Chapter 3.62

Hold on to your hats, folks. Penny gets some startling news.

Note from SweetPoyzin: Deep breaths, people.

“Harper has agreed to meet you.  She says if you are really interested in getting to know her, you must come to her birthday party with a scooter.”

“A scooter?”

“I think she is testing how much you really want to be in her life.”

Harper’s birthday was in less than a week.  She’d be a teen.  Nearly impossible for me to fathom that fact.

“Alright.  I’ll do her one better and I will get her a car.  I know that your step-daughter’s birthday is coming up, too.  Talk to Peter and let him know that I will get Kylie a car too if he is alright with that.  I’ve heard from your mother–er…my source–that the two girls might as well be twins so I wouldn’t want to give one a car and not the other.”

“Who the hell are you!?”

“People change, Penny.  I missed out on 16-years of my daughter’s life.  I’m lucky that I got a second chance.  My new wife is wonderful.  A lot like you, actually.  You’d love her.  And we have a great son.  But this new life really throws in my face how much I’ve missed with Harper.  I mean…if you had the chance to do it all over again, would you make changes?

“How could anyone know that answer, Xander, unless you’ve crossed that bridge?  Come on, now we’re getting stupidly philosophical.  Let me kick your ass at pool.”

“Pregnancy looks good on you, Penny.  Do you know what it is yet?”

“A girl.  Emma Elizabeth.  I’m due in just a couple months.”

We joked around just like we did back in the day.  It was easier now that time has smoothed over some of my wounds.  It was comfortable being with him and not in the least as awkward as I thought it would be.

“Alright, I’ll see you on Saturday.  Harper will be happy to see you.”

“Goodbye, Penny.”

We left the bar and headed home.


“…coma…pronounced DOA…may never regain consciousness…fetal death…”

…I don’t own that plant…this is not my bedroom…

“…some brain activity…do not know the extent of the damage…”

…there is a sink in my bedroom…this is not my bedroom…

“…shock…adverse effect on health and recovery…suicide…depression…do not reveal details…”

…that is my sister…

“O–Olivia?”

“You’re awake!?  Don’t move.  I’ll get the doctor.”

…Doctor…


Finally.  Something I recognize.

“Peter!”

“Welcome back, Mrs. Sutton.  How’s my best patient today?”

“Patient?”

“I’m Dr. Pagano.  I wasn’t sure I’d get to introduce myself personally since you gave us quite a scare there.  You’ve been my patient here at Whispering Pines for 18 months.”

18 MONTHS!?

Chapter 3.58

Our streak of bad luck continued.

Peter was coming home from the store late one night when he was abducted by aliens.  Yeah.  That shit totally happened.

“And they were really quite nice, Penny.  Apparently they can’t stay here because we are all jerks but they still want to get to know us.”

“Don’t you think you should go to the hospital anyway?  At least the Science Center.  I mean you don’t know what happened to you up there.”

“No, P.  They were really very nice.  They wouldn’t harm me.”

“YOU ARE GOING, PETER.”

“Yes, Preggersaurus…I mean dear.”

And off he went because he knows what’s good for him.  Or at least what won’t kill him.  I’ll kill him.  The hospital, not so much.


“Honey.  We need to talk.”

Those words are never good news.

“Penny.  Jeez.  I got knocked up by an alien.”

We sat in silence for a minute because what the hell was I supposed to say to that?!

“Ok.  Well, we already have a witch and a vampire.  An alien wouldn’t be so bad.”

“Well, I can be ‘dewormed’ or we can give it back to the Science Center after it gets here.”

“Look, asswipe.  If I’m going to be pregnant for nine months with your spawn then you are going to be pregnant for part of it with alien spawn.  It’s only fair.  And we’re keeping it because God only knows what the Science Center will do with an alien baby.”

“It will be here in about 48 hours.  So pretty much the day after Christmas.”

“Oh good.  I have time to put together an entire nursery and Christmas party in that amount of time.  Yep.”

