Newcrest Junior encouraged parents involvement in extra-school activities, although Emilie felt attendance was compulsory rather than voluntary. She spent days in the kitchen whipping cake mix, creating brownies and cookies all ready for the Bake sale, raising money for sports equipment. The hall, chaotic, with nothing prepared and parents, had arrived with arms full of sweet, mouthwatering treats, the organiser had disappeared meaning everyone stood waiting. Eliza stepped forwarding requesting volunteers, directing her reluctant team setting the stalls, in a U-shape with two lines central. Emilie managed the entrance, assigning tables and keeping hungry customers in a queue, impressed by her daughter’s confidence and ability to take control of the situation. Assembly the following week, Eliza earned a commendation from her teachers and the money raised exceeded expectations.
Rylan regretted his decision, Emilie took Eliza and Patrick swimming, leaving him in charge of Charlotte. His daughter believed everyone was leaving her behind, she hit her teddies, threw food, attempted biting Rylan when he wanted to bathe her and kicked Patrick when he played with the toy she wanted. Screaming in frustration, unable to express herself had become a part of day-to-day life, neither Eliza nor Patrick had episodes this extreme. Yelling had been Rylan’s answer, Charlotte’s eyes widened, sudden silence, when he thought she had understood, her face changed to anger, turning red, running to hide in, forcing Rylan to spend his day searching for her. The hide and seek became a game, Charlotte wanted attention, if Rylan was looking for her, this satisfied her need.
Evening brought havoc to a new level, Emilie assisted Eliza and Patrick with their school projects, a solar system replica, lit and in motion. The project took longer than expected, time slipped by, the setting sun, they needed to move quicker, assembling the pieces. Rylan had responsibility, feeding, bathing and reading to sleep the youngest, he wished she was easier to handle, but a day of tantrums, sneaking chocolate, Charlotte was in no mood to cooperate. A tomato-faced naked toddler stood in the corner of the main bedroom, soap-suds dripping to the carpet. He approached, towel drawn, a matador attempting to hid his fear from the ferocious bull. Emilie snatched the towel, wrapping Charlotte, her body stiff, she wrestled, and surrendered, Emilie, taking no nonsense from her.
Patrick fell asleep reading his comic beneath the covers, he woke abrupt, a scream reverberated in his chest, although it felt alien. A monster, tentacles enveloped his legs, frantic kicking, Rylan ran, pulling the duvet freeing Patrick. The torch and comic slipped the floor, a frightened boy stared at his mother lent on the doorway, Eliza peaking. Snatch the comic, scowling, this they would discuss in the morning.