What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Mar a'Mael: The House of Hope. A place of learning and service for the citizens of Hama Valon. Three buildings - the Museum, the University, and the House of Children - make up the House of Hope.
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Bella
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What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Bella » September 12th, 2017, 11:25 pm

This was the first time that Isla had been assigned this particular chore, and she didn't know if it was a job that recognized her increasing level of responsibility or trying to punish her for something she didn't know that she had done. Personally, she felt like it was the latter, but who could read the minds of the ones doing the assigning?

Either way, she was here.

There was a room full of little children in front of her. Two infants in their bassinets, and about four little ones in various stages of walking around. A couple were terrible at it, and the others managed a little better. Either way, she'd had to soothe two bumped heads, even though she really had little instinct for it.

What did she know about children? She had never been around them. There had only been adults in her life, except for the occasional child she passed in the street. But she had no siblings, and even if the other soldiers had families, she never met them. She was training, fighting, or with her father.

However, she had been assigned to help out at the orphanage. And she just kept thinking to herself:

What do I do with it?

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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Roan » September 15th, 2017, 10:53 pm

Paks Liard
As a Ji’Val, Paks had a bit more freedom than she’d had as a Drin. After her talk with Alrim, Paks realized she had much more to give back to the Tower than just her physicality. To Jesi, she’d give her heart and loyalty, but she could give more to those less fortunate. The orphanage in Hama Valon always sought volunteers to help with the little ones. Paks was assigned to help with a group of toddlers. She was told there’d be another from the Tower working with her.

Coming up on the room she’d been assigned, Paks saw a Novice standing in the middle of the room. She looked confused and overwhelmed. Paks couldn’t help the smirk that came to her, “They don’t bite. . .at least not usually.”

One of the little ones that struggled with walking fell over and hit her head on the floor. The toddler looked up, seemingly surprised by what happened. A split second later, the little girl started crying. Paks took that as her queue and stepped in to look over the little girl’s head before picking her up to comfort her. She looked back to the Novice once the child quieted down, “I’m Paks Liard. I was told I’d be helping a Novice look after these little ones, and I’m guessing that Novice is you?”
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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Bella » September 17th, 2017, 10:38 pm

Isla was relieved that the woman moved with more authority than she did, because she had just been...paralyzed, momentarily. It was hardly suiting a former soldier and a Novice to be overwhelmed at the sight of children, but she was outnumbered by them. Not even the addition of the Ji'val changed that.

"Yes..." she managed to say, tearing herself out of her reverie. "Yes, that must be me. I'm Isla Arkema." Her blue eyes swung back to the little girl who'd hit her head. She was chewing on her hand and drooling all over her chubby legs. "It's, uhm, nice to meet you, Paks Liard. I hope you have some experience with children?"

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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Roan » September 24th, 2017, 12:48 am

Paks
Once the little one stopped crying, Paks put the girl back on the floor and flashed her smirk towards Isla, “I have some experience with them, though not much. The hardest thing is. . .changing their diapers. Keeping them entertained isn’t that hard. There are enough toys around, and if the toys fail, funny faces do wonders.”

The Ji’Val tilted her head as she moved to the bassinets to check on the two infants. One was being a bit fussy, and Paks went to pick her up. She wrinkled her nose, “And it looks like you’re going to get a lesson in changing diapers sooner than later.” Paks looked to the baby, giving him a wide-eyed goofy look, “Who needs a diaper change?” The baby went a bit wide-eyed as he watched the Ji’Val.

Placing him on the changing table, Paks motioned Isla over, “You start by taking the first diaper off, but it’s always good to have everything you need at your fingertips.” She looked under the surface where the baby was, and smirked, “Fortunately, all we need is here.” She grabbed powder, a clean diaper and a towel.

“Right. First, take off the old diaper,” Paks said as she started. She couldn’t help the face she pulled, wrinkling her nose as she bundled the dirty diaper up, “I swear there is no smell worse than this.” She looked around and found what had to be the ‘dirty diaper’ basket and dumped the one in her hand in it.

“Next, wipe the baby clean. . .then powder them to prevent rash, and finally, put on the clean diaper,” the Ji’Val continued. “Of course, putting the diaper on is the hard part,” she said as she had a couple of false starts. Eventually, she seemed to get it, and looked back to Isla with a smirk, “And done. So...not much of a children person?”
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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Bella » September 26th, 2017, 12:20 am

The smell was...something else. Isla couldn't think of a time she had smelled anything half so vile since the time one of the company's dogs had eaten something rotten and made a mess outside of camp. Even with the distance, the smell had infiltrated everything and made several of the battle-hardened soldiers want to retch.

Still, she would not be put aside of this. It was just...another challenge to be tackled. And it wasn't like it was the baby's fault. They couldn't help it.

Isla offered her friend for the moment a weak smile. "It's not that, I guess. I mean, I don't really know if I am or not. I just have absolutely no experience tending to them. I was an only child. My father never remarried, so no half or step-siblings. I grew up with him. He...was a soldier. I grew up around soldiers. There just weren't kids."

Deciding that she had to dive in, she leaned forward and fixed the baby's clothing now that the diaper was done, then picked the little one up and put him on her hip. He eyed her uncertainly, then tugged on a curl. It hurt a little, but nothing she couldn't handle and it made him giggle, which made her smile a little.