The only thing left to do was tell the kids.


“Kids.  Daddy’s pregnant with an alien baby.”  Peter was never one to beat around the bush.

“If you have any questions you know you can come to us.” I thought I should throw that in for good measure.  Parenting and all that.

“You know what, Mom?  I don’t even want to know how that works.  But I’m guessing you’re telling us because we’re going to have five kids but only four bedrooms and you want to move Kylie into my room.”  Harper always was a smart girl.

“Yes, Harper, that was the plan.”

“Ok, fine.  She’s not nearly as stinky as three dumb babies.”

“HEY!  I’m never stinky!”

We made sure the girls got a room makeover fit for spunky girls they are.

Little Simon got a Kylie’s old room giving him room to spread out and make an even bigger mess with his toys.

Chapter 3.57

After dealing with the flu for two weeks I had had enough.  I was moping in Peter’s office one morning while he continued writing his masterpiece.

“Hey, P?”

“What?  Can’t you see I’m trying to nap?”

“Yeah.  I got that.  I was just going to ask you when you were supposed to get your period.”

“SHIT.  I wasn’t even thinking that.  SHIT!”

I ran out to the kitchen to the calendar.

“AHA!  I knew it.  It’s was due yesterday.  It’s too soon to make any assumptions.  It’ll come.  I’m not pregnant.”

“I dunno, Penn.  You’re NEVER late.  I’ve known you for five years and it’s like clockwork.”

“It will be here tomorrow.”  I was sure of it.  I did not feel pregnant.  I know my body.

“Ok.  I’ll make a bet with you.  If you are pregnant, you have to make me a key lime pie.  It’s my favorite.”

“Ok, smart guy.  And when the test comes back negative, you have to make me cupcakes.”

“Make sure you put the whipped cream in the middle of the pie like I like.”

“Because you know my body so well, smartass, you now have to make me cupcakes AND get me some fancy champagne to go with them.’

“Whipped cream, P.  Right in the middle.”

I made the appointment for the next morning and then I went to the store to buy the stuff for cupcakes.


When I got home we headed for the Winter Festival.  It was a snow day so we figured we should enjoy it.

Kylie is a snow bunny and she loves the cold.

“Ew!  Don’t Kylie!  You might be eating recycled yellow snow!”  Harper is a beach bunny.  This was not her cup of tea.

Kylie did talk her into making a snow man though.  Somehow they managed one bigger than themselves.

I made snow angels while Peter took Simon to the playground.

It was only when he was outside that I realized just how pale Simon really is.  We could have lost him.

Peter and I then made our own snowman.

“That’s a little dark, ain’t it, Pete?”

“He’s not dark.  He’s different.  Don’t hurt his feelings!”  I married a weirdo.

Penny and Kylie started a snowball fight but that was too easy.

We turned it into an all out family snowball brawl.

And it ended up being girls vs. Peter.  He lost.

We all got together and built an igloo.

Then it was time to warm up a little.  Harper also pooled everyone’s tickets and bought three snowbears for Christmas gifts.

We finished the night on the ice rink before heading home for dinner.

Peter and the girls order pizza while I made baby food for Simon.

It was a nice way to relax and unwind before the big Christmas party in a few days.


The next morning was the big day.

I headed off to the hospital for my pregnancy test.

Peter went off to the toy store to get gifts for the kids, nieces, and nephews.

“Here’s your key lime pie.”

“Thanks, honey.  Just set it on the desk.  I get to it in a minute.”  Peter is dead to the world once he gets writing.  I went to sit in the kitchen and it wasn’t long before it hit him.

“You’re pregnant?!  Baby, that’s wonderful!  When are we due?”

“I’m due in June.  We can go in the spring to find out the sex.”

“Oh honey, that’s great!”

“I think we should tell everyone at the party this weekend.”

“I think we should tell them that I was right and you were wrong.  I have this pie to prove it.”

