Chapter 8 ~ Another Lesson Learned

It was Tuesday morning, the day after Memorial Day, when Abby was sitting under the kitchen table, waiting for Annie to come back from the laundry room. "Boo!" She yelled as soon as she saw her.

"Boo!" Simon repeated as he followed Abby, who was crawling around the kitchen table and giggling.

"You two are silly." Annie smiled as she walked over and helped Abby and Simon off the floor. "Do you want some French Toast for breakfast?"

Abby smiled as she climbed the stool to sit at the Island. "Yeah! Can, I please snack on some Froot Loops while you make it?"

"Yes, you can, Honey." Annie said as she walked over the cupboard. "But don't eat too many, okay?"

Abby smiled. "Okay."

As soon as Annie handed Abby the box of cereal, she dumped some on the counter and started separating the colors and lining them up.

"What are you doing?" Matt asked as he walked passed Abby.

Abby giggled. "I'm eating the yellow and orange ones last."

"Oh." Matt said as he picked up his school bag and waited for Eric, Mary and Lucy.

As soon as Eric, Mary and Lucy came down the stairs, Annie hugged and kissed everyone as they walked out the door.

"See you later!" Abby yelled as she waved her hands.

"See you later, Abby!" Eric yelled before Annie shut the door.

Abby smiled when she saw Jenny walk in the room. "Auntie Annie is making French Toast."

"Wow, that sounds yummy." Jenny replied.

"We need to get groceries and a few other things today." Annie said as she took the eggs out of the refrigerator. "Do you want to come?"

Abby smiled. "I do, I do!"

"I know you do, Sweet Baby. I was asking Grandma if she wants to come with us." Annie said as she continued getting things ready to make the French Toast.

"Sure, I'd love to." Jenny replied.

"Is Simon going, too?" Abby asked.

"No, I think he's staying here, with Grandpa." Jenny said.

"Oh." Abby said as she continued to separate the colors of the Froot Loops. "Are you going to tell him we're going to the store?"

"Yeah, we will, Honey." Annie said as she put a slice of bread in the frying pan.

"How many more days, until we go to Michigan?" Abby asked.

Annie smiled as she took Abby's Care Bears plate out of the cupboard. "Eight, Sweetie. We leave on Wednesday of next week, after your cousins get out of school."

"Oh." Abby said. "Can I please, have some orange juice?"

Annie poured some orange juice into Abby's Care Bears cup, and then put butter and syrup on her French Toast, before cutting it up and setting the plate down in front of her. "The sausage will be done in a few minutes, Honey."

Abby smiled. "YES! Thank you, Auntie Annie."

Annie smiled back. "You're welcome, Sweetheart. When we're done eating, we have to get ready to go to the store, okay?"

"Okay. Isn't it funny how I used to call this Fried Bread?" Abby giggled as she pointed at her French Toast.

Annie laughed as she hugged Abby and then kissed her on the head. "Yes, I remember that, Honey. You were a silly girl; you still are."

Abby giggled as she hugged Annie. "I love you, Auntie Annie."

"I love you, too, Sweet Baby." Annie said, before giving her another kiss on the head. "I think the sausage is done, now."

Abby smiled. "YES! I can't wait to have some."

"Here it comes." Annie smiled as she brought the pan over to Abby. "How many do you want?"

"Three." Abby smiled as she held up her napkin. "When we go shopping, can I please bring Teddy Baby?" Teddy Baby is the stuffed bear that Auntie Annie bought for her, right before she was born.

"Yes, you can, Honey, but he can't come in the stores, okay?" Annie said as she put the sausage links on the napkin for Abby.

"Okay. I'll hide him when we go in, so no one will kidnap him." Abby said, before taking another bite of her French Toast.

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie said as she put the rest of the sausage links on her plate.

After they were done eating and the kitchen was cleaned up, they went upstairs to finish getting ready, before telling Eric and Charles where they were going.

"I'll race you to the car!" Abby giggled as she ran ahead of Annie and Jenny.

"Be careful, Honey." Annie said as her and Jenny followed Abby over to the car. "I don't want you to fall and get hurt."

Abby continued to giggle as she ran up to the car and started jumping up and down. "I WON! I WON!"

