Phil felt that his garden was at the point where he needed some different, more interesting plants. He went out searching for seeds. Somebody had suggested that in the marshy areas on the other side of town may hold some very interesting seeds that could produce fruits or veg that he might not believe existed.
So he spent an entire day searching for new seeds, most of the seeds on the ground he recognised as lettuce or tomato seeds, those ones he left alone. After a few hours he saw a strange seed that he didn't recognise. Excited, he picked it up and examined it, he definitely hadn't seen this before. He couldn't wait to plant them and see what they'd grow into.
The days had flown past and it was time for Bonnie's birthday. Amanda had convinced Katie and Phil that a party wasn't necessary and was so worried that work would make her miss bonnie becoming a toddler.
Luckily she was on an early shift and was home with plenty of time to spare.
She called Katie and Phil over when it was time to blow out the candle on the cake. They all gathered round as Amanda held her little daughter and blew the candles out for her.
The flame went out and everybody cheered.
Bonnie became an incredibly cute toddler, she definitely had Amanda's eyes. But she had the jet-black hair of her father. Amanda tried not to let this be a reminder of her past life, she had changed so much since then, but it didn't mean she loved her daughter any less.
Amanda looked at her daughter and smiled, she couldn't be unhappy when she looked at that smiling, giggling, innocent little girl. Who could?
Amanda knew that there were so many things to teach her daughter while she was young. The first of those things, she decided was to teach Bonnie to talk.
She sat down with her and began.
"Bonnie? Can you say mummy?"
Bonnie looked blankly up at her mum.
"Mummy." Amanda said again, pointing at herself.
"A-blooh-blah" Was all Bonnie replied.
"This is going to take a while" Amanda said to herself.
She patiently continued with Bonnie. After a while, Bonnie seemed to lose interest and began playing with the doll that was on the floor nearby.
"I guess that's it for today then sweetie." Amanda said getting off the floor.
While Amanda was at work in the mornings, Katie would take care of both Shaun and Bonnie. She fed Shaun as she watched Bonnie play with her toys on the floor. It wouldn't be long until Shaun was up and playing and making noise on the xylophone.
After many hours and painstakingly slow progress, Bonnie finally learned to talk. Many points along the way Amanda had nearly given up but she wasn't the sort of person who gave up that easily. This was something that Bonnie needed, and no matter how frustrated Amanda got, she had to keep going.
Amanda squealed with delight when Bonnie finally said "Mummy." But she knew that it wasn't the end of her lessons. She had to teach her more than just that.
Eventually, Bonnie was able to say "I love mummy." and "I want food" or "I want play!" Amanda was nearly crying with happiness hearing her little girl talking properly for the first time.
"Well done Bonnie, aren't you a clever girl?"
"Ok, ok, you can have your bottle." Amanda said.
It was not long before Shaun's birthday arrived too. Phil and Katie wanted a small affair instead of a big party. The two of them gathered in the small kitchen, Katie carried Shaun over to his birthday cake, she seemed nervous for some reason.
"What's the matter Katie?" Phil asked
"It's just so soon. What if I'm not ready to look after a toddler?"
"We're both going to look after him, you're not a single mum. You're not Amanda. If she can do it, I think the two of us will be fine."
"You're right." Katie said, "Well, lets get this candle blown out before the wax melts." She leaned over and blew out Shaun's candle.
Shaun grew up into a toddler, he looked so cute and oddly mischievous as he sat there.
Katie seemed to be relieved, it was as though she had been expecting something to be wrong. But there was nothing wrong with Shaun, he was just an adorable little boy.
Phil took to the task of teaching Shaun to walk. Katie wanted to teach him to talk so Phil let her do that. Seeing his little man taking his first few steps warmed his heart. "Come on Shaun, you can do it!" Phil said.
Shaun went to take a step and then fell back down and sat on the floor.
Phil sighed, but picked his son up, and put him back on his feet.
"Come to daddy Shaun!" Phil said.
It looked like Shaun was actually about to walk, but he sat back down.
"This is going to take a while" Phil thought.
Katie had wanted so much to teach little Shaun to talk, but progress was slow.
Like Bonnie, most of Shaun's attempts at talking ended up sounding something similar to "Blah-blooh-debab".
Katie was a very patient, nurturing mother though. She wanted to teach Shaun to talk, and teach she would.
"Say Dadda," She encouraged, "Shaun, say Dadda."
"Bahga. Bloop." Shaun replied.
Katie had been trying for hours, "This is going to take a while." She thought.
"Come on Shaun. Dah-Dah." She said.
"Maybe we'll take a break." she replied as she got up slowly.
Shaun wasn't paying attention, he was already playing with his toys.
While Amanda was letting Bonnie take a nap, she decided the household needed some upgrades. She had fixed enough toilets to last a lifetime, so it was time to make it unbreakable.
It took quite a bit of configuring and twisting and working the components of the toilet, but eventually she got it down.
Having nobody else to help her teach her daughter to walk, talk and use the potty chair, Amanda was doing everything herself. She dearly hoped that this would be faster than teaching the kid to talk, but apparently the leg muscles were as hard to work as the vocal chords, Bonnie's progress was slow.
She couldn't believe she was thinking it again, but she said "This is going to take a while." to herself.
It was as though saying it let her keep going. She was a very determined person. When she wanted something to happen, it would happen.
For hours, Bonnie would take a half step, maybe one full step, but then be back where she started.
Amanda encouraged her the whole way. "Go on Bonnie, you can do it!" She would call, holding out her arms towards her daughter, resisting the urge to just carry her everywhere.
D'aaaww isn't that cute? Shaun seemed to prefer the company of his doll "Sky" to any other toy, he would cuddle it, sing to it and play with it for hours while his other toys just sat there.