You opened the front door quietly with your foot, realizing that you had failed to lock it after you ran out of the house. Still holding a sleeping Matthew in your arms, you stepped into darkness and tried to shut the door behind you as slowly and quietly as possible, though you winced when it closed with a rather loud bang. You held your breath, squinting in the dark to make out Matthew, checking for any signs of the noise disturbing him. All he did was shift slightly in place as he continued sleeping, making you relieved that he wasn't startled.
As soon as you walked into your living room, you held him in one arm while your other hand searched for a light source. Once you finally located a light switch, you flicked it on, instantly filling the room with brightness.
You looked around the room briefly before shaking your head in disapproval. There were papers scattered all over the place, and several cups of half-empty coffee were crowded on the coffee table. This was definitely not a place that was organized enough to care for a child.
You looked down at Matthew, still sleeping peacefully in your arms, and sighed. "It's not going to be easy taking care of you when my house looks like a tornado swept through it."
Your exhausted voice was enough to rid him of his sleep. Matthew let out a tiny moan before he opened both of his eyes and looked up at you in confusion. You had a startled look on your face, and cursed yourself from being so loud in front of him.
"Ma…ma?" he said, his tiny, sleepy voice making your heart melt. "Where are we?"
"Oh, you're awake, Mattie," you said to him gently as you brushed strands of hair from his face. "We're at my house."
You felt him squirm in your arms, turning around so that he was able to look at the living room. "Mama, this place looks messy…."
You sighed before you ruffled Matthew's hair. "I know. That's why after you get better, I'll clean it up as soon as possible."
Matthew craned his neck to look up at you, his irresistible violet eyes staring deep into your (e/c) ones. "I can help you clean up, Mama."
Your eyes widened in surprise. "Really? You're so small…do you think you can handle it?"
Matthew nodded before he buried his face in your shirt. "I-I can try…"
You smiled. "That would be wonderful. Thank you, Mattie."
With one hand still holding on tightly to Matthew's stuffed bear, you walked past the living room, up the stairs, and down the hall, opening the door to the bathroom. You looked down at Matthew to make sure he wasn't sleeping before you set him down on the floor and knelt down in front of him.
"Are you ready for a bath, Matthew?" you asked him sweetly.
In return, he only shook his head and pulled his bear closer to his chest, letting out a tiny yawn. "I'm tired…"
You sighed. "I know. I promise I'll put you to sleep after I give you a bath and find you some clean clothes to wear."
Before Matthew could've made any other objections, you took the bottom edges of his long ruffled shirt and pulled it up over his head before tossing it in the sink to be washed later. You took off his shoes, socks, and whatever kinds of clothing he had left before you gently placed him in the bathtub and turned on the water.
Once you noticed Matthew shifting in discomfort, you gently patted his head. "Don't worry," you said soothingly. "There's nothing to be uncomfortable about."
He nodded, but pulled his bear even closer to his chest. You sighed as you grasped his arms. "Matthew, do you mind letting me take your bear for the night? I promise I'll give it back to you once I wash it."
In the short amount of time that passed since you had met the child, you knew that he was very attached to the bear. He seemed a little hesitant, so you added, "I'm not going to do anything bad to it. All I'll do is clean it up and give it back to you good as new."
It took a few more seconds of hesitation before Matthew quietly nodded and slowly extended his arms out toward you, the bear grasped tightly in his hands.
"Thank you, Mattie," you said sweetly as you grasped the bear and turned around before tossing it in the sink with his other dirty clothes.
You were amazed at how obedient Matthew was. Throughout the whole time that you gave him a bath, he didn't complain once. In face, the only sounds he ever made were either a yawn, sneeze, or cough. Since you had no baby shampoo, you had to wash his hair with your own, hoping that it wouldn't have caused anything unusual to go on with his hair. You felt like a real mother, standing there cleaning up a dirty child. By the time you were done with the bath, Matthew was clean and fresh, looking a lot better than he did when you found him.
He continued to stand there in the bathtub and you hauled yourself back up on your feet and grabbed two towels hanging on a rack on the wall. You approached Matthew with a towel in each hand, setting one of them down on the floor. You used the first towel to scrub Matthew's hair dry, and the second one to dry the rest of his body, wrapping the towel around him once you were finished.
As soon as you lifted Matthew out of the bathtub, making sure that his towel was wrapped securely around him, you stood back up, looking down at him and scratching your chin in thought.
