“We’ve had a problem with the cursing, haven’t we, dear?” Mr. Olivestone said, handing an iced tea to his wife. Helen Olivestone took it with a slight smile, but didn’t drink from it until she meticulously removed every drop of condensation from the glass with a paper napkin.
“Well, naturally. Thankfully, it’s mostly been in French, or German. What did the Bookmans say she said? In Chinese? It was darling!”
“It was “˜Tyen-sah duh UH-muo,’ I believe,” said her husband. He handed iced teas to Jennie and Edward Mandrake, the Olivestones’ guests for the afternoon.
“That’s adorable!” said Mrs. Mandrake. “I suppose it’s just a consequence of implanting.”
“Not really surprising,” chimed in Mr. Mandrake. “Curse words are base reactions to base emotions. Not really surprising at all that aâ€”how old is Rachel?”
“Seven months,” said Mrs. Olivestone.
“But she had a mouth on her out of the womb! Swearing up a storm right in the delivery room!” Mr. Olivestone wiped his forehead as he spoke.
“Not surprising at all,” Mr. Mandrake continued. “She’s just expressing herself in the most direct way possible.”
“I am so impressed that you chose languages, Helen,” Mrs. Mandrake said. Mrs. Olivestone flashed a tight smile at her guest before turning her attention back to her iced tea glass, which had once again gotten covered with little water droplets. Mrs. Mandrake massaged her swollen belly. “I wanted something artistic like that, but Eddie insisted on mathematics.”
“Got to give them an edge, don’t we? I hear even Quincy’s daycare won’t let you in without a scholastic implant anymore,” Mr. Mandrake said.
“We’re on the waiting list for Dalton’s.” Mrs. Olivestone said, not looking up. “If she doesn’t get into Dalton’s, she can forget about Harvard.”
“You care so much for Rachel,” Mrs. Mandrake said. “She’s so blessed. You give her so much.”
“Yes, well,” Mrs. Olivestone said, getting out of her lawn chair. “This heat has certainly gotten the best of me. I believe I shall have to go inside before I faint.” She left the garden party and hurried inside the house, wiping what appeared to be perspiration off her face.
“Probably going to check on the baby,” Mr. Mandrake said.
“Oh, no,” said Mr. Olivestone. “It wouldn’t be good for her. We only know two languages apiece. We can’t be in the same room as Rachel for at least another year.”