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From Formula for Murder
1. Call Dr. Clement for appointment. What if Laurie’s brain is
scrambled? The ER doc didn’t test for brain damage, did he?
Is there a test for that?
2. Call insurance.
3. Reschedule holiday photos.
4. Christmas tree, cards, shopping, decorating. Shoot! Behind
again! NOT efficient.
5. Find stupid kid that hit us so I can give him a piece of my
6. Finish background checks Galigani gave me.
7. Get new PI client. How do I do this? Forget it, focus on
catching up first!
Once home from the consulate I dialed Mom and then my best
friend, Paula. I got voice mails and left messages. Jim and I
decided on soup for dinner although neither one of us had much of an
I hovered over Laurie even more than usual, then finally upon
Jim’s urging went to bed early. Jim stayed up watching the news
with Laurie. At one point in the night I got out of bed to check on
them and found Jim singing and rocking Laurie. She was mesmer‐
ized by him, smiling and happily banging his face with her hands. I
retreated back to bed, relieved that she wasn’t showing any signs of
distress listed on the sheet the emergency room pediatrician had
I woke up when Jim climbed into bed.
“Where’s Laurie?” I asked.
“In her nest,” Jim answered.
I rolled over and sat up to peek into the bassinet by my bedside.
Since Laurie had been born I’d become accustomed to sleeping with
my side table lamp on and now wondered how I’d ever slept in the
The light glowed on Laurie, casting a gentle shadow across one
side of her face. “Is she okay?” I asked.
“I think so, honey. I really do. She seems fine,” Jim said.
“Any vomiting, listlessness, diarrhea, melancholy, rash—”
“Noooo, honey,” Jim said, in his best calm-down-and-don’t-get-hysterical-on-me tone.
I lay back and snuggled into his arms. “Okay.”
After a moment, he said, “Well, she did spit up . . . but that’s
I sat up again. “How do you know it was spit-up and not vomit?”
Jim shrugged. “I don’t.”
I peered over at Laurie in her bassinet. “Can she sleep in here with
us?” I asked.
Jim rose and crossed around our bed to the bassinet. He picked her
up and then climbed back into bed. We nestled her between us.
“I love my girls,” Jim said. “I’d do anything for you two.”
“Yeah,” I snickered. “Even have a showdown with an unsuspecting
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“I don’t think he’s as unsuspecting as he’d have you believe.”
The night-light illuminated his face and I traced a finger across his
lips. He kissed my finger.
“Good night, honey. Get some rest. You went through a lot today.”
Despite my best efforts for sleep, I woke every fifteen minutes and
checked on Laurie. She slept great, only waking at midnight then at
3:00 A.M. for her normal feedings, which were actually so much more
convenient with her lying right next to me.
Why didn’t she sleep in our bed every night?
Was she showing any signs of distress? I reviewed the list in my
mind. Vomiting, well, we weren’t sure. I’d have to watch that. List‐
Listlessness? She had been sleeping an awful lot. Did that count?
I lay awake next to her and watched her snooze, poking her softly
every so often to make sure her reflexes were still intact.
At 6:00 A.M. she woke up for another feeding. She had a wet diaper
that had soaked through to our sheet. No wonder I didn’t make a
regular practice of bringing her into our bed.
I rose to change her diaper, my neck stiff and sore. Another reason
she didn’t normally camp in our bed. I could barely move my neck
from side to side.
I scooped her up and took her to the nursery down the hall. I
changed her soiled pink-stripped pajamas to a clean white set with a
bunny in a Santa suit on it. I tickled her.
She seemed pleased to be in clean clothes and rewarded me with a
After nursing her, I set her down on her play mat and proceeded to
the kitchen to put on coffee. Jim materialized next to me as soon as
the coffeemaker beeped to completion.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“With what?” I asked, surprised.
“With you, honey, you’re moving funny.”
“I am? Oh. My neck is stiff. I must have slept kiddiwampus with
Laurie in our bed.”
Jim squinted. “Are you sure you don’t have whiplash?”
“Whiplash? No. I’m fine.”
Actually, now that he mentioned it, more than my neck hurt. My
mid and lower back and even my hips were sore, too.
I swallowed some Motrin with my morning coffee and tried to
ignore the fact that if I had been injured in the accident then the
chances were greater that Laurie had been injured, too.
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