Fuck, this was going to throw me into a panic attack.
"Are we going to Auntie Wiz’s house?" Gavin asked from the backseat, looking out his window at the cars and houses we passed.
I looked at him in the rearview mirror and reminded myself that whatever I did was all for him. He deserved the best life, and I was determined to give that to him.
"No, bud, we're not going to her house. But we are going to see her," I told him as I pulled up in front of the building a few minutes later.
I sat in the car for a minute staring at our building. It was right on the corner and windows took up the entire front of the store, wrapping around to take up the whole other side as well. It was the perfect corner store where we could each have our own window displays. Andrea’s Bakery had recently been repainted bright white and had brand new flower boxes installed beneath the windows overflowing with Gerbera daisies in every color. It looked beautiful.
Our building, our window displays. Jesus, I'm already thinking of it as mine. Liz is an evil genius and I haven’t even walked inside yet.
Speaking of the she-devil, Liz stepped out of one of the doors, holding it open with her hip.
"Stop gawking and get your ass in here," she yelled out to me, before turning around and walking back inside.
Gavin unfastened his seat belt and tried to open his door but the childproof lock prevented him from doing so.
"Come on, Mommy," he complained. "Auntie Wiz said to get our ass in dare."
"Gavin, language," I said, rolling my eyes at his refusal to listen as I got out and walked around to open his door. I grabbed his hand and helped him jump down out of the car.
"Be good, you got it?" I asked as we walked up onto the sidewalk. "Don't run, don't yell, don't touch anything and stop saying bad words or you're going home to take a nap."
"Naps can suck it."
I will not sell him to gypsies. I will not sell him to gypsies.
A bell dinged above the door as I opened it, and Gavin yanked his hand out of mine to go running into Liz’s arms.
"Ooooooh, my handsome man is here!" Liz squealed as she scooped him up and swung him around. "What's new, little man?" she asked as she set him down on top of the counter next to her.
"Mommy don't feel good today and I got a big wiener!"
Liz barked out a laugh.
"Gavin, please. Enough with the wiener talk," I complained
"But, Mommy, look," he said as he attempted to unbutton his jeans. "My wiener is really big and tall right now and it feels funny."
"Ooookay," I said as I quickly walked over and stopped him from whipping it out. "No one needs to see it and remember what I told you the other night?”
Gavin nodded in understanding and I slid him down off of the counter and told him to go look out the front window to count the cars that go by. When his face and hands were plastered against the window, I turned to face Liz who was silently laughing with her hand over her mouth.
"It's not funny," I hissed at her in a loud whisper. "Why the f**k didn't anyone tell me four-year-olds get woodys? I am not equipped to deal with this shit, Liz."
She wiped tears out of her eyes and looked at me apologetically. "I'm sorry, Claire, but seriously. That is some funny shit right there. Sorry, I know nothing about four-year-old boys. When the hell did it first happen?"
"ONE!" Gavin yelled from in front of the window as a car went by.
"The other night after his bath. He was lying on the floor on his towel and I gave him a book to read while I ran down the hall to get his pajamas out of the dryer," I started.
"TWO!" came another yell from Gavin.
"I walked in the room and he rolled over onto his back and that thing stuck straight up into the air like a lightening rod. It was horrific. He kept smacking at it and saying it felt funny. Jesus Christ, will you stop laughing!"
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry!" Liz gasped in between laughs.
"And of all the books he could have been reading when it happened, it had to be Barney. My son gets a hard-on for f**king BARNEY," I screeched and quickly turned around to make sure Gavin didn't hear me.
Liz was hysterical at this point. Her mouth was closed and her shoulders were shaking. Every time she tried to breathe and not laugh she snorted and then choked.
“Did you ask your dad about it?” she asked between giggles and coughs.
I rolled my eyes before responding as I thought back to the conversation I’d attempted to have with my dad the other morning.
“You know my dad. As soon as I said the word penis he turned and walked out of the room and told me to call my mother. And she was just as much help as you are right now. When I asked her if it was normal she replied “Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?” I hung up on her after ten straight minutes of her doing that hyperventilating laugh thing after I told her about the Barney Boner.”
Liz finally calmed down and we both turned to check and make sure Gavin was still occupied.
"Now every time it happens he wants to show me and say 'Mom! Look at my big wiener!' So I just told him it was normal and it happens to all little boys and it just wasn't something he should go walking around telling people."
Liz patted me on the back and gave me a look of pity. "Well, that's just proof you need a man in your life, Claire. And speaking of men in your life…."