I was Born the Unloved Twin
There is a clear way to tell us twins apart. Unless we're being perfectly still or sleeping our parents and all the staff can moderately tell who is who.
How disappointing, maybe we're not as identical as I assumed.
Of course, it probably has something to do with how I'm already walking and talking.
My language is greatly limited and I can only waddle in short bursts but I can do it both at one year old! So if there's a baby mumbling semi-comprehensible baby orders at you or is spotted where they're not supposed to be, everyone is quick to go:
"Ah, it's Rosalia again."
This won't do and cannot continue.
I have a lot of schem- ew I mean plans that are based on being absolutely ignored and undetected. However, now I'm being branded as a troublemaker to watch out for. It's vexing how many times I'm quickly caught and returned to the nursery by a now informed household staff member. It's like there's a target on my back!
"Caught her in between banisters."
"When will she ever beat her record? What was it the parlor room?"
"Does the back garden count, they caught her under the marigolds over a week ago."
"Makes it to the kitchen rather well, oh but she loves it down there. Watches us all the time"
"Should you even be allowing that?"
"We're not forcing her, she just shows up."
"She's a baby she can't just show up."
"....well she showed up on the balcony earlier today so."
Their squabling makes me huff but te banter is preferable to my gossipy but overall useless maids.
I think the rest of the staff have a betting ring going on over me. Wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't a inter-house game of who could catch me and where. Yes, this cannot remain! Their attention should be on Lilyanne and whatever else goes on, not me.
And so lately I am instructing Lilyanne to walk. She successfully managed to stand for almost 3 seconds unaided and with a bit more practice I believe we can get her more to my speed. She previously mastered rolling after all.
"Up! aaaaand gewd."
It's a work in progress, I'm having her hold on to the sitting cushions while she practices her walking. She can get a couple of steps before falling flat down on her bottom. She only cries about 1/3 of the time compared to all the time previously, what an improvement!
You can do it Lilyanne! Let's walk together!
What a good girl. Our training regime continues along at a splendid pace. When she's walking around well enough, as decent as she can, and the staff have had time to relax their watch on me, I can resume my explorations. I've found a great way to the library recently, grampa made a secret pathway that's not so secret to me anymore. With my previous self's memories, I can understand and read the language with no problem. There is a lack of selection though.
It's fast becoming my favorite room to escape to.
Soon enough all the attention was on Lilyanne again but not in the way I expected.
She's sick again. She's been doing so well all this time, no signs of a sick baby at all. But some things can't be changed from the past.
She has a delicate constitution, always did. Besides watching her activity levels and encouraging good habits like exercise I can't do anything about her health. It's more productive to escape off somewhere like the library.
It's not exactly like I can go beat her immune system into shape.
....Or can I?
And that's how I find myself in the kitchen again. It's my second most favorite room since despite a large amount of people passing to and fro. Everyone accepts my presence here.
"Here to visit again Rosalia? Oh whatever will we do with you?"
The kitchen staff pinch my cheeks and feed me spoonfuls of something made of mashed squash, yummy. I get all sorts of goodies and snacks down here. Yes yes feed me lots! My maids are horrible with my sad bland meals!
It's something I just recently realized that Lilyanne doesn't get. She only eats our few served meals on and off with breast feedings.
It's time to introduce more foods into her diet. I've been too lax about her health lately assuming she'll be fine since she hasn't received any fevers or bouts. When I see her occasionally feeling unwell she tends to nap it right off and bounces back.
I would know since after sleeping together prior to the kidnapping incident, she refuses to sleep in separate cribs anymore. Occasional naps are fine but otherwise, we share the same sleeping space. She's like a very warm squishy pillow. We've been separated these last two nights due to her condition and it's the longest we've been apart since the week of our birth.
Since I can't comfort her in our sleep I'll do so in the kitchen! Just leave everything to me!
...Well okay not everything, I do need the maids and cooks to do...literally everything. Just follow my orders and we'll be fine.
"Oh it's for your little sister? Yes it must be lonely for you now that she's sick"
The kitchen maids and runners are a lot less strict on me than my maids but then again they're not under the direct order of Ms. Gerta. While I hold a soft spot for her for never forgetting about me, even through painful punishments, in the past it's rather restricting nowadays.
I'm not a criminal on the loose and do not appreciate being chased like one. Is there a bounty on me or something? She's a bit busy caring for Lilyanne at the moment so it's all good.
"Oh? you want to cook a dish! For you lady Lilyanne? How exciting."
It's not meal prep time so a few of the kitchen maids and jr. cooks seem ready to humor me. It could be considered work since they were following the orders of the little miss of the house. Besides, it keeps me safe and under someone's supervision. Even the head of the kitchen Mrs. Bethan is allowing it. I'm sure our head butler knows at this point.
"Well than, what shall we be making today young Miss. Rosalia?"
