A/N: The turtles are about 4 years old in this story. Enjoy!
Splinter glanced up from his now empty plate to glance at his four beloved children. He shook his head at the all-too-typical sight that met his gaze.
Leonardo's seat was empty; the presumed oldest of his sons had been the first to finish and the first to be allowed to be dismissed from the table.
Raphael had almost entirely cleared his plate, but had fallen asleep where he sat, his face buried in the remaining contents of his meal.
Donatello's meal had remained almost completely untouched; the pickiest of his sons sat with his head rested on his hand as he poked at the contents of the plate with disgust, simultaneously releasing over-dramatic sighs.
Michelangelo, having just finished his third serving, was now desperately licking his empty plate.
Splinter sighed. “Donatello, you will not leave until you have cleaned your plate.”
“But I told you I'm not hungry!” Donnie protested.
“I'll clean his plate for him, sensei!” Mikey offered.
Splinter chuckled. “Michelangelo, you have already cleaned your plate three times. I believe you have had plenty.”
Mikey glanced over at his sleeping older brother and noticed the food stuck to his cheek. He giggled before leaning over and licking it off.
Raphael groaned loudly at the sudden interruption of his slumber. He pulled his face from his plate and slapped his younger brother on the head.
Mikey burst into tears. “OWW!”
“Raphael!” Splinter reprimanded. “You are not to hit your brother! Go stand in the corner until I tell you!
Raph groaned and reluctantly left the table to go stand in the nearest corner.
Splinter rose from his seat and lifted up the sobbing Mikey, hugging him to his chest. “It's alright, Michelangelo. Don't cry.”
Seeing that his father was distracted, Donnie slowly attempted to slide out of his chair, but his father's keen ninja senses caught him in the act without even having to look. “Donatello, do not even think about trying to sneak away. You have not finished.”
Donnie sighed and returned to his chair.
“Nanna-nanna-boo-boo! Stick your head in doo-doo!” Leonardo's taunts could be heard from the main living area of their lair. “You're in trouble, Raphie!”
“Shut up, Leo!”
“Leonardo, your brother is being punished! You are not to taunt him unless you wish to join him!”
“Hai Sensei,” needing no second bidding, Leonardo returned to watching his favorite TV program.
“Uhoh...” Mikey squeaked.
The rat arched an eyebrow at his youngest son. “Michelangelo, what is-”
“Blehhhh!” The three-course meal that Mikey had just inhaled was now all over his plastron and Splinter's kimono.
Splinter sighed. “Michelangelo, I told you that you had eaten too much.” He set his vomit-covered son down on the floor. “Stay here. I must change, but I will return to clean you up.”
Knowing he could not leave his sons unintended for very long at dinner time, Splinter went to his room and swiftly changed out of his contaminated kimono and into a separate one nearly identical to the former.
When he returned to the kitchen, he was none-too-surprised to find that neither of his youngest sons were where he left them. Michelangelo was lying on the couch and Donatello was sitting beside him reading a book to himself. Without a word, he closed the book in Donnie's hands and returned him to his place at the table.
“Donatello, you have still not finished your meal. If you do not eat your dinner, then I will be forced to spoon-feed you, and if I am forced to do that, then you will be punished.”
Donnie wined in protest and went back to picking at his food with his chopsticks.
Splinter returned to the main living area and retrieved Michelangelo. He glanced at the spot where he lay and sighed with relief when he saw that he had not gotten any vomit on their furniture. “Michelangelo, I told you that you were not to leave the spot where I left you.”
“I'm sorry, Sensei. My tummy hurts and I just wanted to lay down.”
“I understand, my son.” With that, Splinter carried Mikey to the kitchen sink and placed him inside. He then turned on the faucet and began to rinse off the youngster's plastron.
“You know he wouldn't be sick if he wasn't such a fatty!” Raphael's muffled voice rang out from his corner.
“Quiet, Raphael! I do not want to have to extend your punishment.”
Raphael silently obeyed.
“Am I a fatty, daddy?” Mikey asked.
“Of course not, my son.” Splinter then felt someone down below tugging at his kimono. He looked down to see Leonardo. “What is it, Leonardo?”
“I want a bath too, Master Splinter!” he said.
“Not now. Michelangelo vomited on himself, so he needed to be bathed.”
“Can I go swimming, then?” he pleaded.
“No, not tonight. Perhaps tomorrow. Go watch television for now. I am very busy with your brothers at the moment.”
Leo began to pout. “But I wanna go swimming, now!”
“Enough! I will hear no more of it, Leonardo! You may go watch television or you may go to bed early. It is your decision.”
Leo groaned and obediently returned to the living room.
Splinter wrapped a towel around Mikey and lifted him out of the sink before drying him off. “How do you feel, my son?”
Mikey yawned. “A little better. Kinda sleepy.”
The father set the young turtle back down on the floor. “Well, why don't you go watch television with Leonardo for a little while? It's almost bed time.”
Mikey nodded and sauntered off to the living room.
“Raphael, I believe you have served your punishment. You may join your brothers.”
Without a word, Raphael left his corner and followed Mikey to the living room.
