"Randa," Mandy Sachs-Priestly was enjoying Saturday lunch with her two moms.
"Yes, Dear Heart," Randa replied.
"Can I have a bunny?" she asked in her sweetest voice.
"Don't you think you have enough pets Miranda?"
"Don't be silly Randa, you can never have enough pets."
Miranda glanced over at her partner, Andrea, looking for guidance. All she got was a raised eyebrow, no help at all.
"Miranda, you already have trouble finding time to exercise and brush Versace. And when I walked past your room there was a definite odor that tells me Valentino needs his cage cleaned."
"But Randa, they have cute floppy ears and we can name him Hopway." She giggled at the play on words.
Miranda looked over at her partner pleadingly. Saying no to Miranda was something this mother hardly ever managed.
Andrea's reply was quick and decisive. "Emily was telling me that there was a spa she had heard of in Switzerland. She was sure I would enjoy two weeks of pampering."
Miranda gulped at her partner's response. After the hamster Andrea had decreed no more pets. The fact that she was the one that had bought the hamster had no baring on the decree. She also made it clear that Miranda had to be the bad guy. Andrea was very tired of being the one who always said no. She stated that if she had to enforce the ban she would then take a nice long vacation. She was not going to deal with the pouting.
Miranda looked back at her daughter "Dear Heart, I think that you have enough responsibilities for now. I heard you trying to get out of cleaning Prada's litter box last night. One more pet is too many." Miranda was quite proud of herself until her daughters lower lip started quivering.
"I'll take care of it Randa, I promise."
Once again Miranda looked at her lover with desperate eyes. Again Andrea's response was swift.
"I got a call from Hayley over at The Atlantic." Her bright smile clearly held a hidden threat. "She was looking for someone to write up a new cruse Company. You know how I have been thinking about an Alaskan cruse."
This was more then enough to strengthen Miranda's spine. "Miranda, Dear Heart, you have enough pets. There will be no more at this time."
"You are being mean" the child said with tears in her eyes. Then she pulled out the age old manipulations of children every where. "You don't love me, If you loved me you would get me a bunny." When there was no response she tried, "Rene got a bunny, her parents love her!" Still no response. Clearly frustrated with her mother's uncharacteristic stubbornness the child grabbed her plate and stormed from the room.
"Well, at least she put her dish in the kitchen, Not bad for a kid mid-tantrum." Miranda did not smile at Andrea's attempt at humor.
"She is upset and angry with me." Miranda spoke very stiffly to her lover. "Why can't she have a bunny? They live outside and are not too hard to maintain."
"Miranda, how did the twins turn out as nice as they did? You are incapable of saying no to Mandy, even with me here to support you. Did you ever say no to them."
"Of course I did." Andrea cocked her head in question. "You never saw an elephant at the town house did you? Caroline really wanted one."
Andrea's lips quirked as she tried not to smile. "Oh, good for you Miranda, you were able to say no to an elephant."
"I just don't see why she can't have a bunny. Pets are a good lesson in responsibility."
"Yes, they are and she does a good job for an eight-year old. However as you said Valentino's cage needs cleaning and I am the one who will stand over her while she does it. You heard her try to get out of the litter box cleaning, I am the one who enforces it."
Andrea got up and walked over to her lover. She wrapped her arms around the seated woman's shoulders. " As her school work gets more advanced she is not going to have the time to exercise Versace every day so we will have to pay someone else to do it. It's not just about withholding something she wants. It is about not letting her bite off more then she can chew."
Miranda nodded in agreement. "I know, you're right, there is only so much you can expect from a child her age."
"And," Andrea looked at Miranda sternly, "it's about you learning to say no and her learning to hear it."
"I will go talk to her Miranda said with a sigh." As she got up from the table Andrea pulled the older woman in for a kiss.
"Be brave darling." Miranda nodded. "And Miranda you will not take her to Disney World to make up for this." Miranda nodded. "And Miranda, that includes Disney Land." Miranda flushed clearly embarrassed as that is exactly what she was planning. "She will get nothing bigger then a hug to get over this. And that is a hug from you, not some teen heartthrob that she wants to meet."
"Fine Andrea, I get it, no special treat to make up for the disappointment." Miranda continued with frustrated look on her face. "Am I allowed to cheer her up at all?"
"I am sure you will think of something, just keep it simple, local, and it can't cost money." The two women locked eyes and Miranda nodded.
Thirty minuets later Mandy came down the stairs laughing. "Going to exercise Versace!" She gave her mother a quick kiss and headed out the door.
Miranda came down the stairs a more slowly looking a little dazed. Andrea closed her eyes. Oh god, what did she promise her. "Honey, Miranda, are you ok?"
Miranda looked up at Andrea and her eyes cleared. "Fine, fine, all is fine."
"Sweetheart, is there something you want to tell me? Mandy looked pretty happy when she left." Andrea gave her a kiss on the cheek. "What happened?"
Miranda shook her head as if to focus. "I told her she really hurt my feelings by judging my love for her by what I give her."
"Ok," Andy replied hesitantly.
"Then I told her you were really mean and I wanted a bunny too and we should hide all the chocolate in the house."
"Ha, Ha," then she said hesitantly, "you didn't right?"
"No, I didn't. She told me she was sorry that she hurt my feelings and she guessed if she was going to have to clean the cage she really didn't want a bunny anyway."
"See, she is a good kid Miranda. She is going to test you, but she gets over it pretty fast when you enforce the limits." She gave her lover another kiss on the cheek.
"So that's it? You didn't promise her anything."
"Well, I did tell her you and I would discuss something else she wants."
Andrea took a deep breath. "This is not just about bunnies Miranda. No more pets."
"Right," Miranda nodded but still looked a little hesitant."
"All right Miranda, what is it we are going to discuss?"
Miranda cleared her throat, took a deep breath and said, "A baby sister."