The sun was shining when she awoke. Outside, she could hear those little flying things singing at her window.
Rolling over, she climbed to her feet and stood in her bed, hands on the rails of her bed. Her mommy put them there so she wouldn’t fall out.
She stared at the door, waiting for someone to come get her. Suddenly her tummy rumbled and she decided to make someone come.
“Wahahahahaha!” She wailed.
At once, sound was heard outside her door and she laughed.
“Bafu!” She yelled.
The door to her room opened and she laughed again seeing her daddy in the doorway.
Holding her hands up, she called out to him.
He smiled, walking over and picking her up.
“Good morning Princess,” he told her, kissing her. His face was scratchy again and she grabbed his nose to push him away.
“Of!” she demanded.
Laughing, he laid her down and started unsnapping her sleeper.
“Today is a very special day for you Princess.” Her daddy was telling her. “Today you’re as whole year old.”
But she wasn’t listening; she was waiting for the opportune moment in which to play scoot away from the diaper.
“You get a party and cake and presents and…hey!”
Daddy turned his attention from her and she was off. Rolling over, she crawling from her daddy’s hand, laughing all the way.
“Get back here.” Her daddy said. “Your mother will kill me if you pee on the sheets.”
She raced to the other side of the bed until her mommy’s voice stopped her short.
“Thank God none of our enemies ever sent down a baby.” Her mommy said as Beth crawled back and climbed to stand on the bed. “You’d be toast by now.”
“Da!” She called out, which any one year old knows also means Mommy.
Her mommy smiled at her as her daddy plopped her back on the bed to put on her diaper. “Did you sleep well, sweetheart?” Her mommy asked.
“Ba!” Beth shouted, holding up her hands as her daddy struggled with her bloomers.
“How do you get these things on her, Kim?” Her daddy asked.
Beth got ready. He took his hand from her leg and she rolled over, only to be snatched up by her mommy.
“No you don’t, you little monkey.” Her mommy muttered.
Within moments she was dressed and in Mommy’s arms.
“Let’s get breakfast,” her mommy told her. “I believe we have some lovely cereal and bananas for you.”
Which was good, because Beth loved bananas.
After breakfast found Beth and her mommy playing with her favorite set blocks.
They were her favorite because they had pictures of her friends from the TV on them, including her two favorite friends, the tall yellow one and the funny red one. She liked them because they reminded her of her favorite people that came to see her.
Her daddy came in humming a song and she laughed.
Mommy looked up at him
“If your kids could see you now. A science teacher and former Ranger singing “Elmo’s World”.”
Her daddy shrugged. “ After months of hearing it, I can’t get it out of my head.”
Forgetting her friends on the blocks for a moment, she crawled over and sat in front of her daddy’s feet, lifting her arms to him.
“Bap!” She demanded.
He bent down and scooped her up, bouncing her around the room.
“Tommy, you’re going to spoil her.” Her mommy said.
“Pthth. If Princess Beth wants to be picked up, then she shall.”
He bounced her once more, then felt her diaper.
“Besides, she needs changing.”
He turned and walked up the stairs.
”Come my Princess, your changing table awaits.”
Once upstairs, he deposited her in her crib. She started giggling as she played the piggy game in between changing her diaper. It wasn’t as fun as the mousy game, but she liked it. He taped the fresh diaper in place and grabbed her toes.
“This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had…”
Beth jumped, startled. But before she had time to voice her displeasure, her daddy had scooped her up and was racing down the stairs.
“Beautiful?” He called out.
“In here.” Her mommy yelled.
They rushed into the living room where her mommy was stood looking scared.
Beth frowned. Her mommy wasn’t supposed to look scared. She began to whimper and her daddy bounced her lightly.
“What in the…”
Beth looked at both her daddy and mommy. They were both staring at the TV. The picture was a blue person and a green person standing in front of a large…doggie.
There were lights going across the picture.
“This is the scene in Jacksonville Missouri where the our Power Rangers seem to be having trouble with the current monsters. Earlier this morning three large monsters were spotted in the shipping district of the Missouri River. The Rangers were immediately on the scene, but since then have only been able to destroy one of the monsters. A teammate has already been taken away from the scene due to injuries and it is unknown how the current Power Ranger was be able to defeat these creatures.”
Beth wiggled a bit and her daddy put her down. She crawled over to the TV. She liked her friends when they were on but the lights were much prettier. Sitting down, she watched the pictures on the TV. It looked like the two people and the doggie were playing. She wasn’t sure what kind of game, but with all the lights around them, it looked like fun.
The doggie sent a light to the green person and they did one of those things her mommy did in the backyard.