As soon as Annie started the car, Abby started giggling and dancing to the radio, as she sat in the back seat. "Come on, Teddy Baby, you have to get your seat belt on." She said as they pulled out of the driveway.

After going to a few stores, they noticed it was almost time for lunch, as they pulled into the grocery store parking lot.

"I'm almost hungry." Abby announced as they walked across the parking lot, into the store. "Can I please, ride in the back of the cart, again, like I did last time?"

"Yes, you can, Sweetie." Annie said as she picked Abby up and put her in the cart.

Abby giggled as Annie pushed the cart, down the first isle. "This is fun!"

Annie smiled as she kissed Abby on the head, before putting some cans of soup in the cart. "I'm glad you're having a good time, Sweet Baby."

When they got to the cookie isle, Abby smiled as she pointed to the boxes of individually wrapped Twix Candy Bars. "Can we please buy some of those?"

"Twix?" Jenny asked.

"Yeah!" Abby said as she continued to smile.

Annie knew how much Abby liked Carmel Twix, so she took a couple boxes off the shelf and put them in cart. "Here, Sweetie, these will last awhile."

"Okay! Thanks! Now, we have Twix, spaghetti O's with meatballs, Ravioli and green Hi~C Punch in a can ~ and other stuff." Abby giggled as she pointed to all the rest of the stuff that was in the cart.

Annie smiled as she put a few cans of Tuna in the cart and then continued up and down each isle until they were done.

"I'm SO hungry, I could eat this whole store." Abby giggled as she watched them put their groceries into plastic bags. "Auntie Annie, what are we having for lunch?"

"Do you want some Tomato soup and a Tuna Melt, Honey?" Annie asked as she lifted Abby out of the cart and hugged her.

Abby smiled as she hugged Annie. "Yeah!"

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie said as she continued to hold Abby.

"Is he going to carry our stuff out to the car for us?" Abby asked as she watched them put the last bag of groceries back into the cart.

"He's going to push the cart out to our car and then put the bags in the trunk for us." Annie replied, before kissing Abby on the head.

"That's even better." Abby giggled. "I think he would drop them if he tried to carry that many by himself."

"Yeah, you're right, Honey, he probably would." Annie said as she followed everyone out to the car, still carrying Abby.

"I hope he can fit all of our food in the trunk." Abby said as she watched Grandma Jenny help him unload the bags from the cart.

"Oh, it's okay, Sweetie. Our trunk is big enough." Annie said as she unlocked the door.

"Oh." Abby said as Annie kissed her on the head, before putting her back down in the car. She picked up her stuffed bear, as she sat down. "I hope you were good while I was in the store."

"Was Teddy Baby, good, Honey?" Annie asked as she sat down to start the car.

Abby giggled. "I don't know. I think I just woke him up and the baby sitter ran away when she saw us coming. Are we going home, now?"

"Yes, we are, Sweetheart ~ as soon as they get done putting the groceries in the car." Annie replied as she turned on the radio for Abby.

"YES!" Abby continued to giggle as she held up her bear. "Look, Auntie Annie, Teddy Baby is dancing!"

Annie turned around and smiled before kissing Abby on the head.

"Will you please come back here and sit with me?" Abby asked.

Annie looked out the window as she saw her Mom close the trunk. "Actually, Grandma's coming, Sweetie ~ it's time to go home, now."

"YES!" Abby smiled as she sat back down in the seat.

After Jenny shut her door and everyone had their seat belts on, Annie pulled out of the parking lot.

"We're going home to eat!" Abby announced as they turned onto the road.

After they were home and the groceries were put away, Annie started to make the soup and sandwiches.

"Auntie Annie, can we please listen to Walkin' On Sunshine while the food is cooking?" Abby asked as she sat down at the Island. "I LOVE that song."

"Yes, we can, Sweetheart." Annie replied as she got out a large can of Tomato soup. "I'll put it on after I get the soup and sandwiches started."

Abby smiled. "Okay! Can I please have some paper to draw pictures?"

"Yes, you can, Honey. There's some in Uncle Eric's office." Annie replied as she left the room.

"Okay." Abby said.

"Here, Sweetie." Annie said as she came back with a few sheets of paper and a pencil. "We have some colored pencils, too."

