“When I first met him, he was everything I wanted to be,
but over time, he showed me how I wanted to be myself,
and that was how I fell in love with him.”
We know what we're doing.
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Ryan looked over as he felt the wetness on his shoulder. He took in a short breath and looked over, seeing the spit up from the baby. "Ahh.. okay no bouncing." he laughed a little. He moved around the living room slowly, listening to her suggestion to sing. Sing? He sucked at singing.. maybe humming? "Well, dad's not a great singer so maybe humming will help. You really won't be happy if I have to start singing." Ryan chuckled, thinking of something to hum at least. Settling on a song that came to mind, he started humming. He looked up as Autumn moved away from them and went back into the kitchen, continuing his path of circling around the living room trying to calm the baby down.
Once she seemed to settle, Ryan looked up towards Autumn as she mentioned the robot baby they had to take care of in high school. Damn, how did he forget about that one. "That's crazy, I forgot about that.. we rocked that." he laughed a little, still making his way around the living room. "I actually don't know how we managed to get a decent grade on that..and those nights we had to wake up so early.." he laughed, knowing that's exactly how their lives would be now. It was insane to think that they would be doing basically the exact same thing years later with each other with an actual baby. "It was lucky we got paired up together. I think I complained enough that I didn't want to be with Crystal Green that Mrs. Morris switched us. I couldn't imagine having to deal with a fake baby with her." he commented, remembering the times he and Autumn were nearly separated. "She knew we were trouble together because we wouldn't shut up in the back of the classroom. She tried to fight tooth and nail to keep us separated." Ryan smirked. Thank god their lives played out the way they did.
He often wondered how different their lives would be if they didn't become best friends so many years ago. Or if Ryan never came back for Christmas. He had put off seeing his family so many times, the night they reunited could have been another time where he just didn't come back out. He hated to think he was so close to missing the opportunity to be back with Autumn. They just fit together so well that any other way of life for Ryan didn't make sense to him.
Autumn was happy to see Ryan calm the baby down so easily. But her smile grew as he spoke about that high school project. God, she forgot about how insufferable they were in class together. The two of them were annoying in every class they took together, and would try and switch into classes just to be together. She even remembers watching Ryan talk to the teacher about switching partners. “Oh, and I was with Jake Simmons and I’m pretty sure he was late to class everyday because he was hooking up with someone before class.” she rolled her eyes. She was really lucky to have him.
Autumn smiled, walking over as she saw Hope who had now calmed down and was now already falling back asleep. She wished she could be asleep all hours of the day like Hope, but she knew this would be their norm. No sleep overnight but not able to sleep during the day either. Coffee would be her best friend, as she already was on her second cup. She took another sip, happy that it was working on keeping her awake. “I knew you could do it. We’re lucky she’s such a good baby, huh?” she smirked. She knew that the two of them would have been losing their minds if she had been a problem baby.
Autumn reached over, taking the little one into her arms. “Hate to do this, but I need my baby time too.” Autumn smiled, bringing her baby back over to the couch as Hope quickly fell asleep in her arms. She could believe she was here. She was so little, and she was already dreading the fact that she would have to grow up. She was only a couple of days old and she was already emotional about the girl growing up, she truly was a mom now. “I don’t want her to grow up. She’s so perfect now.” Autumn spoke, tears pooling in her eyes. She laughed at herself, pushing the tears away. “God I hate being so emotional.” she laughed, “This is gonna be you when she starts dating. We’ll be even then.” she teased Ryan, pulling the little one a bit closer to her, pressing a soft kiss to her little head.
Ryan smiled as he bounced Hope and listened to Autumn reminisce about their school days. Times were so much simpler back then, but then again he was pretty happy as to where their life was now. Back then he only talked about these moments but never expected them to actually happen.. not this soon. Even thoug the two of them could have planned their lives a little better, at least the two of them were slowly figuring it out. They were getting married, they had welcomed a little girl into their lives and so far things were going very well. He knew whatever happened, they would work it out. They loved each other too much not to work it out.