Laughing, she clapped, wanting them to do it again.
Hearing a sound behind her, she turned to look up at her parents. Her mommy had a hand to her mouth and she looked like she was going to cry.
She didn’t want her mommy to cry so did the only thing she could.
“Waaaahhhh!” She wailed.
Her mommy look down and picked her up.
“Oh sweetie, did the mean robot on the TV scare you?” She crooned.
Bells and noise suddenly went off around the house.
“I’ll get the phone.” Her daddy said.
“We’ll get the door.” Her mommy added, walking to the front door.
She opened it and Beth squealed, holding her hands towards the young man in white.
“Ba!” She announced, reaching for him.
Smiling he lifted her from her mommy’s arms.
“Hello munchkin. Glad you still remember me.”
”Why aren’t you at school?” Her mommy asked.
“Spring break.” He answered. “I had to come home and do some paperwork for my dad’s company. Have you seen the news?”
It’s still on.” She said as they walked back into he living room
“What’s this mean?” He asked. Beth reached up and grabbed his nose.
“Trent?” Her daddy asked as he came back into the living room. “Why aren’t you at school?”
She giggled as they played find the nose for a moment, then he looked up at her daddy.
“It’s okay dad,” he joked, rolling his eyes. “It’s spring break. I had to come home on business.”
Beth looked over at her dad, then back to her friend. Then she grabbed his ear.
“Owowow, don’t pull Bethie.” He said, taking her hand away.
“I was going to come over later the give Beth her present, but then I saw the TV.”
“That was Jason on the phone.” Her daddy said as she played with the sparkly design on Trent’s shirt collar. “They’re going to be driving up earlier.”
“Did they say what time they were going to be here?” Her mommy asked.
“They were leaving as soon as they got off the phone.” Her daddy frowned slightly. “You don’t think we should hold off on the party, do you?”
Mommy shook her head. “No. We continue like we were going to. It’s Beth’s birthday and we’ll have the party and hope to God nothing goes wrong.”
Beth was bored…and hungry. The bells kept going off in the house and either her mommy or her daddy was on the phone almost all the time. Trent finally got down on the floor and played with her and her castle set.
“And the white knight rides up on his horse to save the fair princess from her evil uncle and his pet ogre, Zeltrax.” Trent said, moving a chubby prince doll on a horse. She picked up the ogre and began to chew on him. Trent laughed.
“Hey, you can’t eat Zeltrax.” He turned towards the kitchen.
“Hey Kim, I think Bethie is hungry.”
Standing up, he picked her up and they walked into the kitchen.
Her mommy was finished up placing carrots and chicken into her plate when they entered.
“I figured she might be getting hungry.”
Trent put her in her high chair, where her second favorite activity began; making music.
Mommy put her bib on, and then placed her plate on the tray and she grabbed a piece of carrot, shoving it into her mouth while banging on the tray with her other hand.
“This is Taylor Brownwell live in Jacksonville Missouri where since around five this morning the Power Rangers have been battling three monsters. One of the monsters has been destroyed and one of the Rangers had been taken away due to injuries. There is speculation in this small town on if the Rangers will be asking for aid from their processors. Rumors are spreading that there might be a retired group or two still living in the United States. Will these Rangers call for help? No one knows, although it does seem that the Power Rangers will need a miracle to make it through this day.”
Beth watched her parents as she picked up her sippie cup to get a drink of juice. They were both watching the TV, not paying a bit of attention to her. She pouted, banging her cup on the tray a couple of times.
“Ba!” She demanded. Trent looked over at her.
“Is Bethie feeling ignored?” He asked. She grinned at him, banging her cup against the tray again.
He looked over at her parents. “Go watch the report. I can keep an eye on Beth.”
Her mommy turned her attention to them. “Trent, that isn’t necessary.”
“Really. Go ahead. Beth and I can have applesauce.” At her hesitance, Trent smiled at her. “Really Kim, go ahead. I don’t need to watch it. When and if the time comes, I will trust you and Dr. O. to tell us we need to assist.”
Her mommy smiled. “Thanks Trent. Come and get me when she’s finished and I’ll get her ready for nap.”
Trent smiled. “Deal. I can do lunchtime. I’m not sure I’m up for diaper changes.”
He waited until she left then turned his attention back to Beth. “Okay munchkin.” He said, opening a jar of applesauce. “Let’s finish lunch.”
Beth squealed and clapped her hands. She loved applesauce.
Beth awoke from her nap to hushed voice in her room.
“Has Tommy checked with the Rangers?”
