“Wow, there’s a sight I’ve not seen for a long time, you pair cuddled up together on the sofa and watching cartoons.” Lesley smiled at her two children, they may be growing up, but it was lovely to see they could still be kids.
Lucy realised that she was curled up around Jack, with his head resting against her, and blushed a little as she realised that they were watching a preschool show. Not only that, but she’d actually been quite into it, and had a horribly embarrassing feeling that she may have actually been singing along to a song about colours when their mum had walked in!
“Oh, hiya mum, how was your day at work? Yeah Jack wanted to watch some tv before we got our homework done. As it was sports day, we’ve both only got reading. I hope that’s ok? I thought I’d keep him company whilst I had my juice.”
Lesley chuckled to herself as she answered “Don’t worry love, that’s absolutely fine! You both look like you were enjoying watching that anyway, how did that song go again?”
“Muuuuuuuummmmm!, Please tell me your joking, you didn’t hear that, did you?” Lucy was crimson now, so much for being ‘grown up’ she thought to herself ruefully.
“Hey, hey, I’m only messing with you. Don’t worry, it’s no worse than me singing along to the adverts, is it? My day’s been pretty good, thanks for asking. Just like you, we’re near the end of term, so it’s a lot less pressure than usual. Lots of watching TV and crafty type activities. So, how did sports day go, have we got a new Usain Bolt in the family?”
Now Jack tore his eyes away from the screen for the first time, and giddily started regaling his mum with tales of all of his races. He proudly held up each of the medals he’d won, and recounted in exceptional detail exactly what had happened in each race, so it was almost as if Lesley and Lucy were watching an action-replay. If they’d taken Jack at his word, it sounded like he’d been at least twice as fast as every boy, and was on course for the Olympic Games!
“Woah, calm down mister, you’re going to break the sofa if you carry on bouncing like that! I take it you’ve had a good time today then, haha. Glad it went well, and those medals are amazing, well done.”
“I’m just going to grab myself a quick coffee, and then I want to hear all about your day too Lucy, although if you can manage it without us needed to buy new furniture, that would be great.” And with that, Lesley swept off into the kitchen.
Jack stopped bouncing, but nestled in next to Lucy she noticed that he still seemed very excitable and hadn’t stopped wriggling.
“Jack, settle down will you? Every time you wriggle about like that, you poke me in the ribs.” Looking over, she noticed the scissoring action of his legs and the distracted look that had come across his face, rolling her eyes at him as she admonished. “Ah, now it all makes sense! Quick, off to the loo before you leave a mess and mum gets mad. Honestly, don’t you know when you need to go for a wee? You should have gone when we came in from school.”
Realising he’d almost left it too late, Jack didn’t need telling twice, and sprung up from the sofa, making a mad dash across the lounge and up the stairs to the bathroom, waddling and with a hand pressed firmly between his legs.
Lucy repositioned herself on the sofa after Jack had left, shuffling over to make space for their Mum to join them, and also surreptitiously grabbed the TV remote and changed the channel over to something aimed at teenage girls. If she was honest, it looked pretty boring to her and she’d probably have rather kept the cartoons on, but she wanted her mum to think she was grown up, not a little kid.
Lucy heard her Mum pottering about in the kitchen, it sounded like she was making a start on something for dinner, and before long Jack was leaping back onto the sofa with a wide smile.
“Made it!” He grinned. “Phew, that was close.”
“You need to be more careful mate, honestly it’s one thing if you’re desperate when we get in from school and have to made a dash for it, but not when we’ve been hone an hour. What would Mum have said if you’d weed all over the sofa, eh?” Her tone was caring, but firm.
Jack looked suitably berated, and then realising Lucy had turned the TV over and was now watching something naff involving teenage girls at an American school, he bellowed “Muuuuum, Lucy’s turned my cartoon off, and I was still watching it! It’s not fair!”2
Audio Version of Chapter