It was unfortunate and genuinely cruel that this, of all things, was basically the only time Darlene was permitted within Drew’s vicinity. This… education (she would not even think the word) was completely inappropriate! Darlene felt faint very early into Professor Blair’s lecture, but she was afraid to ask to be excused; she didn’t really need to draw any more attention to herself this year, and literally all of her classmates close to her in age were here to see. She just shielded her eyes or looked away as much as possible. At one point the pictures went away (thank goodness) and they moved onto consent, and while Darlene did join the shouting of the word “no”, she felt it very strongly deep in her, but in a vastly different context.
The somewhat-former Lyra did not feel really that she needed advice on childcare from a woman with a job. The elf that brought in the baby probably did most of the raising anway. (Sidenote, using a baby as a prop? Kinda tacky. A leverage point against an unfit father/bad husband? Valid. But this? Not Darlene’s style.) And that was fine, really - a mother didn’t have to do too much mothering when it could be helped, and she personally preferred the times when Mother kept out of her business - but to stand up there and demand these children complete childcare was a bit outrageous.
Moreover, Darlene didn’t really want to think about raising or having babies anymore. Her dream future with Drew and their eight sons and one daughter had been shattered, and there was nothing left for her anymore. She knew eventually she would have to start producing heirs for some man she had to marry, but she wanted to put off the thought as far as she could, and this was not helping. She wasn’t lucky like Alena, who got to marry the boy she fell in love with at school. Darlene was already tainted and damaged, used goods. She’d have to take what she could get now. She had given Drew too much of her.
Someone sat down beside her in the seat Kit had to vacate to go find her own partner, and Darlene signed. She hadn’t listened to the pairings, but as public enemy number one, she knew there was no way this would be good. “Let’s just get this over with,” she said glumly. She touched the “baby’s” hand to do her part to bring it to life and looked up at her partner, waiting for them to do the same.