The Adventures of a Reluctant Foalsitter

by CharmingChaos

Chapter 2: Meeting the Sparkles

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Princess Cadence was in Florence's carriage again, but this time her mother was there, and besides, she was too nervous to joke with the driver.

Her mother patted her hoof reassuringly. "Don't worry. You'll be fine. Foalsitting's a cinch, you'll like it once you get to know Twilight Sparkle. I hear she's a really sweet little filly."

The fact that Twilight was such a little filly, barely two years old, was what really made Cadence nervous. The fact that she was nearly ten years older than the child wasn't all that helpful for Cadence's nerves, though.

"We're here, miladies," Florence said formally, helping Cadence's mother out of the carriage and letting Cadence hop down. Cadence followed her mother's shining, perfectly styled tail up the stairs to an expensive-looking house. It wasn't as fancy as her own, but then again, the Sparkles weren't royalty.

A light blue mare with a stiff-looking purple mane answered the door. "Good afternoon. You're Princess Mi-Amore Cadenza, I assume?"

"Just Princess Cadence is fine," Cadence said quickly. Her mother kissed her mane and said, "have fun!" Before getting back in the carriage and going home. Cadence watched her go then turned her attention back to Mrs Sparkle.

"Well, I suppose you ought to come in," the blue mare said doubtfully. "But, you'll have to be quiet. Twilight is sleeping." Cadence walked into the purple and blue-hued house, glancing at the family photos on the wall as she followed her host into what appeared to be a sitting room. Mrs Sparkle offered her a seat on the cornflower-colored couch and took a quill and paper from a nearby table.

"Mr Sparkle and I will be away until nine tonight. Twilight goes to bed at seven-thirty, sharp. Make sure she goes to sleep and doesn't just stay up trying to learn how to use her magic. Let's see, it's four now, she should wake up in about half an hour. Twilight's and your dinners are on the counter, ready to eat. she eats at five, usually, or five-thirty. Oh! Here's a spell that you can use to contact us, all you need is a mirror or a bowl of water. That's it, I think. The nursery is through there, and the library is that way, if you want to read. Goodbye, Princess Cadence, have a good time." With that, Mrs Sparkle swept out of the room, calling for her husband, and then the two of them paraded out the door, without so much of a backward glance.

Cadence sat on the couch for a shocked minute, then got up and searched for the nursery, with no luck. A wave of panic swept over her. What if she couldn't find the filly? That certainly would be bad. She hunted around some more until she came to the master bedroom. The enormous, indigo-clad bed had little transparent purple curtains around it. Cadence noticed a half-open door across the room with a little light lavender wall decorated with pink stars showing. She pushed it open and crept into the nursery on silent hooves.

At least she thought she was silent. The lavender filly in the crib, whom she suspected was Twilight, pricked up her ears, opened her eyes and, upon seeing an unfamiliar face looking down at her, promptly began to howl.

Cadence was shocked. She hesitantly picked the squalling filly up and held her against her chest. "Um, there, there, Twilight. Please don't cry. I don't know anything about this, and I haven't the faintest idea how to calm you. But I'm doing the best I can, so please stop." Twilight stopped just a moment to consider this strange mare who was holding her, then obviously thought better of it and went back to squealing. She shut her eyes and howled, a piercing, ear-shattering sound that was near unbearable.

"Here, I'll-I'll sing you a song." Cadence hummed a few bars of her favourite melody, to no avail. "Oh! How 'bout this? Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake." Twilight paused two watch as her captor acted out the little rhyme. Encouraged, Cadence finished the poem, still miming the words. "Clap your hooves," Cadence lightly tapped one of Twilight's hooves. "And give a little shake?" Cadence set the filly in her high-chair and turned away, shaking her long, curly tail at Twilight.

Twilight sat up and smiled, then clapped her own two hooves and slid out of the high-chair to the floor. She toddled over to a basket of toys and pulled out an old, worn-looking grey doll. She hugged the doll, and then mimicked Cadence's rhyme acting for the toy, complete with tail shake. Cadence found this adorable, and she picked up her charge and hugged her. Twilight wiggled free and waddled to the closed door, tapping a hoof on it to show she wanted out. Cadence opened the door and followed the filly as she made her way through the sitting room, into the library, up some stairs, and to a closed door with a sign labelled Shining Armour-- Keep out!

Twilight nudged the door with her horn, a spark of magic fizzing to life for a moment before bumping into some sort of force field and disappearing.

