The Bad Boy Left Holding The Baby

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Hija- daughter

Hijo- son

Chica- girl

"Daddy look, finished." my daughter told me excitedly, holding up her empty bowl which had had cereal in it a minute ago.

"Well done Al, go look for your shoes." I told her, she nodded then ran to her room. I smiled after her, I was so lucky to have her in my life. Sure I hadn't felt that way when my ex had dumped her on me when I was sixteen.

Aliana had been about two months old when I'd find out that she even existed, never mind that I was her dad. Jasmine had come over telling me that she'd had enough and that she'd never wanted Ali in the first place, she'd only had her because her mother refused to let her have an abortion.

I'd tried and tried convincing her to keep Ali after getting over the shock of finding out that I was now a father but Jasmine wasn't having any of it.

She was furious with me for making it happen and tired of looking after a newborn all by herself, she told me that she needed a break, I agreed to have her for a week but that week ended up lasting for the next three years.

It had taken me months to get used to looking after a baby and not being able to go out with my friends whenever I liked anymore, I was angry at Jasmine for dumping me with a baby. My mom had helped me out a lot during the past three years and now I wanted us to move out and get us our own place.

Aliana ran back into the kitchen with her little pumps on, she'd put them on the wrong feet, I laughed and beckoned her to come over.

"Al you put them on the wrong feet, it looks banana." I sat her on my lap and changed the shoes onto the right foot.

She frowned up at me, "But daddy my shoes are pink, not yellow."

That made me laugh again and I kissed her forehead, "It means that they look weird shaped, have you brushed your teeth?"

Ali smiled sheepishly and looked down, her eyelashes so long they were almost hitting her chubby cheeks, "Yeah."

I knew she was lying, she was such a bad liar. I put on my best serious voice, it was hard for me because usually we were always joking around and half the time I didn't feel like a parent at all.

"Aliana look at me." she did very slowly her little cheeks puffing out as she breathed loudly, recognising that I wasn't joking.

I raised my eyebrows and asked again, "Have you brushed your teeth yet?" she then shook her head and slid off my lap, running up the stairs to go brush her teeth.

"You're too soft on her hijo." mama said coming into the kitchen. I stood up and dumped all of our bowls in the sink.

"What did you want me to do? Hit her?" I asked, knowing that my mother was a very traditional Spanish woman when it came to parenting and she didn't think it was bad to discipline a child.

I'd grown up in America so hitting Aliana wasn't something I'd ever do, mama filled the kettle with water and got out a mug, "All I'm saying is that I wish you luck when she turns thirteen, teenagers can go loco if you don't start setting the rules now."

"She knows when she's done something wrong mama; I don't need to use force to get her to behave." I told her, grabbing Ali's backpack and making sure she had everything she needed in it. Today was a big day for both of us; it was her first day at Preschool.

At first I'd been a little apprehensive about handing her off to someone to do the job that I was supposed to, and also that I'd never been away from her for as long as that before and it scared me.

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