“Ugh!” groaned Frankie, as he rolled slightly to nudge Marie. “They’re at it again!”
“They? Who? What?” Marie rubbed the sleep from her eyes, as she tried to focus on Frankie’s words. “That was a perfectly good catnap Frankie, this had better be...” Clarity dawned on Marie’s as she heard the relentless whining from across the shaded nursery. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding! Don’t they ever stop?”
“Apparently not,” muttered Frankie, kicking disdainfully at his blanket.
“There is never any peace with those two. They just gripe, gripe, gripe all the time.” Marie fumed as she tried to cover her ears.
“Hey, I know.” Frankie’s hand hit the mattress, “I’ve got the perfect solution for them in my bag. My mom used it for me. Maybe I should offer them some.”
“They won’t accept it Frankie. You know how they are.”
“Yeah, I know how they are,” Frankie mumbled. “But if they don’t turn that racket off soon I think ... I think I’m gonna blow my...”
“NO FRANKIE! Not that! You know that only makes matters worse. It makes such an awful mess of things.”
“Let’s just say, Marie, it wouldn’t take much for me to, well, you know.”
“Maybe they’ll out grow it. Pastor’s been preaching all about that lately. Don’t give up Frankie.”
“Marie, how long have you known me?”
“Pretty much all my life, why?”
“Have you ever known me to give up?”
“Not unless you fall asleep first.” Marie teased gently.
“My point exactly, Marie. Whatever it takes, I am going to see that those two stop their complaining; whether it is by choice or by force.”
“I’m with you, Frankie.”
The cries began quietly, slowly ramping in volume, as though someone were turning a dial ever so slowly.
Across the shaded room Betsy and Mildred sat comfortably in the nursery rocking chairs. They continued their rant on the people of the congregation, dissecting everyone’s faults, and revelling in the gossip. “Did you see the size of her?”...“Do you know what Harold did?”...“I heard she had work done.”...“The Pastor preaches too long, and his children... don’t get me started on them.”
“Ugh! They are at it again, Mildred,” groaned Betsy.
“Seems we just get into some “good” conversation and those two interrupt us,” said Mildred rising reluctantly to join her friend.
“I heard tell; they are as good as gold for the Sunday School crew.”
“I bet they spoil them, or are just telling lies.”
“You’re probably right, Mildred.”
Each woman picked up a wriggling, bawling form, doing her best to comfort the little bundle.
“Watch out for that Frankie, Betsy. He has quite the reputation.” Mildred laughed.
“I know.” Betsy answered with little humour. “No doubt that’s why you hurried over to get Marie.”
Mildred couldn’t help but smile a little smugly. Each woman gently bounced and rocked her bundle, trying desperately to restore the calm of the nursery.
“Keep going Frankie, I think they are stopping...”
“Well, you know, I am sure he gets his fussiness from that Mother of his. She’s such a dif...
“Don’t you talk about my mommy! Oh! You’ve made me so mad. I think I’m gonna...”
“Oh!” Betsy cried. “He got me!! Help me Mildred; he got me all down the front of my dress. Ugh! The smell, what do they feed this child! Oh, I’ll never get this stain out!”
“Ah! He got me too! It’s in my shoes!”
The two women hobbled about the nursery to clean up the children, and themselves; leaving little time for griping and gossiping.
“Mission accomplished Frankie!”
“Good job Marie!”
“Not so bad yourself, and hey, good aim!”
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