Berwald's meeting Mathias for lunch, so it's just me, Peter and Hanatamago at home. Between my husband and son, I can only get about half of my household chores done. With Berwald finding everything I do to be "sexy" - thankfully, he can't ravish me in the house with Peter home - and Peter begging me to come see his latest creation or to play with him, it's a wonder I get anything done. Since Berwald's out, I figured I could get things at least 95% done.

However, with a bored and fussy five-year-old tagging along behind me, I find that my work has been further more hindered.

"Mommy! I'm bored!" Peter cried.

"Mommy has things to do today, Peter. Why don't you go play in the backyard with Hana?" I cooed.

"She's sleeping!"

"Then go watch your cartoons and play with your robots while Mommy gets the laundry done."

"I wanna play with you, Mommy."

"Oh, no, baby. Mommy's busy right now. Maybe later?"

He sat, moaning, as I sorted the clothes. He followed me, groaning, into the kitchen. I sighed and he whined. Then, I got an idea.

"Sweetie, do you want to help Mommy today?" I asked.

"Huh?" he replied.

"You can help me finish my chores today and we'll have the house nice and clean before Daddy gets home! Then, we can play with Daddy!"

"I wanna help!" Peter said happily.

But, I had to make it fun for him. Just having him help me do chores would certainly bore him further.

"Okay, honey. First, we're going to have a scavenger hunt! I'm going to hide things around the house that have to do with laundry, and then I'm going to help you find them, okay?"

Family, fun and a learning experience for him. This will test his reading comprehension. Hanatamago chose to wake from her nap and follow us.

"Hi, Hana-girl! You wanna help us?" I cooed, petting her. "Now, you stay here with Hana and I'm going to hide the things. When the clock has three two's on it, Peter, come and meet me in the kitchen."

"Three two's?" He asked, looking at the clock. "There's only one two on the clock, Mommy!"

"That's right, Peter! It's 12:15. When the clock has three two's on it, it'll be 12:22. That's when you come for me. Okay?"

He nodded. "Okay!"

I left him and Hana in the play room to begin our game.


A few minutes later, Peter and Hana bounded into the kitchen where I stood waiting for them. He pointed to the microwave. "Look, Mommy! There's three two's on the clock now!"

"That's my good boy!" I cooed, snuggling him to my chest. "Are you ready to go on the scavenger hunt?"

"Uh-huh!"

I handed him a paper and he looked a little confused.

"All scavengers need a list to find their treasure!"

He perked up, trying to decipher it.

"Did Daddy teach you your colors, Peter?" I asked, sitting him on my lap.

"Uh-huh." He pointed to a blue smudge on the first item. "That's blue!"

"Very good! That is blue!"

"It's on Daddy's flag and it's on your flag too!" he said.

"That's right! Now, what are we looking for that's blue, honey?"

"A box!"

"Hmm...have you seen a blue box in the house?" I asked.

"In there!" Peter cried, pointing to a cabinet. "Daddy always gets it down for you."

"Do you know what's inside the blue box?"

Peter shook his head.

"Well, let's go look for the blue box first. Do you want to look in here?" I asked, pointing to the cabinet.

"Uh-huh!"

I sat him on the counter and grabbed a step stool. Berwald could obviously get in the cabinet without the step stool. However, my husband wasn't home at the moment, so I had to fend for myself. I looked around inside the cabinet.

"Hmmm...no blue boxes in here..." I said. I stepped down, picking Peter up to place him back on the ground. Something caught his eye and he ran off, me and Hana trying to keep up with him.

"Mommy! Outside! In the sand box!" he cried, pointing out the back door.

"What's in the sand box, baby?" I opened the door and he bolted, running toward the sand box. "Did you find something?"

"Look, Mommy! It's a blue box!"

"Is it the box we're looking for? What does it say?" I asked.

"It says...so...so-ah-pu...so-a-p...soap! You need it to wash clothes, Mommy!" Peter cried.

"Very good!" I said, picking him up. "You found the soap powder! And you said the word all by yourself! I'm so proud of you, Peter!" Hanatamago yipped happily at my feet. However, she didn't follow Peter back inside. She stayed to chase a frog she found in the bushes.

"More, Mommy! Again!" Peter said excitedly.

"Okay, Peter. What's the next one?"


"Mommy! I found the yellow box!" he said, pointing to the top shelf in his father's closet.

"Is it smaller than the blue box?" I asked.

"Uh-huh!"

"Is it bigger than the basket?'

"No! It's little!"

I picked him up so he could grab the box. He showed it to me.

"Yup! That's the box we need! Do you know what softener is, Peter?"

"No."

"Well, what's the opposite of soft?"

"Hard! You always say how Daddy's hard!"

