The best idea was for them to all have a bath. Their damp and sweaty clothes were soon lying in a heap on the floor as they splashed about in the huge tub. Mary got just as wet herself as she attached each of the children with the shower attachment to wash their hair.
The boys scream’s and laughs mixed together into a comforting cacophony of domestic noise. When it was finally time to get out the boys ran naked round the floor to dry off as Mary attempted to find underpants, shorts, and t-shirts for the four of them.
Just as the Church bells struck at 7 the last button was being done up and Mary quickly changed her sodden top and herded the boys down to dinner. Four places where laid out at the table when they arrived; three Mr Dinners and one slightly more grown up offering for Mary. Cook seemed to think it the best idea to stay in the pantry whilst the children were eating as she quickly shut the door as they arrived.
Benedict poked at his long stemmed, steamed broccoli with his fork.
“What’s that?” he demanded.
“Broccoli, to make you big and strong!” explained Mary, bracing herself for a fight. “Blerk!” Said Benedict, with full comical face. The other two laughed and joined in, enjoying this new game.
“Blerk!” Said James, even louder.
“Blerk!” Yelled Henry the loudest and together they pushed the offending vegetable off their plates and on to the table.
“ What about the rest of the food,” said Mary, a little desperately, “ That sausage looks yummy!”
Henry picket up Mr Dinners smiley mouth and promptly dropped it back on the plate. “Hot.” He said and shoved his greasy fingers in his mouth.
“Here, let me cut it up for you.” Suggested Mary, taking the knife a fork and cutting up the sausage.
“Yes, couper, cut cut!” said Henry
“Cut cut cut!” The other two joined in, James enthusiastically demonstrating on the paper napkin next to his plate, shredding it up.
“Right, whilst I am cutting up your sausage, you can get started on that yummy looking mashed potatoes.” Henry looked at Mr Dinner’s nose and yelled: “Sauce!”
Mary looked at him.
“Sauce.” He said again in a slightly more insistent manner. “Ketchup.” He finally explained.
Mary looked around the table but there was not bottle to be seen.
“If you want it, go and get it yourself.” Said Mary, not wanting to personally face the wroth of cook for wanting to smother her beautiful home cooked meal in red flavoured gloop.
To Marys surprise, he returned with minimal fuss holding a gigantic bottle of Organic Henry and Mary added ears to all the Mr Dinners. There was a brief moment of quiet as the boys happily dug in and Mary used this opportunity to quickly eat her dinner, without sauce. Soon the potatoes, sausages and sweat corn was gone leaving only the offending broccoli left on the plate. Each boy then declared they were finished and it was time for the very important desert.
“No, not until you have had some broccoli.” Said Mary, trying to sound the voice of authority.
“No!” came the unanimous reply.
“Yes.” She raised her eyebrows and gave her very best stern look. “Ok, I am not getting into an argument with you.”
And Mary picked up Benedict’s Fork and stabbed the broccoli, then propelled it towards Benedict’s mouth. He kept his mouth open wide until the last cm and then closed it with a snap, just as the vegetable crashed into his tightly pursed lips. He smiled cheekily up at Mary. She tried it on the other two and they both played the same game.
“You can not have any desert until you do.” She said firmly, hating the fact she was already resorting to a form of bribery. Just at that moment, cook walked in,
“Tu a fini? You have finished?” she asked the children and they all nodded as she whisked the plates away, the broccoli still lying forlornly there. The Children all turned to Mary and grinned. Their expression showed their triumph. Mary tried not to show her frustration as cooked marched back in with a tray of wobbly flans. As the children dug in, Mary silently stared at then, slit eyed, to show that this was the first and last time they would win during this holiday.
Don’t forget to check out part 1: https://hsquarmby.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/36/#more-36