A/N:Hello! Yes, I've been absent for a ridiculously long time. I'm sorry to anyone who cares. But I'm back! ...at least for this story. Haha I'm working on others, but for the most part I'm just trying to keep up my writing mind until I can get something out that is worth posting.
Hope you all enjoy this cute little drabble about a lovely family I've already written about ("And Then There Were Two", go read it! :D).
Btw, mia uccellinois Italian formy little bird.
The large apartment was quiet and seemingly empty. But she knew better. Mommy was in the restroom running the bath while Daddy sat in his ginormous leather chair “watching” the basketball game. Or football game. Some kind of game.
Anyway, Leah knew better than to stay a sitting duck.
And so here she was, peering out from behind the heavy, rosewood-red curtains of the large window in Mommy and Daddy’s room.
“They’ll never find me here,” Leah whispered as though she had an accomplice in this game of hide-when-it’s-bath-time.
It had been almost ten minutes since either of her parents last called for her. She’d heard Daddy check her room and then sigh when he didn’t find her there. Admittedly, it was hard for Leah to withhold an amused snicker when he came into the master bedroom afterward, walking obliviously past her. Leah saw Mommy watching him as he rounded the bed. She didn’t look mad; she actually looked like she wanted to laugh.
What was so funny?
Leah got so caught up in the moment that she almost asked Mommy what the joke was, but remembered just in time that she was hiding for a reason.
“No bathtime!” Leah exclaimed defiantly once her parents had vanished from her view of the door. This little hide-and-seek game they sorta had going was really fun. Suddenly, she heard footsteps again, and she quickly clapped a hand over her mouth as though she could push the sound of her words back into her mouth.
“Leah, honey. Dinner’s ready!”
Not what she had been expecting Mommy to say—Leah always got bathtime before dinner.
“Maybe she’s giving into my ‘Dinner and No Bathtime’ rule,” Leah speculated. “No tricks. Mommy doesn’t trick. Daddy does.”
“It’s chicken fingers!” Mommy added.
Leah’s eyes widened to a comically large size in her excitement as all thoughts of that evil bathtime completely fled her mind.
Leah violently swept the curtains to the side, nearly tearing them down in the process. She made a bee line for the kitchen, bypassing the open bathroom door without a second thought, a grin spreading widely across her face. But just as she slid to a stop at the edge of the kitchen, huge, strong arms snatched her up by the stomach.
“Daddy noooo!” Leah whines, throwing in some squeals for good measure. “It’s chicken fingers time, Daddy! Let goooooo!”
Daddy chuckled as she tried and failed to wriggle her way out of his tight grip. He blew raspberry kisses into her neck and cheeks, just to further annoy her.
“No, it’s eat-Leah time!” he answered in playfully thundering voice.
She started squealing some more when Daddy began his biting raid on her shoulder, her arm, the top of her head—
He froze as the woman who made his name sound like an admonition strode into the kitchen.
“Just what sir, do you think you’re doing?”
Abigail half-glared at her husband and plucked a surrendering, though giggling Leah out of his arms. “There are chicken fingers on the table. Eat those; not my little girl.”
James leaned in to a lay a sloppy kiss on his daughter’s cheek, eliciting another shrieking giggle from the girl.
“Yeah, Daddy!” Leah chirped in agreement, sticking her tongue out in true Leah fashion.
He grinned, glancing amusedly at his wife before replying.
“I’m sorry, my little bird. I’ll try to remember that you’re not food.”
Leah beamed as though she had just won a life-changing argument, and her mother smiled at the exchange.
“Okay. Mia uccellino, it’s bath time,” her mother announced after a beat, breaking the father-daughter staring contest.
“Momma, noooo!” Leah’s face scrunched up into an expression of defiance as she began wriggling wildly. She almost fell from her mother’s arms because of it, but James’ hands were at her back in an instant, keeping her upright. “Momma, please! I don’t wanna!”
James glanced to his wife over his daughter’s shoulder and caught the wince on her face when Leah unintentionally elbowed her in the chest.
“Mia uccellino, please. Calm down, my little bird,” Abigail cooed against her daughter’s ear, holding a hand to the back of the girl’s head to keep her still enough to do so. But as tears began to spring from Leah’s eyes, she made work of wiping each as they fell. Tear after tear.
“Shh… calm down now uccellino.” She bounced her daughter up and down, all the while keeping the girl’s head pressed against her shoulder, her teary face wet against her neck. The wailing didn’t let up.
“Leah, sweet girl,” he prompted. She didn’t turn. “Hey, baby bird. Look at me.”
His voice was soft and gentle, but unquestionably firm and certain. It was that tone in his voice that always got his daughter’s attention. When Leah uncurled herself from her mother, placing her chin on Abigail’s shoulder, James removed his black wire-frame glasses and moved to press his forehead to his little girl’s.
As he spoke, Leah’s bright, glistening hazel eyes gazed right back into his own of muted, calming forest green. She was hiccupping from the aftereffects of tears still drying on her cheeks, so Abigail began running nimble fingers through the ends of the girl’s hair, knowing it was something that soothed her.
“Baby bird, we can’t keep doing this,” James spoke softly to his daughter. “You’re five-years-old now. A big girl.”
Leah’s bottom lip began to quiver, her eyes brimming with tears. Both of her parents watched as she fought the urge to cry; it broke their hearts. No little girl should feel the need to hide tears. Where had she even picked that up? She was barely five, for goodness’ sake.
Probably Abigail’s cop genes.
James’ lips quirked into a nearly imperceptible smile before he schooled his features—now was not the time to be thinking such random thoughts.
“Mia uccellino.” Leah’s mother pressed her lips close to her ear, whispering Italian words of love. James watched as Leah’s whole being fell to peace. It was amazing to him to watch the effects of his wife’s home language in their little girl’s ear, making her feel better without excessively babying her.
Before he knew it, his wife was pulling back and placing the girl on the floor, reaching a hand out for her to take.
“Leah, you are getting too big for me.” Abigail chuckled. “Now, bath time? Chicken fingers afterward. That okay with you?”
Leah looked up at her parents as if she was determining the wisdom of another tantrum. But her eyes cleared, and her lips curved into a shy smile before she gave them a softly-spoken, “Okay.”
“And James, honey. Do you mind putting the chicken fingers back into the oven just to keep them warm?”
The man in question was so lost in awe at the always heartwarming, intimate moments of love between mother and daughter, that the words of his wife barely reached his brain.
“Now, James!” The woman yelled from behind the closing bathroom door.
A hint of the authoritative cop in her colored her voice, jolting him into action.
James used a potholder to grab the still-warm tray of chicken fingers from the table and brought them back to the oven, putting the heat on low. He shook his head in spite of himself.
“Never gonna get used to that.”
I hope you all enjoyed it!(: Please, please, PLEASE leave me some sort of feedback!