Willow Song rolled her eyes good-naturedly as she heard the front door swing open. "Honestly, Tree Hugger, when are you ever going to learn to knock?"
"I knock at unfamiliar doors, or the ones who close themselves off from the familiar. This one knows me very well." The green mare shook her head, stepping into the house and glancing at the kitchen. "So, where's Dad?"
"Bathroom. He should be out in a moment." Willow Song put down the plate she was washing and trotted into the living room, giving her daughter a warm hug. "It's good to see you, my little Treezie."
The mare hugged back with a lazy grin. "Good to see you too Mom."
"Oh, did you bring Discord with you?"
"He's outside, with..." Tree Hugger pulled back, glancing away nervously. "Well..."
"...Treezie?" Willow Song stepped forward, concern writ large on her face. "Is something wrong?"
"No no no, it's very right, it's just..." Tree Hugger chuckled awkwardly. "You know how I can be very in tune with the cosmos and see the nature of big important things but sometimes forget the small things that are equally important if not moreso?"
"...You mean like the time you got a toothache because you forgot to brush your teeth while you were trying to prepare for the retreat to see the Breezies?"
"That's... one way, yes."
Willow Song rolled her eyes. "Alright, so did you and Discord get into a little trouble?"
"No! No no no, it... we thought we might have," Tree Hugger admitted, "and I didn't want to worry you, so I decided not to tell you until after the... but we... it's recent, this event. Like, um, three days ago recent. But it took a lot of prep and care and..."
She smiled, her happy expression only slightly marred by her tilting ears. "You know we're married, right?"
"Yes," Willow said slowly, "I was at the wedding."
"And... you know... married couples like to engage in the totality of their relationship for mutual comprehension and growth of pleasure?"
"...Yes, I am aware of sex." Willow paused. "And... oh sweet Celestia, Tree Hugger, are you saying what I think you're saying?"
Tree Hugger backed away slightly. "Discord?" she called over her shoulder. "You two can come in now!"
A mismatched form burst through the door, cradling a basket delicately in a leonine arm. "KWANIKUH YULETIDES, EVERYONE!"
"...is that a draconequus holiday?" Willow asked after a moment.
"Not really, I'm more partial to observing Takanakuy. Not participating, mind, but it's just so fun to watch." Discord looked down at the basket, his eyebrows twitching. "Ooop, somebody's waking up."
"Waking up?" A green stallion trotted into the room, smiling faintly. "Treezie! Good to see you. And Discord, you look as mishmashed as ever... What's in the basket, anyway?"
Tree Hugger stepped aside, gesturing with a hoof. "Come on, Discord, let's let everyone see."
"Alright, alright." Discord swung the front door shut with his tail as he put the basket down.
"Hey there, little one." The green mare gently pulled the blankets back. "That's right, I'm right here! Do you know where you are? You're at granny and grampy's place, yes you are!"
Meadow Dan blinked. "You... had a foal?"
"Well, Epiphany isn't exactly a foal." Discord cleared his throat. "That would... probably be my fault."
"Daddy's being silly," Treehugger assured the basket, gently reaching inside. "You're our child, no matter what, and I'm sure granny and grampy can't wait to meet you."
"Oh, no, of course not, I just didn't realize you were pregnant," Meadow Dan assured her. "I mean... did we miss the memo?"
"No dear," Willow Song assured him with terse amusement, "apparently our Tree Hugger didn't want to worry us."
"And that's mommy's fault and granny and grampy won't be mad at anybody but mommy." Tree Hugger smiled at a faint crooning. "Oh, you're hungry? Discord, would you--?" She took the bottle that was already being held out. "Thank you Dissy."
The creature in her forelegs clutched the bottle with two sets of brown talons, the green serpentine neck arcing as scaly little lips wrapped around the rubber nipple.
"So..." Meadow Dan looked at the infant... thing and tried to smile. "Certainly a colorful little bundle of joy."
"That it is," Discord agreed warmly, running a paw through the tiny red wing feathers.
"Is... I'm sorry, I can't tell if it's a boy or a girl."
"Neither can we, Dad," Tree Hugger assured him. "We figure we'll wait until Epiphany's old enough to express their own preference, and go from there."
Her parents shared a look.
"Treezie... dear." Willow Song smiled gently. "I completely understand that you can, and do, accept anything and anyone without question. And that's good, and I'm not discouraging it. It's just... for a child to grow, to become something more than just the wonder you created--to become their own wonder in their own right--they do need to have some sort of foundation, some identity."
