The following are some of the benefits of having a baby in your life:

1) You will have a new member to your family!

Your children will grow up with someone they love and care about. They’ll get plenty of sleep too because you won’t be waking them up all night anymore.

And when you do wake them up, it’s going to be less than one hour each day! (And then only if they’re really napping! But hey, maybe that’s just me!)

2) You’ll have a whole new world to explore!

There will be so much to see and do. Even though you may not always agree with what other people choose to do, at least you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself while doing it.

3) You’ll have a whole new way of looking at things!

Having a child means you’ll have a completely different perspective on everything. For example, you might think that eating meat is bad for the environment or that drinking milk is good for the health.

Maybe you’ll even go vegan someday!

4) You’ll be able to spend more quality time with your loved ones!

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If you don’t mind spending most of your free time with them, why would you want to spend every minute of it away from them?

5) You’ll have someone to pass on your wisdom and experience too!

If you’ve done a lot in life already, there will be something new and exciting for you to teach them. And if not, well at least you’ll learn it together!

6) You’ll have someone new with which to share your love of the world!

No matter how cynical you might be, there is always something to look forward to when you have a new life to share it with.

You might be thinking that this all sounds great, but how would you go about getting one?

Well, if you have someone in mind already then just ask them out first before even going down this path! It will make things a whole lot easier if you’re actually dating someone you’re serious about anyway. If not, then that’s okay too. You just need to make sure you spend a lot of quality time with them. It’s not the same as dating, but you’ll need to build up as much excitement as you can before even considering the next step!

When you’re finally ready to take things to the next level, then what you need to do is propose! You probably want to do this in some sort of public place so you can get a few pictures of the happy occasion.

Or if you really don’t want the attention, you can just have a private wedding in the garden! It’s your special day so you can do whatever you want. You just need to make sure that you’re marrying someone who will be a good mother or father. They don’t need to be a perfect 10 in looks, but they do need to be a perfect 10 in heart!

Of course, this entire process could take months or even years to complete. You need to make sure that your new family member is someone you can live with for many years.

It’s a big decision so take as much time as you need with it. But if you follow these steps, I’m sure you’ll be fine!

Fantasy Races: Pixies

Pixies are often described as creatures with large wings and small bodies that rarely grow taller than a foot in height. They are most well known for their love of playing pranks on others.

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Your typical pixie has a wingspan of around three feet, although they’re much smaller than that in general. They have slender bodies with hair usually tied up in a bun.

They’ve been known to wear human-sized clothing (especially ones that resemble pink and purple flowers) or leaf dresses. They like to decorate themselves with flowers and other plant-like objects. They can produce a pigment that allows them to change their skin color as a means of camouflage. At least some of them are able to fly despite their small wings, which flap so fast they’re almost invisible. Fortunately, pixies aren’t very strong so they’ve never been known to do any real damage.

Despite their size and appearance, pixies are generally very friendly creatures who would prefer to avoid violence if at all possible. The don’t even like to steal as a rule, although they’ll do it if they feel like they have to.

Most of their pranks are meant to be harmless fun, but some consider them to be a menace.

For the most part, pixies tend to keep to themselves in the forests where they build their homes in tall trees. These homes are often very artistic as they’re usually decorated with flowers and other leafy plants.

They also use natural tools such as bows as well as traps to capture their prey. Some of them have even been known to use firearms, but it’s unclear where they get these from. It’s possible that there are pixies that leave the forest in order to acquire these weapons and other technology, but no one really knows for sure.

Despite being small in size, pixies are able to reproduce at a fairly fast rate. Female pixies are able to produce a baby every couple of years at best, but it’s not uncommon for them to have a new one every year.

They also seem to be able to live for a very long time, perhaps even several human lifetimes. It’s also unknown how long pixies have existed in Ertin, although they’ve been around long before humans arrived on the scene.

Pixies have never had a unified government of any kind. They tend to live in small communities where the male pixies go out and gather food and other supplies while the females take care of the home and children.

The communities are usually led by a couple that have been deemed the oldest of the community. If they’re seen as fit, then they’ll continue to lead. If not, then they’ll be replaced with another couple who are more respected within the village. Despite this relatively simple way of life, pixies have never been known to attack others unless they feel their home is in jeopardy.

As mentioned before, pixies tend to keep to themselves in the forests where they live. There have, however, been sightings of them in the past interacting with humans on several occasions.

