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Hab Da Sleepover; Abby & Cristo, 3rd/4th grade
Topic Started: Nov 1 2015, 10:32 PM (683 Views)
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"...And make sure you don't stay up too late past your normal bed time, and call home if you want to leave early, okay?"

"I know, Mama." Cristóbal squirmed as his mother fussed over him, repeating for at least the third time her instructions and concerns about his first-ever sleepover. He wished that she'd done this before they got out of the car, instead of here on Abby's porch before they rang the doorbell. It was more uncomfortable than her stumbling explanation before they'd left home about why Abby had two dads, which Cristo had barely understood - just the fact that Abby got to have two dads was impressive enough to Cristo, who had none. He wanted to ask her what she'd done to make that happen, if it was some particularly good behavior that he could copy. Though, having two dads seemed to mean that she didn't have any moms, and Cristo certainly didn't want his mom to go away...

Amanda seemed to realize that Cristóbal was no longer absorbing anything she was saying and sighed, reaching down to comb his hair out of his face before finally turning to ring the doorbell. She was more nervous about him sleeping away from home for the first time than he was, really, but the Floyds had a warm, welcoming home and a sweet daughter who had happily taken Cristo under her wing when they played together. She just had to get him settled and then try not to lose any sleep over it herself.

She kept one hand safely on the top of Cristo's head as they waited for someone to answer the door, hoping that she didn't look unnaturally anxious. Cristo himself shifted from foot to foot with anticipation, clutching the backpack full of his clothes to his chest.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Abby practically flew down the hall as she heard the doorbell ringing. All of the snacks were ready in the kitchen, Granny had helped her set up all kinds of movies and games to pick from, there were pillows and blankets for every kind of fort they could imagine, and almost all of her fluffier friends were accounted for somewhere. All that was missing was her bestest friend in the entire world, and if that bell meant anything, he was finally here!

A flash of grey along the hardwood floor sent her sock-feet skidding and tumbling so as not to crash into the timid cat that had finally popped out of hiding. She flopped to the floor with a thud. "I'm fine," she called out quickly to no one in particular, scampering back to her feet and reaching out for the ball of shiny grey fur watching her from a few feet away. Babushka crawled up into her arms and purred happily with a glance up at her face, making her giggle. "You wanted to meet him, didn't you girl?"

Together, they made their way to the front door. Abby carefully balanced the armful of cat as she opened it up and beamed up at Cris and his mom. "Hi Cris, hi Mrs. Morales!" Babushka's curious eyes lifted up towards Cris's face as she held her out to him. "Babushka wanted to say hi too!"
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Any lingering nervousness was quickly forgotten as Abby appeared in the doorway and immediately offered up a cat. Cristo stepped away from his mother's side, eagerly reaching out to pet the cat's soft head. He liked animals, but between a crowded house and a tight family budget, they'd never had any pets. "Hi Babushka," he cooed. He wondered how many other pets were about the house, and whether they'd get to play with any that evening.

Amanda smiled, deciding not to point out that she was Ms. rather than a Mrs. "Hi, Abby. Where are your parents?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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It was hard to pull her attention away from the adorable spectacle that was Cris meeting Babushka for the first time, but she did her best and made a quick mental check. "Uuuuh," she started as her eyes drifted up towards her forehead, "Dad had to go into town to talk to somebody, but he should be back in a jiffy. Granny's in the kitchen, and I think Papa's in the clinic doing inventory?"

That's where she'd left him, at least. She knew he wanted to wrap things up before company got here and make a good first impression. He'd be along any minute. Creaking floorboards and the sound of a rubber stopper hitting wood signaled that Granny was coming down the hall just before her voice crackled through the hallway. "Two out of three ain't bad, tadpole," she chuckled as she ambled her way to the door, flashing a toothy smile to their guests. "Evening ya'll. I'm Margaret, Abby's grandmother." She held out a hand to Ms. Morales through the door. "Pleased to meet you, ma'am. Ya'll like to come in for a spell? I made a mess a ice tea for the little ones to go with their fixins, but I reckon they won't be too disappointed if we skim a glass or two."
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Amanda tried not to look too relieved at the invitation to step inside for a few minutes. Leaving Cristo all on his own at someone else's house for the first time was definitely turning out to be harder on her than on him. She shook Margaret's offered hand and gently ushered Cristo over the threshold. "Amanda Morales, pleased to meet you."

