Baby Bonanza (Maureen Child) – Chapter Nine

Oh yes, so Nick just announced his decision to be Solomon. When Jenna gets all outraged, Nick just smiles and tells her to relax.

“I said that’s the plan I did have. Things have changed.” [What an asshole! ASSHOLE! I’ll say it again and again and again. First shocking the hell out of her and then belittling her for getting outraged???]

Nick has seen her and the boys together and knew he couldn’t split them up (at least not without risking his life). Jenna relaxes a little bit but then Nick tells her that he won’t be going anywhere, inviting himself into Jenna’s home just like that. And as I know her, she’s going to say yes.

Look, buddy. You’ve fucked that woman. Yes. You’ve got kids together. Yes. But that doesn’t mean you own her or that you can make her decisions for her or that you can just decide that you’re going to stay at her house. Is that really so hard to understand?
And man, you’re fucking rich! Get a fucking hotel room.

And Jenna, you act all outraged and then you just let him go ahead with his stupid plan anyway??? Grow a spine, woman!

Nick looks around the house, which is small, but at least it’s a home, contrary to his own (because no bachelor pad could ever be a home – only women make homes). Jenna tells him that it’s too small to stay, but he decides that he can sleep on the couch. When Jenna still protests, he threatens to sue her for sole custody.

Her face paled, and just for a second Nick felt like a complete bastard. [NO?!?!?!?!? REALLY?!?!?!?!?!]

Of course, Jenna gives in.

Seriously, since the beginning of this book, there’s been so many instances of coercion between the two I lost count. Newsflash! This is not a healthy relationship!

The babies pick this moment to start crying. And the rational adults that both Nick and Jenna are, they leave aside their fighting and start calming them.

Oh, sorry. I must have let my daydreaming get the better of me.

The babies pick this moment to cry and Jenna tells Nick that he made them cry so he should stop them and leaves the three of them to put away some laundry.

Way to go, people! Always make the children pawns in the parental fights. That way you get healthy kids for sure.

But of course it doesn’t end there. Instead we jump to the end of the afternoon when Nick is beat and still trying to take care of the twins and Jenna is laughing her ass off.

Honestly, on the one hand I’m enjoying the put-down Nick’s getting. On the other hand Jenna really should put him down herself and not let the boys do it for her. That’s passive-aggressive if ever I saw passive-aggressive. And though not wearing the diaper perfectly for one day won’t harm the boys, I think that Jenna is setting a bad example: apparently, it’s completely okay to use other people to get your way and to live through your children the things you never brought yourself to do.

Jenna slapped one hand over her mouth and watched Nick in a splash of sunlight slanting through the opened louvred blinds. [Editor, please remove totally ridiculous ending of this sentence. Meaning: Everything after “Nick”.] The walls were a pale green and boasted a mural she’d painted herself while pregnant. There were trees and flowers and bunnies and puppies, painted in bright, primary colors, racing through the garden. A white dresser stood at one end of the room and an overstuffed rocking chair was tucked into a corner.
And now there was Nick. [I can’t think of something interesting to say to that because all I hear in my head right now is “blergh”.]

They talk for a little while, Jenna thinking that she might regret when Nick leaves again (but she is still sure that he will leave). Then she leaves him to attend his son and goes to work on one of her gift baskets in the garage.

yadda yadda cellophane yadda yadda gift basket yadda yadda

Jenna goes back into the house and finds a mess, a little more mess and, as she digs a little deeper, a sleeping man and two sleeping babies.

“Oh, my.” Jenna simply stood there, transfixed by the sight of Nick and their sons taking a nap together. A single lamp threw a puddle of golden light across the three of them even as the last of the sunlight came through the front window. [What a waste of energy. Is nobody thinking about their ecological footprint?]  Nick’s even breathing and the soft sighs and coos issuing from the twins were the only sounds in the room and Jenna etched this image into her mind so that years from now she could call up this mental picture and relive the moment. [Don’t you have anything better to relive?]

Of course, this picture makes it clear that Jenna is in love with Nick. Finally, one of the two has an epiphany. And as she whispers, “Why does it have to be you who touches my heart?” [blergh, again], Nick opens his eyes.

They start whispering and Nick offers Jenna that she and the boys could live with him onboard the ship. But Jenna refuses, saying that the boys need a real home, with friends and one school and a dog.

[Well, here’s a thought: Why does Nick have to live on the goddamn ship anyway? It’s not like he’s driving it! Plus, I thought he had a whole cruise line – isn’t that more than one ship?]

And even though Nick basically proposes and Jenna loves him so much, she says no, because maybe it wouldn’t work out and then what about the boys? Because no child survives a divorce, as we all know.

He drew up one leg and braced one arm across his knee. His gaze was locked on her, his features half in shadow, half in light. [Gah! Metaphor overload!*] “This isn’t over, Jenna.” [Why does every second sentence Nick says sound vaguely threatening? Oh, oh, that’s right. Because they are!]
As she bent over to scoop up Jacob, Jenna paused, looked into those pale blue eyes and said, “It has to be, Nick.”

But it never will be.

*This reminds me of the one portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson:


Of which Stevenson said [I can’t remember the exact quote, but the content’s correct], “it would be a tolerable portrait, if only Nerli had painted me. Instead he insisted on painting the author of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.”


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