So I had planned to write fluffy times at the park with Kurt and Blaine and the kids. And then Becca added a little twist to the idea.
“It’s so nice outside,” Addie comments over breakfast.
“It is,” Blaine answers, glancing towards the kitchen window.
“I think we should go to the park,” Addie says, trying to exhibit a nonchalance that she can’t quite achieve. She’s already practically vibrating with excitement over the idea.
“Oh yeah?” Blaine says. He looks over at Declan and nudges his arm, and signs to him, asking if he’d like to go to the park today.
“Sandbox?” Declan signs.
“Slide? Swings?” he signs.
Addie nods too this time.
“Ice cream?” he signs
Addie signs ice cream too, this time nodding even more vigorously.
“We’re not having ice cream for breakfast,” Kurt says as he walks into the room. He signs the equivalent to Declan, who then fills him in on the park idea.
“It’s a perfect day for the park,” Kurt agrees.
Addie slaps a hand over her eyes. “I know. That’s why I had the idea.”
“Well excuse me,” Kurt drawls.
They clean up breakfast and everyone gets ready to go. When they get to the park, Addie runs off to the swings, and Kurt and Blaine park themselves on the edge of the sandbox that Declan likes.
“It’s like a gigantic litter box,” Kurt mutters.
“It is n-n-not. It’s totally clean,” Blaine tells him.
Kurt shrugs and warily eyes the sand, thinking about what could be lurking just underneath.
They play for awhile, Declan making friends in the sandbox, even without really having much verbal language kids are often quite drawn to him. Addie runs over to them a few times, bringing her “new best, best, best friend Mikey” with her several times. Kurt and Blaine talk to him, asking questions, but he seems a little standoffish. Blaine figures he’s just a shy kid.
When it’s time to go, Blaine goes in search of Addie. He finds her on her stomach on the end of the tube slide, just her feet sticking out the end, and he can hear her talking, her voice echoing and rumbling inside the plastic.
“No it’s not!” Blaine hears her say. “You take that back!”
A voice comes from above her in the tube. “But I don’t understand. Why does he talk like that?”
“It sounds kind of, like, um, weird. Is something wrong with him?” Mikey asks, hesitantly. Blaine hears in his voice that he’s sincere, that he’s a little kid who’s a little bit confused. Blaine has kids like that in his class all the time. But Addie is having none of it.
“He doesn’t talk weird! It’s just interludes.”
“The way my daddy talks!”
“I still don’t get it.”
“You’re wrong. And mean!” Addie yells at the top of her lungs.
Blaine sees Mikey climb out the top of the tube, his face ashen and his eyes wet. Mikey doesn’t notice Blaine as he hops down the steps and runs in the opposite direction towards his mom.
Blaine sees Addie roll over onto her back and kick her feet a few times, stomping them on the edge of the slide.
“Addie girl,” Blaine says, walking closer to the slide and knocking gently.
She slides out all the way. He half expected her to be crying, but she isn’t. She looks very composed for having just had a fight with her “new best, best, best friend.”
“It’s time for, for, for lunch,” Blaine says, holding his hand out to her.
“Okay,” she says, taking it.
“You alright?” Blaine asks. He’s not sure how much he should say, if he should let her know that he heard what she was saying to Mikey.
“Mikey’s not my best, best, best friend anymore,” she explains as they walk slowly to the car where Declan and Kurt are waiting. He can see Kurt through the windshield and he gives Blaine a questioning look. Blaine shakes his head almost imperceptibly.
“Do you wah-want to tell mmm-me about it?” Blaine asks.
She looks up at him, her face very serious. “He said you talk weird.”
Blaine shrugs. “I, I, I, I do talk wah-weird.”
“I don’t like it. I don’t like when people don’t say nice things and I don’t want to be friends with him,” she announces, her voice rising.
Blaine hoists her onto his hip. At seven she’s getting tall, but she’s still very wiry and light, and he wants to look in her eye. He’s a little bit at a loss as to how to handle this.
“You don’t have to worry about me,” he tells her. He figures that’s a good start.
“Okay,” she whispers, not meeting his eye.
“I’m glad that you don’t want people to say not nice things. That’s good.” He’s losing it here a bit. He just can’t quite figure out how to comfort her.
“I just want people to be nice. And I want them to be nice to you. Because you’re nice.”
“You ssss-sound like Dad.”
“He is.” Blaine pauses thinking. “Buh-buh-ut I heard what Mikey said, and I-I-I-I think he was really just asking you a, a, a, a question. I don’t think he understood about st-st-stuttering. Maybe if you had listened to what he w-w-w-was asking you, you wouldn’t have gotten so mmmm-mad.”
Now she looks at him and makes the world’s poutiest face, flaring her nostrils drawing her brow in tight.
“I’ve heard lots of people sssss-say lots of mean things over the years, and I-I-I think Mikey was just curious. And you can help me b-b-by explaining to people, kids, that even though I-I-I talk weird I’m nice.”
She continues making the same face.
“Can you try to do that for mmm-me Addie?”
“Hmph,” she says.
“I’ll try,” she tells him, bringing her arms around his neck and squeezing him. He pats her on the back.
“Thank you little girl,” he says. He kisses her forehead, drops her to the ground, and they continue to the car.
She shrugs half-heartedly. “You’re welcome.”
“Don’t be sad.”
She just shrugs again.
“Maybe I-I-I can convince Dad to, to, to let us have frozen yogurt for lunch.”
Addie brightens, a small smile starting. “At the place where you pick your own toppings?”
She drops his hand, skipping ahead to the car, calling out towards Kurt, “Daddy says we can have fro yo for lunch!” she calls.
Kurt just drops his head onto the seat and rolls his eyes. Blaine is such a softy.