Abby smiled. "I LOVE colored pencils!"

"I know you do, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head, before continuing to make their lunches.

After Annie got the soup and sandwiches going, she turned on the tape for Abby before picking her up.

Abby giggled as they danced to the music. "THIS IS FUN!"

In the middle of the song, Annie turned the sandwiches over so they would get brown on the other side, and then stirred the soup as they continued to dance.

"We're dancing, everyone!" Abby announced as Eric walked in with Charles, Jenny, Lucy and Simon behind him.

"Don't burn your food." Eric replied as he looked over at the Tuna Melts.

"Auntie Annie will make sure we don't." Abby said as they continued to dance. "She knows I don't like burnt food."

When the song was over, Annie put Abby back down on the stool by the Island before getting out some plates and bowls.

"That was fun!" Abby said, out of breath. "Is the food ready?"

"Almost." Annie smiled as she sat a bowl, plate and cup down in front of Abby. "Do you want some of your green punch?"

Abby smiled. "Yeah."

"Okay, Honey." Annie said as she punched a couple holes on top of the large can, before pouring some into Abby's favorite Care Bears cup. "Here, Sweetie."

Abby was still smiling. "Thank you, Auntie Annie. Is Uncle Eric, Grandpa, Lucy and Simon eating with us, too?"

Annie smiled as she put some soup in Abby's bowl. "They can, if they want."

"Did you eat lunch, while we were gone?" Abby asked them before taking a drink of her punch.

"No. We don't get lunch at school yet, but the older kids do." Lucy replied.

"Why don't you get lunch at school?" Abby asked.

"Lucy is in kindergarten so she only stays there for part of the day." Annie said as she took a few more slices of cheese from the refrigerator. "Do you want some Tomato soup and a sandwich?"

Lucy smiled. "I do!"

"Me, too!" Simon said.

"Is my sandwich done?" Abby asked.

"Yes, it is, Sweetheart." Annie replied as she cut the sandwich in quarters before taking it over to her.

Abby smiled. "Thank you, Auntie Annie."

"You're welcome, Sweet Baby." Annie replied as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head, before making more sandwiches.

"Are those you and Grandma's sandwiches?" Abby asked as she watched Annie put them on plates.

"They were, Honey, but I'm going to let Simon and Lucy have them." Annie replied as she cut the sandwiches in quarters.

"What are you and Grandma going to eat?" Abby said, before taking a bite of her sandwich.

Annie smiled as she walked past Abby with the sandwiches. "I'm going to make more."

"Oh." Abby said as she continued eating.

"Is it okay if they have some of your punch, Sweetie?" Annie asked as she sat the two plates down in front of Lucy and Simon.

"Okay." Abby replied as she continued eating. "Just don't drink all of it."

Annie smiled as she poured some punch into small cups. "They won't, Honey."

"Okay. Can I please, have some more?" Abby asked as she held up her empty cup.

After everyone ate their lunch, Abby played Nintendo while Annie and Jenny watched her and folded some more clean clothes.

"Mom, can we go roller skating, today?" Mary asked as soon as she came home from school.

"Do you or Matt have any homework?" Annie replied as she continued folding the clothes.

"No." Mary answered as she sat down next to Jenny.

"I don't have any, either!" Matt said, as he walked upstairs to his room.

"Are we going skating?" Abby asked as she put her game on pause.

"Yes, we are, Sweetheart ~ after Grandma and I finish the laundry." Annie replied.

"I don't have any skates and I can't skate good." Abby said as she unpaused her game and continued playing.

"It's okay, Sweet Baby ~ I'll pay for you to rent some skates and hold your hand, so you don't fall down." Annie said as she kissed Abby on the head.

"Okay." Abby said, nervously. "Should I keep playing or are we going to leave soon?"

Annie smiled. "You can play for a few more minutes, Honey."

"Okay." Abby said as she passed another level of Super Mario. "Is Uncle Eric, Grandpa and Grandma coming, too?"

"I think Uncle Eric has some church work to do, but Grandpa and Grandma will probably come with us." Annie replied as she folded another pair of Abby's pajamas.

"Are you coming skating with us, Grandma?" Mary asked.

