6:41 a. m
Charlotte groaned softly to herself as Allyria's little whispered voice cut through her subconscious like the sun through the blinds. In a fight for a few more minutes Charlotte kept her breathing light and even, wondering if she could fool the one and a half year old into thinking she was still asleep - which wasn't exactly a lie because she technically still was.
Pressing her tongue to the roof of her mouth Charlotte barely managed to keep her laughter from exploding as the little one just raised her voice louder in an attempt to garner some sort of response. She couldn't help the smile that tugged at the corner of her mouth though as she heard Allyria grunt as she tried to pull herself up on the bed. Sucking in a heavy breath Charlotte stretched her legs under the warmth of the duvet cover, her feet taking notice of the empty space next to her own - huh, apparently Bod already had the herd up. She'd have to thank him for that later.
"I'm up, I'm up," Char moaned softly as she tipped her head to the side, prying her eyes open so she could look at the angelica face looking over the side of the bed, dark tousled hair framing either side of her round face. "Whatcha doin, baby girl?" She asked as she rubbed a hand across her eyes trying to rub the sleep from them. What time was it? God, how long had she been in bed? Didn't she -just- get the twins to sleep? Though her body still felt like it could sleep for another few hours Charlotte gave up on the idea. Propping herself up on an elbow she reached over the side of the bed and gently lifted the toddler up. Dropping the little girl playfully onto the mattress Char leaned over her, ""where's your Daddy?"
Allyria's dimples dented in her cheeks as she giggled, her dark eyes bright with mirth, "I dunno, Mummy," the little one squirmed on the bed, already anticipating what was coming as she started to giggle.
"You don't know?" Charlotte lifted her brows as she tucked her mussed blond hair behind her ears, "you don't know where your daddy is?" Charlotte scoffed as her fingers descended on her middle daughter's belly eliciting a loud explosion of laughter from her. It was a ridiculously sweet sound that rang through the room, melting Charlotte's heart in the process as she gave her own laugh. "Now that I don't believe." She doubted there was a moment in the day when Allyria didn't know where Bod was, she was practically inseparable from the man. Leaning over she blew a raspberry against Allyria's soft stomach causing her to little legs to kick with a squeal of laughter. "I think I found breakfast," Charlotte teased as she nibbled at her daughter's side before her own laughter had her sitting up.
"C'mon baby, let's get you fed." Leaning over and set her daughter's feet back on the floor, giving her butt a swat that sent her toddling happily out of the room, "go get 'em," she instructed, chuckling to herself as Lyria's chant of 'da da da' followed her down the hallway.
Rolling her shoulders Charlotte took a step forward, a hand quickly coming up to catch the door frame as the room suddenly tipped under her feet. Sucking in a breath she paused as the room continued to spin for another second. Pressing her free hand to her head she stood there for a second, waiting for her bearings to come back before taking another step. God, she felt like hell frozen over. She knew what it was too - a combination of lack of sleep and lack of everything else. She barely had time to breath let alone keep track of whether or not she had eaten or even sat down, but that was life when you had four babies all 3 and under. Not that she was complaining because even though it was hectic and chaos every day she knew she wouldn't trade it for the world. Not a minute of it.
Expelling the pent up breath, Charlotte waited another second after the dizzy spell had past before making her way down the hall, "babe, do you remember what time the twins ate last night?" Emerging into the kitchen Charlotte tugged at her rolling stone t-shirt, smirking to herself as she spotted Allyria with her arms wrapped around one of Bod's thick legs.
"Actually what time is it now?" Glancing towards the clock she grimaced - seriously? Was the sun even up? Leaning over her eldest she ran her fingers through Arya's light red hair before pressing a kiss to one of her round cheeks, "Mornin' Arya," catching a whiff of the stomach churning aroma coming off the stove Charlotte stiffened a bit as she eyed her husband's back, "what are you cooking?" Screwing up her nose she took in a quick breath, her mouth quickly going dry as more of the intoxicating smell filled the room causing her stomach to pitch nauseatingly to the side.
" BACCCCOOOOOOOON Nom, nom, nom!!!!!" Arya announced enthusiastically, her pink plastic fork banging against the table.