I know he didn't mean it how I was thinking, but I couldn't help but turn red.

"Sweetie, don't repeat everything Mommy says, okay?"

"Why not?" he asked.

"Some things shouldn't be repeated. And don't repeat anything Uncle Mathias says." I said.

Peter stood by me, bouncing on his heels as I scooped out some laundry detergent.


"I wanna do it, Mommy! Can I?" Peter whined.

"Okay, baby, hang on."

I picked him up and handed him the scoop. "Now, don't just dump it in one area, Peter. You gotta put it on all of the clothes."

Gingerly, Peter shook the detergent into the roaring washer.

"Like that, Mommy?" he asked.

"Just like that, sweetheart. Good job!" I said, putting him down.

"Now what?"

"We wait for them to finish so we can do the next one."

"Can we play?" he asked.

"Sure, honey."

I had other things I needed to do and I needed my baby's help.


We took a break to eat our own lunch.

"Okay, Peter!" I said, placing the dishes in the sink. "We're going to have a race!"

"A race?"

"You said you wanted to play, so it's our next game!"

"I'm still helping you, right, Mommy?" he asked.

"Of course, honey."

I took out two buckets of warm soapy water and placed them by the door.

"We're going to have a foot race, Peter. We're going to take our sponges and clean the living room floor. First one to the end of the room wins!" I told him.

"I wanna!"

I knelt in front of the buckets, Peter on my knee. "Peter, can you tell me what colors these buckets are?"

He pointed to one. "That one's red!"

"Very good! And the other one?"

"Green! It's Emi's favorite color!"

"You're so smart, Peter! And what's your favorite color, honey?"

"Red!" he said. "I want the red one, Mommy!"

"Okay, Peter. You can have the red one." I said, carrying it out into the living room.

"Mommy, what's your favorite color?" asked Peter.

"Mommy's favorite color is orange. There's something orange in this room. Can you show me?" I asked.

He looked around until he spotted it. "That's orange!" he cried, pointing to Hanatamago's food dish.

"Very good, Peter! Daddy's favorite color is blue. Can you find something blue in here?"

Peter grabbed a book off the coffee table. "My book is blue!"

"That's right, honey! Your book is blue! Now, there's something else that's red in here. Do you think you can find it?"

"The flowers are red, Mommy!"

"Good job, Peter!" I said.

His first instinct was to plop his hands into the bucket. He watched the soap run off his hands and into the bucket.

"The water's hot, Mommy..." he said.

"Is it too hot?"

"No. I like it."

I smiled, turning back to wring out my sponge. "Can you tell Mommy what the opposite of hot is?"

"Cold! Like when it snows and you let me and Hana play outside!" Peter said.

"You're such a smart boy, Peter!" I cooed. "Oh, honey, don't splash water everywhere."

My son is going to be the smartest boy in kindergarten.


I didn't let him win; my boy definitely beat me in three rounds of racing. Hana stared, confused, through the door as she watched us run up and down the living room. Everything was put back in its place and we continued washing clothes.

"Okay, Peter. Next, we're going to clean up your play room."

I sat three colored bins in front of him with pictures. "Can you tell me what colors these are?"

"That one's red, that one's blue and that one's yellow!"

"Good job! This is our sorting game!"

"Sor...ting...game. Okay."

"If it's a robot toy, put it in the red bin. If it's a car toy, you put it in the yellow bin and if it's a superhero toy, put it in the blue bin. Okay?"

"Okay!"

"If it's a car, where do you put it?" I asked.

"The yellow one!"

"Good! And if it's a robot?"

"Red!"

"And if it's a hero?"

"Blue!" he said.

"Good job, Peter!"

He stopped, scratching at the red bin.

"What's the matter, Peter?"

"It's got a picture of a robot on it..."

"It does?" I cooed.

"And this one has a super hero on it!"

"It sure does!"

"A car's on this one!"

"That's so you know where the toys go."

I watched him toddle about the room, placing toys in the bins. I couldn't help but smile. Suddenly, he stopped.

"Hm? What's wrong?"

"Mommy, where does this one go?" he asked, thrusting a toy in my face. "It's a robot, but it's a superhero too."

I can see why that would confuse him. It confused me as well.

"Hmmm..." I took the toy from him, studying it closely. "I know where we can put him."

I sat him on the shelf next to Peter's favorite red fire truck. "There! He's a special toy, so he can't go into the bins. He can sit up here with your fire truck, okay?"

All of the little toys were put away, but there were still other things on the floor. Soft bears and blocks. An idea struck me. I sat a large teddy bear in one corner and a large wooden box in the other.

"Okay, Peter. To clean up the last of this stuff, we're going to play another sorting game!" I picked him up and carried him over to the teddy bear. I sat him on it.

