Simon went downstairs to clean up the mess that Jacob left in the corner. He had to break out the cleaning supplies for pets, and the irony of it wasn't lost on him.
Once he finished scrubbing, he returned the supplies to the closet, washed his hands and sprawled out on the couch. He was absolutely worn out. The preparation for his conference call, Jacob's misbehavior and the subsequent clean up had taken a lot out of him. It was one hectic afternoon, and he needed to relax. He grabbed the remote and turned on the TV but fell asleep flipping through the channels.
Simon woke up when he heard the garage door opening. On the TV, a sports interview was being shown. There had recently been a highly public scandal involving a few key players. His attention shifted back to his wife when he heard her keys jingling in her hand.
"Did the phone conference go well," Angelique asked, placing the keys on the rack near the door.
"Not exactly," Simon answered, sitting up and making space for his wife on the couch.
"What happened?" she asked with a concerned expression on her face.
Simon explained in detail Jacob's escape attempt and subsequent punishment. Throughout his recount of the afternoon, his wife held an amused expression on her face.
"You're laughing at me aren't you," Simon asked, slightly shocked.
"I'm trying to hold it back, I promise," Angelique said, barely managing to suppress her giggles.
"What's so funny?" Simon asked, scratching his head in confusion.
"Well, this isn't abnormal behavior. Right now, Jacob is being a typical toddler. Sure, they might be trying to go on an adventure in the forest instead of leaving town, but escape attempts are what little kids do," Angelique explained.
"I see," Simon responded, glumly.
Angelique leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek. "It will get better. I'm sure," she said, enveloping him in an embrace.
"You're right, as always my all-knowing wife," Simon said in a light-hearted tone.
"I'm glad you know it," she said laughing before looking towards the kitchen and asking, "Have you had lunch yet?"
"No, I fell asleep on the couch before I got to that," Simon admitted sheepishly. His stomach emphasizing his words by grumbling loudly for both of them to hear.
In the kitchen the therapist couple worked on lunch together. That afternoon, they had decided to have mashed potato, fish and mixed vegetables. They were mostly working in silence until Simon turned to his wife and said, "I'm thinking about fixing the kitchen door before Mr. Hammond's visit."
"Are you planning on going into town to the hardware store in the morning then?" Angelique asked.
"Yes, but I'm honestly concerned about leaving you alone with Jacob," Simon confided, with a worried expression on his face.
"You don't need to worry. It will be fine. Jacob and I will have the chance to have a bit of quality time tomorrow morning," Angelique replied cheerfully.
"If you're sure, then I guess I'll head out tomorrow morning," Simon conceded, still looking slightly worried.
"I'm sure, Simon. Jacob isn't any scarier than the hundreds of little devils I've babysat in my young adulthood," Angelique responded confidently.
Simon nodded his head. "Alright, it's a plan then."
"Great. Well lunch is almost done. So, I'll go wake Jacob," Angelique said, washing and drying her hands before making her way upstairs.
Annoyance was the first thing Jacob felt when he woke up from his short nap. He was already irritated and slightly on edge. If there truly was such a thing as waking up on the wrong side of the bed, he had done it. His displeasure only grew in size the moment he heard the doorknob turning.
"Jacob, it's time to wake up," Angelique said, flipping the lights on in the room.
"No, I'm sleeping," Jacob said, turning over and tightly closing his eyes.
"Yes, I see that, but it's time for you to have something to eat," Angelique said sternly.
"I just want to sleep," Jacob mumbled into the sheets.
"I'm not going back and forth with you, Jacob. It's time to eat," she said, lifting him out of the crib.
While Angelique changed him, she noticed that his bottom was still slightly red from the earlier spanking. She was honestly a little surprised, knowing that her husband was a pushover when it came to kids. She found herself smiling, pleased that Simon actually laid down some boundaries with the boy.
Jacob shut his eyes during the changing process. He had only slightly gotten used to the embarrassing procedure, but he was honestly still tired. Yawning loudly, he stretched his legs and scratched his belly.
Angelique thought it was absolutely adorable. "Feeling better?" she asked.
"No," Jacob replied, letting as much annoyance seep into his tone as he could.
"Well, I hope that changes soon," Angelique said, smiling in amusement.
"Doubt it," he monotonously responded, his high-pitched voice squeaking as Angelique lifted him up again.
"We've got a grumpy tyke this afternoon," Angelique said to Simon, placing Jacob in his high chair the moment she reached downstairs.
Sitting up, Jacob realized his bottom was actually still sore from the earlier spanking. Simon had really laid into him, and Jacob knew he didn't want to get in that much trouble ever again. The small moment of freedom certainly wasn't worth a smarting behind.