"How many cats do you have?" Cristóbal inquired as the four of them shuffled around to get into the front hall. "Or dogs? Or... other things?" He was bouncing excitedly on the balls of his feet now, clinging to his backpack with one hand and still petting Babushka with the other. Abby was the best, and her cat was the best. Best sleepover ever.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Abby smiled as the walked along behind Granny towards the kitchen to the steady thunk of her cane. "Two cats," she started,"Babushka and Hatchpatch. He's hiding around here somewhere. Elvis is my dog, he's out back in the little house Dad made for him, but we could go see him if you wanna, he'd like you!" She smiled and glanced up the stairs as they passed. "Then up there's my canary and my hognose are upstairs in my room, if you wanna see them, and my guinea pig's in the den."

Granny started chuckling as she buzzed on, and threw a glance over her shoulder to the group. "Tadpole's got a regular menagerie around here. If she and Mike had their way, whole house'd be a zoo. He was the same way when he was a boy, y'know." They rounded the corner into the kitchen, and Granny shifted behind the counter to make drinks. "Ya'll take anything special in your tea? Sugar's out, and I could prolly hunt up some lemon 'n honey if you're fixin' for it."
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Amanda's smile came a bit more easily now, as she adjusted to the bustling atmosphere of the Floyd home. "Just sugar is fine, thank you. I don't want to be any trouble." But there was nothing to worry about here, not really, and the tension was easing from her shoulders as she watched Abby chatter at Cristo.

Cristo meanwhile was having a fantastic time getting excited about seeing all of Abby's pets. "We can go and see Elvis, and then come back in and see all the rest, if you want to. Is it okay to take Babushka out to see him, or do they not like each other? How long did it take your dad to make Elvis's house? What's a hognose?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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A glance out the window told Abby that Elvis was still sleeping in his doghouse, like he usually was at this time of day. "We can take Babushka outside, Elvis usually likes her. We'll need to make sure Hatchpatch doesn't sneak out after us though, they're always fighting." Babushka chimed in an agreeable mewl from Abby's arms, lifting her head at the mention of her name.

Granny didn't seem to object to them going outside, since they would be just outside the window, and Cristo's mom seemed okay with it, so she grinned and nodded towards the side door. "This way! It's a nice little house, I think Dad was out there for a good Saturday afternoon. He wanted to give Elvis a comfy place to hang out without Hatchie bothering him." She hesitated a little bit as she stepped towards the door, and hoped Cristo would open it for her so she didn't have to navigate the screen with Babushka. Little Horn was the pet people tended to get stuck on, and she didn't want to run Cristo off or scare his mom. Still, her parents always told her that it's best to be honest about everything. "Hognoses are funny nosed snakes," she started, " with this kinda upturned lip, makes 'em look like they got a snout like a pig? We have to be real careful if we go see him, 'cuz he's just a baby and he gets scared. He sits right in my hand, though!"
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Cristóbal let Abby pull him along to the back door, completely willing to follow her anywhere right now. She'd told him about Elvis before, among her other stories about the animals that her family had collected over time, but he'd never been able to come up with a definite total number of all her pets. He pushed the door open for her so she wouldn't have to put Babushka down and risk her running away.