Charlotte jerked a little as a cold shock trickled down her back; there were only 3 times in her life when she couldn't stand the idea of bacon. Noooooo..... that wasn't possible. That just wasn't... they were careful...ish! There was only a certain degree of careful you could manage when you had 4 kids under three and only about a half hour of alone time.
Seriously though, Arya was 3 so for all she knew it could be tofu! That was it, she was going to stick with the logic that her three year old wasn't nearly that smart. It was the better option. But as the pan sizzled and popped Char felt her innards gurgle in response and she elicited a soft moan of disapproval.
the morning had begun at five for bod- the harsh wails of one of the twins waking him up as surely as having a pail of ice-cold water dumped on him. when arya was born, all little and pink and grumpy-looking, something had... switched on in bod's mind. all through the pregnancy his relationship with the being-to-be inside of char had been amiable, if lacking, but when he'd been handed his daughter he'd felt all those emotions that he'd been missing pop into place. he wasn't ashamed to admit that he'd cried then, although it was due to happiness. and then allyria had come along, much the same way, and then the twins... char's pregnancies had been time for ichabod to bond with his children far more than he'd expected he would, allyria especially. twins were a heavy burden, and after the prior two bod knew the drill. mum needs her rest, so dad is on baby duty. and he loved it.
alyx and arianne were fed and slotted into their baby chair, while bod was swarmed by the girls, scooping one up in each arm after the ever-necessary diaper check. 'da-deeee, the babies woke me up again.'
arya's pouting face was far from tired; hell, it was the time she usually got up anyway, especially on days when daddy was taking her into work. the tattoo studio was, as far as bod knew, the only kid-friendly one in-state, and as such they got a lot of business, and arya made a lot of friends. soon both she and allyria would be coming along for three days a week, to give mum a break. hell, soon arya would be demanding to tattoo customers, and then bod had no idea where he'd end up. he couldn't say no to his girls. "well then, lil' miss grumpyguts, that means you get to choose what we have for breakfast."
arya pretended to ponder while allyria buried her chubby fingers in bod's beard, tugging as bod jiggled her in his arms, giggling quietly. 'bacon. and scrambly eggs. and soldiers. and. and. and. um. bacon.'
she raised her head, defiant, bod nodding. "i can do that. what does allyria get?"
that prompted giggles from the redhead, amused by how silly her daddy was. 'the same, daddy, she's got teeth now!'
the teeth thing was very true; bod was pretty sure that allyria's biting phase was over, but he'd had enough small teeth marks in his time to know that soon it'd begin again, with two little mouths. "okay. so when i put you down, you've got to go get the plates for everyone. and you, miss grabby, should go wake up mummy."
allyria's little face brightened at the mention of her mother, as if she'd entirely forgotten her other parent, and as he set the girls down she immediately set herself into motion, that weird perpetual-falling run that toddlers have. arya, in her matter-of-fact way, padded over to the cupboards, extracting plastic plates as bod gathered breakfast foods from the refrigerator. 'daddy, what plate do you want?'
"pick for me."
he clanged the biggest frying pan they had onto the stove, as arya surveyed the images before nodding. 'you are gonna have the ariel one, daddy.'
"what about mummy?"
'sleeping beauty. and allyria gets mulan.'
"what about you?"
that made him laugh, the twins pausing in their mutual fascinated leg-kicking and blinking towards the noise. they were just starting to recognize the world outside of themselves; but generally they were too preoccupied looking at each other and flailing their limbs around, or demanding attention. arya was still hoping they'd snap out of it and start being able to play, but she seemed to be losing hope pretty fast. still, she was generally happy to be helpful, banging the plates onto the table then demanding bod get her knives and forks for her and allyria, the middle child running into the room as arya clambered onto a chair. bod felt a small, soft body collide with his leg and latch on, sticky fingers and nails digging in. "mornin', love."
he glanced over his shoulder as arya informed char of what they were having, narrowing his eyes slightly. "you feeling okay?"
the colour had gone from her face, bod turning the burner off and moving the pan back, out of reach of curious hands. he had to half-drag allyria over, putting one hand on char's shoulder and the other on her forehead. she wasn't hot... so... he glanced to the twins, then cast his mind back. he could have sworn they... but could he be so sure? really? their 'alone time' had become, if not less frequent, but more hurried, and that made for a little more chance for kids than he'd like. "do you think it's what i think it might be?"