Hayley was right. Dad did fire Hettie…It was okay for the weekend but on Monday, after Dad left for the airport, Jeremy called me and Hayley into the conservatory.
“Your father is expecting your mother to take care of you girls and Gabriel from now on.”
“But…Mum can’t even look after herself most days!” Hayley exclaimed.
“Yes, I did try to talk sense to Jason however he has always been very strong willed and would not change his mind. He told me to pick up the slack if need be. However my arthritis is getting worse and soon I will barely be able to do the duties I have always done, I am not capable of effectively keeping up with a child who will soon be crawling and walking. Not to mention how your father is refusing to give me a raise for these additional duties.”
“What are we going to do?” I asked
“I have unfortunately had to come to the conclusion that you girls will have to take on the majority of Gabriel’s care. Between the three of us we will need to work out a schedule, during school hours I will take care of him, other times it will have to fall to one of you.” Jeremy concluded and Hayley just looked at me…I know she was blaming me…I was blaming me. This was all my fault.
“I will take on most of the care for Gabriel. I might not like you but you are younger than me and I should have the most responsibility. I’ll show you how to feed him, and change him on the floor. but other than that I’ll look after him.”
“I don’t mind doing more Hayley. Really I don’t.”
“You are just a kid Isabelle. You shouldn’t HAVE to do any of it. But it is your fault this is happening and I am trying my best to make it work.” Hayley then went into Gabriel’s nursery instead of her bedroom and just left me on the landing. She was right…If I hadn’t lied to my dad then she wouldn’t have to look after Gabriel.
Me, Hayley and Jeremy got into a good routine with Gabriel over the next few weeks. Hayley would look after him on the morning before school and leave him playing in his swing all fed and dressed and clean for Jeremy to take over.
Then after school I would wake him up from his nap, change his nappy and make him a bottle. Or if I was at speech therapy then Hayley would do all of it. Then after Gabriel finished his bottle either me or Hayley would play with him, reading to him or just playing with his toys with him.
Then Hayley would give him his baby food, bath him and then just spend “quiet time” with him before putting him to bed. It was a good routine and it worked…Gabriel was happy.
One day, I was just watching tv when Hayley shouted me from the garden. “Isabelle! Get out here! You gotta see this!”
Gabriel, very slowly was crawling through the grass. He only managed a few feet before his fell forward and began crying, Hayley immediately rushing to the rescue.
It might have been my fault that we have to look after Gabriel now…But if he is growing up properly, and even crawling…then we must be doing something right…right?