When we make it to the living room, I tell Reed to show Sadie where all the extra pillows and blankets are, so we can fix a makeshift campout on the floor for them. Lexie helps me get them situated before we take a seat on the couch behind them. I throw a blanket over us and reach over to hold Lexie’s hand under it. She smiles and interlocks our fingers. The previews seem to be taking forever, the current one featuring a talking baby in an animated movie, releasing soon.
Sadie looks back at Lexie and suddenly asks, "Mommy, can I have a brother? A girl at school said her mommy is giving her a brother, and I want one too."
Lexie glances at me, like I could help her out, but she’s on her own. "Um, I don't know,” she begins carefully. “I need to a daddy to help me have a baby, like I had your daddy to help me have you."
She doesn’t respond right away, which worries Lexie, judging by her anxious sneaky looks to me.
“Mr. Ashton is a daddy,” Sadie adds, glancing at me. “He could help you, Mommy. Please? I really want one.”
Lexie is mortified. I kind of am too. The poor kid doesn’t know what she’s really saying.
“Hey, could I have a brother too?” Reed perks up. “Are you and Mom going to give me a brother one day?” Oh, no. This just got worse. Reed turns to Sadie and grins like he has a bright idea before turning to me. “If you are a dad and Ms. Lexie is a mom, does that mean you could give me and Sadie both a brother?”
My mouth opens and closes numerous times, but I can’t manage to say anything.
"I…” Lexie tries before finally thinking of something. “Why do you two want a brother?"
"Our friend at school said she would have someone to play with all the time. I want someone to play with all the time,” Sadie explains.
“Me too,” Reed agrees.
“You already have that. You have each other because you’re best friends. Y’all play together all the time,” Lexie points out.
Sadie smiles at Reed. “Yeah, he is my best friend. I guess we don’t need a brother.” A movie about a dog previews next.
“What about a puppy?” Of course. “Could I have a puppy? A boy at school says he has a puppy and that they play fetch. I want a puppy too, Mommy.”
“If Sadie gets a puppy, I want one too, Dad.”
God, what is wrong with them? At least we’re moving the topic away from babies. “That’s something you better talk to your mom about, Reed.”
“Well, do I get one?” Sadie asks again.
“I don't know. A puppy is a lot of responsibility. Maybe we should think about a fish instead,” Lexie suggests.
Sadie’s eyes light up with excitement. “Like at the aquarium?! That sounds even better than a brother or a puppy! Can we get a fish?”
“Oh!” Reed exclaims. “Can I get a shark then?”
“No.” This conversation needs to end soon. Thankfully, the movie finally starts. “Be quiet, the movie is starting, and I don’t want to miss anything.” Running my thumb over Lexie’s knuckles, I lean over and whisper, “I’m thinking they should be homeschooled from now on.”
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