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| Important Message!
The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
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Suki and her daughters were travelling to Kyoshi Island, so the little warriors could learn more about their heritage and to show them about Suki's life growing up influenced by the Avatar, Kyoshi. Meanwhile, Sokka traveled back to the Southern Water Tribe and took the official title of Tribe Leader so his father could retire in peace. Sokka and his five year old son train the new warriors of the Southern Tribe; as well as, Sokka became an honorary member of the White Lotus by mastering swordsmanship, obtaining harmony, and specializing in killer boomerang skills. These two separate vacations were about a month in time before the entire family moved back to Republic City and reunited, but it was a time of much-needed learning experience for everybody.
Meanwhile, the Police arrested Yakone and held trails against him, but Yakone managed to get out of jail time just as he had before. Other than the rising gangs in the city, things around the world remained peaceful, nonetheless---they were managing without their Chief, who had a very, very hard time ahead of her, performing the most dangerous mission she had ever yet been tasked with...raising a baby.
Back in Republic City, Toph was slowly getting the hang of becoming a parent---it was extremely hard for her to adapt at first, but with the help of Katara----Toph was very gradually getting the hang of things---well...sort of? The first few weeks of Toph's solo-parenthood went mostly like this:
Lesson One: Being Clingy
"Toph, Lin is crying..." Katara inched timidly.
"I don't know what to do!?" Toph huffed in a slight panic, "I fed her, played with her, I'm holding her...what else does she need?"
"Toph---she's upside down..."
With a look of exhaust, Toph flipped her baby around and Lin started cooing in an instant. Meanwhile, Katara and Tenzin were camped out at the Chief's house in order to help her adapt---so far, Toph has barely let Lin out of her arms, but that didn't mean she was getting the Mother-of-the-Year award just yet.
"Why don't we put Lin and Tenzin down for a nap, Toph?" Katara offered.
"No way..." she replied, "I'm not letting this kid out of my sight..."
"Toph, you can't just hold onto her for the rest of your life---"
"Oh, I bet I can," Toph snickered, "What if I do let her go...she might need me, or she could wander off...she could get hurt, or stolen, or lost!?"
"She's barely a week old and you haven't slept the entire time she's been here---I think you and Lin could both use a nice little rest. Look, what if I watch Lin for you...and you get some sleep?" Katara eased.
Toph reluctantly handed over the baby and grabbed her forehead with a sigh..."I'm sorry Katara---I'm turning into my mother, the overprotective worrywart that never let her daughter have any freedom. It's just---it's hard for me to take care of her on my own...she's so tiny and helpless---I don't know a single thing about kids..."
"You just need a little sleep----Toph I know you can do this, and I'll be right here with you until you get the hang of it---you're not alone."
"Thanks Katara..." Toph yawned, "So, how long do these babies sleep again?"
"Ummm," she stretched, "Just focus on getting some rest and we can cross that bridge later..."
She shut her eyes and collapsed onto the couch, when all of the sudden, Lin started crying again and Toph groaned, "That was the shortest bridge I've ever heard of---"
Lesson Two: The Diaper
"What on earth is that?" Toph choked as a terrible, foul smelling poison filled the air of the room.
"The dreaded dirty diaper, Mom," Katara chuckled, "I can show you how to---um, maybe you can wa---okay, okay...I'll take this one, and you can have the next one, deal?"
"There's going to be another one!?" Toph sneered in disgust, holding the infant as far away from her person as her arms could reach.
Katara grabbed baby Lin and scoffed in a tired smile, "Oh honey, you have no idea..."She changed Lin and handed her back to Toph, when the new mother got an idea... "I just had the most brilliant idea ever! Okay, I can't see my daughter---but I can see the earth, so what if I made Lin diapers out of rocks---then I can change her with Earthbending instead of doing whatever horrible thing you just did?"
"Uh, no Toph....I don't think that's going to work..." Katara broke with a look of sheer terror, before asking calmly, "H-how many hours of sleep have you had the past few days again?"
"None, why?" she nearly growled back.
Katara backed away and squeaked, "N-no reason....this is just going to be a little bit harder...um, than I thought---is all?"
"Oh, I got it! I can make a rock-nanny and it can change the diapers for me---of course I'll need to practice with it, or I could crush her in the process? Katara find me a kid to practice with, Sokka's got plenty of em'!"
Lesson Three: Bath Time
"Okay," Toph took a breath, "I can do this---just take the cloth...dab with water, and gently---"
As Toph touched Lin with the wet washcloth, she giggled ecstatically and splashed the water in her little tub, causing Toph to panic and yet again slip into the sink, tossing water on both Tenzin and Katara in the process.
"Okay...." Katara snarled over Tenzin's soaked cries, "I think everyone is as clean as they're going to get...now it's time for another nap!"
Lesson Four: Being Alone
Lin started crying and Toph woke up, made her way into her nursery where Lin was tucked away into a little cocoon of blankets in her crib made of rock and metal. Toph slid her hand over the railing and Lin saw her mother looking over into the crib at her. She started making a little chirping noise and Toph knew her daughter was just trying to get her attention. She rubbed Lin's face softly with her finger and started gently rocking the bed with Earthbending until her daughter fell peacefully back to sleep.
