Was anyone really interested in reading more of this story? It is not going to be a very long one and honestly, it is just going to be a bit silly and hopefully funny with mishaps and slightly mischievous antics of the three Sloan children. Almost pointless in a way but anyway, here is the second chapter. More to come if you like it.
Title: Staying with Aunt Sadie
Summary: When Mark and Lexie have to go to Vancouver for an important medical convention for a couple of days, the three Sloan children: Ally, Ellie and Sam have to stay with their Aunt Sadie while they are away. Babysitting for a few hours is one thing but Sadie is about to discover that this is completely different.
Sadie looks at the three pages of spiral notebook paper in front of her with each Sloan child’s name written along the top and then lifting her head, she looks at Lexie who is standing on the other side of the breakfast counter in the kitchen. She looks back down at the pages of lists that have been handed to her and she shakes her head slightly.
“Is this absolutely necessary?” Sadie asks though silently, she could not be anymore thankful to Lexie for taking the time to do this for her.
“Trust me. You are going to think this is the best thing in the world by tomorrow,” Lexie replies and then comes around the counter to stand next to her. “They’re not picky eaters. You’ve seen them eat. But they do like certain things in a particular way and-”
“You spoil them,” Sadie interjects.
Lexie nods and gives her a shrug. “I know.” She looks at the first page. “I wrote everything down in as much detail as possible. Despite what he says, Sam gets one small bowl of ice cream after dinner. No more than one. No ice cream sandwiches or popsicles or anything like that. And when we say, give him chocolate, we packed a bag of those Hershey fun size little bars for him and he gets one. Just one.”
Sadie nods, listening closely and carefully, not wanting to miss a single word.
Lexie reaches into the bag she has brought for Sadie, filled with little things the kids will need over the next couple of days, and pulls out a brown medication bottle rattling with pills inside. “This is Adderall to help with Ellie’s attention. She gets one pill a day with her breakfast.”
“And does she take them willingly?” Sadie asks, hesitantly taking the bottle from Lexie and grasping it tightly in her own hand.
“She takes them without a fuss,” Lexie answers and then sensing Sadie’s trepidation, she slips an arm around her shoulders. “Don’t worry, Sadie. You’re going to do just fine. It isn’t as if you’ve never been alone with them before.”
“But I am now their primary caregiver.”
“Don’t think like that,” Lexie says firmly, squeezing her arm.
“Why?” Sadie inquires and then lowers her voice. “Can they smell fear?”
Lexie laughs at that. “I promise that I will be calling constantly to check up on things. And I’ve already given them a talking about behaving themselves.”
“Did you tell them to not tie me up in a chair like they did with Owen?”
“I mentioned that specifically,” Lexie nods. “You’re going to do great, Sadie. Two days. You just have to get through the next two days.”
“Two days,” Sadie exhales a heavy breath.
“I have no idea what me and Mark can do to make this up to you. You’ve saved us this weekend.”
“You’re not going to do anything,” Sadie refutes firmly. “You and Mark are family.” Lexie smiles at that and then embraces her in a tight hug. “Just go and have fun this weekend and learn like the little Lexipedia that we all know and love.”
“Hey, Sadie.” Mark enters the kitchen, Ellie in his arms and Sam on his back, and Ally, still keeping hold of Dodger with his leash, follows behind. “All the bags are upstairs and the kids want to all sleep in the king-sized bed in the guest room.”
“They’ll be comfortable? All three of them there?” Sadie frowns. “I had the other guest room made up for Sam-”
Mark shakes his head quickly, cutting her off. “We already talked about it upstairs and all three want to be together.”
Sadie swallows the cotton dryness in her throat and nods, ignoring the slight pierce of hurt in the center of her chest. She tells herself that they have rarely been apart from both of their parents since the days they were born. They are just as nervous about this weekend as she is.
“Our flight doesn’t get in until late tonight so I will call first thing tomorrow to see how everyone is,” Lexie says, trying to put on a brave smile, knowing that she can’t start crying – not in front of the children anyway. “They haven’t eaten dinner yet-”
“I was thinking ordering pizza. Jeremy should be home around seven tonight and me and him usually get pizza on Fridays,” Sadie says and Lexie smiles with a nod.
“Pizza sounds perfect,” she says and then looks at the three children. She goes to Ally first, hugging her tightly and the girl wraps her arms around her mom, holding onto her. “Be good, baby girl. I want you to help your Aunt Sadie with your brother and sister, okay?” Ally nods her head and hugs Lexie tighter. “I love you, my Ally.”
“I love you, too,” Ally whispers.
Mark has kneeled down on the floor and has both arms wrapped around Sam and Ellie, giving them equal bone-crushing hugs. They seem reluctant to let him go but they slowly detach themselves and the children switch, Sam and Ellie going to Lexie and Ally going to Mark. Mark picks Ally up and the girl hugs him as tightly as she can, Mark whispering something in her ear that Sadie can’t hear but Ally nods her head and gives an “I promise” in a whisper.
“Okay,” Lexie says with a slightly shaky voice, looking at Sadie. “Call us if you need anything or need to know anything or just… because.”