Jenny smiled. "Yes, Honey."

"Is Simon and Lucy coming, too?" Abby asked.

Annie smiled as she folded a pair of Abby's clean shorts. "Yes, they are, Sweetheart."

After all the clean clothes were folded and put away, Abby turned her game off. "Is he coming with us?" She asked when she saw Annie coming out of Eric's office.

"No, Honey, he's going to meet us there later." Annie replied as she picked up her keys.

"Oh." Abby said as they followed Charles, Jenny, Matt, Mary, Lucy and Simon out to the driveway. "Are we all riding in the same car?"

Annie smiled as she opened the car door for Abby. "No, Sweetie, Grandpa and Grandma are taking your cousins and they're going to meet us there."

"Oh." Abby said as she sat down in the seat. "Can I please listen to the radio on the way there?"

"Yes, you can, Sweetheart." Annie replied as she helped Abby put her seat belt on.

After everyone paid their way in and had their skates, Annie helped Abby, Lucy and Simon. "Does Abby know how to tie her shoes?" Mary asked as she watched her Mom and cousin from across the room.

"Not yet, Honey." Jenny replied as she sat down next to Mary. "Things that come easy for us, are hard for Abby, so it takes her longer to learn them."

"Isn't her school helping her with her motor skills?" Charles asked.

"I'm not sure. Annie or John will probably know." Jenny replied as she watched Matt and Mary skate away and join everyone else who was already out on the floor.

"Auntie Annie, I can't stand up very good." Abby said after everyone had their skates on.

"Here, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she held out her hand.

Annie, Abby and Lucy went out onto the floor, while Simon stayed on the carpet where Charles and Jenny were sitting and watching him.

"Ouch!" Abby said, after getting a static shock off something she touched while sliding her hand on the wall. "I wish this wall wouldn't shock me."

"I know, Sweetheart." Annie said as she continued to hold Abby and Lucy's hands.

After falling down a few times Abby fell down again, hitting her head and her knees. "I don't want to skate anymore." She said, frustrated, as she started to cry.

"Okay, Baby Girl." Annie replied as she helped Abby up and led her away from the other people.

"My head hurts and my knee hurts." Abby said as she continued to cry, while hugging Annie.

"I know, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she held Abby and kissed her on the head. "Let's take our skates off."

"Okay." Abby said as she rubbed her eyes. "Where did Lucy go?"

"It's okay, Baby, she's over by Grandpa, Grandma and Simon." Annie replied after looking around the room.

"Oh." Abby said as she watched Annie untie the laces on her skates. "Are you going to take your skates off, too?"

Annie smiled. "Yes, I am, Sweetheart. Do you want some Nachos?"

"Yeah." Abby replied. "I wish I could skate so I don't have to fall down."

"Maybe you can try again." Annie replied as she helped Abby put her shoes back on. "I'll bring you back here when there aren't so many people, okay, Sweet Baby?"

"Okay." Abby said, not sure if she wanted to go skating, again.

After Annie finished helping Abby, she took her own skates off before returning the ones Abby was wearing. "Let's get some Nachos, now. Grandma is going to meet us in the snack bar." She said, after everything was put away.

"I don't know if I can walk yet. My legs still hurt." Abby said, as she was a little shaky, trying to stand up.

"Okay." Annie replied as she picked Abby up.

"Hey, there's Uncle Eric." Abby said, as Annie carried her into the snack bar.

"Are you done skating, already?" Eric asked.

"No, just us." Annie replied as she put Abby down on the seat, before sitting down next to her. "Matt and Mary are still out there somewhere."

"I got hurt." Abby said as she showed Eric the bruises on her knees. "Auntie Annie is going to order some Nachos."

"I'm going to see if I can find our children, but I can order the Nachos for you first." Eric offered.

"Okay. Thanks, Honey." Annie said as she helped Abby onto her lap. "Lucy and Simon are with my Mom and Dad."

"I don't think I want to skate again on any day." Abby said as she hugged Annie.

"It's okay, Sweet Baby ~ you don't have to." Annie replied as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head.

Abby smiled. "Okay. Did Uncle Eric tell them we want Nachos?"