Katara saw this and all of the sudden had a new hope that Toph will get the hang of being a mother, even if she couldn't see---this wasn't going to stop her from parenting. So, the next morning, Katara and Tenzin packed up to go home to Air Temple Island...Katara gave Toph her new telephone number and told her to call if there was any trouble; she or Aang could be there in a matter of seconds. Sokka and Suki weren't in town at the time, but she gave Toph their emergency numbers as well; Suki's stretched all the way to Kyoshi Island, and Sokka had the only working telephone in the entire South Pole. Even still, she had that old Messenger Hawk, Rocky, who loomed outside in the backyard from time to time---she could scribble down anything and send it to the Island and someone would come. Toph wouldn't be completely unaccompanied, there would always be someone watching out for her---checking in on her every few hours, but for now---as soon as Katara left the house Toph and Lin never felt so alone.
Lesson Five: Grandma
The final lesson Toph had to cope with was the discouragement of others who believed a blind woman could never raise a baby the right way. She'd heard whispers and gossip since she rejoined the force, but it was never so bad as it was the one morning someone decided to take action against her.
While feeding Lin breakfast one morning, Toph's day was interrupted by a knock at the door that gave her chills. She got up and wiped Lin's face with a bib before they went to answer the door---only, the person behind it was someone Toph never thought she would see at her doorstep.
"Toph..." the woman greeted.
"Mom!?" Toph exclaimed, "Mom, what are you doing here?"
"I don't know how you two have made it this far---poor child, she's a mess!" Poppy gasped, taking Lin right out of her daughter's arms... "Oh, I was worried about this since the day you sent me that letter. Don't fret dear, I'm here to take care of this baby."
"Mom...I'm doing fine..." Toph frowned with arched brows of defiance, stealing back her daughter from her mother... "We were having breakfast, she gets dirty, that's how babies are."
"Oh no," Poppy laughed, "You were never so messy and unkempt..."
"Mother, she's fine, I can handle taking care of her, like I have been for the past two months she's been alive! If you were so worried, why wait until now to come check up on us?"
"I just received the news about Ohev---" Toph's mother replied in a softer tone.
The sound of his name struck Toph cold, before she growled back, "They have this new invention called telephones Mother---not to mention the radio---honestly, with all of your wealth, you and Dad need to upgrade to the times."
"Toph..." Poppy sighed, "I want to help you, please...you say you will be fine, but your looks tell me otherwise."
"I already told you mother, I don't care about my looks!" she exclaimed strongly, "And I won't have you taking Lin back to Gaoling to be raised by servants and trapped in a tower like a prisoner!"
"Toph," Poppy stressed, "You made it perfectly clear to your father and I that you could take care of yourself on your own, we understand that now...but dear, this goes farther than you---this is a helpless human being who needs someone to watch over her---"
"I AM WATCHING OVER HER!" Toph exploded, "I spend every single day washing her, feeding her, and loving her. I give her all of my attention and spend every single second making sure she's okay! Which is more than you ever did!"
"Toph!" Poppy stomped.
"No! I am her mother, and I am the only one who is going to raise her! Lin is my daughter, not yours! You want to try and take her away from me, go ahead because I am also the greatest Earthbender in the world and the fiercest Chief of Police this city has ever seen---try and take her from me Mother, I dare you!"
"I can see you've made up your mind about this..." she eased timidly...her voice cracked just in the slightest so she no longer sounded calm and eloquent and Toph's fury melted into a tired sigh just as her mother squeaked, " I suppose I will just go, now..."
"Ugh!" Toph groaned, her head hitting the doorway as she did... "Mom, wait..."
Poppy turned at the foot of the stairs, her servants looked to the doorway too and closed the door to Lady Beifong's palanquin.
"Mom, don't leave---come on, you can come inside for a visit, I'll make us some tea, and we can talk...I don't want Lin growing up, not knowing her grandparents...but that's all, alright!?" Toph made perfectly clear... "It's just a visit!"
"I---I would like that, Toph..." Poppy smiled, taking her daughter's hand so that the Beifong women could enjoy a nice mother to mother talk for once in the longest time.
- Not only is this the first time we see Sokka's daughters as Kyoshi Warriors, but it is the first time we've seen Kyoshi Island since Year Three.
- Note: Koda is still with Sokka, who took his whole vacation leave to teach his son about his manly, Water Tribe heritage.
- Even as a master swordsman, this is the first time Sokka was dubbed to be a master by the legendary members of The Order of the White Lotus.
- Sokka now has three major titles (other than being a father): A Councilman, Leader of the Southern Water Tribe, and also member of the White Lotus.
- This is the first year that Yakone was arrested by the Police, and also the first year that he escaped conviction.
- This year actually takes place closer to the previous year but assuming it was winter, this could be January of the next year and Lin could have been born in the last week of December *wink wink*.
- Note: NEVER EVER hold your baby upside down!
- Fact: New parents are most likely never allowed to sleep again.
- Rock Nannies were recalled by the CPSC.
- After weeks of helping Toph raise Lin, Katara was starting to get aggravated...or couldn't you tell?
- Let it be known that Avatar Aang and Lin Beifong got along famously!
- Like most blind parents, there are naysayers all over the place who believe they can't raise children simply because they can't see. Toph proved to her mother that this rumor was undoubtedly false.
- Let it be known that Toph's parents hate going into the city. Therefore, Toph and Lin take annual vacations to Gaoling in the Summer.
- SPOILER ALERT: When Lin gets a little older she nicknames her grandparents (like all children do) and much to their contempt, she nicknames them: Gram and Gramps.
For the collective works of the author, go here.