Disclaimer: Doc Martin, the program and characters are the property of Buffalo Pictures.
Set several years after the end of series 4.
Thanks to Griffinstar for her help in spotting Aussie-isms and providing the appropriate UK term, and to my own 3 year old for providing Phil's quotes.
Martin woke to the sensation of his three year old son Phil, scrambling over him to get into his and Louisa's bed. Another bad dream must have woken him again, and he was up and out of his bed and into theirs. Phil was going through a stage of separation anxiety, and all of his bad dreams and nightmares featured him being left alone. Having experienced a lonely childhood himself, Martin was more sympathetic to Phil's feelings than many would have credited him for, and never complained when his son came to join them in their bed. It had however, meant that they had to sell their Queen sized bed and upgrade to a King Size, as like his father, Luke was big for his age and took up a lot of space.
Phil finally managed to get under the covers, and then decided that 3am was the perfect time of the night to have a conversation.
"Daddy, can I have a drink of water?" Fortunately Martin and Louisa had learned from experience, and now had a drink bottle on hand for emergencies such as this in the middle of the night. Martin groped for the drink bottle and handed it to Phil. After a long drink Phil handed the bottle back to his father saying
"I'm finished now Daddy". Martin grunted an unintelligible reply and took the drink bottle back from his son and placed it on his bedside table.
Phil was about to engage his father in a conversation when Martin said "Now go to sleep, or you'll have to go back to your own bed", then turned on his side to discourage any further conversation from his son at this time of the morning. Phil, sensing that he wasn't going to be able to talk to his Daddy at the moment, decided that Mummy and Daddy's warm bed, was a better option than his own, so he closed his eyes, turned on his side and cuddled up to his Dad. Mummy's snoring was too noisy for him, and her long hair always tickled his face, so he always preferred to cuddle up to Daddy.
Martin lay there, feeling his son cuddle into his back and smiled to himself. He marvelled at the difference in his life since he'd come to Portwenn. His life had changed dramatically from his lonely years as a child and then an adult living in London.
Since moving to Cornwall, he'd met Lousia, fallen in love, grown used to permanently putting his foot in his mouth and having a hard time removing it, and just when it seemed that he'd messed up beyond any hope of recovering, Phil had been born, and Louisa had given him a second chance. It had taken him a while to convince her to marry him, but he'd finally achieved it, and their little family now meant more than anything in the world to him.
Martin gradually drifted back off to sleep, only to be wakened an hour later by Phil sticking his two feet into Martin's pillowcase and trying to use it as a sleeping bag. Even as a baby, Phil had always wanted to climb into pillowcases, or burrow under sheets, almost as if this offered him some added security against all things of this world. Martin turned around, and Phil was fast asleep so Martin decided it was going to be worth the effort of getting up and relocating him back into his bed. Five minutes later Martin was back in his own bed and Phil was snuggled up in Martin's pillowcase in his own little bed. Martin brought Phil's dinosaur covered pillow back in its stead and got back into bed.
Louisa feeling him re-entering the bed, turned over and cuddled up to him and mumbled sleepily "Did you get him back in his bed OK Martin?"
"Yes, he's back, cuddled up in my pillow – I'm not sure what this thing is that he has about pillows, but he's managed to get into the pillow case, and it's nearly up to his waist. Hopefully he'll sleep in. As it's Sunday, we may get a chance for a sleep in too".
"Mmm" mumbled Louisa, "We can always hope I suppose. Goodnight Martin" Louisa said as she gave him a brief kiss and then rolled back over onto her other side, and fell back asleep. Martin woke at his usual time of 6:30 am and was about to get out of bed, when Louisa turned to him and said, "Aren't you going to sleep in this morning Martin, it is Sunday after all?"
"No point in just lying here doing nothing" said Martin, "I may as well be up and about getting things done." Louisa rolled over and pulled him in for a gentle kiss.