“He hasn’t gotten a response yet, but he has left a message that all they have to do is ask.”
“What do you think is going to happen? Kim, you have a daughter, you can’t run out and save the day anymore.”
“ Sha, we made a promise. To protect the universe. If the Rangers need help, we have to go. The kids and us, we’re the only ones who still have our powers. We’ll have to go.”
“What if something happens to you two, huh? What happens to Elizabeth if you two…”
“We chose you and Jason to be the Godparents for a reason, Aisha. Tommy and I trust you to make the right decisions.”
“Damn it, Kimberly. Don’t do this to us.”
Beth rubbed her eyes and crawled to the foot of her crib, climbing up. Both women stopped their discussion and looked over at her. Beth gave them her best smile.
“Ba!” She announced gleefully.
Her mommy wiped her face and walked over to the crib.
“Did you have a good nap?” She asked, laying Beth down to change her diaper.
“We have your party all ready for you.”
“Bagoo.” Beth said an answer, turning her attention to the other woman in the room.
“Happy Birthday Beth.” Aisha said, smiling at her. Beth grinned back.
“Ba.” She said. Her mommy finished and picked her up.
“All your friends are here for your birthday, sweetheart.” Her mommy told her. “Aunt Aisha brought Uncle Jason and Kira and Conner and Ethan. And Billy and Hailey stopped by. All to celebrate your birthday.”
Beth grinned, laughing at her mother’s tone. Her mommy and Aisha walked down the stairs and Beth shrank back into her mommy’s arms slightly spotting all the new people in the living room. All these people weren’t here when she went upstairs for nap.
The TV was still on and most everyone had his or her attention on it instead of her.
“…This is truly a dark day for the Power Rangers. Half their team is down now and even their machines are proving inadequate in stopping these creatures that are relentlessly trying to destroy both the Rangers and the small town of Jacksonville. It seems that right now the Rangers may be losing this battle.”
“What are we going to do Dr. O?” Conner asked. “You heard the reporter, they’re losing.”
“I’ve already left a message with their leader offering our help if they need it. They haven’t responded.”
“They’re down, half the team is OOC.” Ethan stated. “They’re down to two zords and three people. How many more are going to go down before they ask for help?”
“You guys were down to one last person and still came back.” Jason stated quietly. “There were times when there was only one of us left and we managed to pull off a victory. Don’t underestimate them. Besides, you guys are suppose to be looking forward to your new-found free time, not trying to find reasons to go back in uniform.”
“Jason is correct. We can’t underestimate these new Rangers.” Billy added.
Jason looked up, smiling at Beth.
“Well, hello sleepyhead. How was nap? God knows I could use one.”
Beth hid her face in her mother’s shoulder.
“She’s still waking up. Once she gets a snack, she should be fine.” Her mommy said, walking into the kitchen. Trent was sitting at the table, reading over some papers. He looked up at they entered. Beth grinned at him, holding her arms out.
Smiling he took her from her mommy.
“It looks like you’re her favorite person today Trent.”
Trent smiled up at her mommy. “I don’t mind. I kind of think of her as the baby sister I never had.” His face grew serious as she turned her attention back to his shirt. “I heard the argument in there. Has anyone decided on a course of action yet?”
Her mommy placed a bowl of apple cinnamon toasted O’s in front of her. Beth left Trent’s shirt to pick a couple of pieces of cereal from the bowl and shove then into her mouth. Trent picked up a napkin and her bib from the table. She let him tie the bib around her, and then went back to the cereal.
She shoved pieces of cereal in her mouth with one hand, her other hand holding on to Trent’s shirt sleeve as her mommy sat down at the table across from them.
“You know you really should be in your highchair.”
Beth gurgled and spit out a piece of cereal. Trent laughed.
“Elizabeth Trini, no spitting out food.” Her mommy told her, then got up to get her sippie cup. Beth took it from her and took a drink. The cereal was good but she needed something to wash it down with.
“So. How are you doing?”
“Fine. It was kind of weird in the beginning but now I’m adjusting great. I love my classes and the other students…well the ones I’ve met are great.”
She smiled. “Good. How are you doing today?”
He frowned. “I’m not following you.”
Kira walked into the kitchen, interrupting the conversation. “I needed a water.”
Beth stared at her, sticking another piece of cereal in her mouth. Kira smiled at her.
“Hello Beth. What do you have?”
Beth stared at her for a moment, then took the piece of cereal she was going to eat and offered it to her. Kira grinned.
“No thanks. I’m not big on second hand food.” She glanced up at Trent. “ She seems to like you.”
