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Finding Hope – Chapter 3

          They were in the car not more than twenty minutes later.  Dani was sitting in the back with Emma just in case something happened.  Luckily, nothing did happen, and they got to the mall safely.  As soon as Kevin picked up Emma, she grasped onto him and didn’t want to let go.

          All three of them walked into the mall and first went and got shoes for little Emma.  “Yea we need some help determining a shoe size,” Dani said as Kevin sat Emma down on the stool.  A nice salesman came over with a shoe sizing chart.

          “What is your name?” the nice man in his thirties asked Emma.

          “Emma,” she said very quietly.

          “Well Emma let’s put your foot here and we will get your foot sized,” the nice man said as he took her foot and put it on the shoe sizing chart.  Emma of course started crying, but then Kevin sat down next to her and held her hand, he talked to her while the man was measuring her feet.

          “Daddy,” Emma said as tears were dripping down her face.

          “Yes, baby girl,” Kevin said. 

          “Let’s see your shoe size is between a 9 and a 9½, let me bring back some of both sizes for you,” the nice salesman said as he got up and went looking for shoes.

          “Emma what do you need,” Kevin said as Emma scurried into his lap and sobbed.

          “Scary,” Emma said as she continued to sob.  The nice man looked like one of the people that came to the dirty van and hurt her once.

          “Oh honey, shhh, it is okay, shhh,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back to get her calmed down.

          “Pee-pees,” Emma said as she squirmed in Kevin’s lap.  “Poops too,” Emma sniffled.

          “Dani, she has to go to the bathroom,” Kevin said as he stood up with her and handed her over to Dani so she could take her to the bathroom.

          They were the only ones in the bathroom so when they got there, they chose the biggest stall so that way Dani and Emma could get in there together.

          “Hurry, I poop they come outs,” Emma said as she stood there waiting for her mom to put down the toilet lid for her to sit on.

          “Hold this up for Mommy,” Dani said as she picked her up.  Right as she picked her up some poop started come out.  Dani got her over the toilet though before any could escape and fall on the floor though.

          “There you go Emma,” Dani said as the little girl started going to the bathroom.

          “I’m done Mommy,” Emma said after she was done.  “Did you go pee-pees Emma,” Dani asked her.  She didn’t want to have to take her to the potty again in five minutes if at all possible, she wanted her to go now.

          “No, I’m I suppose to goes pee-pees,” Emma asked.  She didn’t know why her mom had asked her that question.

          “Do you have to go pee-pees,” Dani asked the little girl who just nodded her head, “but they don’t want to come outs,” Emma said.

          “Can you try for me, maybe they will come out if you think about it really hard?” Dani told Emma.

          She started thinking about it really hard and in about thirty seconds, “Mommy they are comings outs,” Emma yelled excited.

          “Shhh,” Dani said to Emma.  The whole restroom didn’t need to hear that but of course they did now.

          “I’m all done,” Emma said as Dani lifted her off the toilet and wiped her with some toilet paper, she then picked her up, they washed their hands, and then left the bathroom.

          When they got back to the shoe store they tried on the shoes and then they let Emma pick the shoes that she wanted to wear today.  She could pick between a pair of light up shoes, sneakers, and a nicer pair of dress up shoes.

          “These ones,” Emma said as she pointed at the light up shoes that were purple with red lights on them.  They were Velcro shoes too.

          After they got her shoes, they headed to the store that had car seats and strollers.  “Kevin should we get a double stroller that way we can have both Emma and the baby in it when the time comes,” Dani said as she looked at the stroller options.

          “Why don’t we, even if we don’t use the double stroller a lot, we can still bring it with us when we go places, that way if Emma gets tired, we can always put her in there,” Kevin said as he looked at the strollers with Dani.

          “I saw a dad the other day that had two kids, one was Emma’s age, and the other was a baby in a car seat, and he had the car seat in the front one and the older one in the back, because you know how most parents put the younger one up by them and the older one in the front, anyways I thought that would be a good idea,” Dani rambled on.

