Friday couldn't have come any quicker, and I was so glad to pick up a coffee and take Alexis home.
She sat in the car seat, telling me about a film about ponies, but admittedly I zoned out while driving. The roads were really busy, and I was always wary.
"Dad, I like it at grandma's,"
"But you give better cuddles,"
I chuckled and grabbed her a juice box when we stopped at a red light, handing it back to her. They were a recipe for disaster, but I did it anyway.
"And what do you want to eat?"
"Yes, with real life tomatoes too,"
"Real life," I laughed to myself, shaking my head, "that sounds like a good tea. When we get home, could you ask Uncle Michael nicely to wash some of your clothes?"
"You're a good little helper, you know?"
"I like helping!"
"You won't be saying that as a teenager,"
"I will always love helping,"
I put my hand back and gave her a high five, but she grabbed hold of my hand instead. I gave it a soft squeeze before putting it back on the wheel.
"Dad, what is that on your finger?"
"It's a wedding ring,"
"Oh. It doesn't look very exciting,"
"Your mum chose it out, it's got some lyrics from your special song inside,"
"Could you get me a ring like that?"
"When you're a big older love,"
"Carry on, let the good times roll," she sung, "say you're on, let your path unfold,"
"It's sail on bud, not say you're on,"
"Oh. Like a pirate?"
"If you want,"
"I have a pirate in the back," I exclaimed, parking the car in Michael's driveway. She started giggling, trying to undo her seatbelt.
"Did I sing well?"
"You sung beautifully love,"
As I put her on my hip, she grabbed my cheeks, giving me a sloppy kiss. I gave a not so sloppy one back, then grabbed her small backpack and my coffee.
"Can I dress up tonight?"
"Uncle Mikey is going to play with you tomorrow, can we save the mess until then?"
"Yeah. I'm going to show him my singing,"
It was nice to see Michael playing video games when we walked in, because he seemed so relaxed. Things could be tough for all of us, so for him to get this time was relieving for me to see.
"Uncle Mikey! I'm having soup, with real tomatoes, and I have a song to sing you,"
"Oh wow, that's all very exciting,"
"If you come and help me cook, I think your uncle will be ready to listen. Does he want any?"
"Yes please," he grinned, with a thankful smile too. Letting him finish his game, I sat Alexis on the kitchen counter, getting out two cans of soup.