"Yes, he did Sweetheart." Annie replied as she continued to hold Abby.

"Did he remember something for us to drink?" Abby asked.

"I don't know, Honey." Annie said, as she watched Eric move to the front of the line. "We'll ask him when he comes back."

"Okay." Abby said. "Grandma's coming."

"Okay." Annie said, after kissing Abby on the head.

Abby smiled as Jenny sat down. "Uncle Eric is ordering Nachos for us."

Jenny smiled. "Yum, I love Nachos."

"Baby Girl, do your legs still hurt?" Annie asked as she looked down at the bruises on Abby's knees.

"Yeah." Abby replied. "I would ask you if I can play Pac Man, but my legs hurt too much to stand up."

"Oh." Annie replied, as she rubbed Abby's legs to make them feel better.

"Grandma, I fell and bumped my head and my legs got hurt, too." Abby told Jenny.

When the skating session was over, Abby's legs were still hurting as Annie carried her out to the parking lot.

"Is Uncle Eric going to drive home by himself?" Abby asked as she watched everyone walk out to their cars.

Annie smiled as she helped Abby with her seat belt. "Yes, he is, Sweetheart."

After everyone was back at the house, Abby played Nintendo while Annie started dinner.

"Hey, Abby." Matt said as he walked into the room.

"Please don't tickle me again." Abby said as she put her game on pause.

Matt smiled. "Don't worry, I didn't come in here to tickle you."

"Oh." Abby said.

"Did you know that you're not coming to Michigan with us?" Matt said, not knowing that Abby wouldn't be able to tell he was joking. "We're dropping you off at home on the way there."

Abby started to cry as she ran into the kitchen. "Auntie Annie!"

"What's wrong, Baby Girl?" Annie said as she opened a box of macaroni.

"Matt said I can't go to Michigan and that you're taking me to my house on the way there." Abby said as she continued to cry. "I don't want to go home, I want to stay with you."

"You're still coming with us, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she picked Abby up and kissed her on the head.

"I was just joking." Matt said as he ran into the kitchen.

"Why would you joke about that?" Abby asked, confused and still crying as she hugged Annie.

"Matt, I would like to have a talk with you about some things before you go to sleep tonight, okay?" Annie said as she continued to hold Abby.

"Am I in trouble?" Matt asked.

"No, Honey, we just need to talk." Annie replied.

"Okay." Matt said. "I wasn't trying to be mean or anything, I thought she knew so I was trying to make her laugh."

"I know you were, Sweetie. I'll explain it tonight, before you go to sleep." Annie said.

"Okay." Matt said as he left the room.

"I think I'll stay out here with you. Can I please sit on the counter again?" Abby asked.

"Okay, Sweet Baby." Annie said as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head, before putting her down on the stool.

Abby smiled as she hugged Annie. "Can I please, have some cheese and crackers? I really like those."

"Here, Sweetheart." Annie smiled as she handed Abby another pack of cheese and crackers from the cupboard.

Abby ate her cheese and crackers as she drew pictures with colored pencils while Annie continued to make dinner.

After everything was cooked, Annie combined the hamburger and macaroni and then added the canned tomatoes.

Abby smiled as she continued drawing. "I'm making this one for you, Auntie Annie."

"Oh, thank you, Sweet Baby. That is so nice of you." Annie replied as she kissed Abby on the head.

After everyone had dinner and Abby was in bed, Annie left the room to talk with Matt. "Are you ready for bed, so we can talk?"

"Is it about Abby?" Matt asked as he sat down on the edge of his bed.

"Yes, it is." Annie replied as she sat down next to Matt. "Abby can't read people, so she can't tell the difference between joking and serious. She was really upset when she thought we were leaving her off at home on the way to Michigan next week."

"Oh." Matt said. "Can I tell her some jokes ~ as long as I tell her they're jokes before I tell them?"

Annie smiled. "Yes, Honey, I think that's a good idea. Just make sure you tell her first."

"Okay." Matt said. "Is that all you wanted to talk about?"

"Yes." Annie replied as she hugged Matt. "Goodnight, Honey."

"Goodnight, Mom." Matt said.

Annie smiled as she turned off the light and left the room, before checking on Mary and Lucy.

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Chapter 9

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