Jen, Jack, Jemma, Georgia, Jasmine
“All locked in, Mom!”
Jack was a good kid. To be honest, Jen didn't know where she would be without him, he was like an extra pair of arms, priceless when dealing with the girls. She sometimes felt guilty that he was losing his childhood, growing up too soon, taking life a bit too seriously for a 6 year old, but he seemed to enjoy his place in the family.
Jen quickly checked them in the mirror. The three girls were side by side in the middle row of seats, while Jack was in the back, able to reach over and help them of they needed anything.
“Wow, four kids”, Jen thought to herself. “How did we get here?”
The last few years were a blur of raging hormones and sleep deprivation. Those girls had arrived faster than new characters in a failing sitcom, with Jasmine, the youngest, being just as inexplicable. She must have been asleep when that one was conceived, as she really couldn't remember anything approaching sex between giving birth to Georgia and finding that she was pregnant again!
And things didn't seem to get easier. The bigger the family got the more her husband took on extra hours at work. Heaven knows the money came in useful, paying for all of the things that a small horde of children needed, adding a small extension to the house, upgrading the car to a 7 seater, and so on, but there were times when Jen wondered whether it wouldn't have been better to have two parents around more of the time. The strain of it all was often unbearable, especially on a day like today: SHOPPING DAY.
Jen offered a quick prayer, thanking God for Jack, her extra pair of arms when the going inevitably got tough.
A clicking sound came from the back seat.
“What is that, Jack?”
“Oh I am just looking in Granddad’s toy box. Dad took it away from him, told him he is too old for it now.”
“What is in it?”
“Oh just stuff.”
“Well put it away, it must be old and you might break it.”
“I don't think I could break this stuff, Mom!”
“Hm, maybe not. They used to make toys much better in the old days.”
There was the clunk of a heavy wooden box being closed and a few clicks as catches were flicked into place.
“Bar, bar, bar!”
That was the girls.
“Okay, girls, her we go!”
Gritting her teeth, Jen hit the play button on the DVD player and then pulled out of the driveway onto the quiet suburban road.
“I love you
You love me...”
Jen was developing a deep, pathological hatred of a purple dinosaur. Might be worth mentioning it to the shrink next Thursday.
Patty Murphy stood back a little and checked herself in the mirror. Almost happy, she pouted and gave her shoulder length black hair a slight ruffle and adjusted boobs to show her bulging cleavage.
“Men don't deserve you!” she told herself.
Patty considered herself to be the archetypical brunet. A little short for her weight, a doctor had once suggested that she could improve her BMI, but then learned that BMI does not account for muscle mass, around about the time his face smashed into his polished walnut desk. There are men who blindly prefer blonds over brunets, but almost without exception these guys have never spent a night with a girl like Patty. She didn't tend to have chat up lines, more of a warning: If you sleep with me, porn will never be the same again.
Heading back to the bar, Patty quickly finished her drink, flashed a smile at the briefly hopeful barman and headed into the busy New York streets.