“My birthday is now?”
Bilbo smiled at the sweet sound of his little granddaughter’s voice.
“Yes, Ellie, your birthday is today.” He confirmed for the now two year old, who still seemed very confused by the entire concept of how it was that she shared her birthday with two other people.
“But Grampy! Today is Dada’s birthday!” Elanor insisted, as it was the honest truth.
“Yes, love.” Bilbo nodded his head while he worked at frosting a large seven layered birthday cake for himself, Frodo, and Elanor to share after dinner. “And my birthday as well.”
“But whyyyyy?” Elanor asked, her mouth full of the muffin she’d been eating for breakfast.
“Well because that’s how things turned out.” Bilbo answered her, turning his head to give her a bit of a stern look. “Now what have I said about chewing your food properly before you talk?”
“Let her be, Giveshal.” Thorin told his husband as he entered the little kitchen, holding little Frodo II on his hip as the baby chewed on a cold, damp rag to soothe his painful gums. He was teething, and quite fussy.
“Don’t contradict me, Thorin Oakenshield.” Bilbo scolded the Dwarf King as he went back to work on the cake. “She could choke trying to talk with her mouth full.”
“I think she’ll be fine.” Thorin smiled at his granddaughter, picking her up as well and holding her on his other hip as she giggled and squealed with delight.
“Poppy! It’s my birthday today!” Elanor exclaimed excitedly to Thorin, who nodded with a soft, adoring smile.
“Yes, I know.” He assured her. “You’re two now, aye? Growing up far too quickly for my liking.”
Little Frodo whimpered and squirmed in his grandfather’s arms then and Elanor reached out to gently stroke the soft dark curls on his little head.
“Bubby no, don’t be sad.” She told the baby.
“Is that my little Frodo I hear cryin’?.”
Elanor gasped excitedly and jumped from Thorin’s arms when she heard old Gaffer Gamgee’s voice.
“Grandpa! Grandpa!” She cried with joy, hugging the old hobbit tightly when he entered the kitchen.
“Oh now here’s a pretty little lass!” Old Hamfast chuckled, lifting Elanor up and twirling her around once before kissing her chubby little cheek.
“Oh Ham! That’s no fair!” Bell Gamgee insisted, reaching out her arms for little girl. “Let her come an’ give Nana a big hug as well.”
Elanor laughed and reached out to her grandmother, allowing Bell to lift her right out of Hamfast’s arms and squeeze her tight in her own.
“Oh how you’ve grown!” The hobbit woman cooed to her granddaughter, peppering little kisses all over her little cheeks, nose, and forehead.
“Come here, lad. Come to Grandpa Ham.” The Gaffer smiled as he then reached to take little Frodo from Thorin. “Yer gonna be as tall as this fella one day, I swear it.” He chuckled and nodded in greeting to Thorin once the dwarf handed his little grandson over.
“Happy Birthday, Bilbo.” Bell said sweetly to the busy hobbit as she held Elanor tight in her arms still. “Is that the cake yer makin’? I do hope it’s big enough fer everyone.”
“It will be.” Bilbo promised with a soft smile, leaning slightly to kiss Bell’s cheek. “Thank you for being here, dear.”
“Oh of course.” Bell replied, setting Elanor down on the counter then and turning a blind eye when the girl sampled some of the frosting on Bilbo’s cake. “We wouldn’t miss little Ellie’s special day for the world! Ham an’ I try as best we can to make it to all the grand babies birthdays.”
“Wish we had the same luck as you, Mister Bilbo.” The Gaffer admitted, gently bouncing baby Frodo. “Three birthdays at once would make things a fair sight easier.”
“I don’t know about that, Dad.” Sam’s interjected as he came through the front door with Frodo, carrying all of the bags of groceries they’d picked up at the market. “Three at once wouldn’t even make a dent in all the appearances yer ‘sposed to be makin’ year round.”
“Aye. We had a few more than we could handle, Bell.” The Gaffer said to his wife with a chuckle. “Now they’re all doin’ the same an’ we’re payin’ the price.”
“A price we don’t mind payin’ at all.” Bell assured everyone, stepping across the kitchen to kiss her son on the forehead and then do the same to Frodo. “Happy Birthday to you as well, lovely.”
“Ah, Yes, Thank you.” Frodo smiled in return.
“Dada! Papa!” Elanor called out to her parents. “Grampy made a cake! We’re having a party!”
Frodo came forward and picked his daughter up. “For your birthday, right?” He smiled at her. “And for mine and for Grampy’s.”
“A true spout a’ luck.” Sam said as he made his way to the pantry to put the food they’d bought away. “An odd enough chance fer you to be born on yer mum’s own birthday, love.”
“I’m aware.” Frodo agreed, placing one hand against his growing belly as he carried Elanor away from the cake so that she wouldn’t be tempted to swipe any more of the frosting. “And for Ellie to decide to make her own grand entrance on that very same day was never something I could have predicted.
“A fine way to spend your birthday, isn’t it Frodo?” Bilbo chuckled. “Trapped in the throes of childbirth.”
“I gained a great deal of respect for you that day, mother.” Frodo assured him.
“Good.” Bilbo nodded with a small smile. “Perhaps that’s why it was meant to happen that way.”