A bit of daddy disappointment
Bear and Bug sit at the computer, taking turns playing Wonder Pets. Mouse walks down to a friend's with Copper. I sit on the couch holding a sick baby whose head is resting gently against my shoulder as she rubs gently on the edge of the blanket I've wrapped her in.

Suddenly, Hunter barks. It is his announcement bark. His "a member of the pack is back" bark. I recognize it and know Mouse and Copper are back. Little L. E. Fant hears it and remembers all the times that bark has greeted another member of the pack.
She asks as she lifts her head and looks at me through weepy, half-closed eyes. Her cheeks are flushed from the fever and she asks again, a little more boldly,
I tell her no. It is Mouse returning with Copper. Hunter's bark is reaching a fevered pitch as I can hear him jumping and spinning in the hall and the back door opens.
She announces. Again, I tell her no. But she is straining in my lap, seemingly undecided as to whether she should get down or just wait for daddy to peer around the corner. Maybe he'll play peek-a-boo? Maybe he'll act surprised? Most certainly he will scoop up his little baby and she will have her daddy.

She begins to bounce in my lap as she hears footsteps in the hall and Hunter hopping along in front of those steps.

Then Mouse appears. And little L. E. Fant's countenance falls as she asks once more in a tentative voice,
No, I tell her again. And she rests her head back against my chest and returns to stroking the blanket gently. She sighs and closes her little eyes with a small sniffle.