Silence Is Golden

PITCH PERFECT. Silence is golden… unless you have children. Then, it is suspicious. We know about all the exciting things that could happen to Beca and Jesse, but what about the mundane fluffiness?

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1. Silence Is Golden

Beca never imagined herself as the marrying type, yet here she was trying to scoop mashed avocado into her child’s mouth as the baby turned her head in every direction to avoid the spoon.

 

“Emma, I swear…. If you start crying in twenty minutes because you’re hungry, I’m going to…” her voice trailed off. Her brain was far too cloudy with fatigue to be able to organise her thoughts.

 

The baby once again moved her head so that a big swipe of green appeared across the side of her face.

 

“Jesse! Can you get everyone out of bed?” she shouted across the house. “We’re going to be late!”

 

Allowing herself to fall silent, she heard her husband singing louder than the sound of the shower he was currently running. Beca sighed in frustration before abandoning the avocado. Jesse would never hear her when he was in his ‘zone’. Wiping a damp cloth over Emma’s face, she dropped a couple of toys on the table for her to play with whilst she wrangled with the rest of her brood.

 

 

Beca and Jesse didn’t know that twins ran in their family before Clover and Henry. At birth they could only be identified by eye colour if you did not wish to pull down their pants to double-check. Clover had intensely dark blue eyes, whilst Henry’s were a gentle brown.  Now at sixteen, they couldn’t be more different.

 

Beca stood at the bottom of the stairs, contemplating how she even got to this point in her life. Her dreams in college did not include having to get her adolescent children out of bed while her own cup of coffee went cold and untouched. She would come home that evening and toss the still full cup down the sink.

 

“Henry!”

 

There was no answer.

 

“Clover?”

 

Again, it was wishful thinking. She would have to climb the stairs.

“Henry…Clover? You’d better haul yourselves up and out of bed if you want to get to school on time.”

 

Hearing the sound of running water shut off, and the last few bars of music fall into a gentle hush, Beca tried her luck once more.

 

“Jesse?”

 

She was now standing outside the bathroom door.

 

“Can you make sure Adam gets out of bed and feeds Waldo? I bought some new dog food and it’s in the cupboard under the sink, in a red bag. We need to get going, we’re going to be late.”

 

A muffled “ ‘kay’,” emerged from behind the door, and yet another deliriously happy song erupted once more.

 

Wading her way through piles of clean laundry, books, unsorted mail and some chewed up dog toys, Beca made her way over to Clover’s room.

 

Not giving her daughter the chance to answer her knock, Beca barged in.

 

“Come on, time to get up. You’ll miss your bus. There’s cereal and milk ready for you downstairs.”

 

A grumble of words sounded from beneath the sheets.

 

“No, you’ve already used your mental health day this month. You’ve gotta go. Move!”

 

In one swift move, Beca had ripped the sheets from the bed and Clover immediately retracted into herself, trying her best to shield her limbs from the cool air.

 

“For fucks sake, Mom. How many times have I told you not to do that?”

 

“The same number of times I’ve told you not to use that language in front of me. Make sure to drop a dollar in the swear jar before you leave as well.”

 

Clover had dropped more money into the swear jar than all the others put together. Beca merely rolled her eyes knowing that her normally rather sweet child was just going through another phase. She was six months into this one, and Beca hoped that it would end soon. It was difficult enough having such an age gap between her daughters, and she did not want the first word out of Emma’s mouth to be a profanity.

 

Moving to the next room in the hallway, she again pushed the door open with little warning.

 

“Boys?”

 

Beca cupped her hands in the shape of a megaphone, and put them up to her mouth.

 

“Henry and Adam! Wake up!”

 

At the age of twelve, Adam was far more agreeable to early morning starts and had already begun to work his way out from under the sheets; Henry was still dozing in bed and jolted at the sound of his mother’s voice. He lacked the passion that his twin sister had for sleep, and began to make his way out of the room still in his pyjamas.

 

“Only have time for cereal this morning, you’ll need to go down and help yourself. I need to get Emma dressed and ready.”

 

Jogging back down the stairs, Beca scooped Emma out of her seat and made one last trip up the stairs to her bedroom just in time to see Jesse emerging from the bathroom.

 

Although Beca hated to admit it, the sight of her husband still made her heart skip a beat; especially when only a towel covered him. This spring they would be married for seventeen years, with four children between them.

 

The twins had been planned, and Beca had been grateful to get two out of the way at once. She loved her children fiercely, but pregnancy was hard work.

Adam had been at Jesse’s insistence, and after a twenty-six hour labour with him, Beca had sworn that there would be no more. Indeed she thought her baby-making days were over given the twelve-year gap between her third and fourth children. Emma had never been unwanted, but she had certainly been a surprise when the pregnancy test came back positive.

 

Perhaps it was the fault of the gentle fluttering that was still present around her stomach as she watched Jesse pick out his clothes for the day.

 

“You’re staring,” he smiled at her as he buttoned his shirt.

 

Beca had the decency to blush as she put Emma down and walked over to put her arms around him. He immediately reciprocated, bringing his hands underneath her t-shirt to touch the smooth skin of her lower back. What started as a gentle fluttering was now a strong swooping feeling, low in her belly.

 

“I love you,” she mumbled into his shirt. Before Jesse had the chance to respond, there was a lusty cry from the centre of their bed.

 

“She’s lucky I love her so much,” Jesse managed to say between the baby’s sobs. “I normally don’t approve of anyone interrupting special Mommy and Daddy time. It looks like I’ll have to make an exception.”

 

Bundling Emma up into his arms, he gave her a quick peck on the forehead before going over to Beca to do the same.

 

“Well, million dollar baby, I’ve gotta love you and leave you both. Have a lovely day together; I shall be counting down every minute until I can come home tonight. Don’t give Mommy too much work today,” he cautioned Emma, gently tapping her on the nose, instantly bringing a cheeky smile to her face.

 

Beca could hear him rounding up their other children as she deftly changed Emma into suitable daytime clothes. A violet coloured sundress brought out the blue in her eyes.

 

‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey…’

 

Beca alternated between singing and humming as she worked. It was a song that she had sung to each of her children as babies, and it was one that never got old.

 

“We’d better get downstairs and make sure the others are ready,” she spoke to her now happily babbling daughter. “We’ve got to make sure they all get to school, and then you and I have some grocery shopping we need to do before you go to see Grandma for the rest of the day.”

 

Jesse’s parents lived nearby, and to Beca’s great relief his mother volunteered to take Emma for three days per week. This allowed Beca to work from home, and stopped her from succumbing to her baby brain.

 

Savouring one moment of relative quiet, Beca took a deep breath and descended back into the chaos of her home. The mess that greeted her when she saw the kitchen made her heart sink, but she wouldn’t change a single bit of it.

 

“I’m on my way out, Becs,” Jesse pressed a quick kiss to his wife’s cheek before grasping a piece of toast from the toaster and propelling himself out the front door. “I’m also taking Adam to school because he can’t carry his science project on the bus. The twins are already gone, they send you their love telepathically.”

 

Beca resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

 

“You’re still such a weirdo… have a good day at work.”

 

Everyone that needed to leave had now gone.

 

Putting Emma down on the floor with a few toys, she found herself a scrap piece of paper to start working on what they needed from the supermarket.

 

There wasn’t even two minutes of silence before Emma’s cry began to rear its ugly head. Beca didn’t even need to guess what it could be about.

 

She reached across the table with the smallest of sighs and picked up the bowl of mashed avocado with one hand before scooping up her baby with the other.

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