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Children are sponges

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SQW Day 3 “GRANDmothers”

          Nothing made Regina happier these days than spending time with her Grandbaby. “FFUU-OWIE!” and of course her big baby Emma Swan. All she was missing was her Little Prince though with a daughter of his own she supposes that he isn’t quite that little anymore. That particular thought always brings her to tears so she quickly tries to distract herself.

“What happened, Darling?”

“Got a da-ng splinter from the bench again.” Failing at hiding her amusement from Emma’s knowing gaze leads her to let a chuckle to escape. “It’s not funny. The kid barely talks as it is, why do I gotta censor myself?”

“Children her age are like sponges, they soak up everything as Henry and I have both told you repeatedly.”

“Yeah yeah, I know but still. Out of all the words we say what’s the likelihood of her picking up on the couple bad ones I happen to mutter?”

“Couple? Mutter? Dear, you swear like a sailor and it’s always ‘loud and proud’.”

“Damn straight!”

“Emma!”

“Sorry.” The brunette sighs knowing the blonde really was trying to curb her bad habit, having already caught her more than once catching and correcting herself when alone (or at least thought to be). Her phone begins to ring and she immediately knows it’s Henry, she’s nowhere near ready for their time with the baby to be over with but when her Little Prince was a baby she could never bear to part from him for long either.

She takes a deep breath and answers without even looking at the I.D. “Hello, Henry.” Out of the corner of her eye she sees Emma shake her head at her and turn to talk with their Little Princess. “We’re just about to grab some icecream,” somehow she manages not to laugh at how quick the blonde’s head whipped around to face her again at the mention of the frozen treat, “we’ll walk down to the pier to eat them so you can pick her up there if that’s no trouble.” At their son’s approval she gives her farewell and waits for him to hang-up first, just as she always has.

“I still have no idea how you do that.” Emma says, after they’ve picked themselves up and started to head over to get ice cream.

“Do what, Darling?”

“Always know when it’s Henry who’s calling you, it’s not like you have any specific ringtones. I’ve witnessed you back in your busy Madam Mayor days when you’d receive at least one call from just about everyone in town and still automatically know when it was him.”

“I don’t know how I know that it’s him. I can just feel it, it’s the same way with you too.” She was too proud to say out loud, that the feeling was of home and warmth but at her lover’s “Awwwe” she knew that she understood what wasn’t said. “I can also tell when it’s your mother as i’m immediately filled with dread,” she couldn’t help but smirk at Emma’s “that’s not funny” look, “it’s why I never answer when she calls.”

“Regina!”

 


 

 

          After they had gotten their ice cream they started towards the pier, walking and enjoying their treats. Regina with her small sized, vanilla and chocolate swirl, baby sized strawberry in a dish (“Babe, you know just cuz it’s fruit flavored doesn’t make it healthier, right?”) for their grandkid, and Emma with her extra large chocolate.

“Did you really need that much?”

“Are you calling me fat?”

“Absolutely not but I’m greatly implying that you still eat like a child.” As the blonde was about to banter back, she tripped and her dessert went flying.

“SHIT!”

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah just tripped.” The ex Sheriff’s lip wobbled, looking back and forth between her ruined ice cream and her girlfriend.

“We don’t have time to go back and get you another one.” Emma pouted at the news, and reached for Regina’s cone, “Absolutely not” the brunette jerked back to protect her treat.

“Buuuuuuuut Giiiinnnnaaaaa!”

“NO!”

Emma turned towards the toddler, “Your Nana is a big meanie. Tell her sharing is caring!” Regina rolled her eyes but couldn’t stop the affection she felt for her childish lover.  

“Shhh” came the noise from their Little Princess.

The brunette let out a chuckle, “See, Dear? Even she wants you to be quiet.”

“Shit!” Both adults froze where they were, hoping they heard wrong. “Shit!” A tiny giggle rang out. “Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!” The grandmothers grew incredibly pale as they couldn’t deny what they both heard repeatedly and clear as day.

“Regina, I’m so so-”

“Emma Swan I am going to kill you!”

“Shit!” Both women flinched at the expletive falling from the young girls’ mouth.

“I can fix this! No problem just gotta- Regina?” A choked sob sounded from the older woman. “Babe?”

“Shit!” The Queen couldn’t hold back her tears and began to cry as her breathing increased. Emma had learned how to help and support her lover during panic attacks she had over the years and thus grabbed onto her hands and began to breath deeply while maintaining eye contact. It took nearly ten minutes for Regina to calm her breathing as each “Shit!” knocked back her progress.

“What happened, Regina? I know it’s more than just her picking up on a swear.”

“What if he never lets us see her again?” She practically whispered her anguish.

“What?”

“Henry! What if he doesn’t let us see her because of this!”

“Shit!” both women winced.

“Uh one second.” Emma grabbed the purple sippy cup decorated with crowns, and handed it to the toddler in hopes of distracting her. The little girl took it and began happily drinking unaware of the situation and her grandmothers’ relief of her brief respite from the new addition to her vocabulary. “He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t be happy with me but he wouldn’t take her away just because of a silly mistake.”

“Silly? A silly mistake? What part of this is silly to you, Emma? Our Grandchild is on the path to delinquency and you call it ‘silly’!?”

“Sweetheart, I know you’re upset but I think that’s a bit extreme. She isn’t the first kid to pick up on a bad word and it won’t destroy her future.” The brunette took a deep breath to center herself.

