Toddler 101

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - March 6, 2008
Spoilers:  None
Size:  13kb, ficlet
Written:  October 17-19,21, 2009
Summary:  Jonny gets a lesson on being a toddler.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Irina, Navi!

Toddler 101
by Orrymain

“Danny, Jen and David are at school, Noa is with Mrs. Valissi, the twins are down for their nap, and I'm headed to Syl's so she can take a look at Little Danny and Ash,” Jack reported to his husband.

The two youngest Munchkins were already bundled up and ready to ship out with bright red noses peeking out from under their hats.

Starting the dishwasher, Daniel nodded and asked, “Where's Jonny?”

“Ready go,” Jonny called out, having heard his name and doing a toddled walk into the kitchen before turning around and heading towards the entranceway.

Now nearly eighteen-months-old, the oldest Munchkin had amazing physical agility for a baby who was quickly becoming a toddler.  He was also the most advanced of the triplets as far as talking went.

“Sorry, Jonny,” Daniel replied, walking swiftly over and picking up the eager child who was already halfway through the living room.

“No go?”

“Not today.”

“Want go,” the eldest Munchkin insisted.  “Lit'le Danny and Ash go,” he argued, clearly unhappy with the circumstance.

“I know, but Dad has to take your brother and sister to the doctor.  They've got the sniffles; you don't.”

Doctor Sylvia Preston was the pediatrician for the youngest Jackson-O'Neill children.  Her main office was in Denver, however, and while she often came to Jack and Daniel or had them meet her at a clinic where she worked in Colorado Springs, her schedule today just wouldn't allow it.  If the concerned parents wanted their babies slotted into the schedule, it was going to have to be in Denver, so that's where Jack was preparing to go.

Jonny feigned a sniffle, causing both Jack and Daniel to smile.  He had a long way to go in mastering a fake cold.

“We'll be back in a couple of hours,” Jack advised casually.

“Me go,” the upset triplet insisted, lifting his arms out in hopes that Jack would still take him, too.

“Not this time,” Jack maintained, walking over to give Daniel a kiss.  Then he smiled at Jonny and added, “You be good,” after which he fondly kissed the toddler's head.

Daniel and an unhappy Jonny said goodbye to the other two Munchkins and waved as Jack drove off with them in the truck.

“Okay, I'll tell you what,” Daniel began as he walked backed inside the house and locked the door.  “We'll spend some time playing and then Daddy has some work to do.”

Jonny was sniffling for real now, though with crying sniffles and not the flu-like variety, his tears authentic from not being able to go with his birth siblings.

Daniel held him close.  Separation anxiety was something he'd been concerned about.  The Munchkins were so close.  They were always together.  The older they became, the more difficult it was to separate them; still, Jack and Daniel both knew that it wasn't healthy for the three to be joined at the hip all the time.

~We'll figure it out,~ the archaeologist determined.  ~I hope.~  He walked over to the bookcase and pulled out a storybook.  “Let's read for a while,” he suggested as he settled down on the sofa with the baby gently cradled against him.

As Daniel read, Jonny calmed, resting is head on his daddy while enjoying the story about a caterpillar who eventually turns into a butterfly.  When the tale was done, Jonny laughed.

“Hey, let's play caterpillar,” Daniel suggested.  ~Wow.  How'd I think of this?~

The archaeologist often surprised himself.  When the Munchkins were first born, he struggled to play and tell stories, but it was Jack who had told him to go with his gut and everything would fall into place.

~My gut says we should re-enact the story,~ Daniel thought as he placed Jonny on the carpeted floor.

Lying down on the floor, Daniel crunched up into a ball and then pretended to be a caterpillar being born from the egg.  Jonny laughed and tried to do the same thing.  Together, father and son crawled along the carpet, acting like caterpillars seeking out food.  Then they spun themselves into cocoons.

“Ouch!” Daniel exclaimed as his head hit the coffee table.  “Okay, well, you know not to do that, right?”

“No ouch,” Jonny affirmed.  He paused from the game and toddled over, placing a kiss on the spot where his daddy had hit his head.  “No hurt now?”

With a grin, Daniel affirmed, “Not one bit.”
 
“C'coon,” Jonny stated, getting back into position.

“Okay, time to turn into butterflies,” Daniel urged.

The two blossomed, holding out their arms and pretending to flutter around the room.  To Daniel, it was a little reminiscent of pretending to be an airplane, but that didn't matter.  He was having fun.  Better yet, Jonny wasn't crying about not being with the other two triplets.

Their playacting done, Daniel and Jonny pulled out some toys and enjoyed playing together for another fifteen minutes or so.  Then they went to check on Jenny and Ricky, finding the twins both sleeping peacefully and safely.  Just six-months-old, the youngest babies had been kept up during the night by Little Danny's and Aislinn's cries from their colds, which was, in part, one of the reasons the parents had decided that Jack definitely should take the babies to see their doctor.  Daniel figured the twins could sleep for hours.

~Or five minutes,~ the archaeologist mused inwardly, having learned that where babies were concerned, a parent just never knew for sure how long, or little, they'd sleep.

Back downstairs, Daniel smiled at Bijou and Katie, who had left their spot in the nursery with the twins to assist him with Jonny.  He patted their ears and underbellies, much to their delight and then let Jonny give both beagles a biscuit treat.