"What," Discord interjected, "are you saying that being a child of the greatest spirit of Chaos isn't enough?"
"Being the child of anyone is a start," Willow replied. "But if Epiphany is to become something more than just your child there has to be some sense of who they are. Not just where they came from."
"Plus modern Equestrian doesn't really have gender neutral pronouns," Meadow Dan pointed out.
"A failing, in my mind," Tree Hugger mused. "There was a time where it did, I think..." She chuckled as her child released the bottle from her grip. "Not hungry anymore, huh?"
Discord plucked the bottle from her hoof, dangling it in front of Epiphany's purple eyes. "You sure about that? Because I'm going to put this away now..."
The little one yawned, red froglike toes curling as her green leg kicked once or twice.
"Alright then." With a twirl of his talons Discord put the bottle back into the vaguely defined space from whence it had come.
"You know," Meadow Dan mused, "I'm a little surprised. I'd have thought you would have chosen to teatfeed."
Tree Hugger smiled. "We have a pump."
"Made it myself," Discord proclaimed grandly, showing off a zwonky-looking contraption. "Gets the purest milk from the coconuts you can get."
Willow Song let out a startled hm. "Ah, well, I won't object to whatever you, uh, decide to call them but, well, I am her mother and--"
She blinked as Discord produced a green object and placed it in the device.
"Oh. Oh, you meant... actual coconuts."
"That's... not how coconut milk works," Meadow Dan murmured.
Tree Hugger rolled her eyes, stroking her child's head. "He is a spirit of chaos, Dad."
"Oh. Right. Yes, that explains everything."
"Are you sure Epiphany is getting all the nutrients she needs from that?" Willow Song asked. "I mean, I know the dietary needs might be a little different, but... Treezie, coconut milk. For a baby."
"I do mix in my own," Tree Hugger assured her. "It's mostly to fill in for their draconequus side."
"Okay, if... you're sure." Willow Song gave the baby a look as its two tentacle-like tails wrapped around her daughter's foreleg. "It's just... raising a child is a big responsibility and, well... I know you'll do your best, but even an ordinary foal can be complicated and confusing. I can't help but worry, wonder if you're up to the task. So... if you ever want to ask anything at all, you know I'm here, alright?"
"Of course, Mom."
"Hey, can I hold my grandchild?" Meadow Dan held out his forehooves. "I think Epiphany should get to know their grampy Dan."
"Okay. Careful with the head, there are little horn nubs." Tree Hugger slowly transferred the colorful creature over to him.
"Hey there, lil' one." The brown stallion smiled gently at the curious scaly face. "I'm sorry we didn't get you any hearth's warming gifts. Your mommy kinda surprised us with you, we'll do better next year."
"Yes," Willow Song agreed. "A whole lot better. Especially if we don't have any more unexpected surprises." She gave Tree Hugger a pointed look.
The green pony chuckled. "I promise to keep you updated on anything that might alter the balance of our lives in the future. It was just... a very, very weird pregnancy, you know? At one point I was almost literally spherical. And craving felt-tip pens, for some reason..."
"You weren't the one to give birth," Discord muttered.
"You weren't the one who hatched the egg," Tree Hugger shot back.
"Hey, I lined the nest with cotton candy--hand crafted, not just snapped into existence!"
"I suddenly have so many questions," Willow stated, "and I'm not sure I want to ask them."
"Don't worry Mom, our medical consultant kept meticulous notes."
A quiet squeaking caught their attention. Meadow Dan chuckled. "Sounds like lil' Epiphany needs to be burped. Don't worry, I did this all the time for your mom."
"Uh..." Tree Hugger rose a hoof. "Dad, you should know that sometimes Epiphany spits up--"
"I can wash off a little vomit," Meadow Dan replied, gently patting the creature. "Come on, little one, you'll be fine in no WAA!"
"....exotic sea slugs," Tree Hugger finished with a small sigh.
"Ooo! Blue, that's a new one!" Discord reached down, plucked the tiny animal off Meadow Dan, and conjured up an aquarium with a few other like critters. "I guess Epiphany really likes you! Or, I don't know, maybe you just lucked out."
Meadow Dan managed an awkward chuckle. "Well... I suppose I should have expected a little touch of chaos..."