NOTE: This story actually turned into 3 parts instead of 2. So this is the second to last part. Well, I hope you enjoy it. And please take the time to let me know what you thought, I would really appreciate it. Thanks! ~Steph
Disclaimer: "The West Wing" and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, etc. This is just for fun out of a love for the show. No profit is made and no infringement is intended.
* * * Adventures Baby-sitting: Part 2/3 * * *
CJ rubbed at her head and then turned around to face Johnny, Laurie, and Petey. She spoke as pleasantly as possible, "Could you please tell me who threw that ball? It's not nice to throw things at people's heads."
Just then, baby Rachel began to cry. CJ looked imploringly at Sam, Toby and Josh. "Could one of you please take care of Rachel, while I find out which one of them hit me in the head?"
Toby, Sam and Josh pointed their fingers at each other and then responded in unison, "You do it."
Sam sighed and stood up, "I'll be the bigger man and just do it."
Josh shook his head and also stood up, "There's no way I am going to let you be a bigger man than me."
Toby also stood up and placed his arms on their shoulders, "I'm a bigger man than the two of you could ever dream of being, I'll do it."
Josh and Sam raised their eyebrows and watched as Toby nonchalantly walked over to Rachel's bassinet. He gingerly picked her up and held her in his outstretched arms, as the baby wailed. "Look, kid, I'm not your Mom and I'm not your Dad, so I really have no sympathy towards you. Crying is a sign of weakness, so you should learn how to express yourself better. Now-..."
"Toby," Josh said, "She's a baby, it's the only way she can express herself."
Meanwhile, CJ looked at the other children, "Okay, which one of you was it? Who's got such a great aim?"
Toby sighed and looked at Rachel again, "Okay, how about this. Just try being quiet. That'll-..."
Just then, Rachel opened her mouth and let out a stream of projectile vomit that hit Toby right in the face.
Josh and Sam just about fell over laughing. Josh spoke to CJ through chuckles, as he pointed at Rachel. "Hey, CJ, I think we found the culprit. That baby's got *great* aim."
Toby's mouth hung open in disgust. He placed the baby back in the bassinet and wiped at his face in vain, "In the future, you better keep Mount Vesuvius here away from me!"
Sam bit his lip to control his laughter, "If it's any comfort, Toby, I think that shade of green looks lovely on you."
Toby glared at him, "Sam, after all of this time, haven't you learned that it is best not to provoke me when I am already angry?"
Sam nodded, "I'll keep that in mind for next time."
With that, Toby brushed by Sam and Josh, and headed to the bathroom.
CJ scanned the faces of the children, as she knelt down to their level. "I need you guys to tell me who threw the ball. When someone does something wrong, they have to take responsibility for it. I'm not going to get angry, I would just like to know who did it." CJ paused as the children stared at her blankly, she focused on Johnny. "Johnny, you're the oldest, so I think you understand what it means to take responsibility for doing something wrong. Did you throw the ball or do you know who did?"
Johnny smirked, "Look, lady, I'm not going to answer any questions without my lawyer being present."
CJ was taken aback by the intelligence and smugness with which the eight year old spoke. She swallowed hard, "Excuse me? You're only eight, how do you know anything about lawyers?"
Johnny grinned, "My dad's a lawyer, plus I watch 'Matlock' repeats a lot."
Sam chuckled at that, "I love 'Matlock', too. He always tries to act like he doesn't know what's going on, but he always does. And then he has those great outbursts in court. Oh and I love how he always wears those gray suits. Remember the time-..."
CJ shook her head at Sam, as Josh elbowed him. "Sam, CJ is trying to establish the fact that we are the adults here and that our authority must be respected. I really don't think this is the time to reminisce about our crafty, old pal 'Matlock' and his choice of attire."
Sam nodded and then CJ turned back around to speak to the children. However, all three of them were now gone. She rubbed at her forehead, "Great, now we've lost them."
CJ stood up and looked at Josh and Sam. She then looked down at Rachel, who was also covered in vomit. She took a deep breath and then turned away, "One of you is going to have to clean her up."
Sam and Josh's eyes widened and they responded together, "I'm not doing it. You do it, CJ."
