Disclaimer: I do not own Pretty Little Liars. Yada, yada.
A/N: The f word is said a few times. Just a warning.
Sh*t My Kid Says
Being a parent was...different. Easier and harder than Paige could ever imagine. The unconditional love she felt for them. Love that was both the same and completely not the way she loved Emily. It was an 'I can't wait to see how cute you are' to an immediate 'I love you so much and I would do anything for you' love at first sight kind of thing. And she was just as surprised the second time around, how instant and all consuming it was.
It was beautiful and scary and amazing and shocking and fun and crazy and too much and not enough, never enough. It was comforting Parker when he falls off of his bike one second and wearing a frilly dress and playing tea party with little Emilia the next. It was telling her son 'no, girls are not gross' and 'yes Emilia, I think he's cute too.' It was telling Parker the difference between playing rough and hitting. It was letting their daughter try on mom's lipstick and then later having to explain why she can't just use all of mom's expensive 'powder face stuff.' It was Emily being mom and Paige being momma. It made the years of school and life experiences completely worth it and yet, so completely useless.
It made days like today, the best. Emily and Emilia were inside watching cartoons and making breakfast, while she and Parker attempted to fix his bike, yet again. Apparently a bear came out of nowhere and smashed it, even though it looks suspiciously like the last time Emily ran it over because he left it in the driveway. She oohed and aahed at the appropriate times anyways.
"Hey, momma?" Parker taps Paige on her shoulder.
"Yes?" she asks him, her eyes stilled trained on the jumbled mess that was his tire.
"I think I wanna fix stuff when I grow up."
Paige smiles and turns too look at him. "Really now?"
He grins at her, nodding his head vigorously. "Yeah, but not like you. I want people to give me money for it."
She laughs, putting the wrench on the ground and settling for a long Parker conversation. "I get paid in love."
"But you can't buy toys with love."
Paige tilts her head at him and makes a show of seriously contemplating his observation, a pointed finger on her temple and a loud hmmm. "You're right," she agrees. "You need the green."
His eyebrow stitches together and he shakes his head at her. "No, momma, I don't want to get paid in grass. I said money. I want to have a lot like you and mom."
She laughs again. "I'm sorry, my mistake."
Parker moves to sit next to her, glancing back and forth, obviously trying to mirror Paige's posture as best he could. Once he's situated, legs sprawled out in front of him and his arms behind him, leaning on them for support...just like Paige. He nods to himself and looks at her. "I think I should practice."
"Okay, how can I help?"
"Hmm, how...about...ooh, I know." He grabs the small tool box behind Paige and moves it in between them. He crosses his legs and pulls out the first tool that he sees. "What's this?"
Paige turns, copying him this time. "That is a Screwdriver."
He nods and tosses it carelessly to the side. He pulls out another. "What about this?"
"A Tape Measure."
"How about this?"
"That would be a screw."
He smiles widely at her. It's cute. It confuses Paige. "A fuck."
Paige's eyebrows shoot up and she chokes. On what, she's not sure, shock maybe. Because what did he just say?
Parker stands up and grabs her shoulder. "Momma? Are you okay?" He sounds so worried.
Paige nods her head and swallows, trying to catch her breath. "I'm fine," she says, her voice a little hoarse. "I just..." she turns to look at him. "What did you just say?"
"Um, when?" he asks and he looks so genuinely confused, that Paige is sure she heard wrong. Her little boy couldn't have said what she thought she heard.
She points to herself, "I said screw," she pauses and points to him, "and you said..."
She coughs, willing herself to calm the f-. To calm down. "Why would you-I just...why?"
"Because they're the same."
"No, no. They are definitely not."
"Are you sure?"
"Hmm...but Aunt Hanna..."
Aah-ha. Hanna. It's Hanna fault. Always Hanna's fault. She probably locked him in a room and brain-washed his poor innocent mind. Paige knew. She knew she shouldn't leave her precious babies alone with her. And she was right. She loved Hanna, more than she'll ever let on, but Hanna had a certain...way about her, that wasn't at all appropriate for little kids. Ugh.
"What did Aunt Hanna do to you?" She asks, suddenly paranoid. She rakes her hands through his hair and his face, looking for any sign of...mind control shenanigans. "Did she put a weird machine on your head or anything?"
