The second I stepped off the plane holding a sleepy Danny in my arms, I knew where I belonged. Hadley could keep his fancy holiday home – the temperatures out there are insane, and I refuse to go back unless I get to sleep in the freezer.
Within about a fortnight of the kids going back to school, plays and musicals and whatever other things parents are coerced into seeing their children do at school started auditioning and selecting. Half the time I grumbled about the kids running around practicing their roles – Lily had taken on as many lead roles as she could audition for, while Danny was more interested in the behind the scenes stuff – and half the time, I reminisced with Hadley about how we were in school plays or musicals.
When I wasn’t taking a trip down memory lane, or begging Lily to be quiet, I was teaching them all the things I’d learnt in drama at college. I guess part of the reason I was doing it was because I was pretty sure Danny wanted to try out the acting thing too, but his confidence was letting him down. Now I couldn’t let my kid hide in the shadows and let his chances pass him by because he was too shy now, could I? So both me and Hadley did our best to build up his confidence any way we could. Mostly, I focussed on helping him learn how to act properly so that he’d gain the confidence on his own – all parents tell their kids they’re brilliant whether they mean it or not. I don’t feel like lying to my kid.
Gradually, Hadley and I saw a change in Danny. Sure enough, he was finally getting some confidence in himself, and the both of us were fucking proud of him for coming out of his shell so much. Once I thought he was ready for it, I suggested he joined a local drama group or a theatre club of some kind, and Hadley was all up for it as long as Danny wanted to go. I guess I was a little surprised when Danny did agree to go, but I was glad. He’d make some friends outside of school, get in his practice, and do something that was good for him.
Lily, realising that Danny was getting something nice, demanded a pony. I tried to persuade her to join a music group so she could practice her singing, but no. She wanted the goddamn pony. Hadley even tried to persuade me to let her get one, along with riding lessons and all associated stuff. Danny was only joining a drama group, for god’s sake.
“Bunny boy, we might have the money, but I am not letting them grow up to be spoilt. She’s not having a pony.”
“Just one little pony,” he said, giving me the puppy eyes.
“Riding lessons. No pony.”
"Not even a little pony?" he asked, still giving me those cute eyes.
“No. Danny’s joining a drama group, not getting a second Xbox or a pet dragon.”
"Pet dragons aren't real and I'm sure we could get him something else as well or something. I wanna spoil them.” He actually whined a little at the end.
“They’re not going to be brought up to be spoilt brats,” I insisted, “not while I’m still alive.” Yes, I went there. But, it didn’t make the puppy eyes go away. “No pony.”
I kept getting pestered for Lily to get a pony. Hadley wasn’t joking when he said he wanted to spoil them. He even started trying to bribe me with sexual favours in return for her getting a pony. I didn’t want my daughter to be the rich bitch everyone hated, and because I didn’t want her to be hated, I was actually denied sex.
Of course, that was about the time I woke up one morning with snot running down my face and a wicked sore throat. See? You deny your husband sex, and then he starts dying.