Some Good Reasons 12
Moving the final dishes into the dishwasher she set the machine to start then pressed the button before she went in search of Joey. He'd gotten up that morning and had watched cartoons and had breakfast with the kids, but once she'd been up and awake enough to take over he'd disappeared into the den to work on the computer.
"Joe?" She looked at the time and wondered if he was even still in the den.
"What babe?" Joey called from the den.
She rolled her eyes at his babe comment and pulled her purse over her arm. She dodged Nikita at her feet and checked on the kids in the living room one last time before she went in search of Joey. "I'm gonna run out and do some errands. Will you listen for Trey and make sure that the kids are ok?"
"Sure," he said. "Can you bring me Trey's walkie-talkie?"
"Sure," she said and grabbed up the extension and brought it into the den where he was sitting in front of the computer playing video games.
"That's gonna rot your brain honey," she said and leaned to kiss the top of his head. His eyes never left the screen, but he turned to kiss her slightly. "Remember to press pause when you go check on the kids."
"Ok," he said and leaned back to look at her and puckered his lips for a kiss.
She started to walk out and knew that if she didn't bug him that he'd sit there the whole day, "Joe?"
"I'm turning this off in a second anyway." He moved the mouse around on the computer a little, "I think Justin's gonna stop by for a little daddy practice. Meredith is kicking him out of the house one afternoon a week for the next month so she can get some peace and quiet around there since he's hovering."
"Well tell him I say hello." Nikita appeared at her feet and she picked him up and carried him down the short hallway still talking, "Maybe if I get back quick I'll make you guys an early dinner. That is, if Justin can force himself to eat star-shaped chicken nuggets and some peas and carrots."
"I'll tell him that all dads eat that and he'll scarf it up like a dog," Joey said and took the opportunity to shut down the computer. He came out of the den behind her with the walkie-talkie in his hand, "Where all are you going?"
"Publix for food then I was gonna run down to the mall I think--" She opened up the back door and put Nikita out then turned and smiled, "--and look for some new sheets for the kids rooms. They're getting a little old."
Kelly nodded nervously and prayed that he wouldn't realize that she was lying to him. She probably would hit the mall to see if there were new sheets at Pottery Barn Kids for them, but she also was making a side trip to the UCF campus to talk to the adult education department. It wasn't that she really wanted to keep this from him, but she needed to decide about this for herself before she let anyone else in on things.
She smiled, "I'll have all the fun without you."
"I'm sure you will."
As she was pulling out of the driveway Justin was pulling in. She stopped the car to say hello and found him looking really disappointed.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
He took off his sunglasses and frowned at her, "I wanted to do Daddy Duty with Joe."
"You will," she said with a laugh, "I have to run around town a little so I'm leaving the rest of the Fatones under your supervision. Make sure my husband doesn't play too much Halo while I'm gone."
Justin chuckled a little, "Meredith says hello and wants to have lunch with you any time you're free."
"Tell her to give me a call any day. If I can get a sitter maybe we can have a civilized meal."
"Will do," Justin said with a little salute as she pulled the rest of the way out of the driveway.
It took her a little less than a half hour to get to the UCF campus. She'd planned to go there last, but as she was driving near the Publix parking lot she knew she should do it first before she had an excuse to take whatever frozen food she'd bought back to the house.
Even after she decided to actually go onto campus she passed the front entrance three times back and forth before she actually turned in towards the guard gate. When she had rolled her window down and the guard came to speak with her she found herself extremely nervous.
"Can I help you?"
"I'm looking for the adult education center?"
"Sure," the guard said, "It's in Miller Hall about half way across campus. You can park in visitor's parking and take the path over there." He pointed out the position of where they were on the map and where the hall was. "It's still winter break for everyone, but there should be someone in that department. If there isn't the number of the department is listed on the bottom of the map in case you want to leave them a phone message.
"Thanks," Kelly said and turned the car into a parking spot a few feet away from the guard booth. She looked around for a moment before starting down the path that would lead her to Miller Hall.
Five minutes later
she found herself on the ground floor of Miller Hall opening the
"Yes?" the receptionist looked up at her with a surprised look on her face.
