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Backpacks and Amphibians

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Chandler rarely came home late. It was hard to have much of a social life these days or the past 10 years for that matter. Chandler loved his twins dearly and couldn’t believe how drastically they had changed his life.

Chandler put his key in the door and opened it slowly. He knew Monica and the twins would be asleep already. He was disappointed that he wouldn’t hear all about their days but the quiet in the house did have its own appeal.

Chandler smiled to himself when he saw the “mess” that was scattered about the house. The few misplaced items: shoes, jackets, backpacks, toys wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary in most people's houses, but Monica was not most people. Chandler knew the mess stressed her out but not the way it once had.

Other people may not notice the small changes in Monica, but Chandler did. The twins had subtly softened her and helped ease the more neurotic edges. He knew she was still stressed but he saw her slowly embracing the chaos and enjoying the little things.

As Chandler walked through the hallway he ran into an overturned backpack and nearly fell over.

“Jesus Jack!” He whispered through clenched teeth. He moved to pick up the backpack when it suddenly inched forward on its own.

“What the hell...” Chandler tentatively grabbed the backpack, unzipped it uneasily and peered in.

“AHHHHHAAHHHHAAHHH,” He shouted and flung the backpack across the room. He bolted up the door and flung open the door to his bedroom.

“MONICA!”

“What?! What?!” She shouted as she sat up quickly looking around frantically.

“OH MY GOD!” Chandler shouted flailing his arms in the air.

“Are you going to get to the point or did you just wake me up to shout at me?” Monica replied groggily.

“Do you know what Jack, our darling and delightful son, has hidden away in his backpack downstairs?” Chandler said continuing to gesture wildly.

“Porn?” Monica grumbled while laying back down on the bed.

“I wish! It’s a freakin’ frog!”

“A WHAT?” Monica was back to sitting upright now, “You are telling me there is a slimy germ-ridden frog on the loose in my living room?”

Chandler was beginning to regret his decision to wake up Monica, “I think it is still in the backpack.”

“You THINK?” Monica was now throwing on her slippers and making her way towards the door.

Chandler walked over towards her and pulled her into a hug, “Hey, why don’t we just go to bed? Jack can explain himself in the morning.”

Monica’s eyes darted anxiously towards the door. Chandler could tell that she was having an internal battle. She took a deep breath and weakly responded, “Ok, you’re probably right. I probably would flatten it with a slipper. I’m not sure if Jack would ever forgive me for something like that.”

Chandler smiled as he took Monica’s hand and led her to bed. They both climbed under the comforter and Monica snuggled into Chandler’s side.

“I love you,” Chandler whispered.

“I love you too,” Monica replied.

Chandler lightly ran his fingers across Monica’s arm,“I love our crazy life”.

“Me too,” Monica yawned.

After a few minutes, Monica’s breathing slowed. When he was positive she was asleep, Chandler silently slipped out of bed; he had a backpack to de-frog.