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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Roan » September 30th, 2017, 7:12 pm

Paks
“Ah, I understand. Well, the good news is. . .it doesn’t take much to learn how to deal with the little ones,” Paks replied. She nodded to Isla as she held one of them and let him tug at her braid, “See? I’d say you are a natural.”

The Ji’Val leaned down and picked up one of the other little ones and raised the baby above her head, making a ‘weee’ sound as she did so. The little girl laughed each time Paks lifted her up and let go of her ever so slightly before bringing the girl down to her hip, “It’s not hard to keep them entertained. Changing diapers is perhaps the most challenging thing aside from knowing when to feed them.

“Or comforting them when they’ve banged themselves up. . .which they do often,” she replied as another little girl was running and tripped over her own two feet. Just as with the first, the girl looked surprised, and then started crying. Setting the little girl down she’d been holding, Paks went to the crying child to make sure the little one was not visibly injured, then picked her up to comfort her. “Not that I have significant experience with them. . .I think I kind of just make it up as I go along,” she offered with a smirk.
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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Bella » October 3rd, 2017, 12:13 am

"If you hadn't had told me, I wouldn't have guessed," Isla said with a rueful laugh. The little one in her arms tugged her hair again and then started a particularly intricate wiggle that, after a few disconcerted moments, the Novice figured out meant he wanted to get down. She set him on the ground on his feet, which instantly became his backside.

Maybe he couldn't actually walk yet? She had no idea when one learned those things. She certainly didn't have any memories of it.

She rubbed the back of her neck and went over to the pair of cradles where the infants slept. She glanced in on them, making sure that they were still asleep and seemed well. As best she could tell, they were all of those things and she turned back to the Ji.

"You know, I never thought about whether I wanted any of my own," she said idly. This was, strangely, a less personal topic than some of the actual things in her history. "I mean, a lot of girls who were raised in proper households would reach my age and have parents already talking marriages. My father was picking out new horses, swords, and better armor."

Before she could contemplate much of what she'd said, the little one she had been holding a moment before had fallen forward and was crying for...assistance, she suspected. She returned to him and picked him up, where he flopped over and drooled on her shoulder.

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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Roan » October 6th, 2017, 3:38 pm

Paks
“Fake it ‘till you make it,” Paks said with a smirk before looking to the little one now in her arms and making a silly face, “Isn’t that right?” When the little one started laughing, Paks set her down and let her crawl away. She looked back to Isla and nodded, “Truth be told, I’ve never considered children either. Having said that, I tend to prefer to keep company with women over men, which makes the children thing a bit difficult.”

The Ji’Val went to sit between some of the children who were playing with blocks on the floor. Did she want children? Was it even possible for her and Jesi to somehow raise a child together? Did Jesi want kids? Paks couldn’t help her curiosity and felt it reflected back to her via the bond she shared with the Accepted. She looked up to Isla with her characteristic smirk, “If you were to ask those in the Warder Yards, they’d tell you I’m the type more interested in drink and skirts than anything close to settling down.”

Overall, the statement was close to true, though Paks couldn’t deny the idea of settling down with Jesi had crossed her mind. Not many in the Yards knew it. . .in fact, Alrim was the only person she’d shared the true depth her feelings ran for Jesi. “Sounds like you were learning the art of war not unlike what I’m doing in the Yards. How did you end up in Novice Whites?”
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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Bella » October 6th, 2017, 11:17 pm

Any warmth that may have started to form within her withered in a cold spell at the question. It wasn't a story she was keen to tell. So far, she had managed to only tell one person in the Tower beyond the Mistress of Novices. She licked her lips, her attention focused on the child in her arms now.

"Same way as any girl," she said. "I, you know, channeled. I couldn't stay where I was, so I came here."

It wasn't a lie. It was just...very limited in its scope. "I would much rather have gone into the Warder Yards, like you did, and learn how to be a Gaidin. They tell me as an Accepted, I'll have more free time and can do more weaponry work. I plan to. But I still have to learn how to manage the channeling aspect. And wear the bloody dress."

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Re: What Do I Do with It? [Attn: Paks Laird]

Post by Roan » October 14th, 2017, 6:29 pm

Paks
Letting one of the little ones take the block she’d been holding from her, Paks listened as Isla relayed her story. It was short on details, but the Ji’Val didn’t take it personally. . .the Novice could share as much as she was comfortable with, and that was fine by her. Hearing the woman complain about the dress, Paks couldn’t help but laugh softly, “You are not the only one to come through in Novice Whites and complain about wearing the bloody dress. Apparently, our Mistress of Novices, Tia Sedai herself hated wearing the dress. Mind, she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and join the Warder Yards, but her ability to channel meant she had no choice.

“She turned out alright, or so I’ve heard. She doesn’t seem as stuffy as some of the Aes Sedai I’ve come across,” Paks explained. A familiar bundle in the back of her mind tingled, and she couldn’t help but think of Jesi, knowing she’d likely not be a stuffy Aes Sedai either . . . if the pair chose to stay and follow the path expected of them both.

Picking up a block that rolled across the floor, Paks handed it to another one of the ones she was sitting with, “You also won’t be the only channeler type to work in the Yards once you get there.” She looked back to Isla, her smirk still there, but not as prevalent in that moment, “There are some channelers who could kick my arse if we got into a sparring match. I’m. . .ok with unarmed and daggers, but swords and other weapons? I think I’d damage myself.” At this, her smirk grew.
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