"Rise! Rissse pawidge."
"Ooooo a porridge?"
"Yes we've fed you that before haven't we. Have we ever given her a rice one though?"
"I can't tell with all the mess you lot seem to let her eat."
They haven't, what I'm thinking more of is a rice congee. Something I haven't ever eaten here but had commonly back in my homeland. This is the great thing about this land, the people here eat multiple sources of grain. Both wheat and rice are on the menu, thank goodness. Food is not lacking nowadays, hooray for prosperity!
"Birb bone, boil birb bones!"
"My dear Miss, that's not food."
"Food! soup! Makey soup!"
Communication is still an issue for me obviously, My tongue is still listing at too many of the edges. I think I'm doing a pretty decent job still. If anything there's always the universal body language of pointing and gesturing.
"I think she means to make soup stock from the chickens"
"Oh well that we can do, anything else little miss?"
"Onon, dat one, an dat one...an giger!."
And so a pot of vegetable chicken stock is boiling away. Since they can't properly understand all my instructions I resort to a lot of patient pointing and smelling. A kitchen maid would bring up an ingredient and allow me to inspect it. Right under my nose and face. The jr. cook even recommended I add in bit of fresh squash for sweetness.
A very well trained and respectful staff in the kitchen, I'll be sure to reward them in the future. Just listen to me and you'll have an easier life okay? Let's eat more delicious things together, by that I mean make my food.
After the scum is removed some soup is added to the cooking pot of rice.
"Boil! Boil more, soft"
"It will overcook little miss."
"You know it might not actually turn out so bad. Mushy but not bad, why not?"
"Well, of course, we're doing all the work."
"Is no one going to question how a one year old is essentially giving us an actual recipe?"
"It's Miss Rosalia, is there any other explanation?"
They're a little talkative but not bad. Their call out and explanation for my behavior is rather odd though. What's that supposed to mean?
Well, I suppose they've seen their fair share of crazy by working under my grampa.
The congee turns out well, a little plain but that's suitable for a baby as young as Lilyanne. I would prefer a little more herb, soy sauce and vinegar but this will do. The soup stock was properly salted ahead of time.
"Oh it tastes quite decent. A little bland but with some more salt, or perhaps a meat?"
"Texture-wise it goes down easy, it's a good sick day dish."
"Well then Miss Rosalia, anything else?"
Of course, we must add the finishing touch.
"Eggy! Ad egg!"
They're a little confused but they're good sports and crack an egg into a scooped portion. I instruct them to cover it and wait a bit as the fresh egg cooks.
"Oh it looks like a little sun."
"It's pretty good like this actually."
"You could add meat or seafood, it's an essentially a more versatile gruel."
"Well she did mean rice porridge."
"Yay you did it Rosallia! You made your first dish!"
"Hey hey try it with bacon, it's surprisingly good."
"Pass the anchovies, I wanna try something"
While the rest of the staff mull over and taste test the pot of congee, a portion is perfectly poured out. I only meant it for Lilyanne but sure, if the chefs want to all try it I see no issue. It's a little bland for adult tastes though.
"I go too, me too."
No one is really surprised to see me being brought in with the serving staff when we enter the room where mother is watching over Lilyanne. I think I see Ms. Gerta's eye twitch though. Oh dear, note to avoid Ms. Gerta for awhile.
"We have something special on the menu today my Lady."
"Yes, little Miss Rosalia has been so helpful in the kitchen. She's made a get well dish for Miss Lilyanne."
"Of course we and the staff cooked it my Lady, but it really was thanks to Miss Rosalia."
Enough chatter more feeding, I make to motion with a stop sign.
Mother chuckles and allows for it to be brought over. While flushed and weak Lilyanne is looking over at us curiously when mother picks her up. She brightens at my voice and the sight of me with the serving maids.
"Lilian! Fud eat!"
Mother of course checks over the food first. Lifting the lid on the tray to reveal a simple dish of plain white congee with an egg.
"Oh my, a little sun. What a suitable dish for you Lilyanne."
She takes a spoonful and hums in approval at the taste. Alright mother has given the ok!.
"Thank you Rosalia, you've worked hard."
She keeps eating it herself though....Mother? Mother that's for Lilyanne, you know your sick child? Maybe this dish suits mother's tastes a little too well? It gets to the point that Lilyanne is getting frustrated and whines to be fed herself. How wonderful, take initiative Lilyanne!
"Oh you want some? That's a good girl, eat up."
After eating every drop she looks lively enough that the maids allow us to play together again. A good appetite is a sign in the right direction. For the first time in days, we fall asleep in each other's embrace soon after.
The next day Lilyanne is mostly all but recovered but mother falls ill in return. The kitchen gleefully experiments making a lot of rice porridge though, as per request.
I don't mind, I like rice.