting on him.

Thea is safely half a room away from orange spots and further splattering and already deep into scribbling and check-marking stuff. Eyes are drawn by the quick-staccato of palms hitting the table and she nearly chokes, ducking her head to cover with a coughing fit. Marella shrieks in delight as she finds herself polka-dotted and then pounces on that spoon, waving it around with enthusiasm, her brother's very own cheerleader. Muir crows in glee, bouncing in his chair. Did you see what I did daddy? He's all proud of himself, a big grin for the man with four little teeth showing. Over on the couch mommy peeks through strands of dark hair to watch trying to strangle her laughter.

One hand holds Muir's messy ones, the other reaching for the spoon Marella's grasped, and D'had fails miserably at preventing a mess. At least now he's managed to stop it from getting bigger. "Yeah, I see you," he comments towards the boy - amused even if he is irritated. "Hey babe? Can you grab one of those rags?" That she has stashed somewhere for just such things, because he's suddenly found his hands full. Its only fair that she assist. Right? At least he hasn't noticed her laughter just yet.

Thea is one and a half pages into that stack. Alas! It doesn't look like she's going to make a lot of progress any time soon. She sets the stack on the low table in front of the couch, rises and pads to the kitchenette where she opens a drawer and pulls out a few rags, wets them in the sink and walks over towards the table. All the while she's keeping her head down so her hair can swing forward to hide her face. Nothing she can do about the shaking of her shoulders as she tries to stifle her laughter. Muir is not happy being restrained. While Marella warbles sweetly at her daddy for holding her hand, he's writhing and pulling trying to get his slippery hands free. Thea's not chancing getting splattered, no. White papers and all. "Here ya go, Donn catch!" From a few feet away she tosses the damp rags towards her 'mate. Muir chooses that moment to wrest his hands free with a crow of triumph, both rubbing through his dark, now be-slimed hair to leave it standing upright in glorious carroty spikes.

She would do that to him. Blink. What? Oh. Flying rag. It's Marella's hand he lets go of to try and catch it, but alas Muir's managed to free himself as well and that gets a sigh from his father. A shake of his head and the rag is caught somewhere in there. Donn's hands and face are wiped first and then, being that he's the messiest of the two, Muir is next. The question is where to start, but hands seem as good a place as any. Thea though, she might want to watch those papers if there's going to be littles let free anytime in the near future.

Let them free? Whatever gave him that idea? Thea's turned on a heel before the rag has been nabbed, confident of D'had's catching ability it would seem (and why wouldn't she be?) She's opening a cupboard door under one of the sinks to haul out a large plastic tub which is carried over to where Siebith usually beds down. Splashed water there can't hurt the stone there. While he's wiping hands, she's gathering towels and soap and clean night clothes to place within reach of that tub. Lastly, she uses a huge pan to haul warm water to fill it. Muir fights the wiping, but while daddy has his hands, he facedives into that puddle of smooshed food, squealing as he comes up orange-faced, leaving cheeks, nose and lips-print on the table. Marella is busy gurgling to her father, but with Muir's squeal, she looks at her brother, blinks and then her bell-like laughter rings out. Muir joins in with hearty glee, the pair winds up with gales of mirth, each sending the other into fits of giggles. Their mother? She's heading back to the safety of that couch and those papers. "Bath time," she sings out from over there. Smug? Oooh, not she.

D'had almost says something he shouldn’t. Almost. The boy is trying his patience and though there's a chuckle for that facedive it’s around flared nostrils of annoyance. No, they certainly aren't making it easy for him. But wait. What's that Thea's saying? "Uh-uh," he comments in reply. "You get your a- behind over here and help with this." This whole feeding and cleaning thing is not his forte. Somehow he's managed to get food into their mouths, even if it is all over everything around them too, she can help get them clean, darn it.

Thea tries not to laugh, really she does. But the chortles and baby laughter combined with the look on D'had's face is just too much. She's trying for his sake to stifle it, but he'd have to be deaf and blind not to notice. His command has her lifting the stack of paperwork from her lap, wordlessly showing him how little of it she's managed to finish. At this rate she'll be at it all night. But she did help him! She got the bath stuff ready.

Getting bath stuff ready, but there's still two babies to be moved there and bathed without making too much more of a mess, and D'had has not that experience. There's a snort for her and he just gives up on trying to wipe up the mess on Muir. He's not likely to get far before the boy makes more of a mess anyway. Besides Donn's already got carrot on him too so.. its up with the boy and over to bath. "Fine, you watch her," he notes leaving Marella tied in her chair under her mother's care until he's done with bath number one.