~Well, maybe they just wanted the biscuit,~ Daniel mused about the dogs' motivation for leaving the nursery.  After that, he made sure Jonny had several toys to play with on the living room floor.  “Jonny, I have some work to do now, so you play with the girls and your toys for a while.  I'll be at the kitchen table.”

Getting up off the floor, the archaeologist turned to smile at the beagles who were already standing guard.

“Woof!” Bijou called out rather softly in affirmation.

“Thanks,” Daniel responded.  “He's a fast mover.”

Bijou and Katie stared at Daniel, almost scolding him for thinking that Jonny could get away from their alert watch.

“Right.  You're right,” Daniel returned.  “My apologies.  I'll be over there, in the kitchen, at the table.”  He shook his head, wondering why he was being so apologetic.  ~Never shortchange a beagle, especially our girls.~

With a smile on his face, Daniel began his work.  He'd moved the table slightly to give him a better view of Jonny's play area.  He could just see Katie's nose as she sat to Jonny's right, essentially blocking the bright baby from toddling into the hallway and other parts of the house.

~Good girl.~

====

Less than five minutes into his work, Jonny shouted out for Daniel to play with him.

“When I finish what I'm doing, we'll play some more,” Daniel responded.

Jonny's cries increased, even though Bijou and Katie attempted to distract him. Frustrated when Daniel ignored him, the boy stood up and walked over to the kitchen table.  He was carrying a stuffed dinosaur in his hand.

“Please stop crying,” Daniel requested.  “You might wake up Jenny and Ricky.”

With that, Jonny's cries increased and he defiantly slammed the dinosaur onto the table.  In his mind, his father would stop his work and play some more because the twins were sleeping.  It seemed like a slam dunk to the Munchkin, though his mind wasn't quite developed enough yet to calculate this fact analytically.

“Play, Daddy,” the general-in-the-making demanded.

Daniel took a breath to stay calm and responded, “Jonny, I said I needed to finish this.  Go back in the living room.”

The toddler held on to the table and actually jumped up one time, amazing Daniel that he hadn't fallen down.  Jonny cried louder, only these tears weren't real like they'd been when Jack had left with the other children.

“That's enough,” Daniel ordered steadily.  ~Okay, Jackson.  You've read a thousand magazine articles, infinite posts on the internet, numerous books, not to mention watching every TV baby show known to mankind, including Supernanny.  If it's about parenting, you've read it or watched it.  You can do this.  Suck it up, and be tough.  It's for Jonny's own good, and the others will learn from him.~

The archaeologist stood up from his seat at the table and then kneeled down so that he could look right into his son's wet eyes.  His hands held the sometimes wobbly baby at Jonny's waist.

“Here's the situation.  We read a story and then we played, for a ... a long time.  Now I have work to do before Jenny and Ricky wake up.  Jonny, I'm going to finish my work, and that means that you have a choice.  You can stand here and cry, in which case you'll get all hot and upset.  Your face will turn red, and you'll probably get so tired that you'll need to take a nap.

“Your other choice is to go back in the living room with Bij and Katie and play with them, or with Mister Dinosaur here, or with one of your other toys.  I made sure a lot of your favorites were pulled out for you.  So, I love you very much, but now Daddy is going to work.  If you want to cry, go ahead.  If I were you, I'd rather go play and have fun.

“Think about one more thing, too.  If you keep crying so loudly, Jenny and Ricky will probably wake up.  Instead of playing with you when I get done with work, I'll have to take care of them because they're younger than you.  They'll be upset, all due to you crying.  Is that the kind of big brother you want to be?  I don't think so, but it is your decision.”

Daniel smiled at his son and then returned to his seat.  He focused only on his work.

Jonny stared at Daniel for over a minute and then he looked back towards the living room.  With a sigh, he toddled back to his toys and began to play.

As Daniel continued to work, he heard just two indignant statements from the Munchkin.

“No want nap,” Jonny told the beagles assertively.  “Good bro'er.”

The archaeologist smiled, though he didn't look up, and opined, ~Toddler 101: knowing when crying won't get you anywhere.~

====

Jack and Daniel stood in the living room with their arms around each other's waist.  They were watching in amazement as the Munchkins enjoyed their reunion.  Little Danny and Aislinn were just fine.  Sylvia had checked them out thoroughly.  Their sniffles weren't anything more serious than just sniffles and, in fact, she suspected Jack had fed them something he shouldn't have that had upset their stomachs and accounted for their restless night.

“You'd think they'd been apart for days and not just a few hours,” Daniel chuckled at the sight.

“Life is rough,” Jack teased in reply as he watched the triplets chattering away, while sitting close together in a little circle.  “Do you have any idea what they're saying to one another?”

“Me?” the linguist asked with big eyes.  “Not a clue, but they seem to know and I suppose that's what counts.”

“Any trouble with Jonny after we left?”

“We had class.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Daniel laughed.  “It was ... a meeting of the minds.  Come on,” he urged, breaking out of the hold and taking a step towards the kitchen.  “I'll tell you about it over a cup of coffee before I leave to pick up David.”

Jack motioned at the beagles to watch the triplets, which they were already doing anyway.  He couldn't wait to hear all about the meeting of the minds, certain it had to be interesting.  Then again, his life with Daniel and their family was always interesting, and that's just the way he liked it to be.

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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