He shakes his head and grabs her hands, abruptly stopping her search. "I heard her say it."
"Oh," she says. She'd be lying if she said she wasn't a little disappointed. Obviously it was still really bad, but it wasn't...mind control. Oh well. "What happened?"
"Aunt Hanna asked Aunt Spencer-"
"Aunt Spencer was involved too?" She should have known.
He squints at her, "I don't know what in...in...invo...that word is."
"She was there?"
He nods, "uh huh. Aunt Hanna asked Aunt Spencer if it was a fuck. Then Aunt Spencer shushed her. And then Aunt Hanna said screw." He stops and he looks a little nervous. "I know you said not to listen when people are talking, but I wanted a cookie and they were in the kitchen and it was unavoidable."
"Unavoidable?" she asks. Involved, he doesn't know. But unavoidable, no problem. Since when?
"Aunt Spencer said words are special. Unavoidable is the second one she taught me."
She was almost scared to ask what the first was. She asks anyway.
"Umm..." he looks up. "It was...uh..." he shrugs, "I'm a kid, how am I supposed to remember every-wait." He stops and places his hands on either side of Paige's shoulder's. "Did I use it correctly?"
"No-I mean yes and I..." Ugh. She was so not prepared for this. What happened to her beautiful Saturday morning. She sighs, "just don't ever say that word okay?"
He pulls away and smirks. A mischievous, Emily-like smirk. "What word? I forgot. "
Unbelievable. She had such high hopes for Parker. That he would take after her. And finally, she would have a partner and crime, someone she wouldn't be wary of, because god knows her two girls had Paige wrapped around their finger. She was always on guard around them, looking for signs of something amiss. But now this smirk...she couldn't stand a chance. She was ruined for life.
"What word momma?" Parker asks again, eyes innocent.
"You know what word Parker?"
She shakes her head.
His smirk widens. Ruined. For. Life. "Oh...you mean f-?"
Paige covers his mouth before he can say it again. "Parker," she says, her voice firm. Or as firm as she can get it. Emily used it more than she did. "Do not say that word again, or else..." she finishes, pulling her hand away. She's pretty sure this is the part where she's supposed to give him a stern eye or something, but again, that's more Emily's forte. Paige just frowns.
Parker doesn't miss a beat. "Or else what?" He's not being wise, she can tell, just simply asking a question. Somehow that's worst. "You won't do anything momma," he laughs. Now he was being wise. Forget for life, she was ruined forever, even in the afterlife.
"Yes, I will," she tries harder with the firmness. She's pretty sure she failed just as much as the fist time.
"Aunt Aria said whenever I'm in trouble, mom has to punish me because you like to push people over bridges."
Of course Aunt Aria said. It's always Aunt this or Aunt that. She's going to have to talk to Emily about their constant presence. It seems their kids need a little break from all their Aunts..."wait what, why would she-I don't push people over bridges."
Parker crosses his arms, he doesn't look the least bit convinced. Yes, they really needed to spend just a little less time with them. "Are you sure?"
She puts her right hand up, "I have never pushed someone over-wait, you mean a pushover?"
He puts his arms down, grinning. "Oh yeah, that. You're a pushover."
"But I'm-" What could she say, she was a pushover. It was time to speak to her non pushover wife. "Come on," she says, grabbing one of his hands and pulling him towards the back door.
"Oh no, we're going to talk to mom, aren't we?"
Paige ignores him and opens the door. "Em?" she calls out, before the door is fully open. "Emily?" a little louder. "Emily F-"
"We're in the kitchen Paige," Emily cuts her off.
"Momma, I'm sorry I thought you pushed people over bridges. Can we just-"
"No." Like she was going to let him schmooze his way out of it. She stops. Maybe he was a little like her after all. She schmoozed the pants off of Emily all the time.
"Momma?" Parker stops Paige's mind from wandering to a less than appropriate place.
"Come on," she says, as she continues her walk.
What she sees in the kitchen stops her in her tracks again. Emily is smiling, her hair in a messy bun and a wash cloth in her hand, trying to get Emilia to hold still. The little girl is sitting on the counter, laughing and wiggling in and out Emily's grasp. And there is flour...everywhere. It's all over them, in their hair, on their clothes, it's on the counter, on the floor, there's dried up, hard clumps all over the kitchen sink. It's just everywhere. It was a mess.
