394,629
07.03.2019

He did as I asked, however, he didn’t leave the room before he shut the door. Now he was locked in a small, enclosed space with me while I tried to take a piss. And now he was staring at my junk. Okay, this wasn't awkward at all.

"Um, Gavin can you look somewhere else? Oh hey, look at that duck in the tub. That's pretty cool."

Still staring. Was this something I should be concerned with?

"Wow, Carter. You've got a HUGE wiener."

Suddenly, Gavin being in the bathroom with me didn’t seem so bad. If only he could have been in the bathroom with me in eighth grade and passed that little tidbit around for Penny Frankles to hear, I might not have gone to the eight grade graduation dance solo.

I finished pissing, zipped up my pants and flushed the toilet, all while trying not to pat myself on the back. Yeah, I had a huge wiener. You bet your sweet ass I did. I almost needed a wheelbarrow to carry it around. And because a toddler said it, it must have been true.

We got back to the table and I couldn't keep the shit-eating grin off of my face.

"What are you smiling about? Do you have gas?" Drew joked.

"Hey, Mommy, Carter has a HUGE wiener," Gavin said around a mouthful of cookie, holding his hands up in the air about three feet apart, like you do when you're telling someone how big the fish is you just caught.

Claire quickly reached over and pushed Gavin's arms down while everyone else at the table laughed. I just sat back and smiled and tried to keep my anaconda penis tucked under the table so it wouldn't scare anyone.

"Hey, Uncle Drew, you wanna hear a dirty joke?" Gavin asked excitedly.

"I don't know, will it get you punched?" Drew replied seriously. It was almost touching how concerned Drew was with getting Gavin in trouble.

"The pig fell in the mud and walked across the street to the dirt and then climbed the roof!" Gavin shouted, falling immediately into a fit of giggles at his "dirty joke".

Everyone chuckled at Gavin's attempt at humor – except Drew.

"Dude, that wasn't funny at all," Drew said with a straight face.

"You wanna piece of me?" Gavin shouted, holding his little fist up in the air at him.

"Alright, that's enough. Gavin, go put your pajamas on, and I'll be in shortly to read you a story," Claire told him.

Gavin scampered down off the chair, giving one last threatening look to Drew before running to his room. Five pairs of eyes all turned their attention to Drew.

"What?" he asked. "It wasn't funny and I totally didn't get it."

"Okay Claire," Liz said, turning her face away from Drew, probably so she wouldn't feel the need to choke him. "Time for the real show. Tell us what you've got here," she said, pointing to all the trays on the table.

Claire went around the table pointing out what each item was. Snicker Surprise cookies, homemade turtles, Pretzel Turtles, White Chocolate Buckeyes, white and milk chocolate covered potato chips, pretzels, cashews, peanuts, raisins, rice krispies, bacon and a cookie called a Cranberry Hootycreek – which Drew kept calling a Hooterpeep.

Everything was amazing and I think we were all in a sugar coma by the time we sampled everything. Jenny circled the table and snapped a few pictures of everything for the advertisements before we inhaled the stuff and Claire blushed a bright shade of red at all the compliments we threw at her.

"I definitely got some good pictures, Claire. I think for the front cover of the brochure we should pacifically focus on the chocolate-covered stuff," she explained.

"You mean specifically?" Jim asked.

"That's what I said," she replied. "Pacifically."

"Hey, Claire, can I come with you to put Gavin to bed?" I asked, hoping to divert the attention from Jenny’s weird use of the English language.

Her face lit up with my question which instantly made me grateful I had the foresight to ask.

We left everyone to clean up the dining room table and walked back to Gavin's room to find him asleep on top of his toy box. I laughed as soon as I saw him.

"Don't laugh," she whispered with a smile on her face. "That's not the funniest place I've seen him fall asleep. I've got an entire photo album dedicated to his sleeping habits. On the back of the couch like a cat, sitting up at the dinner table, face down at the dinner table, under the Christmas tree in a pile of toys, in his closet, on the toilet…you name it he's fallen asleep on it. He's like a horse. He can practically fall asleep standing up. Jim gave him the Indian name of Chief Sleepsanywhere and Liz recently changed it to Captain Narcolepsy."

She moved quietly into the room and scooped his little body up easily, placing a kiss to his head as she walked over to his bed. I leaned against the door jam, trying not to get too sentimental and girly at just how sweet it was to see her taking care of him. She covered him up with a blanket, smoothed back the hair off of his head and kissed him again before turning around and walking to me.

"So, Mr. Ellis, how freaked out are you right now by all of this domesticated parenting crap?" she asked.

There was a smile on her face as she stood right in front of me but I could tell it was just there for show. She really was nervous about how I was handling all of this. I glanced over her shoulder at the little boy that was fast asleep in his bed and my heart started beating faster. I had an undeniable urge to grab onto him and never let him go, to protect him from anything bad that might come his way and to shelter him from scary things like the boogey man and clowns.

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