Their destination for dinner had the typical decor of red, green, and white. The tables were covered with white cloths and the silverware at each setting neslted in green cloth napkins. A few minutes later they were seated and looking over the menu. Kate ordered chicken Parmesan and Spencer the meat ravioli. They shared garlic bread and salad until their meals came. Sarah chatted about her books and little puppy that had to stay in the car. They rode in Spencer’s car since it was bigger for anything Kate might buy.
“What all do you need?” Spencer was asking Kate.
“I’d like to get her a toddler bed or a bed that converts to a bigger bed later on, depending on the cost. And a small chest of drawers. At the baby shower, she got her winter coat and a few things, but she needs some stuff to fill in the gaps between now and then and for colder weather.” Kate had mentioned the shower to him when he saw the balloons and new items she hadn’t put away yet.
“Did you know anything about the shower?” Kate asked before taking another bite of her salad.
“I did not know anything about it. Honest. I may have heard some mumblings about such a thing, but didn’t know who it was for or anything else.”
Kate believed him. Since he was a guy, he wouldn’t have been in the loop most likely. “Just wondering.”
A few minutes later, Kate looked at Sarah who was eating her spaghetti pretty well with her spoon. Kate had cut up the long noodles into shorter pieces. Kate frowned.
“What’s the matter?” Spencer looked from Sarah to Kate.
“Nothing, except I’m having a hard time finding a daycare.” She gestured toward the little girl, so she didn’t know what she was talking about.
“Oh. Nothing on base?”
“Not one that has an opening. They all have a waiting list.”
“Hmm. Have you looked at in-home ones in the area?”
“I don’t know where to get a list. I tried looking on the Family Readiness website, but couldn’t find one. I know there’s one somewhere, I just need to talk to the right people.”
“Mrs. Pettigrew used to be a teacher, she might be a possibility if you don’t find one.”
Kate thought about that for a minute. “You think she would like to? It would be on a rotating schedule, I’m not sure it would be easy for her.”
“You’d be surprised at what she can do. Let me know if you want to talk to her about it if you don’t find anything better. And next door to me, she’s not far from the base, either.”
“True. Thanks. I’ll see what I can find out this week and let you know.”
When they arrived at the store, Kate strapped Sarah into the cart and they headed to the furniture section. Balloons were tied to several end displays and the lighting and décor were in bright colors.
They picked out a cute white toddler bed with a small chest of drawers to match. Then Kate and Sarah picked out a bedding package with a coordinating area rug and lamp. She also found some pants and jackets for Sarah to wear soon. She stocked up on diapers, wipes, and found some cute Hello Kitty (R) socks on clearance.
When they got back to Kate’s, Spencer offered to put the furniture together.
Kate was relieved but not surprised at his kind offer. “That would be great. I’ll give Sarah her bath meanwhile.” It wasn’t like she had any tools to put the dresser and bed together anyway. She had a small screwdriver set for changing batteries in small electronics, but that was about it.
Spencer got some tools out of his trunk he thought to bring and began ripping open the cardboard boxes. Before Kate ran the bathwater, she pulled out the bedspread, sheets and some outfits she couldn’t resist buying and ran down to put them in the washer, taking advantage of Spencer’s presence.
While Sarah splashed in the tub, Kate quickly checked on Spencer’s work. He had the bed together and was working on the dresser. Kate walked back to the bathroom to get Sarah out. She got her dressed and left her watching Spencer and ran down to the laundry room with her quarters and moved the clothes to the dryer. Sarah wouldn’t have a dry comforter yet, but she would have new sheets and a pillow on her bed tonight.
Kate walked back into the apartment and listened from the entryway to Spencer and Sarah chatting in the living room. Sarah was saying, “I like my new bed! I like it here.”
“Do you? That’s good. Your mom likes you here, too.”
“I love her. Do you love her, too?” Kate smiled at Sarah’s innocent boldness. Kate heard a short silence, but didn’t dare move.
“Yes I do, actually. I hope to marry her one of these days.”
“Then you be my daddy?”
“Yes. Would you like that?”
“Uh huh.” She clapped her hands and Kate imagined her big smile. Kate closed the door again, a little harder this time and walked back to the living room. “How’s it going?” she asked innocently.
“Almost done. Sarah is very excited about her new bed.”
To Sarah, Kate said, “Great. We’ll read a few books and brush your teeth and by then, we can make up your bed.”
Sarah said, “I’ll get my books from the library.”
Kate read to her, slightly distracted at what she overheard earlier. She couldn’t concentrate knowing what Spencer said. Even though she could guess that is what Spencer would want eventually, the idea of marriage right now startled her.
Until next time,