They were summoned to the kitchen with a shout of “à table!” and the children piled down the stairs to meet the cook/housekeeper. She was a sever looking old lady with a helmet of tight iron curls and a rotund figure which had developed from years of tasting the sauce.
Bread and cheese were laid out on the huge slabs of wood which served as a kitchen table. The children and Mary were handed large glasses of fresh orange juice whilst the adults “Santé.” with elegant glasses of white wine, the glass shimmering with the cool condensation.
The children were enjoying being fussed over by cook who was patting heads and comparing the heights from the year before. Each child stretching up to prove that they had grown the most.
It was explained in the extensive narrative that Mary had received before the trip that her and the children would be expected in the kitchen at 19:00 each evening to eat dinner prepared by Cook. Saturday and Sunday were Cook’s nights off and during that time Mary was to fend for herself and the children would be out with the parents, it seemed to Mary the brief 24 hours a week that Eleanor and George pretended they had children. This was also to be Mary’s time off.
There was a sudden whaling from under the table. With all the excitement of the arrival and the large juice, James had wet himself.
Mary did not hesitate, using a handy tea towel as protection; she scooped him up and sternly ordered Benedict and Henry to also come up stairs to use the toilet.
They seemed glad to be finally allowed to relieve themselves and raced up stairs, ahead of their damp brother.
Mary just managed to get there in time to lift the toilet seat before the two little boys stood facing each other, their tiny willies just stretching over the rim of the toilet, they laughed and giggled as they tried to cross streams.
An extract from my fictional novel: The Summer. Comment if you want to read more.