Chapter 35

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*Elizabeth's P.O.V*

As I wake from my sleep, things still feel very foggy. It takes me a long minute to even realize I'm not in a carriage anymore. By the empty tables, I assume it's a tavern or inn of some kind but it seems very... well, not up to our usual standards would be the nicest way of putting it. I also seem to be cradled in my mother's arms right now, making it embarrassing to do anything but continue acting like I'm sleeping.

"I understand your concerns but it's late and I need sleep. I understand there are better inns further up but I can't last that long. I'm not young anymore so I can't sleep in a bumpy carriage like I used to. Especially with this one clinging to me like she has been since we left." My mother says, patting my bottom. I blush intensely at her words and move myself to be better hidden against her, probably only proving her point further.

"Don't I understand that! Just last week I had to stop to stretch these aching bones of mine like 3 separate times on my way to the market to buy supplies. I remember the days when I could do it without stopping and have it done in an afternoon! Now it takes all day and that's if I'm lucky. But you aren't here to hear my life story and we need to get this precious little thing in a proper bed. Lucky for you, I have just the special room available!" I hear someone that sounds like an old lady say and I feel a third hand on my back, giving it a comforting rub. I want to protest a complete stranger touching me like this but her back rub does feel really nice.

"To be honest, it's my only room available right now. I feel bad with how much you paid me though... Are you really sure it's alright? I rarely make this much over an entire month, let alone in one night, from one guest! Wouldn't it be better spent on your little one here? I would hate to keep you from spoiling her even just a little bit more. They are only little this once, afterall." The old lady says to my mom, making me squirm slightly before I remember I was supposed to be sleeping so get still so my cover won't be blown.

"Trust me when I say she is more than spoiled enough. She is so spoiled in fact that most people would think she is royalty or something!" Mommy says with a laugh, making me almost break my cover to tell her how wrong she was. I was not spoiled! If I was spoiled then she would spend more time with me!

"All parents think that and then their baby's get older and want nothing more than to be independent and all you can think about is all the times you missed spoiling them when they were wrapped around your waist. Treasure this time miss because trust me, you will blink and she will be grown, coming home with a baby of her own and another on the way before you know it. I still can't believe I'm a Grandma. Me! I still wake up some mornings, expecting to hear my little Bell crying to be let out of her crib for a diaper change any minute. Those were wonderfully hectic days..." The old lady says, seeming to trail off into a daydream or something.

"Sorry! Where are my manners! It's far too late for me to be telling you my whole life story like this. Your room is the first on the right. I'll make sure your horses and carriage are properly taken care of and just howler if you need anything else. There are some supplies for your daughter in the room but I can probably find something of my granddaughter's laying around here if you need something else." She tells mommy, making me very much want to sit up and tell her I'm not a baby! I bite my tongue though but only because mommy always gets mad when I do that and I don't want mommy mad.

"Thank you. I'm sure the room will be lovely and have everything we need in it. Thank you for the offer though." Mommy says before beginning to walk away. I feel her walk up some steps after a couple seconds and only know they are steps because I bounce in her arms after each one. I also know we are at our room by a click of a lock and a very squeaky door being opened. I also know because mommy puts me down finally.

"Your acting is as terrible as your lying still, I see. I've seen fish out of water squirm less than you after you woke up." Mommy says, going over to retrieve her stuff.

"Is not! Ms. Innkeeper Lady totally believed I was sleeping!" I tell her, totally winning this argument.

"I'm sure... now go get ready for bed, please. Or does my little precious thing need mommy to help her get ready like I used to?" Mommy teases, coming back to pinch my cheek in the process. I blush, embarrassed that she actually used the pet name the lady used on me. To make matters worse, when I tried to escape, mommy actually grabbed my wrist and pulled me back to stand in front of her.

I know what she wants but I refuse to give it to her. She's a meanie and doesn't deserve her way. Especially if I can't get my way either. That's why I try to escape multiple times more but always get pulled back. The warning look I get from mommy after I give her my defiant one makes me question my choices though and I quickly cave after that.

"No... mommy. I don't need your help." I tell her, leaving her cooing and gushing all over me. She even picks me back up and swings me back and forth in these giant arching motions. I want nothing more than to peel myself away from mommy but she has me pressed tight against her, making it impossible. Instead, I look around the room and spot a corner I don't like...

"Is that... a crib... and a..." I start to ask but have a hard time with it. Mommy must sense my nervousness because she stops being silly and looks to the corner in question.

"A changing table? Yes, why?" Mommy asks, actually sounding confused on this matter.

"Are... Are they... they for me, mommy?" I ask, still very nervous.

"And why would they be for you? You aren't actually my baby anymore, Elizabeth. It's just a pet name all parents use." Mommy says, putting me back down and going back to getting herself ready for bed.

"But... but why else would you pick this room?" I ask, throwing a slight fit that mommy seems to just ignore.

"Child, I didn't pick this room. It's the only one available. We are in the middle of nowhere and it's the middle of the night. I couldn't exactly be that picky. Plus, it's just furniture in a room. Why exactly do you think we or you have to use everything here? Why can't you just sleep with me in this bed?" Mommy asks, gesturing to the giant bed as my mind is unable to come up with a response to her valid questions.

"I'm curious now, baby. Do you always feel the need to use every crib and changing table you come across or is it only when Mommy is around?" Mommy asks, making me burn from head to toe in embarrassment for thinking she actually wanted to use those things on me and because I just realized I've been calling her mommy.

Realizing this night can't get any worse, I stomp to the bathroom to get ready for bed all by myself while mommy chuckles to herself the entire time. I am not a baby and I don't need a changing table or crib! I'm going to prove it to mommy too! Now, who do I call to bring me my water...

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