Splinter finally glanced at Donnie only to find that he had still barely touched his dinner. He sighed. “Donatello, time is up. I am going to spoon-feed you.” He retrieved a spoon from the silverware drawer and pulled a chair up next to Donnie. He tried to force a spoonful into Donnie's mouth, but Donnie clamped his jaws shut and turned his head away. “Open your mouth,” he demanded. Donnie shook his head. “Donatello!” This time Donnie reluctantly obeyed and chewed slowly. “Don't you dare spit it out. We will be here all night if we have to be.”
“Give me the remote, Leo!” Raphael shouted.
“No! I had the TV first!”
The flustered father sighed. “Wait here,” he ordered. “Do not move.”
“Nobody wants to watch Space Heroes! It's a stupid show!” Raphael argued.
“It's not a stupid show! You're a stupid show!”
Mikey giggled at Leo's comeback.
“That doesn't even make sense, you stupid retard!”
“Raphael! That is not a nice thing to say!” Splinter scolded. “What is the problem in here, my sons?”
“Leo's making us watch Space Heroes, but it's a stupid show!”
“I see, and what do you want to watch, Raphael?”
“I see, and you, Michelangelo?”
Mikey rubbed his chin. “Funny video!”
“Fair enough,” Splinter switched the channel to America's Funniest Videos.
“But I hate this stupid show too!” Raph whined.
“Well you said 'not Space Heroes' and this is clearly not Space Heroes, so it looks like that is two votes for AFV,” Splinter chuckled and patted his irritated son on the head. “Now I want to hear no more arguing over the television tonight, understand?”
“Hai Sensei,” the three chorused.
Splinter returned to the kitchen to find Donatello sitting in front of an empty plate. This made him suspicious. “Donatello, did you finish your dinner that fast?”
Donnie nodded and smiled sheepishly. “My tummy is full now.”
“Really? Let me feel it,” Splinter pressed on his son's stomach playfully as if he could actually feel if his stomach was full. “It doesn't feel full to me. Are you lying to me?”
Donnie shook his head.
“So I guess you won't mind if I change the bag in the trash then, hmm?”
Donnie shrugged nervously.
Splinter looked in the trash can and his suspicions were confirmed. There on top sat a huge bundle of worms and algae. “Donatello! Come here.”
Donatello slowly got up from his chair and stood by his father's side.
“What is this?”
“Donatello, did you throw away your dinner?”
Donnie shuffled his feet. “I-I don't...know.”
Donnie looked down at his feet and nodded.
“Well I am going to get you another plate and I am going to make sure that you eat it. Now go sit down and do not go anywhere. You will not be dismissed until you have eaten.”
Donnie stomped his foot. “But sensei! I told you I'm not hungry!”
“You must still eat! Now go sit down. NOW.”
Pouting, Donatello obeyed.
Splinter returned to spoon-feeding his picky eater of a son. “Come on, my son. The longer you do this, the longer this is going to take.”
Donnie reluctantly opened his mouth and chewed his dinner.
Splinter sighed and massaged his temples. “Do not move, Donatello. If you move this time, I will spank you, do you understand?”
Donnie nodded and Splinter rushed into the living room.
“What is going on in here?” he nearly shouted. He observed the scene before him; Michelangelo was lying on the floor crying and Leonardo was sitting beside him trying to comfort him while Raphael sat on the couch with his arms crossed.
“Raphie pushed him off the couch when he fell asleep,” Leo said with disgust evident in his tone.
“He wasn't sleeping!” Raph argued. “He was faking it and fake snoring and it was getting on my nerves!”
“I do not care if he was faking it or not, Raphael! You are not to harm your brother like that!” Splinter knelt down and scooped up Mikey in his arms. “Are you alright, Michelangelo?”
Mikey wiped his tearful eyes and nodded.
“Okay. Raphael, I want you to stay seated where you are. Leonardo, I want you to sit over there,” he gestured to the side of the room opposite to Raphael. “And Michelangelo, I want you to sit right here,” he placed him several feet between the two oldest. “I want you all to sit and watch TV right where you are. Do not come near one another, nor talk to one another, understand?”
“Anyone who breaks that rule will be punished.”
Splinter returned to the kitchen to find Donnie, slowly but surely, eating his dinner. “Good, Donatello. Do you still need me to feed you or do you think you can handle it?”
“I can do it.”
“Good. I knew you could.”
Keeping a watchful eye on his pickiest son, Splinter went to the sink to wash the dishes.
“I'm done, daddy,” Donnie said as he handed his plate to his father.
Splinter accepted the plate and placed it in the sink. “Good boy, Donatello. Come, it is time for bed.” Splinter took Donnie's hand and led him to the living room so he could round up the rest of his sons for bedtime. “My sons, it is time for bed...”
Leo and Raph sat where they were left, struggling to hold their heads up from exhaustion. Michelangelo had long since given in to his tired body and fell asleep. Splinter turned off the TV and then scooped up Mikey, allowing the older three to follow him to their room. He tucked them each into their shared bed and gave them each a kiss good night. “Sleep well, my sons. I love you all.”
The only response he heard was soft snoring. He smiled and went on his way to his own room, deciding he would finish the dishes in the morning. As soon as his tired body rested, he began to drift into a much-needed sleep.
He was rudely awoken by simultaneous screams coming from his sons' room. He leaped from his bed and rushed to their bedroom. “What is all this commotion, my sons?”
“Mikey peed!” Raphael shouted.
Mikey blushed. “Oopsie...”