          “After all of that are you trying to say that we should get a stroller that allows both seats to carry a car seat,” Kevin said as he looked at his wife amused.

          “Yes,” Dani laughed as she turned around to see Emma looking at the car seats.  She was standing by a yellow and gray striped one looking up at it.  “Emma is that the car seat that you want,” Dani asked her daughter.  It was killing her to not know what her baby was.  If they knew she would buy a car seat for the baby now too, that was until Dani got an idea.

          “Kevin, look they have a deal on any double stroller if you buy any two car seats with it,” Dani had seen that sign above the car seat that Emma was looking at.  “Twin Days buy any double stroller and any car seat and get the second car seat half off,” Kevin read.  He had seen the sign too.

          After they bought the stroller and the two car seats, Kevin decided that he was going to go set up the car seat in the car.  Dani and Emma set off to go shopping for clothes.

          As they were waiting at the register, after Dani brought Emma a whole wardrobe of clothes, Dani’s phone buzzed with a text.  Dani pulled out her phone and checked who the text was from.  “It’s from Daddy, he says he is hungry and is waiting in the food court for us to meet him,” Dani informed Emma.

          When they were done checking out, they headed down to the food court where Dani saw Kevin taking pictures with some fans.  Dani signaled to Kevin that she and Emma were going to go in the store that had sunglasses.  “Come on honey, let’s go in here and try on sunglasses,” Dani said.  Emma didn’t know who her Daddy was yet.  They had to tell her eventually, maybe this coming week.  Kevin just nodded his head as Emma and Dani disappeared into a Sunglasses Hut.

It was easier to have a signal sometimes if Kevin was meeting with fans to not have Dani come up and say hi too, because then they would freak out even more or faint.  They had one experience like that.  Kevin and Dani were out at a mall once right after they got married and Kevin was meeting a fan and Dani came up behind them and well the poor girl fainted.

          “Why are there peoples with Daddy,” Emma said bringing Dani out of her thoughts.  Dani didn’t know how to answer that, so she distracted her for right now with looking at the sunglasses.

          Kevin came in a couple minutes later, “come on let’s get out of here.  The food court is packed with fans today,” Kevin said.  Kevin carried Emma and Dani walked beside them holding onto Kevin’s hand.  They went out the same door that they came in.  By the time the family of three got to the car, Emma was sound asleep in Kevin’s arms.  Kevin got out his keys, opened the car, set Emma in her car seat, and strapped her in without waking her up. 

          “Why don’t we just go home, that way Emma can take a nap and we can have lunch,” Kevin said. 

“Yea, I will come in and eat a quick lunch but then I have to still run to Target and get some shampoo and stuff for Emma,” Dani said.

          “Actually, why don’t we just go to Target right now, we can do it in half of the time, and we can take Emma in with us, she can sleep in the cart,” Kevin said as he pulled into the Target parking lot.

          “Okay, that works,” Dani said as she got out of the car and went to grab a cart as Kevin got Emma out of the car.  With teamwork they both got Emma into the cart without waking her up.

          “We should get Emma a little pillow or something for her head, it looks uncomfortable,” Kevin said as he looked at his daughter, that is if the paperwork and meetings worked out.

          “Yea that will be our first stop to find a small pillow for her head,” Dani said.  She agreed, she did look very uncomfortable, maybe a pillow would make her look more comfortable.  They found her a travel pillow that had a magnet closure for her chin.  Dani went and bought it while Kevin started looking for a child’s toilet seat to go on the toilet.  Dani came back with it in three minutes.  Again, with teamwork they put it around her neck without waking her up.

           Half an hour later they were heading to the checkout with a sleeping Emma and a cart full of stuff they needed.  When they got up to the checkout counter Emma started waking up.  They were both putting stuff on the counter so Emma couldn’t see them, this made her freak out and start to cry right away.  She thought that her parents had abandoned her.