"Is something wrong, Mama?" Matthew asked after a few more moments of silence passed.
You snapped your fingers as the idea hit you. "Oh, that's right! I have to find some clothes for you." You turned around, approaching the door and fiercely opening it. Just as you were about to step out of the bathroom, you looked back at Matthew, who was staring at you in confusion. "You just stay put, Mattie," you said to him sweetly. "I'll be right back." Even though he seemed pretty obedient based on his behavior when you gave him a bath, the last thing you wanted was him running around the house naked.
You ran to the bedroom, opening the door and frantically darting your head from side to side. Where the hell were you going to find baby clothes!? There had to be some pairs that you saved from your youth, but where were they?
You dashed to the closet and threw open the door, looking for any possible place where you might've kept things from when you were a child. You shoved old shoe boxes, bags, and other things out of the way, trying to locate the small crate that held some of your childhood belongings. You found it in the very corner of the closet, layers upon layers of dust covering it after years of being untouched.
You smiled as you grabbed the crate by its handles and hauled it out of the closet, grunting as you set it down on the floor past the mess you managed to make. You brushed some of the dust off of the contents of the crate with your hand, sneezing as it tickled your nose.
Once most of the dust was off, your eyes settled on several bags, each one containing different items such as clothes, toys, and books.
You opened the bag that held your baby clothes and began sorting through it, trying to find a pair that didn't seem to girly. It took some time, but you were finally able to find a white ruffled shirt and ruffled shorts, similar to the clothes that Matthew wore when you first met him.
You grabbed the clothes and, leaving the mess behind, dashed out of the bedroom, down the hallway, and fiercely opened the door to the bathroom, relieved to find Matthew in the exact same place that he was in when you left.
"Mattie, I brought you some clothes," you said cheerfully as you approached him. On closer inspection, you were able to notice that his balance became a little unstable, and his eyes were only half open.
He must really be exhausted…you thought as you knelt down beside him.
"Let's see if these clothes will fit on you," you said softly to Matthew, and he nodded before you began dressing him. As soon as the clothes were on him, you made sure to examine him on all sides, making sure that everything properly fit. The clothes were slightly baggy, but you figured that it was caused by him being underfed and skinnier than he should've been.
"You look so adorable," you murmured to Matthew as you kissed the top of his hair, the sweet smell of the hair shampoo taking over your senses.
In reply, Matthew let out a yawn before he coughed again. "I'm tired, Mama…"
"I know…" you murmured before you put his towel back on the rack that it hung from before. You picked him up, feeling him bury his face in your shirt, before you carried him out of the bathroom and to your bedroom.
Walking over to your bed, you gently set Matthew down on top of the covers and tucked him in, making sure that his head was rested comfortably on the pillow. He was so tiny, so there was just enough room for the both of you to sleep in the bed comfortably.
You briefly checked Matthew's forehead, instantly snatching your hand away when you found that he was burning with fever. You bit your lip, reminding yourself that you still had to cure him of his sickness. But now it was really late, and he was exhausted as well as you.
"Goodnight, Mattie," you murmured softly as you kissed his forehead, pulling the covers up over him until they went up to his chin.
"Goodnight, Mama…" Matthew replied quietly as he slowly closed his eyes and quietly drifted off to sleep.
You continued watching him sleep for the next few minutes before you got up and walked towards the door, shutting off the light. Although your eyelids felt like heavyweights, you still had to wash Matthew's clothes and his teddy bear.
You approached the bathroom and turned on the light before you walked in front of the sink and looked at your reflection in the mirror. You had heavy bags under your eyes from countless nights of little to no sleep, your hair was a mess, and your eyes were bleary with exhaustion. In terms of cleanliness, Matthew looked better than you.
As soon as you were done washing Matthew's clothes, you hung them on the towel rack to dry, and set his bear on the windowsill for the sunlight to dry it the next morning. After taking a bath and switching into your pajamas, you quietly entered the bedroom once again, silently approaching your bed and burying yourself under the covers.
You were able to feel Matthew's presence next to you, and you gently pulled him towards you and protectively wrapped your arms around him. Judging by his breathing and the way he fidgeted every few minutes, you figured that his sleep was restless. You also had a tough time sleeping whenever you were sick, but he seemed to complain a lot less than you.
As you quietly drifted off to sleep, you knew that your life of being a mother had officially begun.