"Ludwig! Your son just covered the dogs in Kool-Aid powder! Again!"
"Vhy is it zat he's only my son ven he's done something wrong?"
"Because he certainly didn't get this sort of thing from me." Ludwig sighed but chuckled at your argument, heading downstairs to deal with the elder of your two children. He entered the kitchen to see his three dogs covered in varying shades of blue, purple, and red. You were currently holding yours and Ludwig's baby daughter in your arms as you glared down at the almost four year old boy shuffling his feet in the piles of Kool-Aid mix.
Seeing that your husband was in the room, you carefully handed him Alina and called the dogs over to the door that led directly outside. As the dogs made their way out the door, you turned to Ludwig.
"I'm going to get them cleaned up. Can you please speak to Evert about this? He doesn't seem to like listening to me." With that said, you went outside to wash the dogs. Ludwig sighed and set Alina in her high chair before crouching down in front of his son.
"Evert." Ludwig watched his son flinch at his name and sighed. "Vhy do you do these zings? You know it only upsets your Mutti, but you do it anyway. It's hard enough for ze both of us to take care of you and your sister vile running our countries, and yet you run around disobeying us." Evert shuffled his feet again and pouted at the floor. Ludwig stared at him for a moment before standing up. His son only reached the middle of his thighs, so he knew there was a bit of intimidation in standing at his full height.
"As punishment for zis, you von't be allowed to vatch any TV zis weekend or play your video games." Ludwig felt the familiar pang of guilt hit him when Evert looked up at him with tears in his eyes. But he had to be firm in this, or else the children would end up walking all over the both of you.
"B-but Vati--," Evert started. Ludwig shook his head.
"Nein. If zis is ze only vay you can learn to listen to us, zen zis is vat I must do. Now go upstairs und clean up for dinner." He grimaced as his son glared at him before running upstairs. Ludwig sighed and quickly went to work cleaning up the kitchen.
By the time he was done, you were done cleaning and drying the dogs and had come back inside with the three of them right on your heels.
"How'd it go?" you asked, as you and Ludwig put the finishing touches on the evening's meal.
"He's upset with me. I told him zat he isn't allowed to vatch TV or play his video games zis weekend."
"We might want to hire a different babysitter for this weekend then. As nice as Marla is, she wouldn't make sure he stuck to his punishment." Ludwig nodded in agreement and began setting the table. You wiped your hands and went to the bottom of the stairs.
"Evert! Please come down! Dinner's ready." It took several minutes, but he finally shuffled into the kitchen and sat in his chair, refusing to look at you or Ludwig. All of you began to eat in silence, the only noise being Alina's occasional gurgle. . You and Ludwig shared a worried glance before you turned to your son.
"Honey, Vati and I have to go away this weekend for a meeting." You just managed to catch a glint in his eye as he looked at you.
"Will Marla be watching us?" You wanted to smirk. It was obvious he knew he could get away with almost anything when she came over.
"Nein. Ve vill be finding someone else to vatch over you and your sister. At least for zis time," Ludwig told him.
"Yes, so you better behave yourself," you added, stressing the behave part. Evert glumly nodded and viciously beat his mashed potatoes into submission.
You and Ludwig moved around the house, double checking that everything was in order and that you had everything you needed. The doorbell rang and you hurried to get it as Ludwig grabbed your bags.
"Hello, Tracy!" you greeted, opening the door wider to let her in.
"Hello, Mrs. Beilschmidt! I hope you're all well." You smiled at her and took your coat from Ludwig.
"We've all been very well, thank you. As you know, the emergency numbers are on the fridge, Alina's food and bottles are in the cabinet, she's already napping right now so she'll probably be hungry when she wakes up, and we should tell you about Evert's punishment. He's not allowed to watch TV or play his video games this weekend." Tracy nodded and you and Ludwig went over to Evert who was standing in the living room.
"Sweetie, we're going now. We'll be back tomorrow night," you said, leaning down and kissing the top of his head. When you got no response, you looked back at Ludwig who shook his head. Apparently the boy was still upset at the two of you for punishing him.
"Ve vill see you tomorrow, mein Sohn," Ludwig said, laying a hand on Evert's head before you both quickly left the house.
During the hour it took to get to your hotel, you couldn't help but express your concern over your son's behavior.
"He's still a kleines Kind, (Name). It's normal for them to be angry with their parents for doing something they don't think they deserve." You sighed and stared out the window.
"I can't help but feel guilty though." Ludwig chuckled and took your hand.
"You're just being a mother. You've done nothing wrong, liebe." You smiled lightly at him and said no more on the matter.
It was during the meeting, though, that you began to feel anxious. You kept feeling like something was wrong at home, but didn't say anything to Ludwig about it.
Your phone began to vibrate and you felt nervous when you saw that the number was the house phone. Quickly standing up, you went into the hall to answer it.
"Mrs. Beilschmidt, I'm so sorry to bother you, I know you're busy, but
I'm worried about Evert."
"Why? What's wrong?"
"He's been so quiet since you and Mr. Beilschmidt left. I've tried getting him to play games, read, color. I even tried offering to let him watch TV, if only to get a reaction out of him. But he won't do anything. He just went up to his room twenty minutes ago, and I haven't heard a sound."
"Do you think he's sick?" you asked, starting to feel sick yourself. What if he was like this because of you and Ludwig?
"I'm not sure. He didn't look feverish or pale
.I just looked into his room and he's just lying in bed." You bit your lip.
"We're coming home. We should be back in an hour."
"A-alright. I'll wait for you."
"Thank you, Tracy," you said before hanging up the phone and going into back into the meeting room.
"(Name)? Vat's wrong?" Ludwig asked, seeing the look on your face.
"We have to go home," you said, gathering your things.
"We're in the middle of a meeting!" Arthur exclaimed. "You can't just leave!"
No one had ever seen you glare as icily as you did just then.
"Something might be wrong with one of my children. I'm not going to waste time doing nothing here, when my child needs me."
"But your country, your people, need you!"
"My country is fine! My child is not!" You stormed out of the room, Ludwig following close behind.
"Liebe, vat is it?"
"Evert is acting strange and it was worrisome enough for Tracy to call me. I'm scared he's behaving this way because of us. What if he tries to run away?" Ludwig lengthened his strides, part of him thinking that's exactly something his son would do.
After an hour of driving and nail-biting, you and Ludwig were finally home. You rushed inside, right past Tracy, and straight to Evert's room. When you opened the door, he shot up in bed and stared at you like he'd seen a ghost. As Ludwig came up behind you, Evert began to cry and dashed out of his bed to throw himself at you.
Surprise written all over your face, you looked back at Ludwig as you held your child tightly. He sobbed into your neck as you moved to sit on his bed, Ludwig kneeling in front of you.
When Evert had calmed down, you pulled him away a little bit to gently wipe his face of tears.
"Sweetheart, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
"B-because I thought you and Vati were going to leave me!" he cried, eyes quickly watering up again.
"Vhy vould you think zat?" Ludwig asked, pushing Evert's hair out of his face.
"You and Mutti were so mad at me yesterday! I-I thought *hic* that you didn't love me anymore!"
"Oh honey," you cooed, resting your cheek on his head. "We will never stop loving you."
"Ja. And ve're sorry ve got so angry with you. You didn't deserve it." Evert sniffled and clutched at you with one hand, the other grabbing his father's hand.
"I love you, Mutti. I love you, Vati."
"We love you too, Evert," you both said together.
As stressful as it was, having a son like Evert, neither of you would trade him for the world.