Disclaimer: I do not own TMNT (sadly)
Summary: Splinter presents his turtle tots with a new toy
Splinter walked ahead of his four sons as they made their way through the sewers back to their current burrow. His body was weighed down with the various bags and possessions he had found as he searched the sewers and garbage cans of the shops above.
Behind him each of his sons carried something as per their strength and ability. Leonardo carried the large juice container, tipped on its side to stop the liquid dripping from the hole near the top. Raphael was next leaning over backwards in his attempt to keep the loose potatoes Splinter had deemed salvageable in the bag he carried.
Donatello was behind him his arms around the blankets which had been rolled up tightly by Splinter and tied up making it easier for Donnie to carry. Lastly Michelangelo brought up the rear, his little legs working furiously to keep up. Still the smallest as he was yet to have the growth spurt his siblings had, he had a sealed packet with a loaf of bread in each hand.
Making it back to his burrow, Splinter uncovered the entrance way and stepped aside waiting for his sons to troop inside. Only when each had safely gone past him did Splinter place his own burdens inside and reseal the entrance way, so that they remained hidden from sight.
Lifting the bags back up he headed through to what he used as a kitchen and placed them on the work surface. Turning to his sons he took each of their burdens from them and dismissed them, allowing them an extra hour of play time for having helped with the shopping.
With giggles and laughter the four fled the room and went off to play. Splinter chuckled and began to sort out his shopping. Firstly he transferred half of the juice into another container so that they wouldn't lose any more before storing everything else around his makeshift kitchen.
At the bottom of his last bag were the three smaller bags which he had quickly hidden from his son’s sight as soon as he had found them. He wasn’t sure why they had been thrown away but he was grateful for the humans waste as it meant it was his sons gain.
Picking up the three packets of one hundred balloons each, he quickly read the instructions on the bag. Opening the first bag he began to sort the balloons by colour, with the second and third bags following soon after. Once the three hundred balloons had been sorted, he discovered he had six colours to choose from blue, red, purple, orange, green, white and yellow.
He counted out the blue, red purple and orange setting aside the couple of spare blue and purple they had so that each pile of the four colours his sons favoured contained the same amount. He took four of the balloons, one for each of his sons and began to blow them up.
Once each balloon was blown up he left the kitchen and headed to the where his four sons were playing. The four brothers sat in a rough circle and were passing a ball between them on the floor as fast as their little arms could.
“What have you got there daddy?” Leo asked holding onto the ball as he saw his father enter.
“I have a surprise for you,” Splinter explained keeping his hands behind his back so they couldn’t see the balloons.
All four jumped to their feet, their ballgame forgotten at the promise of something new and exciting. Splinter smiled down on them and brought his arms around presenting them with the four balloons.
Their eyes widened and they looked up for permission to take the strange new toy. With the nod of permission given each turtle tot grabbed their favourite colour saying thank you as they did. They immediately began to explore their new toys discovering the strange texture and how it bounced and moved through the air.
“What are they called daddy?” Raph asked as he threw his balloon in the air.
“They are called balloons and they come in many shapes and sizes,” Splinter answered.
“What makes them all bouncy?” Mikey quizzed as he balanced his balloon on the end of his beak.
Splinter chuckled as he watched his sons, “I blew air into them and the air makes them bouncy.”
Sitting down on his mat Splinter relaxed and enjoyed watching his sons as they experimented with this new toy and began to make up their own games. Their laughter and shouts of happiness filled the burrow and Splinter felt contented.
He jerked from his cross legged position when a “bang” echoed around the lair. Opening his eyes he looked around the burrow to see which of his sons had burst his balloon. Leo was stood blinking rapidly as he looked down at the remains of his balloon.
His eyes began to water and his lips started to quiver as he realised his new toy was no more. A sniffle to the side drew Splinter attention from his eldest son to his other three children and he saw they were equally as upset.
“Now now my sons do not cry, there is no reason to be upset,” Splinter hushed them as he motioned them towards him.
“It made a big bang,” Mikey said with a quiver looking at his balloon with a little fear.
Splinter reached out and wiped each of his sons faces, removing any traces of the tears they had threatened to shed.
“Yes Michelangelo it did because that is the noise balloons make when they pop and you can no longer play with them. It is not something to be afraid of, it is just a noise,” Splinter explained.
They all looked a little dubious and Leo’s lip set into a pout as he understood his balloon was not coming back. His lip began to quiver again and let out a small sob. Splinter’s arms encircled him and pulled him close.
“Hush now Leonardo it is okay,” he soothed.
“But my balloon went bang,” the forest green sniffled.
“That is okay my son,” Splinter continued to soothe.