          Kevin put the paper towels on the counter and came over to check on Emma.  She started reaching out for him as soon as she saw him.  Kevin took off her head pillow threw it in the cart and picked her up out of the cart.

          “Emma can you help Mommy set the table,” Dani said as she handed Emma three big white glass plates that night before dinner.  Emma walked over to the table slowly but just as she was about to get there, she dropped the plates.  All three of them shattered and Emma started crying.

          The loud crash made Kevin come out of wherever he was.  He found Emma standing there sobbing.  “Em are you hurt,” Kevin asked as he walked around the table and picked her up, being careful of the glass.

          “Emma, shhh,” Kevin said as he sat her on the counter to look at her feet.  “Shhh, you’re fine,” Kevin said as he picked her up again.  She clutched on to him and started sobbing.

          “Here Dani let me do that, you take Emma,” Kevin said as he handed her Emma who clutched on to Dani and just sobbed.  Dani went and sat down with her on the couch in the living room.

          Emma sobbed for an hour straight.  It was while Emma was sobbing that Dani realized that tomorrow was Sunday, and that the Sunday lunch was at their house.

          “Kevin,” Dani called out to her husband who was stirring the potatoes.

          “Yea what do you need,” Kevin said as Dani walked into the kitchen carrying a sound asleep Emma in her arms.

          “I am going to put her upstairs and then we will have dinner,” Dani said as she turned and went upstairs to get Emma ready for bed.  She tried to half wake Emma up so she could go potty, but Emma didn’t want to wake up.  Dani saw some pull ups at Target, and she picked up a pack of them because even though she didn’t wet the bed last night who knows if it would happen.  Dani got Emma undressed and then put the pull-up on, her pajamas, and covered her up.  Emma put her thumb in her mouth and started sucking it.

          “Good night Emma,” Dani said as she left the master bedroom quietly.  She then went downstairs and into the kitchen where her husband was, he was just setting the table.

          “Is she asleep,” Kevin asked as they sat down at the table and said grace and then dished up some food for him and Dani.

          “So, what did you need to talk to me about?” Kevin said as he took a bite of his food.

          “Well, I realized that tomorrow is Sunday which means that we have church in the morning and then brunch is at our house.”

          “So,” Kevin said not getting the reason at all for his wife’s explanation that it was Sunday and that they had church and then brunch at the house afterwards.

          “It’s Emma, we just can’t leave her upstairs all day tomorrow we have to introduce her to my family tomorrow,” Dani said to him.

          “Good point,” Kevin said as he pondered what to do.

          “I don’t think it would be a good idea to take her to church, I think it is a better idea for my family to find out about her here rather than at church,” Dani said.

          “Yea that’s a good idea but what do we tell your parents then, we can’t tell them that one of us is sick because then they won’t want to come over,” Kevin joked.

          “Why don’t we just tell them that we won’t be able to make it to church in the morning, but they can still come over here,” Dani said as she stood up to get the phone to make the phone call.

          Once that was done, Kevin went up and checked on Emma, who he found in the master suite sound asleep.  “Emma,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back for her to wake up.  Once she was half awake, Kevin said, “honey do you want some dinner, before bed.”  Emma nodded and reached out for Kevin.  He picked her up and they started walking downstairs.  This is when Kevin felt something warm and mushy on his arm and noticed the smell of poop coming from Emma.

          “Emma did you poop, Kevin said as he sat her down by the bed as Kevin stood her by the bed and pulled down her pants and then tore the pull up off.  Kevin had to plug his nose it was such a bad smell, and it was all over the diaper and her little bottom.

          “Emma stays here, Daddy is going to get a warm washcloth to clean you up, okay,” Kevin said as he went into the bathroom and got a warm washcloth, came back, and started cleaning her up.  When he was done, he found the pull-ups on the side table next to the bed.  He had her step into the pull up on and took her downstairs to eat some dinner.

