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This chapter is narrated by Aibileen and begins on Mae Mobley's third birthday. Mae Mobley asks Aibileen, "Do you have some babies?" (22.22).
Aibileen tells Mae Mobley she has seventeen babies, and explains that most of them are grown up now.
Mae Mobley says, "I'm your real baby. Those other ones you said are pretend" (22.43).
Aibileen's used to babies who are confused about her. John Dudley used to even call her "Mama" (22.44).
He was confused in other ways; he liked wearing skirts and perfume.
Aibileen told Skeeter her worst experience as a maid was dealing with a stillborn baby, but it was actually the six years when, on a daily basis, John Dudley's father "would take him to the garage and whip him with a rubber hose-pipe trying to beat the girl out" of him (22.45).
Aibileen wishes she'd told John good things about him the way she does now with Mae Mobley.
The next day, Aibileen sees Skeeter at Elizabeth's. Twice, Skeeter tells Aibileen she's going to be out of town for three days. Aibileen wonders why she's repeating herself.
On Monday morning when Aibileen's at work, Hilly calls in a panic and Elizabeth hurries off to her house. Aibileen and Mae Mobley walk over to Hilly's to see what's going on.
There are dozens of toilets in Hilly's front yard. A photographer is taking pictures. Mae Mobley is excited by all the toilets and goes and uses one before Aibileen can stop her. Aibileen gets her and hurries back to Elizabeth's. Mae Mobley wants to go back there and play.
Elizabeth comes home soon and vents the story to Aibileen. Apparently, underneath the mention of the bathroom initiative in the League newspaper, Skeeter printed a paragraph about Hilly's coat drive.
But, she, um, accidentally, told people to leave old toilets on Hilly's lawn, instead of old coats.
Later that week, Mr. Leefolt asks Aibileen about her helping Skeeter with the Miss Myrna column. He tells Aibileen she'll have real problems if she talks to Skeeter ever, about anything.
That night, Aibileen and Minny are at Aibileen's and Skeeter comes over.
Aibileen doesn't think Skeeter understands she's in danger from Hilly now. She tells her to be careful.