Twilight came behind Cadence and tried to push her forward. "Shiny Ammo." She said, tapping the door. "Shiny Ammo in."

Cadence figured Twilight meant Shining Armour, the name on the door. "I don't think he's home right now, sweetie," She said gently, tapping the force field with a hoof. "Do you want to find something else to do?" She gently guided the dejected filly back to the kitchen, where, true to her word, Mrs Sparkle had left a bottle, a bowl of something mushy and slightly green, Cadence suspected it to be spinach applesauce, and a plate of magically kept hot dinner for herself.

Cadence remembered that she used to have to eat the same sort of green mush as a filly, and she had hated it. So she did what her mother had done, a little family trick that easily fooled small foals into eating. She concentrated a beam of magic and changed the green applesauce's shape so it looked like ice-cream. The stuff was naturally sweet, but Cadence distorted the flavour a little for good measure.

"Ooh, look at this." Cadence said loudly, drawing Twilight's attention. "It looks like someone is supposed to eat ice-cream for dinner. I sure wish it was me."Cadence picked up the "ice-cream," bottle, and her own steamy dinner in a cloud of light blue magic, and felt a sharp tug on her tail. Twilight had gripped the end of it in her mouth, and was doing her best to drag her foalsitter to the nursery, a spoon held in a wobbly purple aura just in front of her face. Cadence laughed at the silly filly and walked backwards to the nursery, where Twilight finally let go of her tail to climb into the high-chair.

The meal was uneventful, Twilight seemed to adore the trick ice-cream even more than Cadence had as a filly. Her own meal was delicious, probably because she was very hungry.

Twilight practiced picking up her toys with magic until around seven, and then she began to get cranky. Whenever Cadence asked her a question, she answered with an ornery, stubborn sounding, "No." At the mention of bedtime, she threw a fit. unable to hold her in her arms without dropping her, Cadence enveloped Twilight in a cloud of magic and gently rocked her back and forth in the air to calm her. Eventually she took the semi-calmed filly in her teeth by the diaper, unaware of the raggedy doll falling from Twilight's grip, and carried her to bed. Twilight picked up her toy in a purple magic aura and continued to squall.

That was when Cadence noticed the smell. She delicately set Twilight on the changing table and, from the other side of the room, using magic, disposed of the old diaper and gave her a new, clean one. Pleased with her work, for now Twilight was quietly teaching her doll to play patty-cake, she carried the yawning filly to her crib, tucked her in, and gave her a kiss goodnight. The pink stars on the walls glowed in the dark when Cadence turned off the light, and she smiled to herself as she looked at the clock. Seven-thirty exactly. Twilight sighed in her sleep, and Cadence turned and crept out of the room to find a book to read.


Cadence was laying on the couch, reading a Daring Do book when the Sparkles came home. She'd read it before, but it was better then the textbookish things the Sparkles seemed to prefer.

"How was little Twily?" Mr Sparkle asked quietly. Obviously, he knew his daughter's light sleeping habits, and knew to tread softly when she was asleep.

"Oh, she was just fine." Cadence said, sitting up. "She got kind of grumpy around seven, but that was just because she needed a diaper change. By seven-thirty she was out cold."

"Well, I'm glad she wasn't any trouble," Mrs Sparkle said as she bustled in, still wearing evening attire.

"Twilight kept asking about Shining Armour--" Cadence started.

"Oh, yes, she does love her brother. He's about your age, but he's busy with his Royal Guard training, and can't babysit anymore." Mrs Sparkle levitated some coins out of her purse. "Here's twenty bits, dear. Thank you again."

A knock on the door prompted Cadence to say goodbye, and make her way outside to meet the coach.

"Hey, Florence," She said tiredly.

"Hey there, kiddo. How went the foalsitting? As awful as you thought?"

"No. It was fun, actually. It's just... tiring."

Cadence didn't talk for the rest of the ride, but simply sat in silence. She said goodnight to Florence, and went inside.

"How was it, Cadey?" Her mother was reading a magazine on the couch, her little pink glasses perched on the end of her nose.

"It was good. But I'm beat. Goodnight, Mom." Cadence tramped upstairs and put on her favourite pajamas. She pushed Snowy down to the hoof of the bed, and crawled in, sighing. She clicked off the light with a little burst of magic, closed her eyes, and melted immediately into sleep.

Next Chapter: 8th Time's the Charm Estimated time remaining: 27 Minutes
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