Assumpta looked at her watch. 'Peter could you come upstairs and help me with something?'
Peter looked up and nodded. After the two had disappeared upstairs the bar erupted into laughter.
'To think they were laughing at us when we were trying to conceive,' Niamh laughed.
'Not to mention that Peter didn't know that they went in cycles,' Siobhan grinned.
The rain started pouring down even harder.
'Thank goodness you're already here Ambrose,' Brendan said, looking out at the rain.
'Why is that?' Ambrose asked.
'Because I don't think that any of us are going home soon so you might have to book us.'
'Well, I think I'll make an exception,' Ambrose smiled, as he too stared out at the pouring rain.
Liam and Donal arrived, very bedraggled and wet. 'Two large whiskeys please Niamh,' Liam asked.
'Very large,' Donal added.
Niamh raised an eyebrow and handed them over.
'How's the playground coming along?' Siobhan asked.
'Yeah you may have a new baby to play in it soon,' Padraig smiled, pointing upstairs.
Donal looked mystified.
'They're trying for a baby,' Padraig clarified.
'Mr Quigley had us out there all night,' Liam said, sourly.
'In this rain?' Niamh asked.
'What on earth for?' Siobhan asked.
'The stuff hasn't arrived yet but Mr Quigley says that the place has to be ready by tomorrow.'
Donal shook his head. 'The mud was making us sink and we can't clear it.'
'I'm sure Brian will find a reason why you still should have done it,' Brendan muttered.
Liam nodded. 'So are we.'
'That's right, drip on the carpet,' Assumpta growled, coming downstairs.
Padraig looked at his watch and then back at Assumpta. 'An hour. We've been sitting here for an hour and not realised it.'
Siobhan looked at him strangely. 'Since when have you become so philosiphised?'
'We are going to get booked if you don't all go now,' Assumpta said, looking at her watch.
'Why? The guard is here drinking himself,' Brendan said. 'He'd be incriminating himself.'
Ambrose sighed. 'Let's go Niamh.'
Padraig, Siobhan and Brendan soon followed.
'Thanks Assumpta,' Liam said, handing over the glasses.
Assumpta nodded and watched them leave.
'Well, to work we go,' Peter smiled, stacking the glasses.
Kevin ran down the path and ran into Fitzgerald's. 'Assumpta! Peter!'
At the sound of his voice Assumpta came out. 'What is it Kevin? Shouldn't you be at school.'
'I would be but there is a riot going on! Con O'Neill's boys have locked him and some other kids in rooms and said they're going to graffiti the school.'
'Kevin slow down. Where's Mr Kearney?'
'I don't know. He didn't show up.'
'Siobhan!' Assumpta said. 'Right. Let's sort this out then.'
'I really should ring someone to tell them what's going on,' Brendan told Siobhan.
'Don't dare move!' she cried squeezing his hand to nearly break some bones.
'But the kids..'
'They'll deal with it!'
Assumpta stepped into the hallway that was already covered art supplies. 'For pete's sake,' she groaned.
The kids were running around ignoring her. Kevin and Peter stood behind her. Padraig, Niamh and Ambrose had arrived too.
'ATTEN-HUT!' Assumpta called.
Every single child stopped what they were doing, some in the middle of throwing flour bombs and looked at Assumpta.
'Drop those flour bombs or anything that you are considering to throw and make a line down the hall. Now.'
Obediently all the children did what they were asked.
'Right. Now anyone with a key to one of the doors or cupboards, step forward.'
Yet again, the children did what they were asked.
'Peter, Ambrose and Kevin, can you collect them and let all the other kids out?'
The keys were collected and those that had been locked up were turfed outside.
'Good. Now anyone who threw anything, take a step forward.'
About seven stepped out.
'Ah, come on I know that there was more of you.'
The rest of the bunch stood forward.
'Good. Now all of you into your classrooms. March!'
All the children filed in. Assumpta turned to Peter, Niamh, Ambrose
and Padraig who had large smiles on their
faces. 'What do we do with them now?'
'And you have a beautiful baby girl,' the nurse smiled.
'You were a miracle Assumpta,' Padraig smiled.
'Ah grow up. All I did was stop a bunch of kids from throwing stuff.'
Ambrose smiled. 'But we do need someone to watch them for the day.'
'Don't look at me,' Assumpta said. 'I've got a pub to run.'
'Come on Assumpta. The kids respect you,' Niamh told her.
'I don't know why but they do,' Padraig added.
'I'm sure Peter could do without you for awhile.'
Assumpta began to look exasperated. 'Niamh could I see you for a moment?'
They went into the kitchen. When they came back out, Niamh smiled. 'Um, I'll do it.'
Padraig raised an eyebrow. 'What?'
'I'll do it.'
'Assumpta's busy with other things.'
Suddenly it all dawned on Padraig. 'Right,' he smiled.
The phone rang and Peter answered it.
'Don't look so smug Padraig,' Assumpta told him.
Padraig smiled again.
'Don't leave yet,' Peter said, coming out. 'Siobhan's just had the baby.'
'Girl or boy?' Niamh asked.
'It's a girl and they've called her Aisling.'
'That's wonderful,' Assumpta smiled.
'Liam! Donal!' Brian Quigley cried.
'Yes Mr Quigley?' Liam asked.
'Why is the playground not ready yet?'
'Mr Quigley it was raining last night and the mud made us sink,' Donal explained.
'What kind of an excuse is that?!' Brian asked.
Once again, everyone was at the bar. Brian was sending dagger looks at Liam and Donal who were ignoring him and drinking their pints. Brendan and Siobhan arrived, carrying Aisling.
'She's beautiful,' Niamh smiled.
While everyone was cooing over Aisling, Assumpta went upstairs. When she came back down, she had a look of surprise on her face. Brendan noticed it first.
'Assumpta? Are you alright?'
'Um. Yeah. Uh, Peter, I think you should come upstairs for a moment.'
Peter looked at her strangely and followed her upstairs. A few minutes later a loud yell of delight came downstairs. Everyone in the bar looked at each other in confusion. Peter and Assumpta came downstairs.
'Uh,' Peter began. 'Assumpta and I have a little announcement.'
Everyone looked at them expectantly.
'Assumpta's, well, we're going to have a baby.'
The bar erupted into cheers and slapping on backs.
Niamh came and sat next to Assumpta. 'You're glowing,' she smiled.
'I am not,' Assumpta retorted.
'You are,' Siobhan smiled, bringing Aisling over.
'And Peter is beaming,' Niamh added.
'I think this calls for a drink!' Brendan smiled.
'Drinks are on the house,' Assumpta answered.