Nursery Crimes

Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman

Book: Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ayelet Waldman
treating her and her husband, together? And it would be really good to know
why
she was seeing her, okay?”
    “I bet I could find out
something
from her. She’s so completely indiscreet. I’ll take her to the Ivy. That’ll knock her onto her butt-kissing butt. This is kind of fun; I feel like Miss Marple!”
    “Only much better-looking,” I said.
    “You flatter me, dahling,” Lilly replied, doing her best Zsa Zsa Gabor. “I’ll call you as soon as I talk to the doc.”
    “Great! Talk to you soon.”
    I hung up the phone just in time to hear Ruby yelling from her bed.
    “Mama! Nap all done! Come get me! Mama come
now
!!”
    “I’m coming!” I yelled back. “And stop yelling at me!”
    I walked into Ruby’s room and found her standing in her crib, one leg hoisted over the side.
    “What are you doing, Houdini-baby?” I said, grabbing her just in time to break her fall.
    “Nap all done,” she said. “I want out.”
    “I see that,” I said. “If you’re big enough to climb out of your crib, maybe you’re big enough to get a big-girl bed. Do you want a big-girl bed?”
    “No.”
    “You could pick one out by yourself.”
    “No.”
    “It could be a really pretty bed,” I wheedled. I needed to get her out of that crib before her brother made his appearance. No way was I buying a second crib.
    “No.”
Jeez
, this kid was stubborn. Wherever did she get that?
    “It could be pink,” I said in a singsong voice.
    That sparked her interest. “Pink?”
    “Sure. Wouldn’t that be great? Let’s go buy you a pink, big-girl bed!”
    “No.”
    Time to quit while I was behind. “Okay. Never mind. Let’s go find Daddy.”
    It took all of three seconds to pry Peter away from his work. The bait was a trip to the grocery store to buy the fixings for chicken tacos. The man is easily distracted.
    Peter wheeled our big cart down the aisles, Ruby trundled along behind wheeling her minicart, and I brought up the rear, wishing that one of them was wheeling me. In the produce aisle I caught up to Peter and asked, “Do you
goyim
have any ritual where friends and family pay visits on the bereaved after a death?”
    “You mean like a wake?” he asked.
    “No. Not like a party or anything. More like . . . well, like a
shiva
call.”
    “What’s a
shiva
call?”
    “You know, we paid a
shiva
call on my aunt Gracie when Uncle Irving died.”
    “Oh, right. Of course. When they sat around on stools for seven days and everybody came by with food.”
    “Exactly.”
    “Nope. I don’t think there’s a WASP equivalent.”
    “Really? That’s so cold! You just let the family mope in their house all alone?”
    “No, Juliet. We all meet up at the country club and play a round of golf. And then we have a big meeting and discuss how to keep the Jews and blacks out of the neighborhood.”
    I laughed. “Seriously, there’s no time where you just drop by and visit the family?”
    “Not really. Although my mom is always dropping off casseroles for eligible widowers. Does that count?”
    “No, I don’t think . . . wait a minute, maybe that
could
work.”
    “What could work?”
    “Maybe I could make a casserole for Abigail Hathaway’s husband!”
    “That’s a terrible idea.”
    “Why? I think it’s a great idea.”
    “First of all, didn’t you say she had a daughter?”
    “Yes. So what?”
    “It’s hardly fair to leave her an orphan. I can’t imagine a surer way to kill the poor girl’s stepfather than feeding him a casserole that you made.”
    “Ha, ha. You’re a laugh a minute.”
    “Seriously, Juliet. You don’t even know these people. You can’t just show up with food.”
    “Why not? I’m just showing support. Helping them out. And I did
so
know her.”
    “You did not. She probably wouldn’t even have recognized you.”
    “Yes, she would have. She would have remembered that you saved her from Bruce LeCrone. And anyway,
they
don’t know how well I knew her.”
    “Juliet, be careful around

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