Ryan looked up as she commented on how well Hope was doing and her good behavior. He nodded in agreement as he looked down, moving around to keep Hope calm. “Thank god. I don't think we could handle anything else.” he laughed lightly. For their first baby, this was perfect. They already proved that stressful situations usually caused fights between them and he didn't want to have petty fights weighing their relationship down.
Once she grabbed Hope from him, he let out a soft sigh but figured it was a good opportunity to go change his shirt to something a little more dry. He moved to the bedroom, grabbing the bottom of his shirt and pulled it off of himself, changing into another one before moving back out to join the two of them. He sat down next to Autumn, bringing his feet up onto the coffee table and leaned back against the couch as Autumn took over. He turned his head to look at the two of them, his eyes watching Hope intently as he listened to Autumn speak. Catching a glimpse of her watery eyes, he stifled a little laugh and shook his head. “She's got a long while before she really grows up.” he assured Autumn. He felt the same way, surprisingly. He didn't want her to grow up. He wanted her to stay this small forever. As she mentioned dating, Ryan shook his head quickly. “Nope. She'll never date.” he muttered, crossing his arms over his chest. “Not while I'm alive.” Ryan smiled and leaned his head back slowly, staring down at Hope. “So, when do you think we can… get high again? I've got a joint that's just waiting to get smoked in the room" He grinned, his eyes trailing up towards Autumn's as he asked his question. He missed getting high with her. He knew their lives were changing and that was fine, but he did want a little of their old lives to stay the same.
It had been about a month and a half since Hope had come home, and it had been far from easy. Autumn was completely exhausted all hours of the day, as she tried to deal with Hope all night, as she knew Ryan would have to get up early and work all day. She took on all the household chores and cooking as well, as it made sense since she was home all day anyway. But she felt like she was trapped. She couldn’t take the little one anywhere since she was too small to be out and about with sick people, so she was trapped inside. Her and Ryan never were able to relax like they had when he had been home. And she was still partially breastfeeding, so she could smoke anything until the baby was completely on formula.
The brunette had finally gotten Hope down when she started on the dishes. She moved one dish, causing a huge crash and she immediately heard crying from the bedroom again. With a groan, she dropped the dishes and went back to Hope, picking her up and bouncing her slightly, hoping she could coax her back to sleep easily. She had not been the best sleeper lately, and the doctor had said it was normal. But it was driving Autumn crazy.
Autumn looked to the clock, knowing that Ryan would be home soon. Hopefully, he’d be able to take over the baby so she’d be able to get something done, as she was attending to Hope all day until now. Their laundry had piled up, and the dishes were still not done. She felt like something was wrong, and she didn’t know how to fix it. What she wanted more than anything was a drink.
Hearing the door open, Autumn rushed to Ryan. “I’m seriously going to lose my mind if I have to listen to her cry anymore. Can you try and get her to sleep? I need to shower and I wasn’t able to get anything done around here. I know you have work but they seriously couldn’t give you more time off!” Autumn spoke, rambling a bit. Her tone was not the nicest, but she had been stressed. Ryan and Autumn never talked about anything but the baby. They never could just relax together, especially because Autumn had no outlet. “There is just so much to fucking do and I can’t do it all.” she spoke, sitting herself on the couch and let her head fall into her hands. “How am I supposed to do all of this?! It’s like you don’t even care anymore!”
Even Autumn knew everything she was saying wasn’t true, but she was so overwhelmed she couldn’t think straight.
It took the couple a few weeks of raising Hope to realize this was much harder than they had realized. Even though the two were absolutely thrilled that they had their baby girl home, they had begun fighting on and off for the month and a half that she had arrived. The first couple of weeks were fine until Ryan had to go to work and Autumn had to tend to the house and the baby alone while he was gone. She started getting more and more frustrated which, in turn, frustrated Ryan. After a long day of working to try and keep bills and such in order, he was beginning to get tired and stressed out only to come home to Autumn nagging him about one thing or another. He knew it wasn't her fault, they were both exhausted and stressed, but he didn't handle the stress too well either. They'd often have hushed fights while Hope was sleeping or in another room.