“First, we should tell them that you are pregnant.  Then we should tell them that I was right.”

“Peter, you’re a smart ass.”

“Better than being a dumb ass, Penny.”

Chapter 3.56

Our Christmas season was NOT off to a good start.

First I got the flu.

Then we got robbed in the wee hours of the morning.

Despite being insanely ill, I still managed to kick that burglar’s ass.  Do NOT mess with my family.  Especially given my history with criminals.

The girls were scared so Peter and Captain Marbles watched the thief get carted off so the girls wouldn’t worry that he had escaped.

While I calmed the girls Peter went up to check on Simon.  He slept through the whole ordeal.  The police officer confirmed that everything that was stolen had been returned to us.  Then she was gone and since none of us could sleep after that we decided it was time to get on with our day.

Peter got Simon dressed and I made crepes for breakfast.  We all ate in silence.  I wasn’t even hungry but I put on a tough face for the girls so they wouldn’t worry about me too.  I did regret this soon after.

Simon was, thankfully, oblivious to the turmoil.  He’s a bit absent-minded.

I took a nap after breakfast.  I slept most of the day but I’ve been so sick that Peter didn’t want to wake me,

I made my favorite dinner: fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  No, they aren’t spoiled.  I had a craving for lavender, too, so I put it into the peanut butter.  Don’t question me.

Then I had a mommy fail moment and realized I forgot to feed Simon.  So he got a bottle instead of his usual baby food for dinner.

I crashed early (again) and Peter sat with me while I slept.

Then he went down and played video games with the girls until 2am.  That will be so much fun to deal with in the morning.

At least we look like we have it together on the outside.

Chapter 3.55

The Christmas season was rapidly approaching.

Peter was hard at work on his next masterpiece so that we could afford Christmas gifts for our brood.

I was not feeling this whole holiday thing this year.  But I had good reason.

For one, it was 60 degrees outside.  Harper was still out picking flowers well into December.  Who wants to decorate for Christmas with that kind of weather?

Also, the kids had toys out the ass.  Seriously.  I spent more time picking up toys than the kids did playing with them.  I just didn’t want to buy more toys.  In short, I’m Scrooge.

Instead of buying toys, we did room makeovers.  The girls would be teens before too long and Simon was fast approaching childhood.  Harper went with a green theme.

Kylie stayed girly but chose a blue theme.

Simon had no choice in the matter but he was quite excited about his owls.

Even I got a room makeover.  Peter had the kitchen redone so that I had more room for my bakeware.

The upstairs office got smaller which left room for…

…the master bathroom to get bigger!

Oh yes.  Best Christmas ever.


Finally I mustered the courage to decorate for the holidays.  Maybe it was the new bathroom sanctuary that got my spirits up?

Whatever it was I was FINALLY excited about something.

No room was left unnoticed.  Even the girls had trees in their rooms.

Of course, with some many kids the Christmas card photo was a circus.  I forgot to coordinate everyone’s outfit and then nobody was looking at the camera at the same time.  So we got this.

“Oh look, P.  Mistletoe!”

“Who the hell put that there?  Peter?!”

“Lay one on me, sexy lady!”

“Will you two knock it off?  Jeez.  Like a couple of teenagers.”  Because it wasn’t obvious enough that Harper was mine, her sarcasm is the icing on the cake.

One morning, it started to snow just before lunch.  Everything looked like it needed a good vacuuming but I didn’t think anything would come of it.

Until we nearly lost the dog that night.  The girls were convinced that a snow day was just around the corner and refused to go to bed.  I was optimistic about school and made them go to sleep regardless.

Mom is always right.

Chapter 3.54

School started and the girls were gone most of the day.  Since Pete is a writer and I work nights we got to spend LOTS of time together.

We prepped the yard for winter which was too close for comfort.  Our Halloween party was coming up and this was going to be our first big party in the new house.

Peter and I kept getting distracted.  It’s not that we were trying for a baby but we weren’t not trying either.  We were open to anything.