He shrugged, picked a soggy O from his arm. “ What can I say, I attract the young ones.”
Kira laughed, walking to the fridge and taking out a bottled water. She sat down across from them.
“So what are we talking about?”
“Kim was asking me about college.” Trent said, absently taking the soggy piece of cereal Beth offered him and palming it.
Kira nodded. Beth watched the woman closely, and then went back to her juice and cereal.
“This is Taylor Brownwell live from Jacksonville Missouri, bring you up to the minute coverage on what was once a soon to be tragic battle between the Power Rangers and the three creatures. It looked bleak for a while, but it appears to be slowly turning around. The Rangers are slowly returning to battle showing the people of Jacksonville that they cannot be beaten. There is a beacon of hope in what looked like a dark day for Jacksonville.”
Beth laughed at the antics of her funny red friend on the small TV sitting in the kitchen. Her mommy felt bad and had brought the small TV into the kitchen so Beth could watch a show or two. Right now she was watching her two good friends on the show. Her funny red friend was talking to his pet fish. She sat in her high chair, laughing and clapping. Next to her sat Trent and her mommy.
Her mommy shook her head. “I just don’t understand this show. I swear Trent, one day you’re going to make someone a great father.”
Trent smiled. “Thanks. Besides, Elmo isn’t that bad. Just pray Beth never gets interested in Barney.”
Her mommy shuddered. “I’ve seen bits of that. The two shows on after this are bad enough.”
Beth’s attention wavered as Jason entered into the kitchen.
“Tommy wants to know if you’re ready to get the party started.”
“I thought he wanted to wait a bit.”
“He said he didn’t want to put it off any longer.”
Her mommy nodded. “Let Beth finish her show then we’ll get things ready.”
Jason nodded, and left the room.
Her yellow friend came on the TV and Beth turned her attention back to the TV, laughing.
“Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Beth, Happy birthday to you.”
Beth clapped laughing happily at the people singing. Her mommy placed a small cake on her tray and front of her. Her daddy held the box with moving pictures.
“Eat the cake Beth,” he urged. She watched him for a moment, and then turned her attention to everyone else in the room. They were all expecting her to do something, but she wasn’t sure what.
Trent moved to the side of her.
“Like this Bethie.” He said, sticking his finger in her cake, pulling it out and licking the icing off his finger. She watched him for a moment then with a brilliant smile, stuck both hands directly into the cake. She made little fists and pulled parts of the cake apart and shoved it into her mouth. Icing went everywhere.
The room broke out in applause. She grinned again encouraged and waved her arms around. Cake flew everywhere. Kira squealed, ducking cake. Icing hit Hailey and she picked it off, smirking.
Trent laughed. “Perfect Bethie.”
She stuck her cake-encased fist towards his face and he took a small nibble of the cake she offered him.
She laughed, shoving more cake in her mouth.
“So who’s cleaning up this mess?” Her mommy asked.
“I call odds.” Her daddy said from behind the small box he was looking in.
Jason ran into the kitchen.
“Guys, look at this!” he said, turning on the small TV. The screen came on as everyone held his or her breath.
“The creatures have been defeated. I repeat, the Power Rangers have defeated the creatures! In the bleakest hour, the Power Rangers have all come back to the battle and banding together have finally defeated the creatures, once again making Jacksonville Missouri a safe town to live in. As you can see behind me, the residents are slowly coming out of their houses and shelters to the streets in celebration. And once again, the Power Rangers are victorious and making our world a safe place to live. This is Taylor Brownwell live from Jacksonville, Missouri. Back to you in the studio.”
A cheer went up in the kitchen startling Beth from her cake eating indulgence. She cried out her displeasure. Her daddy passed the box to Jason and walked over to her.
“Tommy, don’t you dare take her out of there!” Her mommy yelled. He ignored her, taking the tray off the highchair and scooping Beth out of her seat.
Laughing, he spun her around. Beth squealed wildly, laughing with him. He stopped, pulling her close to him, ignoring her cake covered hands in his hair and clothes and face.
“Da!” Beth squealed delightedly.
“That right Princess. This is the best day ever.”
Her daddy placed her down in the bed, still smiling. After daddy finished swinging her around, her mommy cleaned her off and she got to open presents and have fun. Eventually, everyone went home, leaving Beth alone with her parents. A bath and hair washing, and a new sleeper made her feel much better. Now she was tired.
Her daddy stroked her hair softly.
“Da.” She said, yawning.
“Happy Birthday Princess.” Her daddy said softly. “I love you so much Elizabeth.”
Beth smiled, her eyes already closing.
Her daddy was right; this was the best day ever.
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