"Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray." -Lord Byron
He loved his daughters. He did. But 3 children under 3 was a handful. Daisy was more active, running around, and now that it was getting warmer out, she was able to be outside more. Laura had just started to become mobile, but was more than content to sit with her blocks and puzzles. Dianna had become their most needy daughter. She had picked up her first cold at a few days old, followed quickly and steadily by an ear infection, and a respiratory infection, and was the only one of the girls to have colic. He felt terrible for leaving Margaret for the weekend with the girls, but knew that she wouldn't be alone. Dad and Chris were there, as was Stacey who he more thankful for every day.
His sessions with Alexander were becoming more frequent. It wasn't that he didn't love his children, but with Dianna's chronic crying from the colic had his anxiety at an all time high. So once a week he'd spend time with Alexander. He'd talk to Margaret, who with ease could calm him.
The weekend away in Boston was for a workshop on ultrasounds, Charles had offered to have him stay with him, as he was also attending the workshop. They had spoken but had not seen each other for months, as his wife Elizabeth had given birth to their second child, Alexandra, a day before Dianna was born.
"Charles," Hawkeye greeted holding out his hand to shake the Bostonian's hand. Having driven the two hours to Boston, he was glad to get out of the car.
"Pierce, it's nice to see you," Charles smiled softly. "Welcome back to Boston."
"Thank you. Thanks for putting me up," Hawkeye followed his friend as he swung his bag over his shoulder. "How's Elizabeth and the girls?"
"Elizabeth is well," Charles started. "Alexandra has started cutting her first tooth."
"At three months?" Hawkeye asked as he followed his friend into the house.
"Indeed. How is Margaret and your daughters?"
"Margaret is great. She just was made to be a mother. Daisy is as active as ever, in nursery school now. Laura is as quiet as usual, in love with the neighbour boy," he chuckled. "Dianna is still colicy, but at least the ear infection has cleared up."
"I remember you mentioned she contracted a respiratory infection?" Charles asked.
"Mmmhm, yes. That cleared with the ear infection."
"Elizabeth, you remember Dr. Benjamin Pierce," Charles smiled as the pair entered the sitting room. Elizabeth was sitting in the arm chair, holding the three month old baby with a book in hand.
"Of course, you'll forgive me for not standing up," she gestured to the baby asleep. "She won't sleep unless she's being held lately."
"Oh I know that well," Hawkeye chuckled. "Di is the same way." He leaned down and kissed Elizabeth's cheek touching the baby's head as she slept.
"You had a safe drive?" Elizabeth asked as Hawkeye sat down on the couch opposite of her.
"Roads were a bit slick coming out of Maine," Hawkeye replied with a smile. "Where is Victoria?"
"Say Hello sweetheart," Charles prompted the young child who was looking at him from her hiding spot behind the chair.
"Hello," Victoria said softly, waving her hand. Not much older than Laura, Hawkeye smiled, and squatted down.
"Hello there," Hawkeye greeted softly. "Do you remember me?" Victoria shook her head no before looking at her father.
"Did you need anything love?" Daniel asked as he walked into the bathroom where Margaret just finished giving the girls their bath.
"Actually if you could get Laura ready, that would be a great help. Dianna will be wanting to eat soon."
"Of course," Daniel smiled as he took the towel wrapped toddler into his arms. "Whatcha say peanut, should we see if Grampy can braid your hair?" In truth since all he had was granddaughters, he'd become quite adept at braiding hair. Since the arrival of Dianna at the beginning of the year he had been getting Daisy ready for Nursery school in the mornings, which meant a lot of braids and ribbons.
Margaret chuckled as she handed Daisy a towel from her space in the bathtub.
"Thank you," Daisy replied. "Mommy?"
"Grampy can read to Laura," the almost four year old declared.
"What book are we starting tonight?" Margaret chuckled as she placed a towel on Daisy's blonde curls.
"Charlotte Web," Daisy nodded as she walked out of the bathroom. Margaret shook her head, and followed Daisy. They had turned Hawkeye's office into a bedroom, so they could split the three girls up. Dianna rarely slept, Laura could sleep through a hurricane, and Daisy would wake up if someone moved in her room. It ended up being a great decision splitting the girls up into their own rooms.
"Charlotte's web, we can do that," Margaret smiled as they walked into Daisy's room. At that moment Dianna's wails echoed through the house. Margaret sighed as she looked at her eldest. "Pajamas. Mommy will be right back, she's just going to check on Dianna."
Daisy nodded with a yawn, as Margaret moved across the hallway. Opening the door the screaming was as loud as she anticipated. "Oh sweetheart," Margaret whispered as she picked up the baby. The little girl was burning up again, and Margaret placed her lips to her forehead.
"Daniel!" She yelled as she laid Dianna on the chang table and started to remove the baby's clothes. "Daniel!"
"What's the matter?" Daniel asked as he rushed into the room. "What's going on?"
"She's burning up," Margaret replied almost in a panic. Daniel moves and scooped the baby into his arms.
"Call Chris. Tell him I want a 1.5 ml of ibuprofen, saline, sedative, and a flush. We'll be in the bathroom." Daniel moved quickly out of the bedroom and went to cook the baby down.
Margaret's heart was racing as she picked up the phone and shaking, dialed the number to Chris. You could get anywhere in Crabapple cove by car in 20 minutes, and he didn't live that far from them or the clinic.
Margaret hung up the phone and looked at Daisy who was standing in her door staring at her mother.
"Let's go to bed darling."
"Dianna is sick, but Grampa is taking care of her," Margaret tried to fake a smile. "Come sweetheart, let's get you to bed."
A half hour later and the other two girls down, Margaret walked into her bedroom where Daniel and Chris were. They had an IV in Dianna as she slept in just her diaper. There was a basin of cool water beside her bed, and Chris was softly wiping her body down.
"We have her sleeping, and trying to get the fever down. She's fighting something, it's rare but I think she has her first case of tonsillitis. This little girl is a fighter," Chris explained. "I'd like to stay here, keep an eye on her tonight. If it's what I think it is, we should be able to bring down the fever soon, and keep her mildly sedative so she can fight the infection."
Margaret stood and nodded. "I should call Ben."
"Probably wise. Can you call my wife and tell her I'll be here? I don't want to worry her in her condition." Chris' wife, Patty, was around seven months pregnant with their first child, and like any first time mother was mildly panicked about the whole situation.
"Of course. She's okay?"
"She will be," Daniel smiled softly. "Call your husband love."
By the next morning Hawkeye had driven back home and had burst through the door. He was sleeping next to Dianna in their bed, while Chris slept in the rocking chair. Margaret has crawled into bed with Daisy.
Dianna started to whimper as she woke up, causing Hawkeye to open his eyes. "Good morning pumpkin," he whispered touching her forehead. Already not as hot as she was when he gotten in, the little girl looked at her father. "You know you have the best luck in this whole world. I know it doesn't feel like that," he started as he moved to lay her on his bare chest. Careful of her IV, he started to stroke her back. "But we'll figure out what's wrong. Don't you worry. Uncle Charles is driving in today to look at you too."
Three doctors and a nurse and none had ever seen such a sick little girl. As long as she was sleeping and breathing her body would start fighting whatever infection she had. He was sure Chris was right, her first ear infection followed by a respiratory infection, it made sense her tonsils took the infection.
He knew there wasn't a lot he could do, but keep her cool and comfortable.