The three other turtles looked at each before they each stepped forward and smiled at Leo.
“You can share ours Leo,” Donnie offered holding his balloon out.
“Really?” Leo asked with a sniff.
“Yeah we can all play together with each of our balloons,” Raph added.
Leo wiped his eyes clean and smiled at his brothers.
“That is highly thoughtful and kind of you my son’s but Leonardo will have a balloon of his own again in a couple of minutes,” Splinter answered.
The four tots looked up at their father with awe, wondering how he would manage such a thing when Leonardo’s balloon was now shrivelled up on the floor. Putting his son down next to his brothers he motioned for them to stay put and made his way back into the kitchen. Opening the bag of balloons he selected another blue one before grabbing a pawful of the yellow, green and white ones.
Going back through to his sons he saw them playing once more passing Raph’s balloon between themselves. Clearing his throat he got their attention and lifted his hand to reveal the blue balloon ready to be blown up.
With eyes and mouths wide the four turtles watched as Splinter lifted the balloon to his mouth and blew air into it, inflating it a little. Drawing breath he continued the action until it was a good size and then tied the end to seal it off. Holding it out he motioned for Leonardo to take it.
“Thank you daddy,” Leonardo squealed throwing himself into his fathers’ arms.
Splinter chuckled and kissed his son on the top of his head.
“Now I want to show you that when a balloon goes bang it is nothing to be afraid of,” Splinter explained to them blowing up another balloon.
Holding up the blown up balloon before his son’s eyes he pressed his sharp nail into balloons side. It popped loudly drawing squeaks of surprise from his sons.
“See my sons, nothing to fear,” Splinter smiled at them.
They all nodded although still a little fearful.
“Now which of you would like to pop a balloon to see that it won’t hurt you?” the rat asked.
“Me, I do,” Mikey and Donnie immediately jumped to their feet.
“Yeah me too,” Raph added holding his balloon under his little arm.
Leo pursed his lips for a minute before taking a deep breath, “Me too.”
Splinter smiled at them all and held up a balloon for each of them.
“You are going to attempt to inflate your balloon first before popping them,” Splinter explained to them.
Demonstrating how to do it, he watched as each of his sons made an attempt to inflate their balloons. They made a good effort but try as they might they did not have the lung capacity to fill out the balloon. After giving it a fair go Raph was the first to throw the balloon down in temper and cross his arms angrily.
“Would you like me to inflate it for you?” Splinter asked his hot headed son.
Raph nodded tersely and waited for Splinter to blow up the balloon. Afterwards he repeated the task for his other three sons and handed them back over.
“Now who would like to be the first to pop their balloon?” Splinter questioned.
“Me, please!” Leo declared loudly.
Splinter smiled and nodded his head. Leo looked at his balloon and frowned as if trying to decide how to pop the balloon. Putting the balloon down on the floor Leo placed his foot on the balloon and began to press down on it.
They all watched as the balloon moulded around Leo’s foot before the pressure became too much and it popped. Leo’s foot thumped down and he giggled in achievement.
“My turn,” Donnie declared.
Splinter nodded his consent and Donnie narrowed his eyes on the balloon. He traced his finger over it before applying pressure to it. His tongue stuck out in concentration as his finger pressed even harder into the balloon. It popped with a satisfactory bang.
“Well done my son,” Splinter commended.
Raph stood up with his balloon and pressed his hands on either side of it. He grunted a little and applied more pressure squashing the balloon until his hand almost met in the middle.
“Yeah!” Raph shouted as his balloon popped with the biggest bang so far.
He grinned widely at his father and they all turned to Mikey who still had his second balloon. He looked at them all and then down at his balloon, frowning as he tried to think of a new way to pop it. A smile blossomed on his face as he came up with an idea.
Swivelling round he held the balloon near his little bottom and proceeded to sit down quickly. Unable to sustain the weight of the smallest turtle the balloon like all the others had burst with a bang.
Mikey dropped to the floor as his cushion disappeared and he rolled back onto his carapace. Concerned that the little manoeuvre might have hurt Mikey, Splinter started forward only to realise that Mikey wasn’t crying but laughing. The youngest rocked back and forth on his shell as he laughed.
“Balloons are fun,” Donnie grinned widely.
“I like it when they go bang,” Raph smiled just as widely.
“Who wants to play pass?” Leo asked.
“Me, me, me!” Mikey declared as he managed to roll on his side.
Splinter felt proud of his little sons as they returned to their rough circle and began to pass the balloons back and forth, hitting them as hard as possible to make them fly through the air more. Sighing he leant back against the wall and closed his eyes, their life may not have been the easiest but he and his son’s certainly made the most of these simple pleasures.