CJ shook her head vehemently, "I can't. Anytime I see someone else's vomit, I feel like I have to vomit. My stomach is very sensitive about that. Sorry."
Sam held his hand up to her, "CJ, we really have no problem with you throwing up, as long as you don't do it on us."
CJ smiled slightly, "I think you missed the point, Sam."
"I'm with Sam," Josh nodded.
CJ shook her head, "No way, guys, One of you is cleaning her up. Just because I am a woman, that doesn't mean I am going to do the dirty work. But what I will do is delegate. Sam, you find Laurie and tell Toby to find Johnny when he's done. I'll find Petey and you, Josh, will clean up Rachel."
Josh scowled, "Why do I have to do it?"
"Because you agreed with Sam," CJ said.
"The fact that Sam is the one who came up with the comment to which I agreed means nothing?" Josh asked.
"And I like him better," CJ replied.
Josh shrugged and sighed, "Well, at least you have a good reason."
* * * * *
Sam caught up with Laurie in her bedroom. She was coloring quietly at a small table at the center of her room. Sam walked over to the table and squeezed himself into the tiny chair. He smiled down at her, "Now this is cozy."
She responded without looking up, "You're too big for that chair, you're going to break it."
Sam tried to lean back in the chair and respond casually, "Actually, I'm quite comfortable."
Just then, Sam heard a crack, followed by another and then the chair fell into pieces, leaving him on the floor. Laurie laughed at him, her eyes smiling. Sam grinned, "I think you may have been right about the chair."
Laurie nodded and began to color again. Sam knelt beside her. "So, Laurie, that's a very pretty name. I know someone named Laurie...But she's an adult, a big girl."
"Does she work for grandpa, like you do?" Laurie asked without looking up.
"No, actually, she used to be a pros-..." Sam paused and then spoke softly to himself, "And I just realized that would be extremely inappropriate."
"What would be inappropriate?" she asked.
Sam swallowed hard and spoke without thinking, "Well...um...it would be inappropriate to tell you what she really does, because she's a...a spy."
The girl's eyes widened, "A spy?"
Sam nodded nervously, "Yes, a spy."
"Who does she spy on?"
"Not very nice people, yes."
The girl smiled widely at him and Sam knew he had formed a small bond with her. Of course, he had done so by lying, but he just didn't know how to tell children the truth very well. The little girl spoke, "Cool!....Do you want to finger-paint with me now?"
Sam smiled, "And that means we would be using something other than brushes to paint with?'"
"And that doesn't get messy?"
Laurie smiled, "Oh, it gets messy."
Sam's expression was reluctant, but he couldn't say no as Laurie grabbed his hand and dragged him to her desk.
* * * * *
Josh placed Rachel in the bathing seat in the large kitchen sink. She was still fully clothed and Josh wasn't exactly sure what to do. He smiled at her, "Looks like it's just me and you babe. I'm must say you're looking beautiful today."
Rachel smiled and giggled at Josh. He looked wearily at the items around the sink and then picked up the black hose that extended out to aid in washing dishes. He smiled at his ingenuity, "Here we go now...This isn't so hard."
Josh turned on the water and began to hose down the baby. Rachel laughed as the water tickled her face. Josh smiled, then spontaneously picked up a spoon and began to sing. "Splish, splash I was taking a bath," he paused, "something, something-..." Rachel was enjoying Josh's singing, when it was suddenly interrupted by CJ.
"Joshua, what exactly do you think you're doing?"
"I was cleaning her up, just like you said to."
CJ shook her head and walked closer to him. She gestured to the baby, "Tell me, do you generally bathe fully clothed?"
"Not unless I'm drunk."
"No," he responded softly.
"So then why did you feel the need to bathe a baby while fully clothed?"
Josh shrugged, "I don't know, CJ. I thought you just wanted me to hose her down and then blow dry her or something."
CJ smiled and shook her head, "I wanted you to wipe off her clothes, throw them in the wash, clean any part of her that still needed to be cleaned and then dress her again."
Josh scratched at his head, "I really don't see how I was supposed to know all that. You might want to make your directions a little more clear in the future."