"Good point, I can think of something you can be doing while in bed" she said with a smile. Martin, not always the best on picking up on social cues, did at least understand this one. Rolling over and taking his wife into his arms, Martin responded with a slow, sensual kiss, which was returned in kind by Louisa. Things were just getting interesting when Phil came into their room and looking at them solemnly said,
"I need to go the toilet Mummy",
"Well you know where the toilet is, off you go" said Martin, depressed now that his plans for the morning had been so rapidly altered.
"I'm scared, I want someone to come with me."
"There's nothing to be scared of Phil, just turn on the light and go to the toilet" said Louisa.
"But who's going to wipe my bottom?" said Phil.
"You're quite big enough to wipe your own bottom" said Martin, "you do it all the time."
"But I don't like wiping my own bottom" said Phil, "it's dirty".
Knowing that it was going to be a losing battle, and that soon she would have dirty underwear to wash if she didn't get up soon, Louisa rose from the bed and took Phil down the hallway to the toilet.
Sitting on the toilet, Phil happily sang the alphabet song, and when he was finished he made a half hearted attempt to wipe his bottom, and insisted that Louisa inspect him, and finish the job to his satisfaction. Thinking to herself that Phil had inherited his father's dislike of mess, Louisa sighed and smiled as her fastidious little son washed his hands and said to her that he was hungry, and "I need something to eat please Mummy".
While Louisa had been upstairs on toilet patrol, Martin had already headed down to the kitchen and prepared cereal for everyone for breakfast. Louisa and Phil entered the kitchen to the sight of a freshly set table, 3 bowls of cereal and the smell of coffee brewing.
After putting Phil in his chair, Louisa moved to Martin and gave him a hug and a kiss.
"Thanks for getting the breakfast ready Martin" she said with an appreciative smile.
"You're welcome" said Martin, thinking he had got the better end of the deal, breakfast preparation won over toilet duties in his estimation every time.
"Hopefully we'll get a chance to finish our interrupted conversation at a later time Louisa said. At the thought of this, Martin's mood improved dramatically and a small smile formed on his face. By this stage everyone was seated around the kitchen table and Phil was happy to finally have his mummy and daddy's attention.
Sucking from his curly straw that he insisted he needed when drinking from a cup, Phil said in a serious tone,
"This straw looks just like a large intestine doesn't it?"
"Well it looks like he's been paying attention to that lift the flap book of the human body that you've been reading to him at bed time Martin" said Louisa with a smile. She loved watching Martin and Phil at bedtime. Phil insisted that if Martin was home, that he read his bedtime books to him. She was OK as a second best, but no-one could beat Martin in his eyes when it came to bed time stories. He liked the general stories that she read to him, but absolutely loved the factual lift the flap books that Martin had bought the whole series of, and was reading to him.
"Yes, Phil, it does look a bit like a large intestine" said Martin. "You're very clever for noticing".
"Mummy, what day is it today?"
"It's Sunday", said Louisa.
"What are we doing today Mummy?"
"Well, after everyone is dressed and everything has been tidied up, we're going to visit Grandma" said Louisa.
Martin and Louisa had decided that as Joan was more Martin's mother, than his Aunt, and that they didn't want Phil to ever have anything at all to do with Martin's natural mother, then Joan would be "Grandma".
When Phil first called her "Grandma" – or "Ga-ma" as it was originally, she almost cried with pleasure. Martin had always been the closest thing she had ever had to a child of her own, and in the past couple of years their relationship had grown much stronger. Now Louisa was Martin's wife, she had only helped to strengthen the relationship. Being without a mother figure in her life, she had also made Joan her adopted mother so to speak, and Joan was thriving on her new and improved family life.
It was also handy now having Joan living in the house next door. Last year she'd had a fall and it had made her realise that she was getting too old to be running a big farm on her own, and no matter how much she loved it, she feared an old people's home even more. So when the house next to Martin and Louisa's had come up for sale, Joan had sold her farm and moved next door. This was much to Martin and Louisa's relief, as now they could keep an eye on her to make sure she was OK, and having a babysitter permanently on hand was a great arrangement for them both. There was nothing Joan liked better than babysitting, and Phil loved her company just as much as she loved his.
