Some Good Reasons 6
Joey pulled the big box of Honeycombs across the table and threw a few onto the tray in front of Trey before he poured himself a bowl and grabbed for the milk. For a moment he had flashbacks of when he and the guys would crowd around the table at Justin's mom's house and fight over milk and cereal. His life definitely was a lot different than a few years before, but what he would have thought years before would have scared him half to death, now was what his home-life was all about.
"You know what?"
"Hmm?" He looked over at Colton who was sitting in his booster chair eating cereal out of a brightly colored bowl.
"I learneded a new joke," his son smiled devilishly at Joey as milk dribbled down his chin.
Joey reached across the table instinctively and grabbed a napkin and wiped his son’s face. “Maybe you should wait to talk until you swallow big guy.”
Colton nodded then smiled, “Wanna hear the joke?”
“It depends on what kind of joke it is,” Joey said.
“It’s a good one,” Colton’s eyes lit up with excitement.
Joey looked up at Kelly across the kitchen and got a warning look from his wife. "And where did you learn your joke?" he asked.
"Uncle JC tolded it to me."
He relaxed a little knowing that JC usually wasn’t the one that would tell the kids inappropriate jokes. Sometimes the guys in the crew would be cracking jokes and the kids would overhear them or Chris would be on the phone and tell a joke or something, but JC normally could censor himself in the presence of children. "Go ahead and tell it then," Joey said.
"Knock knock," Colton said.
“You answer Joe,” Kelly said with an amused smile.
Joe cleared his throat, wiped his mouth and gave Trey some more cereal before turning back towards his son. "Who's there?"
"Youwanta nother--" Colton's face turned pink. "I mean Youwanta."
"Youwanta who?" Joey played along.
"Youwanta nother burger?"
Kelly laughed a little. "That's a good one sweetie," she said.
“It was so funny that Chris spit his drink out his nose like this—“ Colton blew air noisily through his nose, but all that came out was snot.
“Ewwee,” Kelly said with disgust.
“Big guy,” Joey said reaching over to wipe his nose with another napkin, “Next time leave out the nose part.”
When he looked up and found Kelly watching him he got a little nervous. There was a strange look in her eyes that worried him. “You ok hon?” he asked.
“Who would have thought you’d be sitting at the table here with these kids feeding Trey sugar cereal and wiping Colton’s snotty nose.”
“I know,” he said and tried to make the atmosphere lighter, “Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!”
His eyes moved to Colton. “Kiddo, eat your cereal, don’t play with it.”
“You’ve got this under control,” Kelly said, “Maybe I’ll take a week off and go on vacation.”
“NO!” he said and Colton and Brianna joined him in that answer.
“Mom-mee,” Brianna started to instantly cry as if Kelly was disappearing right then.
“I’m not going anywhere baby,” she said.
Brianna moved her arms up from her seat on the far side of Joey and Kelly went over and picked her up and hugged her, wiping the tears from her cheeks.
“I don’t think you slept in enough this morning Jelly Bean,” Kelly said as Brianna clutched her around her neck.
“I’m sorry about—“
“You aren’t nervous about watching the kids are you?” she asked.
“A little,” he said, “I mean I can do it, I know that, but if you up and went away I’m not sure that I could cope with the 24 hour a day kind of thing that you do.”
“Is that supposed to be an insult or a compliment?” she asked.
“Compliment,” he said and looked at her a little sideways, “You do this stuff like second nature and for me it’s harder to get back into the groove of taking care of them.”
“Oh,” she said and moved away from the table. “Are you done Brianna?”
“Yeah,” she said then stuck her thumb in her mouth.
“Jelly Bean,” Kelly said and pulled her thumb from her mouth, “Wash your hands before you suck on your thumb.” She sighed, “You probably shouldn’t even be sucking your thumb in the first place.”
“No,” Kelly said playfully back to her.
“I’m gonna go grab a shower.”
“Take Colton with you.”
“In the shower?”
“Yeah,” she said, “He needs a bath.”
“In the shower?” he repeated.
“I take Brianna in the shower all the time,” Kelly said, “They like it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Joe, don’t argue with me on this. Just take him in the shower with you and wash him off.”
“If you say so.” He went to reach for Colton who came up into his arms easily, “You ready for a bath kiddo?”
Joey sighed and prayed this wasn’t going to be too hard. “Well Mommy says you’re getting one anyway.”
“No buts,” Kelly joked, “Except getting your butt in the shower with daddy and getting you cleaned up.”
Colton wiggled a little, but eventually settled down.
It didn’t take long to get Colton up to the shower, but once he got him there he wasn’t sure what to do with him. He’d seen the kid take baths before and that seemed easy enough, but showering with the little guy was going to be tricky, or so he thought.
As Joey left Kelly stacked the dishes in the sink then moved to clean up Brianna and Trey who both seemed to have gotten Honeycombs stuck in their hair.
“Ok Kiddo, bathtime for you too,” Kelly said.
“No,” Brianna state firmly.
“Not a real one sweetie, but we’ve got to clean up your face and your hands and your arms then go pick out clothes for today so that you can go to Suzy’s house for her party.”
“Yep,” Kelly said smiling at her daughter as she wiped her hand across her face. Brianna’s gloom and doom expression that had manifested itself on her cheeks and mouth when bathtime was mentioned now turned into the excited “in-awe” kind of an expression as if Kelly had just done a magic trick. “Suzy’s birthday is today and her mommy said that she could have friends over to play so we’re gonna get you cleaned up and go over to her house and take her the present we bought her last week.”
Brianna’s hands and face were cleaned then Trey was cleaned up too, although most of his breakfast was still on his tray due to the fact that Joey hadn’t realized that Trey was still having trouble grasping onto things so giving him cereal like that really only was a distraction and not a meal for the youngest of the bunch.
Going upstairs Kelly carried Trey in her arms and held onto Brianna’s hand on the stairs. As they passed the master bedroom she could hear the shower on and heard half of a conversation with her husband and son.
“Colton, hold onto the wall so you don’t slip.” A laugh came out of their bedroom, “Ok, fine sit down.”
“My butt,” Colton laughed.
“Your butt what?” Joey said back.
“Is Cold!” There was a noise of something falling over, probably the extra shampoo bottles that wouldn’t fit on the shelf. “You sit too!”
“Oh no,” Joey said, “This is a shower. You stand in the shower. Besides. If I sat down I don’t think I could get up again.”
“You silly daddy.”
“Don’t I know it,” Joey laughed a little more.
“Mommy!” Brianna said finally pulling her away from her eavesdropping. “Paw-ty.”
“Ok,” Kelly said, “Ok.”