CJ sighed, "Excuse me for assuming that a graduate of Harvard and Yale would know better than to bathe a baby with her clothes on."
Josh smiled, "I didn't take the baby bathing elective, I opted for ceramics instead."
CJ shook her head and left the kitchen. Josh grinned and lowered his face closer to the baby. He whispered to her, "She's always trying to spoil my fun...I think she's just jealous because I have a better singing voice than she does."
* * * * *
A newly cleaned Toby entered Johnny's room. He was sitting on his bed, playing a video game. Toby sat down next to him, "What are you playing?"
"Can I play?"
The boy turned to Toby with a smile, "I think you're too old to play video games."
Toby smirked, "Oh, I don't know. I'm sure I could manage to straighten my arthritic fingers long enough to play a little."
The boy grinned at Toby's sarcasm. Toby knew that he could speak to this kid on a level above what would be expected given his age. He could tell he was smart as a whip...Must be a family trait, he thought.
Johnny threw him a control, reset the game and pressed two players. They began to play the game, which consisted of one-on-one combat.
Toby spoke in irritation after a few minutes, "You're cheating!"
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are. You're not supposed to kick me in the head."
"Your head keeps getting in the way of my foot," he responded.
"Very clever...I guess I know where you get your cheating ways from...I'm not naming names but....GRANDPA!" Toby exclaimed.
Toby looked at him accusingly, as Johnny shook his head. "My grandpa doesn't cheat."
"Oh, yes, he does. He cheats at tennis, at basketball...I would have been suspicious about the election if I hadn't been directly involved," Toby stated.
Johnny sighed and paused the game. He turned to Toby, "Oh, you're one of *those* kind of guys."
"What...What are you talking about?" Toby asked nervously.
"You're the kind of guy who tries to blame everything on everyone else. You're never wrong, you never do anything wrong, you can't admit when you're wrong. You take everything seriously and you haven't cracked a smile since you were my age," Johnny said.
Toby was startled by the boy's accurate depiction of him. He responded weakly, "I smile."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do...I just do it sparingly."
"See, you never think you're wrong."
The boy then unpaused the game and a few moments later said with a grin, '"I won."
He then got up and walked out of the bedroom, while Toby yelled after him. "This game is under protest!...And...and I can admit when I am wrong!"
* * * * *
CJ had searched the entire house for Petey, to no avail. She finally decided to try the backyard, which, wisely, was fenced in. She walked outside and found the little boy sitting on the lawn with a fistful of grass. He also had a few blades falling ut of his mouth. CJ shook her head and sat down next to him. "Petey, you shouldn't leave the house without telling someone first."
"Okay, " he said through his mouthful.
"And you shouldn't be eating grass. It'll make you sick."
"But I like grass."
"Grass isn't for children to eat. Are you hungry?"
"Then why don't we go find something to eat inside, okay?"
The boy nodded, but then sat still. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Where do babies come from?"
CJ's eyes widened, "I'll look into it...Okay, that's all for today. I'll answer any other questions at our next briefing."
The boy tilted his head in confusion, "Huh?"
CJ blushed, "Oh sorry, I forgot who I was talking to for a moment. That's what I always say at my job when I don't want to answer something."
The boy nodded, his question seemingly forgotten, as a young child is prone to do. "Okay, let's go eat," he said.
* * * * *
Sam had spread newspapers all over Laurie's bedroom floor and then she had placed several pieces of white paper on top of them. She and Sam were now sitting next to each other on the floor, their legs stretched out in front of them. There were four jars of paint open next to Laurie. She smiled at him. "Okay, take off your shoes and socks."
Sam's eyes widened, "Take off my shoes and socks?...Why would I do that?"
"So we could paint."
"With my feet?"
"With your toes."
"Oh," Sam said, "Your grandpa mentioned that to me about you, I was kind of hoping he was joking."
Laurie shook her head, "Nope, no joke."
"I have an idea," Sam said, trying to sound enthusiastic, "How about we put on rubber gloves and smocks, then we go find some paint brushes and we can paint with them. So that way we won't get messy and my toes will stay...paint free...Doesn't that so sound like fun?"