Some of these encounters have been friendly while others have been hostile.

One story involved a village where the pixies would often come and go as they pleased. In exchange for being allowed to visit the village, the pixies would help wherever they could.

They tended to the gardens, helped with repairs around the village, and even protected it from invading bandits and hostile wildlife. The relationship between the pixies and humans was a very happy one.

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This relationship didn’t last, however, as one winter the village was gripped by an unnatural ice storm that killed most of the villagers. The pixies tried to help their human friends as best they could, but they suffered casualties as well.

The surviving humans feared that the ice storm would become permanent and kill them all so they decided that it would be better to move the village to a new location. The pixies were informed of this decision and, even though they offered to help in any way they could, they were told that they had to leave. The pixies understood and left on good terms, but the relationship between the two races would never be the same.

A few years later, a group of bandits learned just how hostile pixies could really be when they attempted to use the forest the pixies called home as a place to hide from law enforcement. The pixies didn’t take too kindly to this and killed every last bandit.

The pixies then took it upon themselves to make sure no one else used their forest for such a purpose again by killing anyone who entered. This sometimes included innocent travelers who, unaware of the danger, were killed by the vicious pixies.

As you can imagine, stories like this involving pixies don’t tend to be as well known as those involving more friendly creatures. It’s a shame too since the pixies were actually being quite helpful in their own way.

The moral of the story is to always be careful of how you treat others, for you may not know what they’re capable of until it’s too late.

You finish reading the entry and set the book down on the table.

“Well, that was an interesting story,” you say.

“Yeah, I guess,” Lilith says uninterestedly. “I just don’t get why you’re reading that now.

We already know about pixies and we’ve been fine so far.”

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“Just wanted to make sure we were fully prepared in case we do run into any. I mean if we had read this earlier, we could’ve dealt with the fawn a lot better.

We wouldn’t have pissed it off for starters.”

“Pfft, that thing was petrified of me. It wasn’t until you jumped in and started swiping at it yourself that it got angry.”

“Yeah, well I’m still convinced that thing would’ve ran off sooner or later if you hadn’t screamed which obviously panicked it.”

“I did not!”

Oh yeah? Then why did you jump back through the portal so quickly?

I remember because I had to grab you by the hand and yank you out of the way before the fawn ran straight into you. Had to do the same thing with the flower as well.”

Lilith’s face turns red. You can tell she wants to yell at you, but she’s doing her best to restrain herself.

You smile knowing you’ve won this one. Lilith then abruptly gets up and leaves the room. You can hear her stomp up the stairs.

“Wow, she’s mad,” Elana says.

“Of course she is. I was winning that argument.

She can’t handle the fact that I’m right.”

“I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s more that you won an argument against her.

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It’s never happened before.”

Wait, you’re saying she’s NEVER been in a winning position of any kind before? What the hell has she been doing with her life?”

“Well for starters, she doesn’t really go to school. She stays home most of the time. Sometimes she goes into town and practices her magic, but never for long. A lot of the times she comes back with stories of how people act weird around her. Like when she tried sitting in on a class at the university. The students and professors just stared at her or got up and left. She even said once some adventurers tried to assault her.”

Really? Is she involved with the Crimson Talons?”

“Heh, if she was, I think she’d be happier. Nah, she’s just a loner it seems. I think part of the reason why she moved here was to get away from the city and hopefully start a fresh life. I mean it’s worked…to an extent.”

Elana continues, “Yeah, I think she was planning on making friends and all that, but it really hasn’t worked out. Sometimes the other girls in the neighborhood are nice to her, but most of the time they make fun of her or just avoid her altogether.

Kids can be really mean you know?

And I think part of the reason why is because she’s royalty.”

You’re kidding?”

“No! Her father was the lord of some far off kingdom and he was visiting Venji on diplomatic mission and they fell in love. He gave up his title and lands to be with her mother. He died a year later in some war or something, but still it’s obvious she looks down on everyone else as being “beneath” her. I mean I like her and all, but she can be very stuck up at times. Hence why I don’t think she’d like your suggestion. She already views the world as a cruel place and relying on others as weak.”

I dunno, seems like she needs friends, why not start with me?”

“She doesn’t view you as a potential friend, she views you more as a…” Elana blushes a bit. “Well…a potential boyfriend I guess.”

What?

!” you exclaim.

“Shhh! Keep your voice down!