The kids follow the three adults as they walk to the door, Sam clutching onto Lexie’s hand and Ally still in Mark’s arms. Mark puts her down and Lexie gives all three children kisses on their foreheads and then petting Dodger, gives the dog a kiss on the head as well.
Mark takes a deep breath, opening the front door and putting a hand on the small of Lexie’s back. “We’ll come straight from the airport on Sunday. Be good for your Aunt Sadie and Uncle Jeremy.”
All three children nod their heads and then they all watch silently as Mark and Lexie leave, the front door closing quietly behind them and then instantly, Ally rushes to the narrow rectangular windows of the door and standing up on her tip toes, she peers through one, watching Mark and Lexie as they get into the car and then after slowly pulling out of the driveway, they disappear down the street.
When she can no longer see their car, she sinks back down onto her feet with a soft sigh. “They’re gone.”
Sadie jumps by the wail that almost immediately bubbles from Sam’s throat and opening his mouth and clenching his eyes shut, he begins to cry.
“Oh, Sammy,” Sadie says, kneeling on the floor in front of him. “Your mommy and daddy will be back in a couple of days. And you’ve stayed with me before. It isn’t that bad here, is it?”
The boy shakes his head but continues crying, fat tears rolling down his cheeks in small rivulets. “I want my mommy!” He cries.
“I know you do,” she says, wrapping her arms around the boy and picking him up, settling him on her hip. “But they are going to be back before you even know it and I promise you that we are going to have so much fun this weekend.”
She takes him into the living room and she can feel Ally and Ellie following. Sadie goes to the stereo in the corner and not even caring what is in the cd player, she hits the play button, hoping for something upbeat. Thankfully, Jeremy has a thing for Motown and there is a Stevie Wonder cd in the player, “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” beginning to pour from the speakers.
It is actually one of Sadie’s favorite songs and she smiles as she begins swaying Sam back and forth in her arms, the fabric of the tee-shirt she is wearing soaked with his tears as he cries onto her shoulder, singing along to the song.
I’m a poor man’s son, from across the railroad tracks,
The only shirt I own is hanging on my back.
But I’m the envy of every single guy,
Since I’m the apple of my girl’s eye.
“Who is this?” Ally asks, watching her.
“Stevie Wonder,” Sadie answers, still smiling. “You should dance, Ally. This is definitely the kind of song you dance to. Right, Sam?” She asks, bouncing the boy in her arms. “Do you like to dance?” The boy slowly nods his head, still frowning sadly, and Sadie wipes at his cheeks before putting him down on his feet. “Go on, Sammy. Dance with Ally.”
It takes them a few minutes but by the time “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” starts playing, Ally and Sam are dancing around the living room and laughing as they do. Ellie stands back as she usually does, dancing a few steps when Ally tugs on her hands and makes her, but for the most part, she just watches her older sister and younger brother bounce around to the music that they now love. Sam bends down and unhooks Dodger from his leash, the dog immediately running around with them, leaping up onto them, his tongue hanging out from the side of his body, his tail wagging.
Sadie takes a deep breath, relieved that there is laughter now instead of tears but her relief is halted when she suddenly hears something smash to the ground and she cringes when she sees her small glass Eiffel tower that she had gotten from Paris and had been sitting on the small table between the two armchairs. It has accidentally been knocked down and has shattered onto the floor. All three children freeze and they stare at the glass shards on the polished hard wood.
“Aunt Sadie, we are so sorry,” Ally says, dropping to her knees, beginning to pick up the bigger pieces and carefully dropping them into her hand. “I just promised mommy and daddy that we’d be good and that we wouldn’t break any of your things.”
“It’s alright, Ally,” Sadie assures her, kneeling down next to her and stopping the girl from picking up any more sharp pieces in fear of her getting cut. “Glass tends to break. It’s one of its flaws. I have been meaning to go back to Paris anyway. I can easily get another one. These are all over the city.”
“What’s Paris?” Sam asks like he tends to always do when he doesn’t understand a certain word.
“You know what Paris is, Sam,” Ally says and points to a painting of Notre Dame Cathedral that is hanging on the wall above the fireplace. “Like in the movie.”
“How about I clean this up and then we order some pizza for dinner? You kids hungry?” Sadie asks and all three obediently nod their heads. “Be careful with that, Ellie, please.”
Immediately, the girl puts down the matching glass Arc de Triomphe that she has picked up as if her hand has been slapped and she clasps her hands behind her back.
“What do you like on your pizza?” She asks.
“Mushrooms!” Sam exclaims, bouncing slightly with excitement as he does.
“Pepperoni and Ellie likes green peppers,” Ally answers and Sadie nods, double-checking that all of the glass has been picked up and then stands up, Ally following her lead. “Can I call Brandon after dinner? He’s watching Bartholomew and Michelangelo for me and I just want to make sure that they’re okay.”
“Sure, honey,” Sadie nods.
“Can I have a Coke with pizza, Aunt Sadie?” Sam asks with a big toothy grin that looks both like Lexie’s yet it is oozing with charm that is entirely his dad’s.
“Yes, Sam,” Sadie nods again.