“It’s safe.  Nobody saw us.”

“It’s our backyard, Peter.  Of course nobody saw us.  Are you sure nobody saw us though?”

I went out that afternoon and grabbed us some pumpkins to carve that night after dinner.  It was going to be a big family affair.

I made us some lasagna since it is a nice food for blustery nights in autumn.  Peter did just get me that nice wood fire oven so I foresee many lasagna nights.

Then we all went outside to carve pumpkins.  Well, Simon mostly sat and chewed on the leaves but he made an effort to hang out with us.

Kylie carved a pumpkin for Simon.

“Daddy, is it ok if I just make it look like it was carved by a 3-year-old?  Cuz I’m getting bored.”

“Do whatever you like, honey.  It is getting cold out here though so make a choice.”

She made it look like a toddler carved it.  Kylie did the kitty.  Harper did the ghost.  Peter did the scary one.  I am the boring one who made a normal pumpkin.  I’m special like that.


 

Finally Halloween arrived.  The girls got the day off and we had a big day ahead of us with the party.  I was up early to bake for the party.

Harper took over “mommy” duty.  She adores her baby brother and relishes her time with him.  She fed her brother his morning bottle because I failed at planning (again) and didn’t have time for a proper breakfast.

Then she entertained the monster so I could get what I needed done in the kitchen.  I spent all morning cooking so we could go to the festival before the party.

The girls got dressed up in their costumes and we headed off to the park.

Simon is still a little young to enjoy the festivals.  He does the family photo and then it’s off to the toy boxes.  I don’t mind so much because before too long he’ll be too big to even want to hangout with us.

The girls, however, are all over the festival games.  It’s a damn good thing I made them take off their costumes before they jumped into everything.  They wore that pie until we got home.

Kylie wanted me to take Simon through the haunted house.  I told her I would do that only if she agreed to have him in her room when he had nightmares.  She said no deal to that and then regretted her own decision to go through the haunted house.  Harper on the other hand…well she takes after her mama and she loved every creepy-ass second of that darn thing.

Peter.  Well, Peter is working on his next masterpiece which means lots of research and little time for us.  It makes him happy and keeps us in our house so it is difficult to be angry with him.

Harper took all our tickets and cashed them in for a horseshoe pit.  I was grateful she chose that because she was eyeing the tanning booth.  It’s too damn early for that mess.

As soon as we got home I started on the roast for the party.  I had already set out the dessert table when the door opened.

“Hey, Penn!  Need any help?”  Hannah had arrived early to help me with any last minute prep.

“I think I’m good, Hanny.  I just have to get the roast in the oven and we’ll be set.”

“Oh good.  I’m going to eat this chocolate pie then.  Help clean the dessert tray early.”

She’s a good friend.

She did help set out the rest of the food though.  After eating her pie, of course.

Harper even helped with the desserts and made some cookies on her toy oven.  Grampy (my dad) loved those.

Finally I called everyone to eat.  It was going to be a full house.  Mom and Dad were there.  Katie and her husband with the twins Kayleigh and Kennedy.  Dylan who was single now but he refused to go into detail.  Hannah and Adam and their two oldest daughters Violet and Kallie.  Granny Liddy and Grampa Vic couldn’t make it.  Neither could Liv and Mike since they were busy with Bailee, Bindee, and Beckee who were now toddlers.

It was quite a feast and with all the kids running around the adults could never seem to all sit down at the same time.  Adam, Pete, and Johnathon (Katie’s husband) took Violet and Kennedy trick-or-treating.

The rest of the girls played video games in the living room which gave the adults a moment together.

When Adam got back he spent almost all his time with his nephew Simon.  They bonded (on Adam’s side) over the fact that they were both adopted.

Simon, however, just loved Adam for being the awesome guy that he is.  My little brother has turned into one hell of a man.

The best par of the party was the part when the WHOLE family pitched in to clean up.  Seriously.  It was like the first time in the history of our three generations that anyone helped clean up after a party.