Perhaps sensing he's reached his limit, Thea relents with a sigh and plops the stack down onto that low table once more, uncurling her legs and rising with a smooth movement. "Hang on a second." She strides to the bedroom and returns a moment later dressed in an old robe. No sense ruining her office dress, now is there? She unties Marella and Spoon from the chair and heads over to join D'had, kneeling beside him. "It's easier to do them both at the same time," she explains gently while stripping sodden clothes from the babe, flickering a look to see if he's doing alright with the wriggling Muir. Both of them can sit up on their own, so at least they have free use of their hands?

D'had is getting there, he's not having as easy a time of it as Thea is with Marella, but he's managed to remove the boy's clothes without throwing carrot mush around. "Easier for you maybe," he mutters. "How ya get 'em both here from there." Not to mention keeping an eye on them and undressing them one at a time. It’s a moment later that he realizes that there should be something else to all that and adds a "Thanks," for her along with one of those half smiles of his.

Thea plops Marella in the bath, tilting a curious look at D'had at the question. "Well, I untie them both quickly then take one in either arm. Muir doesn't mind waiting for a minute if he can get his hands in the water while I undress Marella." The things he's going to learn about his kids… Muir knows what's coming - he can see the undulating surface of the water and thus braces his little feet against his daddy and arches his back, straining to join his sister. Marella, meanwhile is washing that spoon she's still clutching, sending splashes everywhere. "You're welcome," Thea answers easily enough. "Thanks for feeding them." Hopefully they ate some of it?

Oh, they ate some of it, but likely as much ended up in Muir's hair as did in his mouth. "Welcome," he replies even as he's trying to keep hold of the boy as he places him into the tub. "Still think they should feed 'em." The nannies. It really would make his life that much easier.

Thea leans past D'had to grab the bottle of soap and one of the sponges, pausing to eye him for that grumble. "Aw, it's not so bad?" Still there, she peers into his eyes, "Even if you're not enjoying it all so much, they like having you around. You're forming bonds." She leaves a kiss to his cheek, then leans back with that sponge, dips it in the water and pours out some of the soap. "This is really mild. Can't hurt their eyes," she assures him as she begins scouring Marella and forming mounds of suds that slide down her into the water. Muir seems to love the water and shows it by doing pretty much the same as he did the table top, palms smacking the surface with enthusiasm. Shower anyone? This might explain why the stone on Siebith's portion of the weyrbarn is often water-spotted these days. Thea ignores the flying water in favor of finishing up Marella's bath.

D'had isn't arguing, if only to avoid a fight and a bigger argument than its all worth. Bathing babies is a women's job. While she was stuck on the sands then maybe be could see doing it, but he didn't have to then either with her mother around. Lips quick with a hint of a smile at that kiss however and he reaches to mimic her movements of grabbing and wetting sponge. "You're sure?" about the soap.

"I'm sure." Thea catches that he didn't answer her, but she's not going to push it, either. "So… you know what?" She says conversationally, "My da never spent time doing this sort of stuff. There was a desk between him and Tharen and me. Look. This is what he missed." And her chin juts to indicate Marella, who, while chewing on that spoon is raptly gazing up at her daddy from underneath a cap of bubbles that drizzle between her pale green eyes and glitter on her dark hair like stars. Muir has calmed now that he's in the warm water. He sits staring at the clusters of bubbles that float on the surface of the water, reaching a hand in awkward attempts to capture them only to lift his hand and peer at it when they disperse into nothing, the confounded look on his be-grimed face is priceless. Thea's scrubbing away at Marella but managing to talk quietly at the same time. Yeah, women can do that easily. "He never knew what it was like to be appreciated for doing something he didn't have to."

"Yeah well," D'had tries, though comparing him to her father certainly got to him. "I ain't like him, you know that." Just because he's not good with babies doesn't mean he's not there for them and her, or that he's anything like her old man. There's scrubbing of a very messy baby to do though and he's set his attention to that, being careful of the boy's face even though she's already said the soap won't hurt their eyes. There is a touch of that smirk of his for the twins though.

Thea is leaning in close to Marella's face when D'had speaks. She turns her head to regard him with a little blink of surprise and a gentle smile, "I know that, Donn." The child turns to blink wide-eyed back at her, a slow smile wavers and her eyes echo it, giving her a radiant joy and she squeals softly when her wet cheek is kissed by mommy. Lifting the little girl, Thea finishes the rest of her, rinsing off the suds and wraps the dripping child in a soft towel, cuddling her close and tucking her chin over Marella's head inhaling the sweet-soapy baby scent. Muir squirms while he's being washed, hands trying to both push that sponge away and grab it at the same time. "You want me to finish him?"

D'had chuckles at the pair of them, or is that trio as Thea could be as easily included in his amusement as the twins. "If ya don't mind…" he replies, leaning back from the bath to pull off his shirt least he get the mess that Muir got on him onto the now clean Marella. Pushing back to his feet he reaches for the girl so that Thea's free to finish Muir's bath.