Ryan was less than thrilled to have to go back to work but started worrying about how they were going to make payments, feed themselves and give Hope what she needed. He had no choice but to go back and sometimes did enjoy the time at work where he didn't listen to a screaming baby or an over reactive fiancee. He absolutely loved the two of them, but he did enjoy some time away. Oftentimes, he felt bad for Autumn for being stuck at home all day, but they had no choice.
Ryan had barely walked through the door or put his stuff down before Autumn had shoved Hope in his arms and started on him again. “What do you want from me, Autumn? Should I quit my job? You want to live in a cardboard box with a baby?” Ryan sighed heavily, moving around the living room with Hope to try and settle her down at least a little bit. His eyes narrowed on her as she kept going. “Oh, now I don't care? I work all fucking day to make sure we have a damn roof over our head but I don't care?!” Ryan raised his voice a bit as he spoke. He didn't mean to, but he was frustrated too. He knew the two shouldn't be fighting about any of this but he really couldn't help it. The frustration was scratching at him and their only way of settling it down seemed to be fighting lately. He knew it would be hard having a kid and the honeymoon phase of bringing Hope home had long passed.
Autumn lifted her head from her hands, looking Ryan straight in the eye as he snapped back at her. Sure, she had snapped at him first, but now he was yelling back at her when she was clearly upset. But also, she hated Hope watching them fight more than anything. She approached him, taking Hope from his arms as she just glared at him, walking back into the nursery and sitting down in the rocking chair she had. God, sometimes she wasn’t to strangle Ryan and other times she couldn't stand being away from him. They were basically still kids themselves, but they now had a kid to care for. This was making them grow up way too fast.
“Shhh baby. Shhhh.” Autumn whispered, rocking the chair back and forth, and thankfully, Hope had cried herself to the point of exhaustion, and fell asleep in Autumn’s arms. She sighed thankfully, before laying the baby down into her crib, grabbing the monitor and turning it on before heading out of the room to let the baby sleep.
“I didn’t say I wanted you to quit your job! I didn’t mean you don’t care…I’m just frustrated okay?! Hope doesn’t sleep through the night, so neither do I. Hope finally naps, and I end up falling asleep. The house is a mess because I’m a bad mom and can’t figure out how to do everything! And I feel like I can’t talk to you about it because you worked all day!” Autumn whispers, her voice still upset. Less angry now, more sadness in her voice.
“I feel like all we talk about is Hope or fighting. We don’t talk anymore. God, I want a drink!” Autumn ran a hand through her hair roughly, her voice still at a whisper to keep from waking Hope now that she was finally sleeping. Her eyes met Ryan’s as she realized it sounded like she was relapsing, and shook her head. “I’m not drinking…I promise…” she spoke, holding her hands up defensively. “Do you think I’m a bad mom?” Autumn asked, tears welling up in her eyes as she stared at him. “That we’re bad parents?”
Ryan's eyes followed Autumn as she scooped Hope up from him and walked off. He noted the glare she gave him and rolled his eyes. They were exhausted and overworked and trying to figure out the whole parent thing. It was a lot to deal with and the two fought more than anything lately. He ran his hand over his face and tried to relax his twisted nerves. He had a headache and his muscles hurt and all he wanted was a shower. However, the two needed to figure out how to mend things and keep each other's heads on straight. Raising a child was hard, especially when they were still so young. Ryan listened to Autumn and Hope in the other room and once Hope became quiet, he knew she'd be out to continue their not so friendly conversation.
Ryan looked up towards her when she emerged from the room. He listened intently as she started going off again and explaining what was happening with her. He let his eyes wander as she mentioned the house being a mess before his attention was focused back onto her as her voice became more sad than angry. She was doubting herself as a mother and he knew it was hurting her. He looked towards the ground, not wanting to see her upset even if the two were angry at each other. He hated when they fought but they couldn't help themselves. They were both so tired and lately it felt like all they did was argue.
