Chas was stood by Gordon's car, wrapping a blue scarf round her little boys neck, making sure he was warm. She had already slipped gloves onto his tiny hands and zipped him up into a thick coat over the several layers he had on. Chas didn't want her little boy to catch a cold.
"Come on Chas, he's wrapped up enough as it is." Gordon sighed from the boot of the car where he was pulling out a few boxes and stacking them on the ground.
"I know, I just don't want him getting a cold on his birthday." Chas told him, standing up and taking Aaron's small hand in hers. "Do you want me to carry anything?" She asked.
"Could you grab the box out the back please?" Gordon said shutting the boot and picking up the pile of boxes he had made on the ground.
It wasn't long before they crossed the car park, Aaron in one hand, boxes in the other as they reached the play centre. Stuck with sensible ideas on where and what to do for Aaron's birthday they decided on the play centre in Hotton finding i suitable for the January weather and Aaron's age. Chas had invited a few of their son's friends from nursery and Gordon had made sure to invite hi sister and her children, who would be arriving in a few minutes to help set up. They had booked the birthday party room at the play centre for a couple of hours before they planned to go over to Zac and Lisa's for dinner afterwards.
"Gordon seeing as your tall enough do you mind hanging the banners and balloons please?" Chastity asked her partner ten minutes after they had been shown into the birthday room.
While Gordon went round the room taping banners to the walls and tying balloons to chairs and lights, chas sorted out the party bags and set up the birthday cake in the middle of the food table. They had left Aaron in the corner of the room, playing with his Mickey mouse cuddly toy, while they set up. Chas had taken his sca, gloves and coat off and left them on a chair by the door. While they were busy they didn't notice that Aaron had crawled underneath the table with his toy.
"Where's Aaron gone?" Chas asked Gordon as she turned from the food table to look for Aaron.
Gordon shrugged and looked round the room himself. "I don't know."
"Aaron? . . .Aaron?" Chas called round the room, panicking a little she hadn't heard the door open or close to show that he had wondered outside so he had to be in the room somewhere.
"He's under the table." Gordon sighed, his hands on his knees as he looked under the table and cloth to see his son crouched underneath with Mickey in his hands.
"Thank god for that." Chas breathed in relief.
"Do you want me to get him out?" Gordon asked, ready to crawl under after the boy.
Chas shook her head. "No, he's alright. Besides your sister is now here." She told him spotting Gordon's sister and her children heading towards the room from through the window.
Half an hour later and everyone who was invited had arrived. Gordon's sister, who had insisted on doing the food, had set up the rest of the food table before everyone arrived. Her kids and eight of Aaron's friends from mother and toddler group had arrived. They were all now playing in the play gym and climbing equipment, struggling through the ball pit and zooming down slide's Yasmin, Gordon's oldest niece, had took it upon herself in taking care of Aaron in the play gym. The older girl had hold of Aaron's hand as she guided him up the small steps and through the various tunnels and rope rooms.
"She's good with him." Gordon smiled as him, Chas and sister watched Yasmin and Aaron together.
"They are, aren't they?" Gordon's sister agreed. "Another coffee?"
"Go on then." Gordon said, handing her his empty cup.
"Oh look at them now Gordon." Chas cried in glee as she saw Aaron talking to his friend Riley from mother and toddler group, his Mickey mouse toy still clutched in his hand, Yasmin disappearing else where.
Gordon watched as their son shook his head when the other little boy said something to him. He turned to take the fresh cup of coffee from his sister and then back again to his son who was now holding hands with his friend, Riley.
"Aw look at them both now." Chas cooed, as Aaron and Riley sat together in a room made out of thick rope knots in the play gym.
"Where did his other friend lily go? He was playing with her a minute ago." Gordon said searching for the little girl who had been following their son round for a while before.
"She went down the slide with Jessica." Chas smiled. "It's nice that he had a few friends."
"Yeah, course." Gordon mumbled, sipping on his coffee as he watched his son play with a beady eye.