Simon placed his plate of food on the tray, and Jacob just ignored it. He didn't feel like existing, much less eating. He just wanted to go back to sleep.
The therapist couple ate their food, chatting about their plans for the next day while Jacob just sat with his head tilted back. A few moments later when they finished their food, Angelique was the first one to notice that Jacob hadn't touched his plate.
"Aren't you going to eat anything Jacob?" she asked.
"I'm not hungry," Jacob mumbled.
"It's okay if you have only a few spoons, but you can't go without eating anything," she told him firmly.
"I'm still full of breakfast," he lied, wishing they would just leave him alone. He felt like it was totally unfair that they were trying to dictate every aspect of his life. It was honestly worse than prison. At least there he would be able to sleep and starve himself if that's what he wanted to do.
"Jacob, you need to eat something," Simon said sternly, lifting a spoon to Jacob's mouth.
Jacob shook his head and tightly closed his lips.
"Do we need to revisit our conversation about following instructions, Jacob?" he asked in his no-nonsense voice.
Jacob sighed dramatically, but he opened his mouth and let Simon feed him the few spoons of fish and mashed potato. When he was finished, he looked at Simon, irritation defined on his face. "There, so I'm done now, right?" he asked.
"Yes," Simon agreed, taking him out the high chair and standing him on the floor.
"Can I go back to sleep now?" Jacob asked, expecting to be taken back to his cage-for-a-bed.
"Not just yet Jacob. If you go to sleep now, you'll be up all night," Angelique replied.
"Besides, you need a bath. You're stinky," Simon teased.
Jacob sighed, unenthusiastic about having to sit in a tub of water again.
"Come along, Jacob," Simon said, allowing the little boy to follow him up the stairs. He hoped the exertion would help to wake him up.
Jacob followed his former therapist up the stairs and into the bathroom near the nursery. Simon immediately started the faucet in the tub, letting it fill with warm water, but before Jacob was undressed, the concerned therapist pulled a thermometer out of the medicine cabinet.
"What's that for?" Jacob asked, confused.
"You felt a little warm, and I just wanted to be sure that you're not ill. You seem lethargic," Simon explained.
Jacob shook his head. "I'm not sick. I just want to sleep."
"Nonetheless, I still want to take your temperature. Unless of course you want to do it rectally," Simon threatened, jokingly.
"Not that," Jacob said, slowly backing away from Simon.
"I was kidding," the older man explained, laughing at Jacob's reaction. "Now say ahh."
Jacob did as asked, opening his mouth wide enough for Simon to place the thermometer in his mouth. Simon turned off the faucet while he was waiting for the thermometer to beep, indicating that the boy's temperature was read.
"98.6 degrees Fahrenheit," Simon announced, after reading the output on the thermometer.
"Told you I wasn't sick," Jacob said, snidely.
"Very well. In you go," Simon said, dropping Jacob into the tub of water.
The small subsequent splash did slightly wet the bathmat outside the tub, but Simon figured the cleanup was worth every ounce of the amusement he was experiencing watching Jacob flounder around like a fish outside of water. The boy was a true land mammal, Caribbean without an affinity towards water.
"What was that for?" Jacob asked, yelling at Simon.
"Nothing. I just thought a little splash might cheer you up some," Simon replied, wiping away the tears from his profound amusement.
Jacob held back all the swear words he wanted to yell at the older man. In silence, he let Simon bathe, dry, diaper and dress him. Through most of it, he was just fantasizing about sleeping on the mattress in the crib. It was actually a very soft and comfortable bed. He thought it was probably an expensive mattress like almost everything else in the house. It felt nice, and he couldn't wait to cuddle in his blankets.
When he was finished, Simon brought Jacob downstairs and sat him on the sofa between the two of them while they watched the news. Jacob didn't waste the opportunity to start dozing off as neither of the therapists were paying much attention to him. He curled into a ball and was quickly entering the initial stages of sleep.
It was only when Angelique felt Jacob's leg twitch on the cushion next to her that she realized he was already sleeping. It was too cute, but she didn't want him to sleep on the couch.
"Okay, Jacob, even though it's early, I'll let you get some more rest," she said, taking pity on the sleepy boy.
Jacob didn't respond. He was too tired to really even comprehend what she was saying to him, lost in the initial phase of sleep. He just knew that someone was lifting him into their arms, and he didn't care too much about it.
For once he was looking forward to being laid down in the crib, and the moment his head hit the mattress, he was deeply asleep.