Part K of the A-Z story challenge...
In which some identity (and other stuff) is cleared up...
She is putting the dried dishes away when she hears the child stir. It is sliding feet-first off the sofa, pulling a face.
‘Oh!’ Claire says. ‘Nappy! Now what? Improvise!’ She looks around the kitchen, plucks a first aid tin from an open cupboard. ‘This might work,’ she tells the child, who stands, uncomfortably, waiting for a solution to arrive. ‘To the bathroom!’
‘Ugh!’ the child reiterates, and peers over the edge of the bath.
‘This might be a learning curve, okay,’ Claire admits.
The child eyes items on the bath rack. Claire unpeels the tabs. There is some kind of liner inside, which she manages to catch all the contents in.
‘Good thing we had lunch already, or I might be a bit off my food now. You actually make a worse stink than the dogs, did you know that? Pooey!’
The child laughs. ‘Foo!’
‘Foo-ey, young lady,’ Claire agrees. ‘I think that can go in the outside bin. At least now I can call you she or young lady, not it, eh?’
She looks through the tin, finds an absorbent dressing pad and some tape. While the child puzzles over a closed soap dish, Claire wipes, wraps and sticks.
‘There,’ she says, ‘You are contained!’
The soap dish is lobbed into the bath, where it bursts open. The child shrieks delight.
‘Celebrations all round!’ Claire gathers the clothes back up. She checks for labels but there is no clue of a name.
‘I should call you something,’ she frowns. ‘No idea what. Stinky seems a bit mean, eh? Anyway, let’s get you dressed.’
The child regards her with interest. She submits to being pulled back into clothes.
‘Foo-ey pooey!’ Claire keeps the noise distraction going.
‘You catch on quick: meow, woof, fooey pooey!’
‘Woff foo!’ The legs in the miniature jeans bend and straighten in a sort of dance.
Claire takes this to denote excitement.
‘Happy little echo,’ she says. ‘That’s what I’ll call you. Echo.’
‘Mow!’ The dance returns.
Claire holds her hands out towards little Echo, who holds up her arms, is picked up.