The little girl frowned at Sam and gave him sad, puppy dog eyes. He sighed, "Oh no, not the puppy dog face...I can't resist the puppy dog face."
Laurie smiled and began to untie Sam's shoes, "Good!"
Once Sam had taken his shoes and socks off, Laurie pointed at a paper plate with paint on it. "Okay, dip your toes in it."
Sam looked at her in confusion, "Aren't you going to take your shoes and socks off and do it with me?"
The little girl shook her head back and forth, "No, I don't feel like getting dirty."
Sam sighed, "Then wait a minute, I-..."
Sam's sentence was interrupted by Toby entering the room, totally oblivious to what was going on. He knelt beside him, "Sam, do you think I can't admit when I am wrong?"
Sam spoke cautiously, "Well...I've never seen you do it, but I have faith that you could if you really put your mind to it."
"I can admit when I am wrong, Sam....Remember that time...You know that time...," Toby's voice trailed off.
"Sure you do...Remember when I insisted that the first Darren on 'Bewitched' was the real life half-brother of the second Darren on 'Bewitched', only they had different last names because they had different fathers? Remember? I admitted I was wrong when you convinced me they weren't."
"No, that's not the way I remember it."
"Sure it is."
"No, I seem to remember you having to call up the woman who played the little girl, Tabitha, and asking her. Then, and only then, did you begrudgingly admit you were wrong," Sam replied.
"Okay, so I like to have solid proof before I admit I'm wrong...There's nothing wrong with that," Toby said.
"You mean you need to have concrete, indisputable, beyond a shadow of a doubt proof."
"That's what I said."
Sam nodded, not paying attention to Toby any longer. Toby finally noticed that newspaper was all over the floor and that Sam's feet were bare. He looked at him with puzzlement etched into his features, "What the hell are you doing?"
Sam smiled, "Laurie and I are toe-painting."
"Toe-painting? You're toe-painting? What's the matter with you?" Toby asked in disbelief.
"Nothing...My pal, Laurie, and I just having a little fun."
Toby tilted his head and looked at the bottom of Sam's feet, "Well, did you happen to notice that 'your pal, Laurie', has painted the soles of your feet a lovely variety of colors?"
Sam's eyes widened in horror and he brought one of his feet up to look at it. Laurie smiled, "Don't they look pretty?"
Sam managed a weak smile, "Yeah, great...Just great."
Toby smiled at Laurie, "You've got some real talent there, Laurie...You're a real Picasso...But if you ever consider cutting off your ear, try cutting off one of Sam's first, I'm sure he wouldn't notice."
Sam scowled at Toby, who just laughed and walked out of the room. Laurie smiled mischievously and whispered to Sam, "Do you think I should have told him I painted the bottom of his shoes, too?"
Sam's eyebrows peaked in surprise, realizing that Toby was about to make quite a mess. But then he just smiled and shook his head, thinking Toby deserved whatever lashing he'd receive from CJ. Luckily, the whole house was composed of wood floors and this was washable paint.
"Nah, I think we'll let Toby discover that one for himself," Sam said. Laurie giggled and nodded in agreement.
Then Sam stood up and began to walk on the paper, making different designs with his feet. He grinned down at Laurie, "I must admit, this is strangely relaxing and therapeutic."
* * * * *
"There is almost no food in this house," CJ said as she slammed another kitchen cabinet door closed. She had searched all of the cabinets and the refrigerator, only to be rewarded with half a carton of milk, three eggs, four sticks of butter and about 100 boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
She guessed that Valerie really had *just* moved in and hadn't yet stocked up on food. She sighed, as she grabbed six boxes of macaroni and cheese, hopefully enough to feed all eight of them.
CJ looked around the kitchen wearily. She had no idea where anything was...And, to make matters worse, she could barely boil a pot of water. CJ always had preferred take-out.
She scrambled around the kitchen, beneath the watchful gaze of Petey. She finally found a large pot, filled it with water, placed it on a burner and turned it up to high. She smiled at Petey, "Lunch will be ready soon. See? Now this baby-sitting stuff isn't so hard."