"How does the teddy bear feel, honey?" I asked.

"It's soft..." he said, hugging it.

He reached up for me to pick him up again. I carried him to the box and sat him on it.

"And how does the box feel, Peter?"

"Hard...I don't like it."

I picked him up, holding him on my hip. "The teddy bears can go in the corner with the big, soft teddy bear and the blocks can go inside the big, hard box, okay?"

He nodded and I put him down to get to work.


In no time, the play room was sparkling clean. I could finally see the floor again.

"Okay, baby. Now, we can go fold the clothes."

"Can we do it outside with Hana?" he asked.

"Sure!"


Peter mostly played with Hanatamago as I folded clothes on the big blanket I laid out for us. After a bit, I couldn't find him.

"Peter? Peter, where are you, honey?" I said.

"Right here, Mommy!" Peter called from the bushes.

"Peter, are you digging a hole?"

"No. Hana is."

"She'll cover it back up. You watch out before you get dirt in your hair."

Peter backed away, retreating into the sand box. I felt he was safe until I heard him scream.

"No, Hana, no! Stop!"

Hanatamago was kicking up sand to bury something she'd found. Quickly, I snatched Peter out of the sand box, brushing him off. I shook most of the sand out of his hair, but resolved to give him a good bath later. I sat him on the blanket next to me, continuing to brush him off.

"Hm. I'll get the rest off when I give you a bath tonight."

He sat near me, playing with a truck he pulled out of the sand box.

"Mommy, what's this?" he asked, scooping up a ball of lint with the truck.

"It's lint, honey. It comes off of clothes when you wash them." I playfully tucked it into the pocket on the front of his overalls.

"It's such a lovely day."


"'m h'me."

Peter suddenly jumped up, opening the back door.

"Peter, honey, where are you going? Hold on, baby! Let me get the basket!"

"Daddy's home! Daddy's home!"

I grabbed the basket of folded clothes and followed Peter inside, where he had seemingly tackled his father to the ground.

"He d'dn't cause trouble, d'd he?" Berwald asked.

"No! Of course not, Ber! Our son is a perfect angel. He helped me wash clothes and clean the house." I said. "Peter, get off of your father..."

"He's f'ne. 'll keep 'im outta yer w'y if yer m'kin d'nner." mumbled my husband.

"Oh, thank you, dear!" I gave Berwald a quick kiss on the lips, Peter cringing.

"Ew!" he cried.

"'t's n't n'sty, Peter."

"Your father's right. When you find a girl you like, you'll want to kiss her too!"

"Ew! No!"

Berwald and I shared brief laughter over our young son.

"I've got to feed Hana." I shook her food at the back door. "Hana! Time to eat, girl!"

Yipping happily, Hanatamago ran inside, sitting politely at her food dish.

"Good girl, Hana!"

She dove into her food as quickly as I poured it in her bowl.

"I wanna play the airplane game, Daddy!"

"Kay, Peter. L't me t'k off my shoes f'rst."

I smiled as I listened to my husband and son play in the living room. Soon, the laughter stopped and arms found my waist.

"Why d'n't ya t'ke a break, T'no?" Berwald whispered huskily in my ear. "Ya been w'rkin' all d'y 'nd w'tchin' Peter. 'll m'ke d'nner, 'kay?"

"No, honey. It's fine. I don't mind."

"I insist." he said as clearly as he could.

"You sure, honey? What if Peter wants to play with you? He hasn't seen you all day." I said.

He pressed himself against me, kissing behind my ear. "Ya need ta r'st. I b't ya h'v'n't s't d'wn all d'y."

"Well, I did sit in the back yard for a bit, folding clothes."

"Th't's n't 'nough. Go t'ke a break." Berwald insisted.

"Well, alright. I was going to fix Swedish meatballs tonight."

"I c'n do it. Ya go r'st."

I shrugged. "Well...alright. Just this once."

"Fer the r'st a the week." Berwald said.

"What?"

"Fer the r'st a the week. 'll m'ke d'nner fer the r'st a the week."

There was no changing Berwald when his mind was made up. My husband was notorious for not budging.

"Okay, fine. For the rest of the week, I won't cook dinner."

That appeased him and he leaned in to kiss me passionately. I could feel him smile at my back as I left to play with Peter in his play room.

This is how I've always wanted to spend my life. No matter how unconventional it was, no matter how taboo it was, no matter how different it was, I had a family that I loved and adored more than anything.


A/N: I do enjoy this story. So much cuteness, but I think I may have overdone it. The fluff is fine, but Peter and Tino's dynamic could land a mule in an insulin coma. Enjoy, ya'll!

LonelyHearts2008