Growing Up Dandy

This story is a sequel to Change of Life
Dandelion is a pegasus filly, Cogs and Lavender's firstborn daughter, and a joy to them both. As a changeling though, Cogs had no experience with raising pony foals, so when a crisis arises, he often has to wing it. Sometimes the solutions are more creative than others, and sometimes the problems are unique. After all, how many fillies have a changeling parent?
This is a series of stories that are sequels to "Change of Life" and takes up after chapter 10 (Foals).


1. To Be Rested

Cogs tried his best not to disturb Lavender as he got out of bed to get ready for work. That night had not been very restful for the poor mare, with their hungry newborn foal demanding to be fed at least twice. Lavender still worked in her shop, so she needed her sleep, but a foal must suckle when she’s hungry.

Cogs freshened up in the bathroom before heading to the kitchen to make breakfast for them both. That used to be a shared chore, but he had insisted that he take it over in order to give his wife as much time to sleep in as possible. Waffles dripping with butter and syrup, a bowl of fruit salad, and most importantly, a mug of steaming hot coffee were ready for Lavender before Cogs judged that it was time for her to get up.

Cogs opened the window blind to let in the morning sunshine, kissed Lavender on the cheek, and said, “Time to get up, love.”

“Mmm – okay. Just five more minutes,” she murmured.

“Your five more minutes were up fifteen minutes ago. Come and get your coffee while it’s hot.”

“Alright. Be there soon.”

Cogs had learned by now that that was Lavender-speak for ‘I’m going back to sleep’. He pulled the blankets off his wife and gently started pulling her off the mattress.

“Okay! Okay! I’m up!” Lavender protested as she reluctantly got onto her hooves and started stumbling sleepily into the bathroom.

Cogs waited until he heard Lavender gasp as she splashed cold water in her face before he was satisfied that she was not going to sneak back into bed again. While she was getting ready, he went over to the cause of his beloved’s tiredness. The creamy-yellow pegasus foal was curled up in her bassinet, peacefully sleeping and totally unaware of the effect that she was having on her mother. Cogs admired his daughter, still captivated by the fact that this beautiful child was his.

While not rushed, Cogs ate his breakfast without wasting time so that he could tidy up the kitchen before he had to leave. Lavender was still finishing off her coffee when he was about ready to go.

“I’ll take tomorrow off from work to help you out and give you a chance to recuperate. I can’t today because I have to complete a job that was started yesterday.”

Lavender nodded. “Thanks, dear, but don’t fret too much. I’m tired, not sick. It’s nothing that every other mother in history hasn’t had to deal with before.”

“You’re not every other mare though; you’re my wife and I want what’s best for you and our foal. If you think of any other way that I can help, let me know. I’m new to all of this, remember.”

“I’ve known non-changelings who were worse fathers, Cogs, so don’t think that you’re doing badly. However, I’ll still think about your offer.”

“Good. Gotta trot now. Love you, hon!” Cogs kissed Lavender long and lovingly before grabbing his toolkit and making haste to Square Deal Renovations.

* * *

When he got home that afternoon, Cogs found Lavender serving a customer, so after a quick peck on the cheek, he went inside to wash up and begin preparations for dinner. He was unsurprised to find his mother-in-law in the living room, with Dandelion asleep in the bassinet beside her.

“Hello, Mauve,” Cogs greeted her with a dutiful hug. “Did Lavender call on you for help?”

“No, but I had nothing to do today except paperwork, and I reckoned that I could do it on your living room table just as well as my desk,” she said as she indicated the piles of documents. “It gives me a chance to spend time with my granddaughter, and take some of the burden off Lavender. I even minded the shop while she fed Dandelion. A novel experience, I must admit.”

Cogs grinned. “Yeah. I still remember my first time. Thanks for helping out so much.”

“You’re welcome, dear.”

“I’m going to start dinner; would you care to join us tonight?”

“Thank you, but no. I have to drop the paperwork off at the office and go home. I don’t trust my husband to feed our son properly in my absence.”

Cogs’ father-in-law was a wonderful stallion, but prone to absent-mindedness, so Cogs understood what Mauve was talking about. “Sometime soon then?”

“Of course,” Mauve said matter-of-factly as she gathered up the documents with her magic, and deposited them into her saddle bags. “I’ll see you later, dear.”

Dinner was almost ready when Lavender shut up shop and washed up. She found Cogs humming away in the kitchen with Dandelion. The tiny foal’s eyes were wide open and watching her father intently as he worked, and Lavender had to laugh.

“You seem to fascinate our daughter, love,” she said as she gave him a hug and a kiss.

“Yeah, she’s been surprisingly quiet.”

“Maybe she senses that you’re something special?”

“She’s the special one, not me. So how are you feeling this evening?”

“Still tired, but not stressed, thanks to mother.”

“That’s great to hear. Did you think of anything else that I could do to help you out?”

“As a matter of fact, I believe I have, but we can talk about that later. Food first – I’m starving!”

“Coming right up!” Cogs said with a grin. “Hungry mares are always a priority in this kitchen.”

Lavender did not bring up the subject again until they had finished their meal, and then she started with an odd question.

“How accurate are your transformations, Cogs?”

“What exactly do you mean? The illusion type like that manticore I once became to scare off those timber wolves, or the same-mass transformations like my pegasus form?”

“The latter. I suppose I should have asked how complete they are instead.”

“They’re extremely accurate emulations and transformations. Remember that Shining Armor had not been able to tell the difference when Chrysalis replaced Cadence. Plenty of changelings have had relationships with ponies without any of them noticing any physical discrepancies. For an example of how complete the changes are, you’ve seen me shed feathers occasionally, despite the fact that as a changeling, I have none.”

“So they’re a transformation rather than an illusion?”

“Exactly. Those are real feathers magically transformed out of my mass. So what brought this up again so suddenly?”

She ignored his question and asked, “Could you transform into an accurate copy of me?”

“Yes, I suppose so. What are you getting at?”

“Could you do so for me now, pretty please?” She fluttered her eyes at him.

Cogs gave up asking for an explanation and said, “Okay, if you insist.” He took a moment to concentrate as his natural magical talent scanned Lavender, then in a burst of green fire, he transformed into a perfect duplicate of his wife.

“Well?” Cogs asked in Lavender’s voice.

Lavender walked around Cogs, looking over her doppelganger with a critical eye. Then she reached under Cogs’ belly with a forehoof.

Cogs’ eyes widened in surprise, suddenly realizing what Lavender was up to.

Lavender looked at Cogs with a smirk and said, “Tonight, you get to feed the foal.”

* * *

Cogs mentally added this to the growing list of things that she never dreamed of ever doing, while Dandelion suckled on her teats later that night. “Have I ever got a story to tell you when you’re old enough,” she murmured to her daughter as the foal contentedly fed on her father’s milk, while her mother slept blissfully uninterrupted for the first time since her birth.

Author's Note:

I bet some mothers are wishing their partners could do that!

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