Kids of HMAS Hammersley


Friday afternoon at Chloe's house

"Josy, you've got spaghetti sauce all over your face," I pointed out.

"Well, not exactly all over your face..."

Before Mum could finish her sentence, Josy swallowed the spaghetti she was chewing and asked, "Could I have a napkin, please?"

Mum went to the kitchen to get one and Josy used it. "Thanks," she said. "I loooove spaghetti, but they're just so difficult to eat!"

After lunch, I asked: "So what are we gonna do till Josy's mum arrives? Do you have any homework to do?"

Josy shook her head: "I already did them at school. But I could help with your homework!"

"Well, thanks, but... Do you really think you can help with Year Five homework?"

Josy shrugged. "I can try, can't I?"

"Okay..." I'll just make her sit on my bed and play something quiet while I work.

Chloe's room

"Wow, your room is big!" Josy exclaimed when I opened the door.

"Uh, well, yeah," I agreed. "So... you wanna sit on the bed or somewhere and play something while I do my homework?"

Josy shook her head: "I said I was gonna try and help you."

"No offense, but I don't think you can help me. Remember, it's Year Five homework. You are in Year One."

"I'll never know if I can help you if I don't try, right?"

I sighed. "When you talk to your mum, is it like that, too?"

"Like what?"

"That you never accept a no for an answer."

"Oh yes." Josy smirked. "So, where's your homework?"

Sighing again, I rummaged through my schoolbag till I had found my Math book. "In here. Page five, first task."

I sat down at my desk and opened the book on page five. Josy stood next to me and peeked into the book over my shoulder.

"So what's this about?" she asked.

"It's Steve's birthday and he has invited five of his friends," I read out from the book. "The area of Steve's birthday cake-"

"Birthday cake, yummy!"

"-the area of Steve's birthday cake," I repeated a little louder, "is 600 square inches. What is the area of the piece of cake everyone gets? All pieces should be the same size."

"Okay, that circle next to the task is the cake, isn't it?"

I nodded. "And those stupid smilies around it are the faces of Steve and his friends. Each of them gets a piece of cake, that's five pieces, so 600 divided by five..."

"Six," Josy said.

"Six? Why six?" I asked, confused.

"Steve and his five friends, that's six people," she explained.

"Oh, yeah. Right. Thanks." Great, a six-year-old is telling me how to do my math homework...

About two hours later, the doorbell rang and Sally went to open the door.

"Good evening, how are you?" Nikki Caetano asked.

"Fine, thanks. And you?"

"A bit tired, long day at work... How's Josy?"

Right at this point, Josy came walking- or better running- to the door and threw herself into her mother's arms, making Nikki stumble backwards.

"Hey Jo, I'm happy to see you, too, but next time be a bit more careful, okay? You nearly knocked me over!"

Josy smiled and let go. "Sorry Mum."

Nikki was smiling as well. "So what did you do all afternoon that you still have so much energy to burn?"

"I helped Chloe with her homework!" Josy explained proudly.

"Well, you helped me with one task and I would've managed that on my own, too." Chloe had joined the others in the hallway while they were talking.

"No, you wouldn't! With you solving the task, Steve wouldn't have gotten any cake!"

"So what? Steve's too fat ayway!"

"But is was his birthday and you can't get no cake on your own birthday!"

"Who exactly is Steve?" That was Nikki.

"A boy from Chloe's Math book," Sally explained. "Would you like to come in, by the way?"

"Thanks, but no. My parents are visiting on Sunday and I still have to clean the house. Josy, where have you put your shoes?"

Josy frowned. "Please Mum, can I stay here a little longer? You always say I'm just standing in your way when you're cleaning the house!"

Nikki couldn't help but laugh. "Not when you're tidying up your own room while I'm cleaning."

"My room is tidy," Josy stated. "Well, at least tidier than Chloe's."

"Be happy you're so small, if you were taller, I'd punch you for that. Really hard," Chloe growled.

"Well, I think I'd punch you back," Josy retorted happily.

"Okay, we better leave now before there's any violence," Nikki cut in. "Josy, have you found your shoes?"

The girl gave a mock salute: "Yes ma'am!"

"Wrong hand Jo."

Josy dropped her shoes and saluted again, then sat down to put her shoes on. When she was done, she got up and said, "Bye Chloe, bye Chloe's Mum!"

Hm, I thought when the door had closed. Seems like Josy kinda has adopted me as her big sister... Let's see how that will go on...

A/N 1: From now on, what will happen is left to your imagination :)

A/N 2: The saluting-with-the-wrong-hand-thingy was inspired by Abby Sciuto from NCIS.