"I'm sorry. I know it said that the office wasn't open for another half hour, but I was wondering if I could get a brochure on your adult education program?"
"Sure," the woman said, "They're all over there." She pointed to a set of shelves that held all kinds of sheets of papers on it. "Was there a particular program you were looking into?"
"Accounting?" Kelly said, "Or maybe book keeping or something of that nature."
"That would be under the math department then." The girl got up and came around.
"Oh you don't have to--" Kelly said.
"Don't worry about it," she said, "It's been a slow afternoon since most of the students here are on Christmas Break still. I'm sorry if I gave you such a horrible look when you came in, but I almost didn't expect to see another soul today."
"I forgot about it being Christmas break still," Kelly said.
The girl collected up a stack of papers for her. "Let me get you a folder to put these in and I'll give you the card of our Adult Education Coordinator. He's a great guy and definitely will be answer any questions you have. He's not in the office right now since it's the lunch hour, but he'll be back this afternoon and tomorrow morning if you want to speak with him." She worked quickly organizing the paperwork then stapled a business card to the folder before she handed over the information.
"Thanks," Kelly said with a wave and sighed a sigh of relief. Just getting information was something that she'd thought would take a little effort, but it seemed as if this was meant to be considering that she'd come during the lunch hour and yet someone was still there to help her out.
Closing the garage door, Kelly pulled her purse from the car seat next to her and closed up the car. She found her way to the door and felt insanely excited about seeing the kids. She hadn't been away from them that long, but by the time she'd turned into the neighborhood she'd found herself wanting to run all the stop signs and get to them. Shopping that afternoon and the experience of being at the college had gotten her excited, but being away from the kids for the afternoon didn't happen often and she was glad to be home.
"Colton? Brianna? Joe?" she called out as she entered the house. She could hear the television on, but there was no sign of them in the kitchen. She was disappointed that they hadn't heard the garage door and had coming running to the door the way that they did when Joey came home from working. "Trey?"
"Mommy!" She saw Colton on the small couch with a blanket over him and a pillow under his head. She thought for a moment that he'd been sick, but as soon as he could he'd pushed back the covers and she saw him disappear behind the far edge of the breakfast bar before she heard feet on the floor.
Another set of little feet hit the floor then a loud groan filled the air before she heard Brianna's high pitched voice yell, "Mommy!"
Dropping her purse onto the counter Kelly grabbed up the two kids who'd wrapped their arms around her legs to set them on the counter to hug them both at the same time. "How was your afternoon?" she asked looking them over a little to make sure neither of them had broken anything or had gotten bruised running into something. She knew that Joey could take care of them just fine, but she wanted to check them over a little for herself. "I missed you."
"Shh," Brianna said putting a finger to her mouth.
Colton laughed and mimicked his sister, "Daddy's sleepin'."
She stood on her toes and saw Joey sitting up from where he'd clearly been lying down. He stretched his arms above his head. "Did you run Daddy around in circles today and make him need a nap?"
"He said a head hurt," Brianna said, "We watch a mobee wif Gampa Joe.".
"You did?" she asked with an excited voice. "Grandpa must have had fun with you if Daddy had to take a nap. She kissed Brianna's forehead then moved to see Joey. "Joe you ok?"
"Yeah," he said, "I've got a little bit of a headache, but nothing huge." He smiled at her. "How was shopping and stuff?" He glanced at the clock, "You weren't gone that long?"
"Good," she said with a smile, "Where's my little guy?"
Joey got to his feet and turned to the left and right to crack his back. He rubbed his eyes then smiled, "He conked out a while ago and hasn't made a peep since."
"Is he upstairs?" she asked.
"Nope," he said and lifted the carrier just as a wail came out of Trey's mouth.
"Oh," she said and moved to put the kids on the floor again before she went to see what was going on with Trey. "Was he good today?"
Joey handed over the carrier with a smile and leaned and kissed her. "He puked right after you left, but after that he's been fine. I think he's got a little bit of a fever, but you said that he gets that way because of his teeth so--"
"Did he puke or did he spit up?"
"It was probably just spit up," Joey said and rolled his eyes. "I'm talking about baby vomit right now."
"And you love it Mr. Mom," she said.
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Thanks again to AmyK.