Ok but now we need a fic with Aaron's reaction the first time Ellen calls him Papa. And if you get inspired something with Chas and Ellen cause well cause I miss Chas!
Ellen’s first word had been yogurt. Rebecca had filmed the grand occasion, and Aaron kept the video on his phone for when he needed a laugh, because Ellen yelling out the word yogurt over and over again, with a ridiculous smile on her face, is one of the best things he’d ever seen in his life.
She’d picked up a lot of random words since then. Dog, bob and spoon had all come before mummy and daddy, which Aaron kind of appreciated. Ellen was the most stubborn child he’d ever known, and the more Robert tried to get her to say daddy, the more she’d yell spoon, or dog at him.
Ellen had given in eventually, and her new favourite word was dada.
It was cute, not just for the dopey smile it always put on Robert’s face.
“Spoon!” Ellen waved her yogurt covered spoon at Aaron, a delighted smile on her face as she sat in her highchair, eating her lunch. It was a quiet Saturday morning, Robert having agreed to drive Liv to her new friend’s house in his ‘stupid flash car’ (Liv’s words, not his) leaving Aaron to sort Ellen and her breakfast (well, it was more like lunch now, considering she’d gotten them up at six am, and it was just ticking over to eleven, now.)
“Yeah, and the spoon goes in the yogurt, beans,” Aaron nudged, directing her clenched fist back toward the bowl, yogurt all over the tray, all over her clothes.
He’d forgotten how messy toddlers were, now Leo was the very grown up age of eight.
Ellen waved her spoon at him, grinning toothily at him. She was the image of Robert, right down to the colour of his eyes, her blonde hair sort of expected, considering her mum and dad both had blond hair.
But she was Robert. Ellen had looked a lot like Chrissie, actually, when she was first born, her hair the darker side of blonde, but she’d started to change as she hit two, ever a Sugden 0 though when she smiled, Aaron had discovered recently, she looked exactly like Rebecca, the woman they’d managed to reach a truce with, Ellen and her best interests the priority for the three of them.
Aaron twisted in his chair slightly, reaching for the cup of tea he’d put out of Ellen’s reach, the toddler having reached the age where she was liable to grab for anything, consequences be-damned.
Aaron couldn’t help the way his eyes widened as Ellen spoke, the nickname Robert had been trying to coax out of her for weeks falling easily from the little girls lips. “Dada will be back soon,” he reassured, because surely - surely - he’d misheard.
Ellen shook her head, spoon clattering into the half eaten bowl of yogurt with a splash. “Papa!” she said, more determined this time, tiny hands reaching out for Aaron.
Aaron felt like his heart was going to explode.
“Papa!” Ellen practically yelled, looking frustrated now because Aaron wasn’t moving, wasn’t saying anything.
“Yeah,” Aaron said, scooping Ellen out of her highchair, holding her close to his chest, breathing in the familiar powdery scent that always lingered around her, and the familiar scent of too much Johnson’s baby shampoo (Robert’s bad habit), Ellen smearing a yogurt covered hand against his cheek. “I am, I’m your papa.”
Ellen beamed at him. “Papa, play!”
If Aaron cried a little, when he put Ellen down on her mat in the living room, settling in to play with all the brightly coloured toys that had come to find a home in front of their fireplace, well -
no one except Ellen had to know.