She could almost feel Wallace glowering at her as he walked to the nursery. Quietly, he spoke to Hazel and brought her to the kitchen for a bottle. Saving her brief, she stood up and watched him. "Wallace, really, I was just about to..."
Wallace just held up a hand requesting silence. "Kirsten. I've been trying to be patient with you. But, something has to give. For Gods sake, do I need to hire a nanny to be here while I'm away because that little girl's own mother cannot lift a finger to take care of her?!" Wallace's voice grew louder, ending with a bellow. Hearing the yelling, Hazel began wailing. Fixing her with one last glance, Wallace turned around and picked up Hazel to soothe her. "I'm sorry I yelled, little lady."
Kirsten felt dismissed and flounced to the room to lay down. Really she was just hiding from Wallace. How could he think she was such a disappointment? She'd never asked to be judged on the merits of motherhood! She wanted to be a success in the legal field! Laying down on the bed, she hid her face in the pillow and cried.
"Just give it a chance, Kirsten. If you look at it as a challenge to meet, I'm sure you'll do fantastic."
Kirsten had sniffled. "But you think I'm a failure. You want to hire a nanny."
Wallace had stroked her hair. "I do want to hire a nanny. But that's only if you don't give it a chance. Spend some time with Hazel. Play with her. You'll love her!"
"No. She doesn't need advanced pre-school. Let's just let her enjoy being a child. She'll only have her childhood once and then it will be gone forever." Wallace looked sad as he said that. Kirsten wasn't sure, but she felt as though he was trying to tell her something.
Kirsten glanced up from the newspaper and checked her watch. "Hazel. You were supposed to be in bed 30 minutes ago. Go lay down and go to sleep," Kirsten said sternly.
"But Walter keeps crying and waking me up," Hazel whined.
Frustrated, Kirsten snapped, "Deal with it! Go to bed!"
A little while later, Kirsten put the paper aside and heard sounds coming from the bedroom. Wallace was sitting with Walter in his lap next to Hazel's bed reading them a story.
Exasperated, Kirsten snapped, "Wallace. It's past their bedtime! They're never going to listen to me if you won't back me up!"
Wallace had looked up sadly and handed Walter to her and tucked Hazel in. "Good night, little lady," he said softly.