Muir is mostly clean - D'had has done a good job, earning a smile of approval from Thea as he takes Marella. The only thing she needs to finish is behind the boy's ears where his dinner has dripped from his hair and this she does within a moment, one hand used to swipe down his face in spite of his grimaces and fighting her. He's soon wrapped in a towel, dried, diapered and dressed in his pajamas, traded for Marella who is likewise outfitted and handed over to her daddy. Time to juggle babies! As for her, she busies herself cleaning up the bath things, mopping up water so Siebith can come in if he wants and scrubbing orange spots off the table and walls.

D'had nuzzles the girl's forehead while her mother finishes with her brother, leaving a kiss on top of her head as he trades. Muir is tucked under one arm while he waits for Marella and then the pair are taken to the couch, one settled on each knee while mommy cleans up after all of them. At least they're easier to wrangle clean? Well they aren't making a bigger mess anyway. "You got that babe?"

They're clean yes, but still wriggle-prone, at least Muir is. Marella's fairly content to balance there on daddy's knee and chew on the spoon she's still clutching. Muir twists, an attempt to gain the floor, but when D'had speaks he turns, grins and echoes him, "Ba!" Over by the table, Thea turns a look at her family over on the couch, nodding easily. "Yep." Scrubbing continues - at least dried carrot spots come up easy if they do leave faint orange spots on white-washed walls? Marella drops her spoon, leaning over to see where it went, then looks expectantly at her daddy.

Well at least Donn only has to worry about holding tight to the one of them. A fond smile is washed over the pair of them on his lap, a chuckle for Muir's echo and in the end he relents to letting the boy on the floor if only so he can grab that spoon for Marella. It gets wiped on his pants against any clinging dust least she stick it in her mouth when she gets it back.

Marella reaches for the spoon with both hands and yes, it goes right back into her mouth. Muir sits on the floor for a moment, then reaches for the edge of the low table beside him, fingers curving over the top as he begins to pull himself up, feet pushing in an assist. Thea is carrying dishes to the sink, piling them into soapy water to soak. "Did you eat anything, Donn?" Blissfully unaware how close to her paperwork and pen Muir is. Marella drops her spoon again, leans over to eye the floor, then her daddy with lips that make an o.

D'had isn't paying as much attention to the paperwork as he perhaps should given he is paying attention to the twins. He just shakes his head for Marella, holding onto the girl as he leans down once again to pick up that spoon, brush it off and hand it back to the girl. If he's not careful it'll become a new game likely. "Not yet," he replies to Thea, somewhat distractedly.

Muir's legs are not yet strong enough, nor is he coordinated enough to stand on his own quite yet - but don't tell him that! He's trying regardless. He makes it to his feet with a wobble, hanging onto the table and leaning on it for support, he begins moving down the length a tiny step at a time. Marella beams at her daddy with adoration and then promptly drops the spoon with a sly twinkle. From the kitchenette there's the sound of the cooler and cupboards opening and closing and the sound of something sizzling followed by pleasant smells wafting out into the living area of garlic, onions, potatoes and beef.

D'had would never dream of telling the boy that. He sighs at Marella, leaning once again to pick up the spoon, but she doesn't get it back this time. Not right off anyway. "Smells good babe," he comments over his shoulder only to look back and catch Muir's tottering steps. "You see this?" Someone's proud of something over here.

Marella waits. Patiently, too. Isn't she sweet? But that spoon is not forthcoming, so she tries a liquid questioning note to test him, although she's not beyond leaning to reach for it if she can. Muir's tiny hands are reaching for that pen, dark eyes intent on getting it, he grunts as he leans further, raising up on tiptoes as he strains just…a…little…further! "See?" Thea takes a moment to step around the counter to peek at what D'had's sounding so proud about. Eyes shift from Marella to Muir… standing? "Ack!" She makes a dash for the papers, but alas! Too late, Muir sweeps them off of the table and onto the floor where they settle scattered with a whoosh. He's triumphant! He got the pen and thus holds it up to show his daddy. Then promptly puts it into his mouth.

D'had sadly wasn't looking at what the boy was after only that he was standing and taking those little baby steps. "Ack!" He's reaching too, the spoon falling down to the couch as he leans, still holding to Marella, but alas he's too late as well. Donn just shakes his head, reaching instead to try and wrestle the pen from Muir's hands (and mouth). Mental facepalm. He should have seen something coming from letting the boy down.

The papers are fine and Thea manages to scoop them up and set them off on the table out of harm's way before dashing back to the kitchen to make sure what she's cooking isn't burning. Muir's unable to keep that pen and when he opens his mouth to protest, well… yay bluetongue? Thea's proud and excited for Muir, but burning down the weyrbarn just isn't on the agenda for this evening.

And that right there is why work should remain at the office. Not that D'had is going to say I told you so. He does managed to snag that pen away from Muir with relative ease however, a shake of his head as he tucks it behind him where neither of the babes can reach it for now. At least the rest of the evening should fall into a more normal routine.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License