One Saturday Leo was splashing in his paddling pool in the garden. The big sun was shining happily. Leo was very warm.
He was also very wet. His yellow swimming trunks were wet. His t-shirt with monkey face on it was wet. Even his sun hat was wet. He jumped and splashed. His hat fell off onto his boat and sank it. Leo laughed and splashed some more.
Mummy and daddy were talking in the kitchen. He could see them through the window. Leo thought mummy had a cold again. She was blowing her nose and wiping her eyes. Daddy looked sad that mummy had a cold.
Leo stopped sinking his boat. He ran indoors to give mummy a hug. His feet made wet footprints on the paving. In the kitchen he wrapped his arms round her knees. He made wet marks on her skirt. Daddy went out for a walk. Mummy took Leo into the garden. They splashed a lot in the pool. Mummy’s face was all wet.
After tea mummy and daddy and Leo all sat down on the blue sofa in the lounge. Mummy sat on one side holding Fish. Daddy sat on the other side holding Monkey. They each put an arm around Leo. Daddy said he was not going to stay in their house any more. He was going to live in a nice little house just round the corner. Leo would come and stay with him one week. Then he would come back and stay with mummy for the next week. After that it would be a daddy week again.
Leo didn’t know why daddy was going to the little house. Leo wanted him to stay with him and mummy. Mummy said everyone would be happier if daddy went to the little house. Leo didn’t think he would be happier.
At bedtime Leo cuddled Monkey and Fish. He thought about the little house. Was daddy going there because Leo had bent the wheel on his new bike? He climbed out of bed and called for daddy. Daddy came upstairs and told him it was not because of his bike. Daddy said not to worry.
In the morning there were suitcases in the hall. Daddy put the cases in his silver car. He came back and gave Leo a big hug. He didn’t hug mummy. Daddy drove away. Leo waved but daddy didn’t look back. Leo thought daddy was going to work even though it was Sunday. He thought daddy would forget all about the little house and be home at teatime.
Leo played all morning with mummy. They had spaghetti hoops for lunch. Leo loved spaghetti hoops. In the afternoon it was sunny and they went to the park. Some of his friends from Jumping Jacks nursery were there. Leo climbed up the slide with them. He whizzed down so fast he bumped onto the grass at the bottom. He slid down again and again until it was time to go.
Daddy’s silver car wasn’t there when they got home. Leo couldn’t see it anywhere. He looked out of the window until it was dark. Daddy’s car didn’t come. It didn’t come the next day either. Or the next. Leo was very sad. He missed daddy a lot.
One morning mummy put Monkey and Fish in a new blue bag she had made. She put Leo in her little red car and they went to nursery. Mummy said today was change-over day. After tea daddy would take Leo to the little house to stay. Leo asked if she was coming too. Mummy shook her head and blew her nose. She said she would see Leo in a week. Then she drove away in her little red car.
Leo took Monkey and Fish out of the bag and sat in the corner. When the other children talked to him he cuddled Monkey and Fish tighter. He didn’t come out of his corner for lunch, not even for spaghetti hoops and sausage.
After tea the door opened and daddy came in. Leo dropped Monkey and Fish and ran across the room. Daddy gave him a great big hug that squashed Leo’s tummy. They put all Leo’s things in daddy’s silver car and drove off.
Daddy didn’t drive home. He drove to a street Leo didn’t know. They stopped outside two little houses joined together. Daddy said the one with the green door was his new home. He opened the door and they went inside.
Daddy showed Leo the lounge. It was very small and had one brown sofa and one black chair. Beside the window was a table with two chairs. In the corner was a small television on another little table. Leo thought the lounge was not as nice as their real one. He said the sofa was not so comfy. Daddy said it was only borrowed and not to worry.
Daddy showed Leo the kitchen. It was small too. In their real house mummy put Leo’s paintings on the wall. Daddy said there was lots of space for Leo’s paintings on the door. There was another door in the corner. Daddy opened it and they went into the garden. It was very small. In the middle was a bird table just like the one they had bought mummy for Christmas. Daddy gave Leo some birdseed to put on it.
Daddy said there was a surprise for Leo upstairs. Leo scampered up the twisty stairs in the corner of the lounge. The little room beside the bathroom was Leo’s new bedroom. Inside was a lovely big bed that looked like a car. It had red sides with black tyres painted on them. On the bottom of the bed was a number plate that said LEO 1. Leo loved his new bed. He climbed on it and bounced up and down. Daddy laughed.
Beside the bed was a red chest of drawers. Leo opened the top drawer. Inside were some of his t-shirts and socks. In the next drawer were some of his trousers. On top of the drawers was a picture frame with a monkey on it. In it was a photo of mummy. Daddy said he could kiss mummy goodnight every night. Leo loved the photo. He gave it a kiss.
Leo took the photo downstairs with him. He stood it on the table and sat on one of the chairs. Daddy gave him some new crayons and some paper. Leo drew a picture of his new bed. When it was finished daddy stuck it on the kitchen door. Then they sat on the brown sofa and looked at the birds eating the seeds until bath time.
When Leo was warm and dry in his pyjamas they went into his new bedroom. Leo climbed into his new red bed that looked like a car. Daddy tucked him in with Monkey and Fish. He said the little house was just the right size for them.
Daddy sat on the bed. He told Leo a story about a boy who did lots of lovely things with his daddy. They went to the zoo. They went to the park. They went to the swimming pool. Leo thought it sounded fun.
When daddy had finished the story, he hugged Leo goodnight. Leo gave mummy’s photo a goodnight kiss. He snuggled down with Monkey and Fish. He went to sleep thinking about his bed and the little house where he and daddy were going to be very happy.