Forty minutes later and the party had moved on to the food. All the kids had been gathered into the birthday room with all the parents and seated round the long table. Chas had seated Aaron in the middle of all his friends before bringing the food round. Some children were more messy than others, some managing to get food all round their faces and on their clothes. Aaron had managed to eat some Pringles, a few pierces of melon and a bite of a sausage roll before he had had enough.
"Aaron have one more bite of your sausage roll before you finish please." Chas told her son, pointing to the sorry looking sausage roll on his party plate.
Aaron shook his head.
"One baby bite and I'll go tell daddy to bring over the special cake." Chas tried persuading, pushing the sausage roll closer to the little boy. "Go on kiddo, one more bite!"
The two year old looked at his mother, who sat beside him encouraging him to eat more, before doing as he was told.
"Good boy!" Chas praised, before beckoning Gordon over with the birthday cake, a Mickey Mouse face with two blue candles burning bright. "Hey look Aaron! What's that daddy's now bringing over?"Chas exclaimed, pointing towards her partner, who was three steps away.
". . . Happy birthday to you." Gordon began to sing, as he placed the cake on the table in front of his son.
". . . Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Aaron, Happy birthday to you!" Everyone joined in.
Chas watched as her son's face lit up as soon as the cake was placed in front of him. Before Aaron fot the chance, on more than one occasion, chas had to quickly grab hold of the two year old's hands before he touched the flickering candles.
"Blow it out Aaron!" Gordon, encourage, gesturing to the candles.
A sorry attempt at trying to both the candles out had the parents laughing, before Chas helped her son out, blowing them both out at once. Both parents had hoped that an hour in the play him and lunch would have tired Aaron out, but unfortunately it hadn't. The two year old was starting to craze the pair to leave the table and go back in the play gym.
"Should we give them another half an hour in the play gym?" Chas suggested to Gordon quietly. "Hopefully it will tire them out and we can then sort out the food and put it away and cut the cake."
"Yeah sounds like a good idea." Gordon agreed, before picking Aaron up from his seat and putting him on the floor.
Aaron hadn't even been back, playing in the play gym for ten minutes before he came wondering out, towards Chas with tears in his eyes. As soon as he spotted hi mum, the little boy ran over to her, making reaching, grabbing hands up in the air as he stood in front of Chas.
"Carry. . . " Aaron cried. "Carry!"
"What's up love?" Chas asked as she scooped down and picked her boy up. "What's happened? Are you tired baby?"
Aaron shook his head, despite rubbing his baby blue eyes with his tiny fists.
"What then?" Chas questioned, shifting him further up her slim hip.
The two year old boy pouted. "Mickey." He said simply.
"Mickey? Where is he?" Chas questioned as she began to look around for the beloved cuddly toy.
"Mickey." Aaron said again, curling his hands through Chas's long dark hair, twisting and tangling.
"Gordon? You haven't seen his Mickey have you?" Chas asked, still searching.
Gordon shrugged, and then lifted up a couple of items in his attempt to look for the toy.
"Mickey." Aaron began to cry.
"He didn't have him with him while he was eating earlier." Gordon told Chas, hoping it would help.
". . . Shh, we'll find him." Chas soothed before turning back to Gordon. "He's left it in there hasn't he?" She sighed gesturing towards the play gym.
Gordon pulled a face. "Lost for good then." He said, already giving up the search before they had even began.
"Hey, no! His toy is in there, just needs to be found." Chas corrected, walking over to ground who had been helping his sister with clearing away the food. "We cant not look for him, look at him, he's beside himself. He's gonna get himself in a state." She said as she handed their son to her partner and tugged her hair from the grasps of tiny hands.
"What . . . No, Chas." Gordon stumbled as he accepted Aaron from Chas. He didn't want his partner crawling through the play gym, showing him up.
"It will only take a minute. You hold him. I'll go look." Chas said over her shoulder as she headed towards the play gym, determined to find her son's comfort toy.
