Status: Coming soon...

Parts of Me

Five Years Old

“Daddy I don’t want to go to the mall.”

I sigh as I look for a parking space. “We’re already here, Phe. I know you’re tired, but we’ll be quick, okay?”

“But I’m sleeeeeppyyyyy…” Phoenix whines from the backseat, only setting off his brother. They’re as bad as each other when they want to be.

“Me too, I want to go back to bed, daddy.” Mesa pouts dramatically, like he’s got it the worst in the world and I’m the cruellest person he’s ever met.

“Well you can’t, boys. We’re not going to be long, daddy just has to get some clothes for tour because somebody spilt paint over his clean washing.” I mumble as I park the Jeep into a vacant spot near the entrance.

Only two days ago I’d discovered all of my clean laundry for tour covered in red paint. I’m not kidding; everything was ruined. I thought I’d be organised and get it done early, but being organised and having twin boys are not two things that go well together. Neither of them have owned up to it yet, so now their punishment is to come with me to the mall to buy more clothes- clothes that don’t have little red hand prints all over them.

It didn’t help that tour was in a week. I know the boys were a little upset they wouldn’t be coming with me, as they have school now. They’re staying with my parents for two weeks as it’s only a short tour and while they love their grandparents, I know they’d prefer to be with me. God knows I’d prefer them with me; but somehow my wise mother has convinced me not to pull them out of school after the first semester.

I get out of the car and get the boys out, making them hold hands as they stand by the care while I grab my backpack. I’ve never been one for obvious ‘diaper’ bags and manage to fit everything within a more convenient backpack. The boys obviously aren’t diapers anymore, but they still required juices and other healthy snacks during the day.

Grabbing our things, I take Mesa’s hand and walk across the parking lot. He holds firmly onto Phoenix’s arm, not letting him out of his sight for a second; he really is a great big brother.
When we get inside the mall, the boys start complaining about how tired they are and that they want to go home already, so I grab a shopping cart and put Phoenix in the seat and let Mesa stand up.

“Don’t test me, boys. Daddy needs to get some things and then we can go home- we’re not even going to be here for long, Jesus.” I mutter, already annoyed with their behaviour. It’s their fault we’re even here in the first place so they deserve to go through the torment that is shopping. If I have to, so do they.

I only want to be in and out, but the boys make it harder than it really has to be. They start whining as soon as I leave the first store, having only found two pairs of pants. All I really need is a bunch of t-shirt and a jacket, but they’re making that seem impossible. I try to distract them with juice, and it works, until Mesa drops his and tries to take Phoenix’s from his. I go to the supermarket and get him another, but as soon as we leave the store, he refuses to drink it because it’s not the same flavour he had prior to the dropping incident. I swear to God these boys are doing my head in and I don’t know how much longer I’ll last if they decide to keep it up.

“Daddy! I want to go home!” Phoenix whines as he hangs over the front handle of the cart, no matter how many times I tell him to sit up.

“Phoenix, stop it.” I snap, sending him a look as I grab a shirt and throw it over the side of the cart. All I’m really looking for is plain t-shirts in my size. I don’t care much for the price because all I want to do is get the hell out of here. As soon as we get home I’m putting them straight in their room-


After that I have one screaming, crying child, which offsets the other so I have two screaming, crying children. Oh the joys of twins.

“What did you do?!” I hiss at Mesa as I lift Phoenix out of the cart, who’s nursing a swollen-looking eye.

“Nothing!” Mesa yells at me. He’s more angry than scared of me right now.

I grab him by the shoulder and lean down to his level. “Don’t yell at me. Tell me what you did to your brother.” I demand firmly, making sure to keep his attention.

“He hit me!” Phoenix sobs, burying his face into my shirt. “He hit me in the eye daddy!”

I sigh and rub Phoenix’s back, though it doesn’t seem to calm him. I know people are beginning to look at me but there’s not much I can do about them. They’re twins; they’re going to feed off of each other.
“Why did you do that, Mesa?”

“Because he’s being mean!” Mesa cries, pushing my hand away from his shoulder. “Stop being mean!”

“Mesa be quiet!” I hiss, grabbing his arm to stop him from hitting me. “You’re being a real brat right now and you’re going to be in so much trouble when we get home. Both of you are, so stop this shit right now.”

“But I didn’t do anything!” Phoenix cries, punching my shoulder with his little fists.

“That’s it,” I scoff, grabbing Mesa out of the cart and placing him on the ground before grabbing the bags. There were very few of them considering the boys only really let me go into two stores.

Somehow, I manage to take Mesa’s hand and pull him along as we leave the store. No matter how many people stare or give me dirty looks, the boys don’t let up on the act and it pisses me off even more. When we get to the car, I let go of Mesa’s hand to strap Phoenix in before all but throwing the bags in the back. Mesa tries to run off but I grab him by the shirt just before he does.

“Don’t you dare!” I yell as I kneel down in front of him, both my hands on his shoulders. “Don’t you give me anymore shit Mesa James! I’m sick of the way you and your brother have been acting today! You say you’re big boys now but all you’re doing is acting like a damn baby!”