"You have a snake?" Cristo wasn't sure how he felt about that one - his only previous experience with snakes was a zoo trip some time ago where they'd toured the reptile house, which had been uncomfortably dark and humid. They hadn't spent a lot of time there, and most of the snakes hadn't done anything besides sit unmoving in their tanks when he looked. "Well... he doesn't bite, right?" Scared animals were the most likely to bite, he remembered being told by his grandfather. Cornering a stray cat so that he could try to pick it up and pet it had driven the lesson home more than the warning, though.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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With the door open, Abby kept her hands focused on cradling and petting Babushka as the three of them wandered into the yard. Hatchpatch slinked out of his hiding place in the living room and started to wander forward before Abby shot him The Look(TM) and he let out a grumpy mewl. As soon as Cristo was outside with her, she shut the door with her foot to keep him in.

She shook her head at Cristo's question and started walking towards Elvis's dog house. "Noooot really, he nibbles mostly for now if he gets antsy, he's real tiny. He's friendly for the most part as long as you're gentle, though!" The sounds of people coming into the hard seemed to wake Elvis up, causing him to groggily stand up and trot out of his doghouse towards the new boy beside his owner, sniffing curiously around his feet.
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Cristo quickly forgot his apprehensions about the snake when Elvis started nosing around his feet. He knelt down to scratch behind Elvis's ears, earning a pleased little "wuff". "As long as he doesn't bite, I guess..." He knew that Abby wouldn't keep anything really dangerous, and a baby snake sounded kind of cute.

He looked back to the house to see his mom and Abby's grandma watching them through the window, and he waved before turning his attention back to Elvis, who had rolled over for a belly rub. "Do you keep him in a tank, like they do at the zoo?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Elvis seemed very excited for the company, and Babushka slipped out of her hands to come join him at flitting around Cristo's feet. The two of them got along like sweet siblings, so the family was usually pretty content to let them have their run of things around each other. The whole scene made Abby's smile grow wider. Her best friend and her pets were playing together just as nicely as she'd hoped they would!

"Uh-huh," she answers with a quick nod, "Papa help me set up a nice little case for him with a heat lamp, and some hides, and some woodchips for him to wriggle around in. He's happy as a clam, though he doesn't move a lot most of the time."
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Cristo nodded along thoughtfully as Abby described the snake's living arrangements. "It sounds really cool. Does he shed his skin and stuff? Or do only grown-up snakes do that?" Before Abby answered, his mom appeared in the window, waving to him. It looked like she'd finished up her drink and her chat with Granny and was going to head back home. Cristo's stomach did a little flip as the reality of being somewhere new all by himself settled in, but he smiled and waved back. His mom blew him a kiss and backed away from the window, not wanting to further interrupt his time with his friend.

Elvis took the opportunity to direct the attention back to him by nosing at Cristo's hand until he got more petting. "And how big will the snake get?" He added, just remembering his last question.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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It looked like Cristo's mom was heading home. The sleepover was officially a go! Not that she thought there'd be any problem before, but it was respectful to not make assumptions. Granny seemed pretty pleased with their talk, though, so maybe there'd be even more sleepovers!

She had to stop and think about Cristo's question. Little Horn was a tiny critter, and she didn't think he'd shed or anything like that off the top of her head. He was just a baby, after all. "No," she said after a couple seconds, "I'm pretty sure he won't do that 'till he grows up some?" To be honest, she wasn't rightly sure how big he was going to get. He wasn't a python or anything, but he wouldn't stay little forever. She held her hands around a foot and a half apart in front of Cristo. "Probably about this big, after awhile?"
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"Wow. Are you gonna keep him the whole time, even when he's that big?" Cristóbal knew that there were snakes that got much bigger, of course, but the thought of even holding one as big as Abby's snake would get made him get a crawly feeling on the back of his neck.

Not that he would tell Abby that it creeped him out even a little, of course. If she and her Granny and his mom thought that he was too scared of the animals, they might not let him come over again. "Can we go in and see him?" He was having a great time with the dog and cats, but Elvis looked set to doze off again in the sun, and Abby's talk about the snake had Cristo intrigued, even if he was a little scared of the idea of it.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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