Yeah, I think she’s had a bit of a crush on you ever since you saved her. It’s probably why she interacts with you as much as she does. Though I can understand why you wouldn’t notice. I didn’t until recently.”

“Wait, you’re saying she….”

Likes girls?

Yeah. She’s actually really shy about it. Hence why she’s never made a move on me though I kind of wish she would.” Elana grins at you.

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You seriously need to get out more.

“But anyway,” Elana continues “despite her obvious crush on you, I don’t think she’d like your suggestion at all. Changing who she is on the inside, I think would be harder for her that changing her outside appearance.”

“But if she at least tried, then it would at least be a step in the right direction and I could help her further afterwards.”

You run your hand through your hair in frustration. You should have known that this was going to be difficult.

Making other people change isn’t exactly easy, unless of course you’re violent about it, but you really don’t want to go down that route.

“Alright, I understand what you’re saying and in any other situation I’d agree, but in this one I just can’t. Not with what’s going on.

I mean if she doesn’t change a bit then I’m facing serious consequences. You know the story about my family.”

“Yeah, but I don’t see how making her pretend to be something she isn’t going to help. If anything it’ll make things worse!

You know if the Duke ever found out he’d have her executed!”

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“Not if we keep it a secret, and besides, I think being stuck as a bird is worse than execution.”

“I don’t know, being a bird sounds pretty great to me. Flying around, eating bugs, pooping on people…it’s the life.”

You both laugh, breaking the tension of the situation somewhat. You knew Elana would be reluctant to go along with your plan, but you’re glad that she’s at least encouraging your interest in this.

“I’ll tell you what, you can try to change Ophelia, just…just don’t get caught.

If things get too dangerous or if she suspects anything, you gotta let her go. And I mean that.”

“I know, I know. No falling in love.

I’ve heard this all before.” You say.

Elana smiles, but then grows a bit more serious.

“You know this could also cost me my job. I mean Mrs.

Hornback would almost certainly fire me after something like this came to light. She’s not fond of replacing maids under the best of circumstances.”

“I’ll do everything in my power to keep you out of it, but if it becomes a choice between your job and her life, well….”

“You don’t need to say it. I understand.”

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“Thanks Elana, you’re a true friend. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Oh you’d find someone else to help you, don’t worry. There’s a line of girls waiting to be your friend.”

“Yeah…well I doubt if any of them are as good as you.

I’m glad we’re friends and I mean that in the least romantic way possible.”

Elana chuckles.

“We’re good friends because we’re more like family than friends. We just don’t have the fun sexual tension that other pairs of friends have.

Don’t worry about me leaving your side anytime soon. Now I must insist we stop talking about this and continue our journey. The quicker we do this, the less likely we are to get caught. And believe me it’s going to be hard enough finding a place to change without being in some rundown part of the city. Whenever you’re ready let’s go.

The pair of you are off. You don’t know the city all that well, but you feel like you’re in over your head.

Eventually you and Elana settle on an isolated part of the city which is a lot quieter than the more lively parts. Still, it’s not exactly deserted so you have to hurry and find a place to change.

Unfortunately this proves to be more difficult than expected mainly due to your size. It would be a lot easier if you were a typical human female.

You’re just not sure if a secluded spot is even feasible at this point and you’re certainly not going to expose Elana to any more danger than is absolutely necessary.

What’s the problem?”

Elana asks.

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“I’m having a little trouble finding a place that isn’t inhabited.”

“Well let’s move people! We don’t have all day!

Sources & references used in this article:

Fifteen Babies In My Garden by C Kingsley – 1895 – Macmillan

Association of maternal determinants with low birth weight babies in tea garden workers of Assam by J Underwood – 2018 – research.gold.ac.uk

Breeding better babies in the eugenic garden city:’municipal Darwinism’and the (anti) cosmopolitan utopia in the early Twentieth Century by SN Kumar, S Raisuddin, KJ Singh… – Journal of Obstetrics …, 2020 – Wiley Online Library

A review of the literature and a new classification of the early determinants of childhood obesity: from pregnancy to the first years of life by RM Henig – 2004 – University of Hawaii Press

Safe Food for Babies: Handling Breast Milk, Formula and Baby Food by S Currell – Modernist Cultures, 2010 – euppublishing.com

Safe Food for Babies and Children: Heating Solid Food Safely by G Tabacchi, S Giammanco, M La Guardia… – Nutrition Research, 2007 – Elsevier

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