Paige looks around and tries to take everything in. She isn't sure if she wants to laugh, at Emily thinking a wash cloth was going to do any good. If she should be annoyed that, at some point, they were going to have to clean up this mess. Or if she should cry. Because this, this is her life. A gorgeous wife, who she loves beyond...just beyond. Two beautiful kids, who make her question how she ever survived without them. And friends, who are around way too often and apparently have a bigger influence on her children than she ever realized. And she is so unbelievably happy in this moment. So overwhelmed by everything. It's more than she could have ever imagined and way, way better.
She feels a wetness on her cheeks and she knows crying. She could care less really.
"Paige?" Emily's voice is concerned and immediately brings Paige back and out of her head.
Paige doesn't say anything, just looks at her and smiles. Waiting for the obvious question.
"Momma!" Emilia shouts, pointing at Paige. Emily grabs her and puts her on the ground. She immediately runs to Paige, who picks her up and hugs her. "Momma, we were going to make pancakes, but mom broke the bag of flour and it got everywhere and so we just threw it at each other instead. We had a flour fight." She leans in close to Paige's ear. "I won," she says loudly, pulling back and smiling.
Paige chuckles, ignoring the ringing in her ears. "I bet you did."
"Hey, I won that last round," Emily says, walking towards them.
"Yeah right mom. You can't even throw right," Parker says, accepting Emily's kiss.
"I have to agree," Paige says.
"What, is it pick on mom day?" Emily looks at Paige for a second, seemingly trying to find something, Paige isn't sure what. "Parker, can you please take your sister in the living room. I have to talk to momma for a second." She's still looking.
"But Emmy has flour all over her."
Emily turns to him and gives him a half smile, "it's okay, we'll clean it up later." She grabs Emilia from Paige and sets her down on the floor. "Just don't sit on the couch, okay Emilia and try not to move around too much."
"Okay mom," Emilia grabs Parker's hand. "Come one P, Sponge Bob is on," she says, not waiting for his reply and pulling him into the living room.
Paige watches them as they walk into the living room and has to laugh when Emilia immediately sits on the couch. She turns back. Emily is staring intently at her. Paige clears her throat, "you know she's on the couch already," she says, not knowing what else to say.
Emily grabs her face, wiping away the tear stains. "What's wrong? Why were you crying?"
Paige pulls her hands away and kisses them, "I'm just really happy."
Emily sighs, looking relieved. "You know," she smiles, "we're going to have to clean this all up."
"Yeah, we're also going to have to talk to Parker about the F word," she says, remembering what brought her into the kitchen in the first place.
"Did he call you fat again? Paige, I told you that was one time and it was that stupid jacket you wore. You're the same size you were in high school."
Paige snorts, "no, I mean the four letter F word, rhymes with duck."
"Rhymes with du-" Emily's eyes go wide. "Oh my god. How did he learn that word?"
Emily gasps, "Hanna?"
Paige nods, "you're going to have to talk to her."
"Why just me?"
"She's your friend."
"Please, she hasn't been just my friend for years."
She groans, "unfortunately."
"You love her," Emily says, pulling Paige close.
"Not when she's teaching my son swear words, accidental or not."
"Did you ask him what happened?"
"Yeah," she looks into the living room. Parker and Emilia are laughing at the tv. "I'll tell you later. Right now," Paige pulls Emily with her as she walks to the pantry, opening it. "I just want to eat cereal and watch cartoons with my family."
"But the pancakes are-"
"Never going to happen," Paige says, motioning to the mess. "Do we even have any flour left?"
Emily shakes her head and sighs. Someone was looking forward to the pancakes. "I'll get the bowls."
Day 5 of Paily week. My littlest brother learned his first swear word a few weeks ago and he's in that phase where he copies everything, anyone says and that's what gave me this idea. And still, for whatever reason, this was hard as all hell to write. I don't really like it, it feels rushed or something. Idk and I swear I have angsty-ish, Emily pov fics written and ready to be posted...at a later date, but for whatever reason Paige is all that has come out this week. *shrug* Hopefully you enjoyed it...