“I know. I’m just so worried.” The savior cupped her girlfriend’s face, wiping the wetness away with her thumbs.

“About what?” The blonde whispered.

“Henry doesn’t need me anymore. He’s all grown up and has his own family now. He doesn’t need his mother.”

“Regina, he will always need you, that I know with all my heart. Just because he doesn’t need you to cook his meals, tuck him in, and kiss his booboos doesn’t mean he doesn’t need you. He will always love you, you will always be his mom and nothing can erase that.”

“Shit!”

“Though if it makes you feel better we can try to fix this?”

“How? Seems like she found her new favorite word.”

“We just gotta distract her and find a new word that she’ll take to and soon she’ll forget all about this one.”

“Shit!”

“Gods I hope you’re right.”

 


 

 

          The rest of the walk was filled with trepidation as they drew nearer to meeting up with their son to return his daughter. The ex mayor focusing on her breathing and her lover’s words of encouragement and love, while the younger woman focused on getting their granddaughter hooked on a new, “child friendly” word.

“Shit.”

“Well she doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about it as she was before so that’s something.” .

“Dear, this isn’t working. What are we gonna do?”

“The only thing we can do,” The blonde sighed out “tell him the truth.”

The last few minutes of their journey was a quiet affair other than the occasional “shit”. Looking ahead, they could make out their grown son’s profile even with his back turned to them as he overlooked the water and docks. To Regina, it felt as if she were walking towards her judgement day, the final deciding factor to see if the good she accomplished later in her life made up for the despicable acts she committed.

“Hey, Kid!” The young man turned around, a smile lighting up his face at the sight of his mothers’ and Little Princess.

“Hey, Ma! Hi, Mom!

“Hello, my Little Prince.”

“Watchya looking at, Kid?”

“Just admiring the water and the ships.”

“You’ve always loved looking at the ships.”

“Probably stemmed from my time aboard an actual pirate ship.” He chuckled.

“Ugh, don’t remind me, Kid.”

“Uh, Henry Dear there’s something that your mother and I would like to tell you.” The Queen figured it was best to just get it out of the way and have them tell him over hearing it from the source without any warning.

“What’s up, Mom?”

“Well you see, it’s a funny story actually.” Emma jumped in, seeing how it was her fault she should be the one to tell him.  

“Shhhhh” ‘Oh Gods no!’ Both Grandmother’s minds yelled out.

Henry knelt down next to his little girl. “What is it baby? You got something to say?”

“Uh, well Hen you see-”

“Ship!” Once more both women were frozen, holding their breaths and praying they heard correctly. “Ship!”

“That’s right, Princess!” Henry beamed as he lifted her up and settled her on his hip. “Those are ships!” He felt so proud of her as he pointed over to the boats.

“Ship! Ship! Ship! Ship!” Emma let out the breath she had been holding as Regina promptly fainted, luckily right into her Savior’s arms.

“MOM!?”

“She’s fine, Kid. It’s just been a terribly exciting day and I think it wore your mother down. Just give her a minute.” Picking her up bridal style, she carried her passed out girlfriend to a nearby bench as their son and granddaughter continued to look over at the boats and the sea. Soon enough the brunette opened her eyes and took a moment to gather herself.

“What happened?”

“You fainted.” At Regina’s confused look she elaborated, “The Little Princess switched up her favorite word just in the nick of time and I think you just got too overwhelmed. The brunette immediately relaxed and thanked the heavens for their luck.

“Emma.”

“Yeah?”

“If you ever cuss in front of her again, I’m gonna cut out your tongue.” Emma took a few moments to process the threat then nodded her head.

“That’s fair.”

 

BONUS:

A few days later, saw Regina and Henry preparing dinner as the toddler sat in her highchair and munched on some tiny pieces of watermelon. Working perfectly in sync, the two brunettes practically danced around the kitchen in their element, reminiscing over memories of cooking lessons. They were laughing over all the food he had managed to burn, when it happened. Watermelon falling to the floor as the little girl became too playful with her food.

Looking over the side of her chair she said the one thing Regina had hoped she’d never hear coming from her mouth ever again. “Shit!” The Grandmother’s mouth dropped open and became completely speechless as her eyes flickered between her son and grandbaby.

Henry’s cheeks turned pink as he took on a sheepish demeanor and started rubbing the back of his neck. “Oops?”

Flabbergasted over his lack of surprise and response had her unable to say anything other than repeat his last word. “Oops?”

“Uh yeah,” He let out a nervous chuckle “about a week ago I stubbed my toe. I guess some of Ma’s bad habit wore off on me as I accidently let loose the s-word. Little miss sponge over here” tickling the little girls feet had her giggling and helped him relax a little before continuing, “soaked it up and now won’t let it go. I don’t know what to do” his shoulder’s slump in resignation “Do you think- Does this make me a bad father?”

Seeing her little boy like this, stuck her to the core. How could her wonderfully perfect boy ever think he could even possibly be a bad parent? “Of course not, Little Prince!” She spoke vehemently. “She’s not the first child to pick up on a bad word. It’ll take time but she will forget it.”

“So, I’m really not a bad father for having this happen?”

“Not at all, after all it was just a silly little mistake.”

“Thanks, Mom” He smiled knowing his mother would always be there for him.

“So uh, Henry you said this happened last week?”

“Yeah.”

“Before your other mother and I last spent some time with her, when we went for that walk?”

“Uh..yeah, why?”

“No reason.” She said quickly and spun back around to continue working on dinner.