Just as CJ spoke, she heard a loud thumping noise coming from the basement. She sighed, "I have got to stop saying things like that."
She took Petey's hand and they walked down to the basement. As they stepped off of the last stair, they stepped into a stream of soapy water. CJ's eyes widened and she lifted her head only to find Josh ankle deep in bubbles, with a diapered Rachel in his arms. He smiled slightly at her. "I kind of had an accident."
"Joshua!" CJ screamed, "What happened?!"
"Okay, before you start yelling at me, just remember that *you* told me to wash the baby's clothes."
"Yes, yes I did. I said wash them, not flood the basement!"
Josh shrugged, "I was just trying to be clear."
CJ spoke through clenched teeth, "What happened?!"
"Okay, but it's important for you to remember that this could have happened to any one of us...I could certainly see this happening to Sam," Josh said nervously.
"Josh," CJ said in a warning tone.
"Well, I came down here with her dirty clothes, placed them in the washing machine, poured some...a lot...of laundry detergent in and then I turned the knob to 'heavy'. Now, I can't get the water to stop flowing out and..."
"You did what?"
He spoke hesitantly, "I...can't get the water to stop flowing?"
"Before that," CJ said with a tight jaw.
Josh said softly, "I...turned the knob to heavy."
CJ rolled her eyes, "Josh, you don't turn the knob to heavy if you only have two small items of baby clothes in it!"
"See, now I didn't know that."
"How could you not know that?"
"I dry clean."
"Do you dry clean your underwear, too?"
"No, I usually just throw them out when they get dirty."
"Okay, okay, so I let this old lady across the hall from me wash my clothes. She wants to, she enjoys it...I make an old woman happy, that's got to count for something."
"You know it would, if I weren't standing in six inches of soapy water right now hating you!" CJ exclaimed.
"Look at it this way, now you won't have to shine those nice shoes you have on," Josh said with a grin.
CJ spoke through clenched teeth, as she flung herself in his direction. "These are suede, you idiot!"
Josh grinned and managed to use the baby as a shield to block CJ. She instinctively took the baby in her arms, as she watched a scurrying Josh fall to the ground. He sat up, his entire body now covered in bubbles.
CJ smiled down at him, "Look at it this way, now you won't have to pay to get those clothes dry cleaned." She then added seriously, "Clean this up, fix it...Do whatever you have to do."
She then walked to the stairs, took Petey's hand in her free one and continued upstairs.
* * * * *
When CJ reached the top of the stairs, she was shocked to see a series of red, blue and green footprints leading all the way down the hall and to the living room. "What now?!" she screamed.
CJ walked to the living room and found Toby napping on the couch. She walked over to him, realizing that the footprints lead to him. She placed Rachel in her bassinet and let go of Petey's hand. Then CJ shook Toby with very little care. He woke up and glared at her. "What do you want?"
CJ pointed at the footprints, "I really don't think it was your place to redecorate, Toby!"
Toby was still a little sleepy, so he responded with a, "Huh?...Wha?"
CJ grabbed him by the collar, "The paint! You had paint on your shoes and now it's on the floors!"
Toby looked at her in shock and then at the floors, "I'm going to kill Sam!"
"No, no, before you kill Sam you're going to clean this mess up. Might I suggest finding a bucket and filling it up with the soapy water in the basement that is hopefully drowning Josh as we speak?!"
Toby barely heard her, he was so angry with Sam right then. He quickly got up and headed to the stairs. CJ yelled after him, "The shoes! Toby your shoes!"
Toby didn't hear her and just kept on walking. CJ tangled her fingers into her hair and looked down at the Petey, "Stay a child forever. Children are much smarter than adults."
* * * * *
Toby stormed into Laurie's room ready to kick some Sam butt, but was pleasantly surprised instead. He found Sam sprawled out on the floor, quite obviously asleep. Laurie was now painting his ankles and Johnny had joined her. He was using his paint-covered fingers to draw streaks across Sam's face. Sam already had red lines on his forehead, a blue nose and green cheeks. Toby grinned, "Mind if I join in the fun?"
Johnny held up the plate with the paint to him and smiled, "Dig in."