Kallie left with some leftover pie.

Katie just laughed at her cousin.  This is my family.

The nicest part was they had cleaned up so well that I only had to cast one spell to clean the rest of the house.  Best party in the history of our family.

Chapter 3.53

Simon fit right in with our crazy crew.

Despite being a vampire he still loved to be outside.  I’m sure we will have to take precautions eventually but for right now he seems to have no ill effects from the sun.

Since it was Leisure Day and school would start the next day Peter and I decided to send summer out with a bang.  A new amusement park had just opened up on the beach so we all piled in the car and headed off to celebrate the day.

We gave the girls $50 each (way too much I know) but they had a blast spending it.  We told them they could spend it however they wanted so it all went to the arcade machines.

They did get some awesome prizes though.  Watching them have a good time was totally worth extra money.

Peter and I were more adventurous, however.

And by Pete and I, what I mean is just me.  I’ll bring him around one of these days.

We stayed at the park entirely too late.

We were all having so much fun though it was difficult to want to drag everybody home.  So we stayed until the park closed.

I did get some nice updated photos of the girls but I have to admit I forgot poor Simon.  I’m still getting used to having a new family member.

The girls absolutely adore their baby brother.

They spend most of their time following him around and playing whatever he wants to play.

Of course when they aren’t following him, he’s following them.

We finished our summer off with Peter getting his ass whooped by his girls.  Did I mention they were playing his favorite video game?


Not long after school had started I got a phone call.

“Is this Dr. Penelope Sutton?”

Nobody calls me that anymore.  And besides Peter and my parents nobody here knew that side of my past.  Only one other person knew that history —

“XANDER!?”

“Hey, Penny.”

“Jesus Christ.  I’ve got to feed my son.  I’ll call you back.”

I called him after I got Simon down for a nap.

“What the fuck do you want?  It’s been what?  10 years now?”

“It’s nice to hear from you too, Penny.  I’d like to see my daughter.”

Oh shit.

“What daughter?”  Good cover, Penny.  Jeez.

“You know very well which one, Penny.  Can we just chat about it at least?  In person.”

I guess I can’t hide her from you forever as much as I would like to do so.  Come over later today before school is out.”

I ran into the office to tell Pete about the phone conversation and he took me downstairs to the bar.

“Penny…what in God’s name are you doing?”

“I’m practicing my poker face.  Duh.  For when I talk to Xander.”

“Oh girl.  You’re going to give away your cards.  Here.  Drink this.”

“What’s the point of getting me drunk!?  I don’t want to make a fool of myself with Xander?”

“Just relax, honey.  It’s not potent enough to get you drunk.”

I took a sip.  It wasn’t potent at all.  It was mango juice and ginger ale.

“I will be right down the hall.  I will let you and Xander have your conversation but if at any time you need me I will be only a hallway away.  You can do this, baby.  It might be good for you to gain some closure on the past anyway.”

I hated when he was right.

“To Harper!”


I kept myself busy the rest of the afternoon.  I showered, cleaned the house, and started dinner.

I had just put dinner in the oven when the doorbell rang.

Xander was at the door.  The poor man had aged since I’d seen him last.  It had been 10 years after all.

I invited him in and we moved to the living room.

“So, first how did you know about Harper and second, why now?”  I was trying to keep myself civil but it was a task.

“Well, I had an…informant–”

“My mother.”

“I’m not about to rat that person out but I promise you it wasn’t your father.  He’s still trying to kill me.  And I got remarried.  My wife’s name is Gabby…you’d like her I think.  Spunky like you.  Anyway, we just had a son.  After spending time with Tommy I got to thinking about the daughter I never knew.”

Oh it was infuriating how much I couldn’t hate him.

“It’s up to her really, Xander.  She knows of you but she’s very angry.  I don’t know how she will feel about this.”

“I totally understand.  I don’t want to ruin her holiday if she is so angry so let’s set up a time to meet after Christmas.  I don’t want her stressing over this.”

