I wanted them there twenty-four hours a day under normal circumstances, but I started to see the error of my ways. There are some situations that do not condone having your fingers in a vagina. Like when you're getting an oil change, having your teeth cleaned, or when your four-year-old is in the room.
The only saving grace was the fact that the couch faced away from the hallway. Right now all he could see was the back of my head and Claire's mortified face.
"Um, Daddy needed a hug," Claire replied.
"Ooooh I wanna give Daddy a hug!"
"NO!" we both screamed.
Claire looked down at her lap and then back up to my face with a look of panic.
I just shrugged. I refused to move my fingers now. What if Gavin wanted to shake my hand? I know that's not a very four-year-old thing to do but Jesus H. Christ! He would need therapy for years after that.
I tipped my head back as far as it would go, so I could see an upside-down Gavin standing there absently kicking his toe into the carpet.
"Hey, buddy, can you do me a favor? In my room on my dresser is a whole bunch of money. Can you carry it into your room and put it into your new piggy bank?" I suggested.
His eyes got big and he started bouncing on his feet.
"Yes! I LOVE money!"
With that, he turned and ran down the hall. We could hear the jingle of change as he scooped it off my dresser and took it to his room.
We finally relaxed when we realized it would keep him busy long enough for us to get our act together, or at least for me to get my fingers out of Claire’s vagina.
She slid off my lap and collapsed next to me on the couch while we listened to the clunk of coins being dropped into the ceramic pig and another verse of "Bad Bromance".
"I really need to teach him some better music. Like Zeppelin or The Beatles," I said as I shifted the problem in my pants to a more comfortable position.
"Actually, I was thinking about recording our own Kidz Bop album. Except I'd called it Kidz Bop – The Forbidden Songs," she said with a smile.
"That's a stellar idea. That kid has been loafing off of you long enough. It's time he gets a job."
She nodded with a serious face.
"This is true. He's already got "S&M" down pat. Maybe we could throw in a little "Golddigger" from Kanye."
"I think he might sell more if he did some rap," I said. "'Bitches Ain't Shit' or 'Ninety-Nine Problems.' We just need to teach him a little more attitude."
While we laughed, Gavin ran back to the living room.
"You got eleventy-seven nickels, Daddy-O. Go buy me some beef turkey for lunch, dicky."
I guess we could skip the attitude lessons.
As the next couple of days went by, all I could do was thank God for Carter. He helped me with everything he could and took Gavin off my hands every single night when he got home from work. Well, almost every night. He took a night off when Liz offered to keep Gavin overnight so we could finally have some alone time without the fear of another dick kick. I swore Liz to secrecy with that story but I'm pretty sure Carter knew the jig was up when she started asking him random questions like "Hey Carter, have you seen that new movie "Donkey Punch" yet?" or "Claire and I were thinking about taking a kick-boxing class, what do you think Carter?"
I was happy to find out that the sex between us was just as awesome when we were alone and didn't have to fear that a child would walk in on us at any moment. I earned five gold stars that night in "Blow Jobs 101" and did not get kicked out of class. Or in the face.
I drastically cut my hours back at the bar, so I had more time to get everything ready for the store opening. Basically, right now, I worked when I could. If I had a few hours of free time, I gave them a call to see if they could use me. Even though it wasn't my dream job and I never planned on being there forever, it was still bittersweet not spending every night there. The Fosters had been good to me, giving me a job, no questions asked, when I showed up five years ago as a college drop-out and pregnant.
I cried like a baby when I called up there last night and T.J. told me they didn't need me. That bar was my home away from home and held so many memories. My water broke in the storage room when I was grabbing a bottle of vodka. Gavin took his first steps over by the door when my dad brought him by for lunch one afternoon. But most importantly, it was where I found Carter again.
The bar was right down the street from the store, and I knew I'd still spend a lot of time in there; it was just strange not to be there every day. I'd be lying if I said a big part of my sadness wasn't also due to the absence of P.O.R.N in my life. However, T.J. came through with flying colors while I stocked the front cooler of my store with chocolate last night. I heard the door chime behind me and figured it was Carter stopping by with Gavin. As soon as I turned around I was hit right in the face with three ping-pong balls. T.J. screamed something about how I'd never had that many balls smack me in the face while I was sober and then turned and ran out the door.
I spent the rest of the evening drafting up a couple of new rules for P.O.R.N, one of which included a penalty shot if multiple balls were handled without prior approval. A cup would be placed on a table, a ball would be thrown and if it made it into the cup, you were in the clear. However, if the ball failed to land in said cup, the thrower of the ball had to take a direct shot to the face. I called this the "Cupping of the Balls" rule.