Just a bit of Sorenson family fluff (primarily between Kendra and Marla), with tiny Kendra and baby Seth. I hope you enjoy this!
Marla woke to complete darkness and the sound of sniffles. It took a few seconds for her brain to put two and two together, but when she listened closely, she realized that her daughter had come to see her.
"Kendra? Honey, what's wrong?" she managed to ask. She could barely keep her eyes open. What time was it?
More sniffling was all Marla received in response to her question.
"Come here, baby," she said, becoming a little more alert. She motioned to her two-and-a-half-year-old in a beckoning fashion.
Kendra approached her mother and wrapped her arms around Marla's face in an awkward hug. Marla couldn't help but smile a bit at her child's gesture. She raised the blankets which covered her and moved her body over a bit in order to make space for the smaller person, then pulled her daughter (and the stuffed bear her child had a death grip on) into bed with her. Once they were settled, Marla quietly asked once more, "What's wrong, sweetheart?"
"I had a bad dream," Kendra said, scooting closer into her mother's warm embrace.
"Oh, no," Marla replied. "What did you dream about?"
The little girl sniffled. "The mean people took Sethy away, and you went too and Daddy was sad."
Ah. Seth had been sick earlier in the week – to the point that they'd called an ambulance. The paramedics had rushed him to the hospital where he'd stayed for a few nights; Marla had gone with him, and Scott had stayed at home with Kendra.
"It was scary when Mommy and Seth went to the hospital, wasn't it?" Marla kissed the top of Kendra's head as her daughter nodded. She continued speaking. "Sethy was really sick. Those people who came to the house are called paramedics. Can you say that? Para-medic."
"Para-medic," Kendra repeated. "Baby Seth was crying."
"Yes, he was," Marla affirmed. "He was sick and he didn't know who they were, but they were trying to help him."
"He was sad."
"You're right. He was very sad." She paused, recalling the events of several nights ago. "Paramedics are like doctors. They help people who have emergencies. Do you remember what the paramedics did when they saw Seth?"
"They poked Baby Seth and he cried."
"They did," she agreed. "They were giving him medicine so that he could get better."
"Sethy cried. The mean people hurt Baby Seth."
"Oh, honey," Marla cooed, "They were helping your brother. I promise. I wouldn't have let them hurt him. I wouldn't let anyone hurt either one of you."
"Daddy was sad."
Marla closed her eyes as the image of Scott quickly and tearfully hugging and kissing her and Seth goodbye popped into her mind. She had ridden to the hospital in the back of the ambulance along with their son. "Yes, Daddy was sad. Were you sad, too?"
Kendra nodded and tried to move herself even closer to her mother.
"Were you scared?"
She nodded again and buried her face in her teddy bear. "Albert was scared, too."
Albert. Her bear. "He was, was he?" Marla asked.
"Mm-hmm. Daddy had to snuggle me and Albert."
A soft smile crossed the mother's face. "Well, I'm sure Daddy liked snuggling with you."
"He sure did," came Scott's drowsy voice. "Kenny snuggles make Daddy feel strong." Marla scrunched up her face as he rolled over in bed, effectively sandwiching her between himself and their child, then laid his arm across her shoulders so that he could put his hand on his daughter's head. It was a somewhat uncomfortable position to be in, but she was so tired that she ultimately decided that she didn't truly care.
"Kenny and Albert," Kendra corrected her father.
Scott chuckled. "Can't forget about Albert," he yawned. "Kenny and Albert. Of course."
Silence fell over the trio for a few minutes. Marla and Scott were just starting to drift off to sleep again when Seth started fussing in his crib. With a sigh born from exhaustion, Scott sat up and stretched his arms, then ambled over and picked up his squawking son and headed out of the bedroom with his precious load.
"Baby Seth is sad again," Kendra stated. The sniffling Marla had heard earlier in the night (morning?) started up again.
"Shhhhh, shhhhh," Marla soothed while she ran her fingers through Kendra's hair. "Seth is still very small. Little babies like him wake up sometimes at night because they need something," she explained. "Your little brother probably needs his diaper changed and maybe a bottle. And snuggles and love. That's all. He's okay, sweetie."
Kendra's eyes were full of tears that Marla could barely see because of how dark the room was. "The mean people aren't gonna come?" she asked.
"No, no," Marla said. "Baby Seth is feeling much better now." She began to softly hum a lullaby in an effort to soothe her daughter.
Kendra seemed to accept this explanation. Tears flowed down her cheeks, but her bout of crying was short-lived thanks to her mother's tender ministrations. "I love you, Mommy," she said after a while.
"I love you, too, baby girl."
It wasn't much longer before mother and child fell back into the comforting embrace of sleep.