She feels exhausted and the three Sloan children have only been in her house for no more than twenty minutes. She has absolutely no idea how Lexie does this full-time without breaks of any kind. Then again though, Lexie Sloan is a natural mom while Sadie knows she is greatly lacking in any kind of maternal department.
“I will go and look through the take-out menus and you can…” Sadie looks with perplexity at the three faces looking up at her expectedly. She goes and turns the stereo off and then taking the remote controller for the television, she hands it to Ally. “Why don’t you three sit here and see if anything is on for you to watch?” She suggests, hoping that none of them can sense just how clueless she is.
She has never had this problem with them before. Usually, she takes them to the movie theater, makes sure that the gorge themselves on popcorn and candy, feeds them quarters as they play games in the arcade and then she returns them to Mark and Lexie after a few hours. Babysitting the Sloan children has always been so easy for her but this weekend is different. She wants this weekend to go absolutely perfect – especially since she and Jeremy have started talking about maybe, one day, starting their own family and Sadie wants to see if she can handle it.
“Is that mommy?” Sam asks suddenly and Sadie has seen that he has made his way over to the bookcase in the corner that is filled to the brim with worn paperbacks, medical texts and Jeremy’s collection of every Stephen King book in print.
He grabs the antique platinum frame and holds it up so Sadie can see the picture. It was taken ten years earlier, before marriage and babies – in that brief time when it was just Mark, Lexie, Sadie and Owen, friends slowly becoming the best of, slowly forming their own idea of what a family should be together. It was taken at Joe’s, the four of them sitting at their usual table, days before Lexie and Sadie took their intern exam. They were smiling widely, except for Mark, who sported his smirk instead.
That is one of Sadie’s absolute favorite pictures out of her entire extensive collection that spans her entire lifetime.
Ally rolls her eyes. “Who else could it be, Sam?”
“Yes, Sam. That’s your mommy,” Sadie answers.
“Her hair is so long,” Ally observes, leaning in to take a closer look.
Lexie’s hair now was cut to just below her shoulders and usually curled in a haphazard way that took her less than five minutes to do every morning – which was important when it came to a houseful of kids. She almost always wore it down now too as opposed to when she was running around a hospital and almost constantly had it pulled up in a ponytail.
“When is this?” Sam asks, frowning, turning it back towards him.
“Before any of you were born. I’ve known your mommy, daddy and Uncle Owen for a long time now.” Sadie drops the glass shards into the trashcan next to the secretary’s desk. “Did you bring any movies that you want to watch?”
“Do you have any movies?” Ally inquires curiously.
Sadie shakes her head. “None that are appropriate for children.”
“What’s aproliate?” Sam asks with a frown of confusion.
“Appropriate,” Sadie corrects him.
“And it means that none of her movies are kid friendly,” Ally says, plopping down on the couch and turning on the television. “Ellie brought some movies with her.”
“Do you want to watch any of those?” Sadie asks, stepping aside as Sam and Ellie both pass her, crawling up onto the couch to join their sister as she begins flipping through the channels, looking for something to watch. They didn’t answer her as they began immersed with the television. “Okay. I’m going to go order pizza now. Do you guys need anything?”
Again, they don’t answer her and Sadie sees that Ally has found Chitty Chitty Bang Bang playing on one of the movie stations and the children are now watching it in silent vigilance.
Sadie feels horrible for thinking it but they seem so calm now that maybe she can keep them in front of the television for the rest of the weekend.
“Here, Lex,” Mark says, handing her a large paper cup of Coke from the McDonalds in the airport terminal and she smiles up at him, taking it before he sits down in the empty chair next to her, a cup of Starbucks coffee in his hand. “Hopefully, everything stays on time and we can board in about a half hour.”
Lexie sighs, taking a sip of the soda through the straw and sinks a bit more into her seat. “I just want to get there. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can come back.” She takes another sip of the soda and Mark lifts his arm, stretching it across the back of her chair, Lexie leaning into him.
“Nice to see you're excited about this conference,” he smirks.
“I am. I really am. I just…”
He nods. “I know.”
“Would it be really pathetic of me if I called to see how they are?” She asks, tilting her head up to look at him.
“We’ve only been gone for an hour. I’m pretty sure that if one of them is dead, Sadie would have called us,” Mark tells her and she rolls her eyes, pulling out her cell phone nonetheless from her pocket to make sure that she hasn’t missed any calls. Mark shakes his head. “Don’t call, Lexie.”
“Why not?” She asks with a frown.
He takes a sip of his coffee, glancing away. “Because I already called.”
Lexie looks at him for a moment and then she can’t help but start laughing. “Are you serious? You called?”
He scowls at her laughter but Lexie continues smiling at him. He takes another sip of coffee. “When I was getting coffee. They were eating dinner. Everyone’s fine so far. Sadie gave Sam a Coke,” he adds with a smirk.
Lexie gasps, her hand flying to her mouth. “Oh, no! I forgot to tell her… If he has a soda this late… oh god, she will never get him to sleep now.”
It is Mark’s turn to laugh because although he feels bad for Sadie and Jeremy and the night they are about to have with a very hyper three-year-old, to him, it is still damn funny.