The last few days have been great. After having a long talk with Carter over our Dine in for £10 meal, we decided that it would be better if we worked together on everything, so that I can catch up on my sleep. Whilst Ben and Leah have been at school, Carter works as usual and I go about some less tiring chores around the house,remembering to leave some time for myself in between.
After school, we have limited Leah access to the internet, meaning that she only gets an hour a day, most of which she has to use for homework anyway. After getting onto her laptop, I realised that I was right all along - she spent most of her time blogging and talking to strangers. It's a wonder she hasn't any friends out of the internet.
And as for Ben, he's being as good as gold. Tonight I've planned for Carter and I to go out for a meal, so we're calling the babysitter from down the road to look after Ben, as Leah is going out with her friends (for once).
"Right Ben, you're going to be good for the babysitter, right?" I ask him, whilst applying some lipstick in the hallway mirror.
"Yes, but can I have some ice cream from the fridge for pudding? The cookie dough one Dad bought today?"
I shake my head, of course he bought ice cream. "Sure, baby."
"I'm not a baby anymore," Ben whines, trampling up the stairs.
Suddenly the doorbell rings. Ah, she must be here! I hurry down the hallway to open the door. An awkward but pretty girl stands in the doorway, hair up in a bun.
"Hey, darling, come in!" I say, shutting the door behind her and welcoming her into the kitchen.
She shuffles along in front of me and stands by the counter.
"So," I start, "We'll be back around 12; there's biscuits on the counter so help yourself, and Ben is allowed to stay up till 9, no later."
She nods her head. Does this girl not talk?
Just as I'm running out of things to say to make conversation, Leah and Carter both make their way down the stairs. Leah's fashioning a short mini skirt and vest top whilst Carter wears a black suit, tie and everything.
Expecting them to say something I stand there, but Leah's quiet, examining the babysitter from head to toe, and Carter is looking rather pale.
"Leah be back by 12, okay?" I say.
She mumbles an "okay" back, still staring.
"And who's this?" Carter pipes up.
I look at the babysitter, just a 15-year-old girl curled into herself. "This would be..."
"Ava." she says, hand outstretched all of a sudden. "Nice to meet you."