Chastity was thankful for being so slim as she climbed through small gaps, crawled through tunnels, swam through the ball pit and climbed up rope ladders and slopes. She was beginning to have gun herself in the play gym as she searched for her little boy's lost toy. As the time got on she was getting more disheartened in being unable to find her son's toy. She knew it would break his little heart if they couldn't find it. He had had the toy since his first birthday and had been attached to it ever since, a great gift from his uncle Cain who had gotten it on his way back form one of his "jobs" away. Eventually she managed to find Mickey, a huge smile bursting onto her face as she found the toy, sitting inside one of the highest rope rooms in the gym. How Aaron had managed to get it up there, she didn't know. Carefully she climbed up and grabbed it, taking it back to her son.
When she got back to the party room, Aaron was sat on Gordon's lap still crying as he pressed his face into his dad's chest. He didn't notice Chas walking up to them as he continued to cry about his lost toy.
"Aaron. . . Look what I've got." Chas smiled as she made Mickey dance in front of Aaron's face.
Aaron's face burst into a smile, his eyes growing wide as they still glistened with tears. The two year old reached out to take Mickey from his mum, snuggling the toy close to his chest and underneath his chin, hugging it tight frightened he would lose it again if he didn't.
"You found it then." Gordon commented.
"I did." Chas told him. "In one of those rooms made together with rope, how he got it up that high I do not know."
"He's a climber, remember." Gordon laughed.
"A tired climber." Chas noticed as Aaron yawned loudly, his eyes drooping closed as he fought against them.
"I think its nap time for someone." Gordon said looking down at their son.
"Another ten minutes and the party will be over." Chas told him. "Just sit with him like that for now and I'll sort the rest out okay. Then we can go to Zac and Lisa's."
The party dwindled down in the next ten minutes, each parent thanking Chas and Gordon for inviting them and their children to Aaron's birthday party while they thanked them for coming and the cards and gifts they had given. Aaron slept on Gordon's lap the whole time, only wakening up when Chas flustered round him bundling him into his coat and scarf once more, leaving the gloves in his pockets. They managed to settle Aaron down again in the car, the two year old drifting off to sleep in the back as they drove.
The next time Aaron woke up they were at Zac and Lisa's. Gordon had carried their sleeping boy in from the car, placing him carefully on one of the sofa's to sleep as they quietly chatted round him and Lisa prepared the dinner.
"He's attached to that toy you got him last year." Chas commented to her brother as they sat together either side of Aaron sleeping.
"Good." Cain grunted, looking down at his nephew who was hugging the toy in his sleep.
"Goes crazy if he can't find him." Chastity told him. "You've got a good taste in toys."
"Right, dinner's ready!" Lisa announced, carrying dishes and plates full of food towards the table by the stairs. "Come and sit round the table!"
"Let me just wake little man up first." Chas told her, running her hand through Aaron's hair. "Aaron love. . . wakey, wakey sleepy head." She said softly as she carefully picked him up in her arms.
The little two year old whined in his sleep as he began to come around.
"Come on Aaron, wakey wakey, it's dinner time." Chas tried again as Aaron refused to wake up but tried to go back to sleep again, by nuzzling his head into Chas's neck.
"Wakey wakey?" Cain snorted at the child talk.
"Have you got a better way at waking him up?" Chas asked her older brother with a pointed look.
Cain shook his head. "Nope."
"Sure about that?" Chas questioned before trying again to wake Aaron.
"For gods sake, give him here." Cain said taking Aaron from Chas's arms, the two year old whining at the loss of contact from his mother. Chas smirking secretly as she watched Cain with Aaron. She barely saw Aaron with Cain, who insisted he wasn't a children person to keep up his hard man exterior.
Chastity went over to the table and took a seat beside Gordon and watched as Cain paced round the lounge, lightly scratching at Aaron's front to wake him up as he spoke to him. "Look mate, you need to wake up because you need to get some of that food into your belly." Cain told the two year old quietly.
"You really have a way with words don't you?" Charity commented hearing what Cain was saying to their nephew.
"Shut up Charity." Cain snapped at the woman opposite Chas.
"Shut up Charity." Aaron mumbled sleepily as he came round, making everyone burst into laughter after a moment of surprise.
"Look what you've just taught him to say!" Charity exclaimed, looking from Aaron, to Cain to Chas and then Gordon.
"Don't worry, he would have forgotten that word by next week." Chas told everyone. "He's already forgotten the word he accidently picked up from Gordon a few days ago." She said glaring at her partner.
