As the party winds down and the guests start to leave, Fern is getting increasingly nervous. Like the good big cousin that he is, Basil has been attempting to teach Fern what sounds are made by different animals. It has been a bit frustrating for both of the children because Fern keeps making the wrong sounds.
Flipping a picture book to the picture of a cow, Basil looks at Fern expectantly and says, "what does the cow say?"
Scrunching her nose, Fern makes cute cat hands and responds, "meow."
Poking at the picture book, Basil frowns and says, "Noh! The cow says 'moo'; cats say 'meow.'"
Smiling and trying to appease Basil, Fern responds "Soing. It has been quite lovely seeing Fern make a friend with someone her age."
"Sister! How can you talk so formally to me without feeling awkward? We just had to come to our baby niece's first birthday party! What kind of sibling and auntie do you think I am?"
"I'm sorry- I guess seeing all of my colleagues in one place made me shift into a formal work mindset. You are going to be the best gosh-darn auntie that the world has ever seen! Basil and Fern will be friends forever!"
Looking over to the children, Camilla elbows her sister in the shoulder and says, "You should probably get going. It looks like Fern is about to destroy that picture book that Basil is using to lecture her."
Following Camilla's gaze, Rose pokes Dan in the shoulder and whispers to him, "go get Basil." After a brief period of Dan wrestling with Basil and pulling him away from Fern, he comes back to the parent huddle.
With a slight nod of his head, Dan grabs Rose with his extra hand and says, "Well, I'm sure we'll be seeing you all soon. Thank you for inviting us and happy birthday to Fern. Goodbye!"
With that, Fern is left alone with her parents and a big messy house.
Before her parents can run off and crash from all of the excitement, Fern takes a big gulp, puts on her determined face, and waddle-runs over to the couple.
After taking a couple of breaths of air from all of that exercise. Fern tugs on her parents' clothes. Quivering a little, Fern looks up into Camilla and Miles' eyes and says, "Mama, Dada, follow me."
"Lead the way!"
"As you wish, my adorable birthday girl."
As the couple is slowly led through the house and towards the office, they start whispering to each other.
"Don't you think that Fern is acting a little weird?"
"She is acting even more abnormal than normal. I have never seen her behave so seriously."
"What if something awful happened during the party and she is trying to tell us."
"Oh no! What if she has decided that she is old enough to move out of the house now?"
Smacking Miles on the back of the head, Camilla responds, "She's only one year old! She couldn't possibly be capable of living by herself."
"That's right! Fern can't even talk or walk properly yet. She couldn't possibly make enough money to be independent."
"Phew~ this sounds a bit awful, but I'm glad that Fern will be dependent on us for a while. I just love her so much. I can't bear the thought of her having to face the world by herself."
"Well, she will have to leave the nest sometime in the future." Giving Camilla a little squeeze, Miles smiles and says, "We will have to make she that she is as prepared as she could possibly be. And maybe we could hire a secret security team to keep her safe 24/7."
"That's a great idea! Not the security thing- that would cost so much money. We should have someone help us teach Fern life skills that aren't normally taught in school like cooking, self-defense, and taxes!"
As the couple slowly dug themselves deeper into a pit of planning and worrying about Fern, they finally reached the final destination! The office.
Fern goes onto her tippy toes and tries to turn the office door's handle. After taking a brief moment to savor the adorable sight of Fern trying to be adult-like, Miles reaches above her and opens the door.
"So, what's so important Fern?"
Rather than take time to respond to Camilla, Fern grunts and continues waddling towards the desk.
Once again standing on her tippy toes like a wobbly ballerina, Fern reaches up towards the computer and declares, "up!"
Taking the hint, Camilla picks Fern up and sits down on the chair with Fern on her lap.
With Miles looking over her and Camilla's shoulders, Fern shakes the mouse, waking the computer up from its slumber.
At first, the couple thought that Fern jiggled the mouse randomly, but once the computer screen turned on, they realized that her actions were no accident. Both of them always turn the computer completely off whenever they leave the room, so it could not have possibly been left in sleep mode by either of them.