          “Hi Mommy,” Emma said as she smiled at her.  Kevin sat Emma down in the chair next to Dani and got Emma a plate of food.  “Other than Emma pooped in her pull up when we were walking downstairs everything was easy,” Kevin said as looked over at Emma who was very interested in the table at the moment.

          “Emma you have to tell Mommy or Daddy when you have to do a pee-pee or poops, the pull-ups are just there in case you have an accident when you are sleeping okay, but if you are awake, you have to tell one of us if you have to pee or poop,” Dani said gently to Emma who looked up at her and nodded her head.

          “I went pee-pees,” Emma said as she looked up at her parents who were looking at her in shock to what she just did, when they were just telling her she couldn’t go potty in her pull up.

          “Okay that is it Emma, you are obviously not getting it, timeout now in that corner,” Kevin said to her and pointed to the corner of the kitchen.  Emma got a fearful look on her face and started crying.  When she wouldn’t move, Kevin picked her up, but Emma got out of his grasp and ran.

          “Emma come back here, do you want your timeout doubled,” Kevin yelled at her but when she didn’t come back, he started going after her.

          “Kevin, let me talk to her,” Dani said as she put her arm in front of him to stop him from running after Emma.  Dani heard the basement door slam right then.  When Dani got downstairs, she heard sobs coming from the corner of the basement.

          “Emma,” Dani said as she came over to her and got down on the ground.  “What’s wrong,” she said to her once she was on the floor.  Emma hurdled into Dani as she started sobbing.  “What’s wrong Emma Bug?” Dani asked her.

          “Timeout scary,” Emma said.

          “Why do you think the timeout is scary,” Dani asked her.  She thought that talking about it would help her calm down maybe.

          “Because Sir would give me timeouts all the time and he would tie me to a chair in the old dirty bus and leave me there for a really long time,” Emma said.

          “Oh Emma,” Dani said.  She wanted to cry for the little girl in her arms right now.  She had an awful life, every new thing they did with her made her scared or cry.

          “Come on honey, let’s go upstairs and finish dinner,” Dani said as she stood up with Emma in her arms.  They headed upstairs to see Kevin cleaning up from dinner.  He had left Emma’s plate out on the table for her to eat when she got back with his wife.

          “Emma, Daddy is so sorry for making you upset,” Kevin said as he squatted down to talk to her.  Emma just nodded and hugged him.  That is all it took for Kevin to realize that no matter what he did, he would still be loved by his little girl.

          “I sleepy Daddy,” Emma said as she closed her eyes, laid her head on his shoulders.

          “Emma come on let’s finish eating dinner before bedtime,” Kevin asked the little girl that was almost asleep in his arms.  As Kevin set Emma in her chair, she seemed to wake up again.  As Emma ate, Kevin and Dani talked with her.

          Once she was done eating, “Sleepy time yet?” Emma asked as she looked up at Kevin who nodded his head.  Emma held her arms up, but Kevin stopped her, “Go say good night to Mommy and then I will carry you upstairs.”

          Emma ran over to Dani and told her good night before running over to Kevin with her arms up in the air, indicating that she wanted to be picked up again.  Kevin picked her up and took her upstairs.  He took off her pull-up and sat her on the new potty seat for her to do a pee-pee before bed.

          When she was done Kevin had a new pull-up ready for her.  He helped her step into it and pulled up her pajama pants and then picked her up and put her in bed.  Kevin kissed her head good night and left the room quietly.

          “Hey, she is out,” Kevin said as he sat down next to his wife who was on the couch.  “I feel awful about tonight, I didn’t mean to scare her,” Kevin said.  His heart broke in half when he saw her run-away from him.  He never wanted to scare her.

          “She’s fine but I think we need to come up with a different term other than timeout, she told me tonight that Sir used to give her timeouts and tie her to a chair and leave her there for a long time,” Dani said.

          “What about corner time instead of timeout,” Kevin said.  “My parents used to call “timeouts,” corner time sometimes, it just depended on the child and the circumstance.”

          “That might work,” Dani said, “I think we should talk to her about it though.”

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