“I’m not even going to mention it to her, Xander.”

“Well, why not?!  We don’t have to set up a meeting but we could at least tell her I want to see her!”

“Yes, Harper.  He doesn’t want you to stress but Xander Sutton wants to meet you!”

“Still as sarcastic as ever I see.”

“Just think about it, Penny.  Think about telling her.”

“Thinking….and no.  I’m not going to tell her until after Christmas.  Deal with it.”

Simon woke up from his nap and I excused myself to get him.  When I came back I saw Xander looking at a picture of Harper.

“She looks like you, you know that?  When I look into her eyes it’s like you are staring back at me.”

“God help her if she acts like me too.”

“No, no she all me in that respect.  She’s a sassy one.”

I showed Xander out before the girls got home.  I was worried about keeping the meeting from Harper but I thought it would be best.  God help me if I’m wrong.

Captain Marbles sensed my worried heart and came over to take my mind off it for a little while.

Chapter 3.52

We were approved for the adoption and just before summer ended our little bundle showed up at the door.

I wasn’t quite sure how a toddler could fit in such a small basket but either way I knew I would love the child that came out of it.

Simon Alexander Pagano was perfect…not to mention adorable!  I was in love immediately.

“So this is my son, eh?  He’ll do.”  I was worried about Peter’s reaction.  I knew he wasn’t quite sure what to do with a vampire but there were two of us in that boat.  He was also in the middle of a revision for his newest novel and that always makes him a bit of a pill.  I hoped he would come around in time.

The girls, however, were immediately enamored by their little brother.  They took to teaching him all kinds of things right away.  His favorite new trick was “NO!”  Obviously this was my least favorite of his new skills.

As expected, once his revisions were over and the book was on its way to becoming a bestseller Peter got to know his son a little better.  They were fast friends and Peter was more than pleased about the balance of hormones in the house (it is equal now if you count the dog).

Everyone was a wee bit freaked out by the vampire habits that are inherent in Simon.  We weren’t quite sure what to do when he started biting the neck of his dolls.  So we all just smiled and nodded and hoped for the best with that one.

Captain Marbles is pretty pleased with his new friend, too.  Simon was a little unsure at first but once Captain gave Simon a kiss it was love at first lick.

Except, of course, when Captain comes in from the pool and shakes water all over everyone.  Simon is not a fan but then again neither am I.

For the first couple of weeks we only fed the kid bottles.  I wasn’t sure what you feed a vampire toddler so I had some reading to do.  He didn’t seem too concerned with his lack of real food though.

And he seems to be a bit of a musical prodigy.  He was beating tunes on that drum that I’ve heard Granny Liddy play recently.  He’ll soon got bored with his xylophone I’m sure so I’m going to need to find a replacement before long.

Simon hasn’t quite gotten the hang of talking yet but he knows enough to tell me what recipes I need to learn.  We were sitting in the living room one night while I was reading and he surprised me.

“AKE!  AKE!”

“Honey, does your tummy hurt?”

“NO!  AKE!  CUPPY AKE!

“What the heck is a cuppy ake?”

Harper was in the kitchen working on homework and she heard our conversation.  “He wants cupcakes, Mom.  Get it together!”

Yes, she is my daughter in case anyone was wondering.

Anyway, Peter and I are pretty much over the moon at this point.  Obviously, we have a lot to learn about this whole vampire business but I’m sure we’ll work it out in time.  We always do.

Happy Holidays!

My apologies for being so late!  Thank you to all of my readers, fans, followers, and lurkers.  You make this story worth writing!  Here’s to another great year in 2015!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From SweetPoyzin, Mr. Geek, Peter, Penny, Harper, Kylie, and Vampire Toddler (who makes his debut tomorrow)!

Chapter 3.51

One afternoon shortly after the wedding, the girls were visiting Uncle Adam and Auntie Hannah, while Peter and I sat watching TV.  Well, Pete was watching, I was plotting.

