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“I just don’t think she’s ready, Tee. I mean why, exactly, does it have to be today?” Bette followed Tina into the kitchen where Tina started packing a lunch for Rosie, her little backpack already sitting on the counter with a change of clothes and her rabbit for naptime.
Bette was still in her pajamas, a restless night leading to a slow morning, and she was tired. Too tired for this conversation, that was for damn sure. Tina, however, was ready for the day. Or as ready as she thought she could be given how she felt, which was not great. But… she was dressed for work. Makeup on. Just needed her shoes and to finish with Rosie’s things.
“There is still so much she has had to adjust to with the move…and she is just now doing better, sleeping better… Tee. Listen to me, I feel like you are not listening. Boo is here for when we are working so starting school doesn’t need to happen this quickly. Tee… can you fucking stop packing… please…”
Tina turned to face her wife, taking a deep breath. Her back hurt like a bitch this morning and a headache was dancing around the backs of her eyeballs, hinting at a stronger appearance later. Uncomfortable, anxious. She thought this decision was done and made, she thought they were both on the same page. She sighed.
“Bette. Today is the day. The pediatrician says…”
“I don’t care what Dr. Snow says. This is our child, Tina. We don’t need her permission to keep Rosie home. We are her parents and she’s not ready…”
“We decided. She’s four, Babe. She could start kindergarten in the fall and this is the first step.”
The words came out harsher than she intended, and she stopped when she saw the reaction from Bette hearing them, the brunette blinking at the words like they were a physical blow. She tried again, softer, “honey. We talked about this last night. Remember?”
“We didn’t talk. You talked…” Hands on her hips, not giving in, Bette was what Tina referred to as “dug in”.
Tina reached for an apple, then a cutting board. She could dig in too and this was a necessary step to school for the little girl. “Bette. When you say Rosie’s isn’t ready… do you really mean that you aren’t ready?”