Toby sat down and dipped his fingers into the black paint. He then proceeded to paint a goatee under Sam's lips and around his chin. Toby laughed in delight.
Sam stirred and mumbled in his sleep, "That feels nice...Thanks, Mom."
Toby wrinkled his nose and spoke to Johnny, "I don't even want to know what *that* was about."
Toby was just about to give Sam some black eye shadow, when CJ came into the room. Her mouth fell open, "What have you guys done to, Sam?"
Toby smiled, "We gave him a makeover."
Just then, Sam slowly opened his eyes. He looked groggily at all of the people that surrounded him. "Hi, guys. What's going on?"
Toby shrugged, "Oh nothing, we were just finger-painting."
Sam looked suspiciously at Toby, "Oh, that's nice."
Sam then stood up and caught a glance of himself in the mirror, "Oh my God."
Toby grinned, "Have I ever told you that those shades of red, green, blue and black look lovely on you, Sam?"
Sam turned around and glared at him, "Toby!"
With that, Sam chased Toby out of the room.
CJ followed them with a large sigh. She was just about to enter the kitchen when it struck her, "The pot of water!"
Of course, it was too late by then. Once she entered the kitchen, she could see that much of the floor was covered in a very large puddle.
Before CJ could say or do anything, the doorbell began to ring. Josh rushed up the basement stairs covered in bubbles, hoping that it was a plumber sent from God to help him. Sam also rushed to the door, hoping to escape from the house via it, as Toby was now chasing him. Josh and Sam converged at the door and began to pull at the knob.
They heard voices from the other side, "Josh, it's me, Donna," and then, "Sam, it's Mallory."
Josh and Sam scrambled to unlock the door and finally pulled it open. They smiled when they saw Donna and Mallory, who, in turn, looked quite shocked by their appearances. Josh pulled Donna to him in a fierce hug, as Sam clung to Mallory.
Josh finally pulled back and grinned at Donna. "You came, you came to save me," he said desperately.
"What is the matter with you? Why are you all wet?" Donna asked.
"None of that matters now, all that matters is that you're here to save me." Josh's eyes widened as he realized that Donna was carrying a few bags of microwaveable popcorn. "And you brought food....We have no food here...Bless you."
Donna looked at Josh as if he were crazy, and she wasn't too far off. She shook her head at him. "I am not here to 'save you', Josh. My date canceled, so I figured I'd come over here to be entertained. The popcorn is for *me* to eat...I always need a snack during entertainment. Looks like you guys won't disappoint me."
Josh's face fell, as Donna walked past him. Josh raised his eyes to the ceiling, "I ask for a plumber and you give me the assistant from hell. Thank you very much." Josh just stood there, shaking his head.
Mallory looked at Sam in confusion, "Sam, why do you look like an art gallery exploded on you?"
Sam shook his head dejectedly, '"I tried, Mal. I tried to get along with these kids. I even made friends with the little girl. And I lied to her...I did, I lied to her, just like I said I would...I told her that Laurie was a spy instead of a prostitute...And then she, Johnny and Toby painted me. I didn't-..."
"Wait a minute. Why were you talking to her about Laurie?"
Sam could tell he had just made a major mistake, "Oh, well, I was just saying that-..."
"No, I don't understand, Sam. I mean, how could a call girl that you accidentally slept with more than a year ago and claim not to have seen in quite a while, somehow enter into a conversation with a child?"
"Okay, first you have to realize that I have been through what I would consider to be the closest thing to hell on earth...And then you have to stop looking at me with those eyes that have me proven guilty already. Please-..."
"I don't have to do any of those things, Sam."
"Okay, okay, then at least stop interrupting me. Can you-..."
"No," Mallory said and walked past him into the house. She then yelled back at him, "And to think I came here because I felt sorry for you!"
Sam sighed and looked at Josh, who still stood next to him. They said together as they shook their heads, "Women."
Just then Danny walked up the front steps and brushed past them, with a curious glance. "Lookin' good, guys. Did you do something different with your hair?"
Josh and Sam groaned and then slammed the door shut behind Danny.
To Be Continued...
Please let me know what you thought, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for reading.
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