Aaron had been sitting beside Gordon in the back of the car when Gordon had forgotten his son was with them and sworn at another driver.
"Little F-" Aaron began to repeat, suddenly remembering the sentence conveniently.
"Aaron!" Chas shouted, stunning the little boy in Cain's arms.
"He's at the age where he repeats everything." Lisa told them as she watched the little boy push Mickey into Cain's face, now wide awake, as he carried him to the table.
"Don't we know it." Gordon said. Six months ago he had worried that Aaron had a problem in forming speech or words, or even picking it up. But now it seemed Aaron repeated a lot of things, however only once in a while.
Cain placed Aaron in the booster high chair seat, strapped one of Lisa's normal table seats, beside Chas and left her to strap her son in safely. They all sat round the table, Chas, Gordon, Zac, Lisa, Cain, Charity, Marlon and Sam eating the dinner that Lisa had put together and talking, moving the conversation back to the sofa's after they had finished their meal. Charity and Chas volunteered in helping Lisa clear everything away, leaving the boys to entertain Aaron.
"Aaron, go hit your Uncle Cain." Zac influenced the little boy as he ran round the lounge giggling.
Doing as he was told, Aaron ran over to his Uncle Cain and slapped the older man on the leg hard before running off again.
"Hey!" Cain exclaimed causing Aaron to giggle harder.
"Now go get your Uncle Marlon." Zac told him when Aaron ran back over to him.
Aaron ran towards Marlon and before he even had the chance to hit him the tall chef, took him by surprise and picked him up. Throwing him in the air and catching him again, causing the little boy to scream with delight.
"Careful." Chas warned unable to help smiling at the sight of her little boy having so much fun.
"He's fine." Marlon said. "I'm a great catch."
"No you're not you were rubbish on sports day at school!" Charity commented teasingly.
"Shut up." Marlon said throwing Aaron in the air again as he screamed in delight. "Ready, 1. . .2 . . 3!"
He threw Aaron in the air again and as Cain walked past him, Marlon told Aaron to hit him round the head, which he did causing the grumpy man to scowl at them. For a good ten minutes, Marlon was helping Aaron chase Cain (who remained seated and scowling in protest), Zac and Sam so he could hit them. The whole house was full of the two year olds giggles.
"1,2,1!" Aaron tried to copy Marlon, demanding to be thrown in the air again. ". . . 1,2,1!"
Even at ten a clock that night Aaron was still as lively, thanks to Marlon and the others. They had managed to excite Chas and Gordon's son past his bed time, leaving him all riled up for them to calm him down as they said goodbye to everyone to go home. As Chas thanked Lisa for dinner, she could hear Aaron in Cain's arms going "1,2,1!" over and over again until eventually Cain caved and threw him in the air catching him at the last moment.
"Cain! I need to calm him down." Chas sighed, as Aaron flew into the air again.
"He'll calm down, eventually." Cain shrugged. "It's him that keeps saying 1,2,1! Can't even count properly."
"He's two! What do you expect?" Chas rolled her eyes, taking Cain from Aaron and putting him on the floor. "Go over to daddy and he'll put you in the car." Chas told him.
Aaron began walking over to Gordon continuing to shout "1,2,1" before throwing his Mickey mouse in the air.
"Say bye bye, Aaron!" Chas reminded her son before Gordon closed the door to the car, now that he strapped Aaron in his car seat and tucked up with a blanket.
"Bye Bye!" Aaron said, grinning.
"I had hoped today would tire him out." Chas groaned as Gordon walked up behind her and wrapped his arms round her waist.
"The journey should tire him out." Lisa assured her. "Don't you worry."
"Hopefully. Thank you once again for tonight. It was lovely." Chas told her.
"Your welcome." Lisa said. "It's nice to see the littlen."
Chas and Gordon climbed into their car, waving good bye to Lisa and the other's before driving off. Just like lisa had said, Aaron eventually drifted off to sleep in the back of the back, with Mickey wrapped up in the blanket with him.
A/N – Thank you for such great feedback. Hope you enjoyed this, to be truthful I didn't know how to end this one.