“Peter.  I think it’s time we added to our family.”

“Huh?  Yeah ok.”

“Really?!  You know I’m talking about a baby right?”

“Shhh, chatty monkey.  The Llamas are trying to win the game.”

“TOUCHDOWN!  YES!  What were you saying, P?

“About adding to the family…”

“YES!  The girls would love a dog!  Brilliant idea, babe!”

Men.

But we rolled with the dog idea anyway.  Pete and I decided to adopt an older dog since they get passed over for the cuter puppies.  Peter picked out a sweet little guy named Captain Marbles and the shelter said they would send him over tomorrow.

In the meantime we prepared to talk to the girls about my earlier idea.  We had a family movie night to announce the news.

“Girls, your father and I have decided to adopt a baby but before we meet with the social worker we wanted to know how you feel about that?”

“Also, we’re getting a dog.”  Pete exclaimed.  “You don’t have a say in that but tell us how you feel about the baby.”

“Personally, I like the baby better than the dog!”  Kylie was thrilled to have a younger playmate.

“What about you, Harper?”  I asked earnestly.  She’s always grown up with other children in the house but I didn’t know how she’d deal with this.

“I dunno, mom.  Maybe.”

“As long as the baby and the dog aren’t smelly at the same time…it’s probably ok.”


The girls continued to enjoy the summer.  They’d be going back to school soon so they were milking every second they could in the pool.

Our little athlete Kylie taught our little mathlete Harper how to dive off the diving board.  While they were busy playing Peter and I got a delivery.

Captain Marbles showed up ready for action.  We didn’t want the kids to overwhelm him right away.

However, our rules didn’t seem to stop Kylie from running right up to him with snacks and pets.  He took it like a champ so I think we’ll all be just fine.

Peter immediately took to teaching the poor dog every trick in the book.  Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was full of something because this dog is brilliant.

He’s also a bit of a ham.  He quite likes being ferocious with his toys.  He kinda just comes off a little dopey though.

I think he’s going to fit in just fine with our crazy crew.  The hard part would be finding a baby that would fit just as well.


That part started a week later when the Social Worker came over to discuss our thoughts about children and adoption.  Things seemed to be going well until we got to the part about placement.

Well, we do have one boy we haven’t been able to place.  His name is Simon.  He’s 3.”  The social worker was fidgeting as she told us about the boy.

“Is he difficult or something?”  I asked anxiously.

“He’s something alright.  He’s only a toddler so it’s difficult to say at this point.”  Her nervous energy continued.

“Say WHAT?  Just tell us!”  Pete burst from his usual calm demeanor and seemed to turn into a bear.

“WE THINK HE’S A VAMPIRE!”  She exclaimed and then sat there with a shocked look on her face as id she had never verbalized this idea until our living room.

“A vampire?”  Pete seemed just as shocked as the social worker.

“He’s not demonstrating any powers yet.  But…when we took him to the playground…well, he caught fire.  Spontaneously combusted really.”

“So he’s horribly scarred!?  Maybe that’s why people have a problem with him?”  I asked almost hopefully.

“Just the opposite Mrs. Pagano.  He was completely healed within hours.”

“Why are you telling us all this?”  Peter was in utter shock that he was even considering adopting a vampire child.

“Why are you telling us all this?”  Peter was in utter shock that he was even considering adopting a vampire child.

“Honestly?  Considering Mrs. Pagano’s family background–”

“You figured since I’m a witch, my father is a genie, and my grandparents are a fairy and a ghost that we’d be interested in raising a vampire?”  I asked more harshly than I meant it.

“Well, no.  I mean, yes.  I don’t know what the agency was thinking!”

“They were right.  Please have the papers drawn up.  Peter and I would love to have this little boy join our family.”

“He will be so excited to meet you.  He’s been looking for a home his entire life!”

And so Peter and I had three weeks to prepare for a vampire toddler to enter our lives.