“I hate you!” Mesa screams, trying to pull out of my grip, even though it’s no use. I have him locked and he clearly hates it.

“Oh well I’m not too fond of you either.” I scoff, picking him up and carrying him around the other side of the car to his seat.

He tries to hit me in the facial area as I strap him in, using his nails as his weapons. I really needed to trim those.

I grab his hands with one hand and hold them in his lap firmly, using my other hand to cup his face and turn it towards me. “Don’t you ever hit me!” I thunder, causing him to whimper as he struggles against me. “I’m serious Mesa! Don’t you ever try to hit me! Or your brother!”

“Daddy you’re hurting me!” He screams, kicking his legs against his car seat.

I roll my eyes and let go of him. “You’re such a little shit. Both of you are. I hope you’re happy; daddy has no clothes for tour after you ruined them. You’ve ruined our day so I hope you’re damn happy!”

“Good!” Phoenix spits daringly.

“Oh well I can’t wait to leave you for two weeks!” I yell before slamming the door. I take a deep, shaking breath as I try to recollect myself for the drive home. I know I was harsh on them, but I couldn’t help it. They just made me so mad and doing this alone means I have nobody to console me after this sort of thing; it’s just so exhausting being a single parent.

When I climb into the car, it’s silent. I look in the rear view mirror to see both of the boys looking down at their hands. I don’t want to start anything so I don’t speak for the drive home. I think what we all need is to just calm down.

We get home and I unstrap them from the car. The boys jump out and run up to the door while I get my bags and lock the car. They’re waiting patiently and quietly by the time I get there. I open the door and they run in, both in separate directions. Phoenix runs down the hall while Mesa runs upstairs to their bedroom, I’m assuming. I leave the bags on the kitchen bench and sigh, running a hand through my hair. I know they must be upset over me leaving and my saying I was glad to leave probably didn’t help the situation. I also probably shouldn’t have cursed in front of them, no matter how hard it was to contain my anger; I’ve never wanted to be one of those parents that curses at their small child. It’s just not the way I was brought up and I’m disappointed in myself for fucking up like that.

I sigh and call the one person I know won’t judge me for it.

“Hey man, what’s up?”

“Hey Eric, are you busy at the moment?” I mumble, rubbing my jaw.

“Yeah dude, we’re at the hospital, Daisy has an appointment for her cold. It’s all good we just wanted to
get her some antibiotics.” He responds calmly.

“Oh,” I sigh, “well give my love to her. I hope she’s doing well, man.”

“Thanks bro, I will.”

“Alright see you later.”

“Bye man.”

I hang up and sigh, now knowing it’s a sign I have to do this on my own. Like so many other things involving the boys, this is a hurdle I have to tackle all by myself.

Moving towards the fridge, I grab two already made bottles and put them both in the microwave to warm them up. I leave them in there before going to look for Phoenix first.

“Phe? Bub come out and talk to daddy, you want some milk?” I call as I walk down the hallway. I sigh when he doesn’t respond; I find him in my office sitting under my desk and hugging his knees. I stop in the doorway and bend down. “C’mon out, kid.” I mumble, rubbing my jaw. He shakes his head so I crawl across the floor, stopping at the desk because I know there’s no way in hell I’ll fit under there- my knees hardly fit without me having to constantly adjust my seat.

Phoenix looks away, hugging his little knees tightly to his chest.

Sighing, I pull him out and don’t loosen my grip- he doesn’t give much of a fight but he’s quiet and it hurts a little more than what his attempt at kicking me would.

“I don’t want you around all those wires, bud,” I tell him as I push his hair from out of his eyes. “It’s dangerous, okay?”

“I don’t care.” Phoenix whimpers, burying his face into my chest.

“You’re just tired,” I mumble as I take him out into the kitchen. I go to the microwave and grab both bottles before making my way back to the couch. Collapsing into the cushions, I keep Phoenix in my lap and give him his bottle. They’re getting to the age where milk from the bottle is a little babyish, but I’m trying to get them into sippy cups, then eventually cups without lids. It’ll be a tricky task to conquer, but I’m ready for it.

We sit in silence for a little while, the only sound being Phoenix drinking his milk. I look down at him and push his hair out of his face. It’s way too long but he doesn’t like getting it cut as much as his brother does. It’s okay though, I’ll get Ashley to do it because he isn’t scared of her.

Phoenix looks up at me, his bottle tipping up as it sits between his little pink lips. His eyes are wide and slightly red and it breaks my heart. Putting my arm around him, I pull him closer into me and he snuggles against my chest. These quiet moments are the ones I want most when life decides to get hard. I just need my boys and their hugs every once in a while.

“Daddy didn’t mean to get angry before,” I murmur as I kiss the top of his head.

Phoenix nods, almost losing his balance on my lap considering he was half way to half asleep, but I place my hand on his back and keep him up right.

I look up as I hear little footsteps coming down the stairs. I spot Mesa, holding onto the railing and looking at me as though I couldn’t see him. I can though, and it hurts even more because I can see those tears dried on his face.