Ryan stayed silent for a moment, lifting his eyes back up towards her as she mentioned wanting a drink. He opened his mouth to speak before she defensively confirmed that she wasn't relapsing. As she asked him if she was a bad mom or if they were bad parents, Ryan let out a slow, soft sigh. He was trying to find the right words to say to her. He never thought she was a bad mom and he would never think those thoughts. She couldn't do everything on her own and this learning curve of taking care of a baby and giving up their sleep and their lifestyles for this new human was tough on both of them. “You are not a bad mom.” he finally spoke, crossing his arms over his chest as he watched her teary eyes. “You're doing a million and one things all while trying to take care of a baby.. You're exhausted and overworked.” he exhaled, moving his hand up to his face to pinch the bridge of his nose. “We are still trying to figure things out. That doesn't make us bad parents..” he spoke softly as to not wake Hope up or upset Autumn further. He was worried if they didn't figure this out, their relationship was going to suffer more than it was already. He needed Autumn and Hope and he wasn't willing to let this whole thing crash and burn because they were panicking about raising a child. He dropped his hand from his face and moved towards her, grabbing her hand and slowly led her to the couch. They needed to sit and talk and he needed to get off of his feet for a moment. He sat down and turned his body slightly to face her. “I'm sorry I'm not here to help you. I know you're frustrated and tired but I don't want to hear you doubt yourself like this anymore. You know we will get the hang of this eventually. It's our first kid and we are both still young. We are going to be alright eventually. I doubted myself too in the beginning but she has everything she needs. We are not bad parents. We are just exhausted and trying to find a rhythm.”
Ryan ran his hand through his own hair before placing it on her leg lightly to comfort her. “I'm home now. Go and have a shower or a nap if you need to. I'll watch Hope and clean the house and make us something to eat because I doubt you've eaten an actual meal yet. I'll take care of everything here, just go and relax for a while. Once you feel better we can sit down and talk or watch a movie or something.” he shrugged. If Hope slept, they needed to get some quality time together without a fight breaking out between them.
Autumn did feel a bit better after getting all those feelings off her chest. She pushed the tears away as she heard Ryan speak. Looking up at him, it was nice for him to hear her say the things he was. He was telling her exactly how she felt, and just hearing him relate made her feel so much better. When he led her to the couch, she sat with him, his words making her tear up, but in a good way now. She nodded when he spoke about not doubting herself. He was right, the more she thought that way, the more it could make it become true. “You’re right. Thank you. I think I just needed to hear that. Let’s make it a point to say it to each other more often.”
Once his hand rested on her leg, Autumn put her own hand on top of his. Saying her would take care of everything and she could just relax for a little bit felt like a dream. “Really? Oh, man, thank you baby. And you are right, I haven’t eaten anything substantial today.” Autumn leaned over and pressed a kiss to his lips, pulling him into a hug. “Thank you so much.” she smiled, before she ran into the bathroom. She immediately turned on the shower, brushing out her hair that had been in a messy bun for two days or so. She took her time in the shower, doing her entire routine as she didn’t know when she’d have the time to do this again. After about 45 minutes in the shower, she felt 1000 times better already. She dressed comfortably, but cute, as she was starting to fit in some of the clothes from before again.
Autumn let herself brush her hair after the shower, do her skincare she hadn’t been able to do for a while and put her hair into a braid before taking a minute to sit on the bed. It had been a while since she had been able to sit and not worry about anything. Even when Hope napped, she was either watching her sleep or sleeping herself until she heard the baby cry for her. She basically couldn’t sleep for longer than two hours at a time at this point to let Hope feed. She could hear slight fussing from the monitor that Ryan was holding, so she ended up walking into the living area to join Ryan. “Is she okay, or does she need something?” Autumn asked, sitting on some of the bar stools in the kitchen area. “Thank you for helping. I really needed that.”
“How has work been? I know you do hard work there, I hope it’s been okay lately.” Autumn spoke, crossing her legs as she still stayed on the stool. This is one of the first moments she really felt relaxed since Ryan was home full time.
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