Since Alice and Dude had only a 1-bedroom house, Regina and Bill had offered to have Dude's parents stay with them, and had generously given up their master bedroom suite to the elderly couple,
while Regina and Bill slept in Alice and Dude's old room.
"Okay," Bill pronounced, "they're officially weird."
"I think his dad is okay," Regina offered, "but I'm starting to get why Dude is so loathe to make ANY major decisions in his life--his mother is SO domineering!"
Andromeda, though prickly, was attentive and kind to baby Scout. "Good for you and you husband that you at least have a REAL nursery!" she declared the next morning.
"What is the second bassinet here for?" she demanded to know. "Are you and you husband fortunate enough to be expecting again?"
"Umm, not yet," Regina said. "When your son and Alice are both at work, they bring your grandson here, because Bill and/or I can be home all day. So the second bassinet is for Daedelus III."
"Thank you very much for making breakfast, Mr. Musico," Bill said.
"It's the least I can do, given the wonderful hospitality of you and your charming and beautiful wife! And please call me 'Daedelus'."
"You have a very pleasant house," Andromeda told Regina, as the two woman sat down at the kitchen table. "A NORMAL house," she emphasized. "Unlike that ridiculous place my son and his wife live in--not even a nursery for my grandson!"
"Well, Dude and Alice have only recently bought that house--they used to live here," Regina offered, "and I know they're planning on putting on a second story, with another bedroom, as soon as they can afford it."
"But it is such an UGLY house!" Andromeda sputtered.
"Well, it was already built," Regina explained, "and they wanted to live near all their friends."
She was relieved when Dude's father brought over his platter of scrambled eggs.
Regina went to visit Alice.
"So, are they driving you crazy yet?" Alice asked, apologetically, but laughing.
"Not at all--" Regina answered.
"Dude's dad is fishing with Bill,
"and his mother has already harvested, weeded, watered, and bug-sprayed everything in my garden.
"I tried to help--again, in my OWN garden--but Andromeda basically told me to get lost."
"Yup--that sounds like the woman I met last evening!" Alice laughed.
Andromeda showed up soon thereafter (without knocking),
and headed directly for her grandson.
"May I get you some coffee, Mrs. Musico?" Alice asked.
"No!" Andromeda responded abruptly. "Who is this strange man here???" she said, indicating Peter,
who was working on a painting near Dude, who was practicing piano for work.
"That's our friend, Peter," Alice replied. "He and his roommate, Lou, live next door. She's in medical training, and works crazy hours. Peter likes company when he paints, so he comes over here every day." (Alice feared she was "over-explaining"....)
Andromeda immediately headed for her son.
"Who this unmarried man, who visit you pretty young wife every day???" she demanded, not caring if Peter overheard her.
(Peter was merely amused by the whole kerfuffle, and continued with his painting.)
"Mama, he is our other next-door neighbor, and he is a very GOOD neighbor," he told her.
Andromeda scrutinized the contents of the bookcase.
"Why there no wedding album?" she demanded to know. "Where are pictures of you and you lovely bride???"
"Mama," Dude stuttered nervously, "Alice and I got married at the Town Hall. So there wasn't a big ceremony or anything."
"Then there must be a REAL wedding!" she declared loudly. "While you father and I are here!!!"