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Saturday Morning 7.30
by Richard Nicholson

“Where shall I put your coffee?”

He stood beside the bed, a mug of coffee in one hand, tea in another, scanning the crowded top of the bedside cabinet for a mug shaped space. An arm snaked out from beneath the duvet and swept a book, a clock, a phone and a pair of earrings onto the floor. “There,” said a sleepy voice.

Momentarily forgetting which was tea and which was coffee he sniffed one mug only to find that the milk was off. She wouldn’t wake up to drink it anyway so he walked round the bed, climbed in to his side and plumped up the pillows to enjoy 10 minutes of peace.

Downstairs the girls, Kate, 3 and Rose, 6 were giving the dolls breakfast.

“Are the girls up?” asked his wife.

“Yes they’re downstairs making breakfast for their toys. I lined up a whole armful beside the sofa so it should give us a bit of peace.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than there was a scream from downstairs.

“Mum there’s a poo on the carpet!”

“Did you take Kate’s nappy off?” asked his wife, from her nest.

“Yes I did because it was drenched and down round her knees,” he said. They both lay in silence willing the other to get up to find the kitchen roll and the carpet cleaner.

“I didn’t do it,” they heard Kate, the 3 year old say to her older sister.

“Well it wasn’t me,” replied Rose, so grown up and certain of her place in the world.

He looked at the resting form of his wife. “I’ll be down in a minute,” he called down stairs, “I’m just finishing off my tea.”

Another scream broke the all too brief silence, “Dad, it’s jumping!”

Even his wife moved at that. She brushed the duvet from off her face and stared at him with a ‘what are you waiting for’ expression.

He hopped out of bed and ran down stairs to be met by the sight of his two daughters huddled together on the sofa pointing in horror to a small poo coloured object on the floor which, as he approached, jumped.

“It’s a baby frog,” he said, “it must have come in the backdoor.” He gently cupped his hand over it, picked it up, opened the back door and tiptoed on his bare feet across the concrete to deposit the baby frog on the grass. Turning round he saw Kate standing at the back door.

“There,’” he said, “all better now.”

Kate looked at him with a solemn face. “I told you it didn’t come out of my bottom,” she said.