Eugene Hardie

April 25, 2021, 2:13 p.m.

It's all about nurture anyway

Eugene had suffered through The Talk four times so far. Once from a well-meaning Joey, during their stint as plant parenting partners, which was quickly followed by a brief chat with a very flustered Leopold, and an incredibly arduous car journey with his dad during which Eugene pretended to read through a pile of flyers as his dad hummed Classic Rock songs to himself in the next seat and avoided making eye contact with his son for over two hours. More recently, he had received a sexual education from Jeb. It was during his brief career as Norah's boyfriend and a lot of the focus had been on accidental baby making - which Eugene was beginning to suspect wouldn't be a problem for him in future relationships.

He had thought his education complete but Professor Blair’s version of The Talk was much more detailed than the previous four he’d received combined and Eugene could feel the eyes in his head popping forth in shock with each new revelation. By the time the presentation was finished his complexion had taken on a shiny red hue and it was only his genuine joy at the sight of baby Cam that allowed Eugene’s brain to function after such a long time squirming in his seat.

Eugene loved babies.

He loved their squishy faces and their fat little limbs. He loved their gassy smiles and how easily they laughed. He remembered Amybeth and JJ's early years with great fondness. Though he'd never changed a diaper or wiped away spit up he'd always thought he was pretty great with babies. He was a master at peek-a-boo and had done some of his first magic livening up mealtimes with his own spin on the airplane spoon.

Eugene already knew who he wanted as his baby daddy. Tycho was top dad material. He was like a little dad already; he was just missing the baby. but the general consensus was that Blair wasn't likely to pair up roommates. It was all pretty devastating but he supposed this way he got two babies in his life. Tycho and Eugene's babies were obviously going to be best friends. Eugene had even made matching yellow hats for little baby Leppit and baby Harris to wear. When Eugene first heard whispers of the baby class he began carting around a ball of yellow yarn. He didn't want to be rude or neglectful and met his baby with no gift at all and a little yellow hat yelled sunshine and orange juice: AKA pure joy. And no one could pull off yellow like babies. Every baby looked beautiful in carnation yellow whereas most people aged out of it. There was no logical explanation for why this was but Eugene felt sure it was true. He had never knitted anything before and even with the added advantage of magic they had come out looking more like very small, very sad, lumpy potato sacks than anything you’d willingly put on your head but Eugene didn't think a baby would mind too much.

With Tycho off the cards Eugene cast his eye around the room for Joey, believing that a bilingual baby would be a huge bonus, but he obviously wasn’t the only one who saw the potential of a bilingual baby with a boy as fun and easy going as Joey, because the other boy was snapped up immediately. Elliot was similarly coveted which left Eugene a bit stumped but then he saw the famous school poisoner, Darlene Knight and his brain dancing with ideas. Darlene was sitting alone, as she always did these days, when her evil overlord Kit Kendrick wasn’t keeping her in check.

Last term Eugene had written what he considered to be the best article of his journalistic career on the not-so-mysterious case of Drew’s poisoning. He’d even got an exclusive interview with the victim but Drew had balked when it came to publishing the article. Eugene hadn’t been able to understand Drew’s decision until he theorised that the problem came down to a lack of sources. If he really wanted to expose Kit as the true mastermind behind the murder plot he needed to turn Darlene. It had been awhile since Eugene had participated in any espionage but espionage was just like riding a bike, right? Sure, it was unfortunate he hadn’t come to class dressed for the act of spying but he was wearing his lucky pink socks so Eugene was pretty confident he could convince Darlene to accept him as the father of her child. He was so pleased with the idea that he didn’t even have to fake the enthusiasm in his step as he skipped over to Darlene and pulled out the seat next to her.

"Hey," he said with a smile. "You looked like you could use a partner." And she really did. Darlene’s face was so glum it reminded him of Leo on laundry day and he felt a strange pang of sympathy for the girl. "I made this little hat for the baby," Eugene said, tossing the yellow lump onto the table with pride and gently taking the baby’s free hand. "I’m so excited. Babies are the best but I bet it’s even better when it’s your baby. Do you think it will look more like your family or mine? Gene’s are so weird. Like I look a lot like Leo but not a lot like Brandy or - look! It’s changing, it’s getting an entire face!"

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The Birds, The Bees, and The Babies (Years 4-7) - Estelle Blair || April 24
I hate nature. - Darlene Knight || April 25
It's all about nurture anyway - Eugene Hardie || April 25
Which one made me Bad? - Darlene || April 25
You? Fell in with the wrong crowd - Eugene Hardie || April 25
And what crowd is that? - Darlene || April 25