“C’mere,” I whisper, waving him over.

Mesa shakes his head, staying put.

Moving Phoenix onto the couch beside me, I stand up and walk over to the stairs, climbing a couple before grabbing Mesa. He makes it hard as he starts to climb away from me, but I manage to get a hold of him quick enough to lift him into my arms.

“No…” he whines quietly, trying to wriggle out of my grip.

“C’mon kid, settle.” I sigh softly, taking back my spot on the couch as Phoenix falls into my side, still sucking on his bottle. These kids love their milk, that’s for sure.

I cradle Mesa in my arm and grab his bottle, handing it to him for him to drink. I sit back into the couch and get comfortable, knowing I’ll have to begin this little talk about behaving in public and how they shouldn’t pick up my crappy language. “Boys…I didn’t mean what I said earlier, okay? Daddy was just…angry.”

They don’t respond, either to interested with their milk consumption, or waiting for an apology.

“All those naughty words, I shouldn’t have said them to you.” I state.

“Naughty.” Phoenix mumbles softly.

“Yeah bud, it was naughty and daddy is sorry, okay? Just like you two are sorry about being naughty in the shops, right?” I coax, looking at them both.

Phoenix nods slowly, removing the bottle from his lips. “S-sorry daddy.” He whimpers. His eye is fine now, thankfully.

“Sorry.” Mesa mumbles, turning away from me. He’s a tough nut to crack in situations like this; he’s extremely hardheaded, just like his old man.

“Sometimes we all get a little mad and I know that, but we don’t behave like we did today, okay? That goes for all of us. If we have a problem, we talk about it like big boys, you got that?”

They both nod once more, indicating that they understand. They’re not usually bad kids, and I’m lucky with that. But, they are kids, and kids have their days where they’re Satan’s spawns and you suddenly realise that becoming a parent was a huge mistake and that you’re in no way prepared to handle the tantrum boiling in their little throats.

And we aren’t prepared, not for this part of raising a child. But nonetheless, we have to go forward and deal with it, because these are the parts of parenthood we overlooked when signing up.

“Is there anything you boys want to say?” I ask curiously, hoping one of them will take over this little pep talk; I’m winging it as it is, just hoping they’ll fall asleep so the talk can be over- I can’t imagine what the sex talk is going to be like in ten years. Thank god I have a decade to prepare for that.

They’re quiet for a good few minutes; the only noises are them drinking their bones drunk on calcium.
No less than three minutes later, Mesa looks at me with tears in his eyes- and I mean big tears.
Tears I never want to see in my child’s eyes.

“B-but-but will you come home?”

I frown, confused. “What?”

“From your t-tour?” Mesa whimpers, dropping his bottle in his lap and covering his eyes, almost in fear.

“Even though you d-don’t want to-daddy don’t leave us!” He cries, clinging to my shirt tightly.

Oh fuck.

“Mes, I’m not going to leave you,” I coo, pulling him into my lap. I’m such an idiot- why did I say something like that? “Mesa it’s okay, daddy’s only going on tour and I’m coming straight back home, you got it? I didn’t mean what I said! I love you boys so much, I’d never leave you.” I sigh, kissing kiss cheek. “C’mon bub, don’t cry.”

“Please s-stay home, daddy. We can be good.” Mesa whimpers, shaking in my arms. He’s always the little strong one; I never want to see them like this, it’s definitely not something I could ever prepare myself to feel.

“I gotta go for tour bub, but I know you’re good- you’re my special little boys and I love you both so much. I’d never ever leave you, you understand me?” I tell him firmly. “I’ll call you every single day- twice if you really want. We can send videos and I’ll be home before you know it, okay? Daddy was just upset today because of your behaviour but we’ve talked about it and you’re going to be good, right?”

Mesa nods furiously, wiping his eyes viscously. “I pro-promise daddy.”

“And I believe you, Mes. So you need to believe daddy when I say I promise I’m always going to come home.”

“I b-believe you.” He stutters over a hiccup.

“I believe you daddy.” Phoenix whines as he wraps his little arms around my waist. Well, half my waist considering he can’t reach that far.

“I’m sorry about today guys, sometimes we have bad days, y’know? But that’s behind us and we’re going to have a good day, starting from now.” I say with a more positive attitude than I’ve been showing recently; I honestly think it’s just me realising I’m going to be without the boys for two whole weeks; I’ve never done this before (well, not counting the first three weeks of their lives) and I’ll admit,
I’m nervous. I know I’m going to miss them like crazy while I’m gone but I know I won’t really have to part with them. It’s difficult to do that when they’re so firmly grounded in my life. They’re like limbs attached to my body; they’re the biggest parts of me couldn’t possibly have it any other way.

I look down at them and pull them a little closer. Yeah they’re both a part of me.
♠ ♠ ♠
Whoops...totally planned to get this out a whole lot earlier than I actually did...anyway, next chapter sees a new that has John with heart-shaped eyes maybe?
Guess you'll have to wait and see!