Day’s later, Cass and her mother were having their mother and daughter downtime when Zia and Jesse walked in with dinner. “Hey baby, you okay?” Jesse asked sitting the food down and going over to kiss her. “I’m fine. Peanut hasn’t been ultra active today, but I’m sure that’s only because she’s running out of space in there.” She smiled when she felt Jesse kneel by her side and place both hands on her extra swollen midsection. “Hey there! Hey! You know who this is?” He asked before pressing his lips to her stomach and then putting his ear to it. Angie and the girls giggled and nearly died of laughter when the baby either kicked or elbowed her father! “Well that’s just not nice.”
Angie smirked. “Trust me what you just felt is nothing compared to what I feel on a daily basis. You got off easy!” Jesse kissed Angie’s stomach once more before going up and pecking Angie’s lips. “Daddy’s girl,” he teased, quickly pecking her lips and jumping back. “Don’t go to sleep tonight,” Angie warned.
Zia shook her head. “Y’all a trip,” she said with a giggle. “Mama A, what would you like to drink?”
“Water?” Jesse and Cass answered for her. Angie turned her head in the direction of the kitchen. “I wasn’t aware there was another Mama A in the room. Thank you Cass and Jesse, but I’m capable of making these types of decisions on my own… Zia, I would love some–”
“Water,” Jesse repeated.
Angie mumbled something incoherently and crossed her arms. “The last time I checked you were my babies daddy not my daddy,” she grumbled.
“I can hear you, smart alec!”
“I was hoping so.”
Moment’s later the four of them sat in the living room and ate Chinese Take-out. They talked well into the night about nothing and everything. Angie and Jesse shared with the girls as well as with each other their fears of being new parents. Angie especially because she was without one of her senses. The girls and Jesse shared with her how much they believed she could do it. And they even went as far as doing a small simulation to get her ready the very next day. When she woke up the next morning Zia had went to the toy store and bought one of those baby dolls that cried and when you gave it water through this special bottle it ‘peed’.
At hearing this Angie just thought it was ridiculous! “This is crazy!”
“Come on mom. You have to start somewhere,” Cass coaxed helping Zia with the complicated doll. Angie shook her head. “Cass, I can’t do it.”
“Can’t is not in your vocabulary,” Jesse said in a tone that brooked no arguments. He thought it was a good idea and praised his step daughter for thinking of it.
“If you can’t do it with a plastic doll how do you expect to do it with a real baby?” Cass asked crossing her arms. “Hate to say it, but Jesse, Frankie or Brot isn’t always going to be there to change that diaper. There might come a time when the baby needs changing and the bottle needs to be made at the same time. Or you’re holding the baby and find out while Jesse is in the shower that she needs to be changed. Ma, you have to be prepared for all of this.”
Jesse looked at his step-daughter. “Angie, she does have a point.” He would never leave his wife’s side, would never make her do any of that stuff alone, but like Cass said anything could happen at any give moment. And this simulation was a way to show Angie what she was really capable of. Show her that just because she was blind didn’t mean she had to let it keep her from being a mother. Stop her from doing all the things other mothers did.
“Come on Mama A, just give it a try,” Zia begged rubbed her shoulders.
Angie smacked her lips. She didn’t want to do this! But… If it would get them off her back. “Okay, set me up,” she snapped as Jesse helped her to her feet.
“Alright!” The girls cheered. “The scenario… Jesse is in living room taking a nap and you just so happen to be awake. Instead of waking him knowing he’s been getting up every morning at three am to feed her, you decide to do it on your own,” Zia explained. “And Cass and I set the place up just like the loft. So picture yourself at home,” Jesse added.
“Okay… Here goes nothing,” Angie sighed.
Zia ran to the back and acted as the baby who was crying her head off. Angie felt her way to the back with Cass following behind, but not too close. And Jesse in front of her, but as well not too close. It took sometime getting to the room because she still couldn’t’ wrap her mind around the activity, but she made it. Had it been a real baby Jesse and probably their neighbors would have beaten her to the punch… “Again.” Cass and Zia said in unison. “This time you think you can be a little more concerned about the baby.”
After about the third time doing the simulation, Angie had finally gotten with the program. The fourth time she went at it she got to the baby in record time. The fifth time, good timing but getting the baby from the bed (crib) to the dresser (makeshift changing table) had been a problem… About the eighth time, she’d not only gotten to the baby a little quicker, she’d gotten her to the changing table without stumbling, got her changed and snuggled into her arms.
“How’d I do?” She asked nervously, still holding the doll close to her, even though she knew it was over.
Cass looked to Jesse who looked to Zia… “Mama A, I think people better watch out because you are on a roll. You did great!”
“I did?” She asked shockingly.
Angie felt around until she came up on she and Jesse’s bed, set the doll down and sighed. “Oh my god… I actually did it. I did it!” She cried covering her mouth and dropping her head. Jesse went to her pulled her into his arms. “Jesse, I did it.” She knew by the strength and the cologne it was he.
“I know baby and I am very proud of you. Very, very proud!”
“Jesse, I-I-I didn’t think I would be able to do it and I had set myself up for that. Set myself up for the fact that I would never be able to change her diaper without any help and I just… Even though it was a doll, there’s a chance I will be able to do it. I’ll be able to change my baby girl and not have to worry about anything or…” Angie buried her face in Jesse’s chest and poured out her heart.
Cass and Zia decided to give them some privacy. “Wow! If I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.” Zia plopped down on the couch once they made it to the living room. “Your mother is going to be alright.”
“Yep. I have no doubt about that.”
Later… Jesse laid down with Angie in his arms. “Are you okay?” He whispered kissing her forehead and reaching up to thumb away her tears.
Angie nodded. “I really lost it. Didn’t I? Oh the girls are probably freaking out.”
“Awe relax. They know what the deal is.” He kissed her forehead again. “You really did good and I really am proud of you.”
“You think I’ll be able to do that with a real baby? Honestly?”
“I do.” He answered without hesitation. “Angie, you can do anything you put your mind to. Anything!”
“Even concur the world,” she teased, her head now lying on his chest. Her fingers drumming over his heart.
“If that’s what you really want to do then… Yes!” Jesse and Angie were silent for a few minutes before he gently hooked his finger under her chin and lifted her head. He just wanted to look at her. Take in her beautiful face and the soft smile that’d settled on her lips. “Can you feel me?”
Angie smiled. “Of course I can. You staring at me with that oh so serious, but sexy look.”
“Good.” He tapped her nose. “I believe in you. This baby believes in you. The baby believed in you every since that incident where you were climbing the little step ladder and your vision went out. You believed in you.” He traced her lips. “But I have to ask do you still have that same belief? That same faith?”
Angie wrapped her hand around his wrist. “I do. I Angela Hubbard still and will always believe in myself. And I know if I put my mind to it, I can do wonders.”
“And don’t you forget it, Mrs. Jesse Hubbard.”
“Don’t… Don’t say that,” Angie begged, squirming against him.
“What? Why not?!”
“The last time you said Mrs. Jesse Hubbard and in that low, Barry White like voice I wound up pregnant.” She thought about it. “Now that a think about it this is the second time that has happened… Does Franklin Hubbard ring a bell?”
“It takes two to tango, Mrs. Jesse Hubbard.” He dropped his voice a bit more and this time whispered it in her ear. “Jesse… You’re going to start something we certainly won’t be able to finish.” Jesse leaned down and ghostly ran his lips over hers. “Mrs. Jesse Hubbard.”
“Stop!” Angie giggled and covered her ears and pulled her lips into a tight line.