"Have you finished all of your cereal, Phil?" asked Louisa,
"Yes mummy", Phil replied. Then it's time to get you dressed. Louisa took Phil upstairs to get him changed, while Martin tidied up the kitchen.
An hour later, everyone was showered, changed and ready to make the walk next door to Joan's house. Since buying a house on the edge of the village, they were able to have a bit of land with their houses, rather than the quite cramped cottage lifestyle that many of the villagers enjoyed.
Soon they were at the front door of Joan's house, and Phil called out "Grandma" as he saw her coming to the door. Joan looked dotingly at Phil as she opened the door and ushered everyone into her kitchen. Many people only got to see the tough outer layer that Joan chose to show the world, but she was putty in the hands of her little "grandson". Sitting down around the table, everyone enjoyed some of Joan's home made cake that she'd made for their regular Sunday visit, especially as it was a particular favourite of Phil's.
"Can I go and play with my toys Grandma?" Phil said after he'd finished his cake. With Joan being such a regular babysitter, she had a playroom set up for Phil and he was quite content playing in it, while the adults sat and chatted.
When Phil was playing quietly in the nearby room, Martin said "Aunty Joan, I was wondering how you've been finding all of this babysitting, I'm worried that it might be getting too much for you, especially as you've been having Phil all day while we've both been at work".
"Don't be silly Marty, I'm not that old, and I love having Phil. We have a wonderful time together and I'm certainly not having any problems keeping up with him, in fact I'm a bit sad that I'll be seeing less of him once he starts pre-school next term, and I'm starting to wonder what I'm going to do with myself".
Looking at Joan, both Martin and Louisa could see the truth of this, as Joan was looking slightly depressed at the thought.
"Well actually Joan", said Louisa, "Martin and I were considering having another child, but thought we should discuss it with you first, as you would be doing a lot of the babysitting, and a young child is hard work as you know."
Joan's face lit up. "Another child, that's fantastic news, I'd love to have another grandchild to spoil rotten, if my consent's all you're waiting for, you have it". Joan was all but jumping up and down in her chair with excitement.
"Well that's one problem sorted" said Louisa with a smile.
"Why, what other problems are there?" said Joan worriedly.
"Nothing drastic" said Louisa, with a smile, but with Martin continuously being called out at the drop of a hat, and our ever inquisitive Phil, the mobile contraceptive here, it's a lot easier said than done" said Louisa, looking at Martin as she said this. Martin, by this stage was looking highly embarrassed and excused himself saying that he would be back in a moment, as he headed off in the direction of the toilet.
"Good, now that Martin's out of the way", said Joan, "we can speak freely. Why don't you head off home for a while, and I'll keep Phil company for a few hours. Just make sure you make good use of the time alone together, I won't take no for an answer, I want another grandchild", Joan looked so serious that Louisa had to laugh
"You don't think that you might just be putting us under a bit of pressure there Joan?" said Louisa with a smile.
"What do you mean pressure? You have one child, you can no doubt remember what you did to get that one, just repeat the process and I'm sure everything will be fine."
"Hmmn" said Louisa, not committing herself to the conversation either way.
When Martin finally returned, Louisa said "Martin, Joan would like to keep Phil company for a few hours, how about we head off home for a while and get some of those things done around the house that we've been unable to do while he's been home."
Taking Martin by the hand, Louisa and Martin went into Phil's play room. "Phil we are just going to be next door for a while. You can play with Grandma for a few hours, and we will be back in time to join you both for lunch" Louisa explained. Phil couldn't wait for them to leave, he loved playing with Grandma. She always gave him her undivided attention, whereas Mummy and Daddy were often too busy to be able to stop and play with him when he wanted them to.
Martin and Louisa then headed next door for a bit of 'Phil free time'.