"These jokers look on the up and up to you?"
Jo tilted her head and smirked at her husband as she shifted their eighteen month old son on her hip, "They are five year olds Alex, not violent parolees back from the big house. Relax."
"I don't like the way that one looks. See how he's just watching everyone?"
Jo glanced over to check out the red headed child in question, "Alex, he's scared, he's just trying to figure out everything. Relax."
Alex sighed, "I'd be better off if Hales hadn't just walked off and left us here like we're yesterday's news."
Jo gave a sympathetic look, "Alex honestly what did you expect? Poor child got a double dose of independence in her genes. Besides, this is a good thing. We want her to be confident, right? And its not like she's joining the Navy or going to college in Europe, she's a few miles away at Kindergarten."
Alex crossed his arms and whispered harshly, "I don't have to like it."
Jo laughed and gave him a warm smile, I didn't say you did. It'll be okay and get easier every day."
Alex rolled his eyes, "Yeah right."
Jo looked around the room once more and nudged Alex in the side, "Uh oh look, another one bites the dust." Alex looked over to see another parent being escorted into the hall by the teacher, who was trying to console the distraught woman. Jo leaned over playfully with an evil grin, "Watch out or you'll be next."
Alex gave a sarcastic snort and a half grin, "Bite me."
Both looked down to see their daughter pulling on Alex's jeans. He scooped up the young girl and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, "What's up Haley? Are you liking Kindergarten so far?"
Haley nodded her head quickly, "I played in the kitchen and drew you and mommy and Landon a picture to take home."
Jo smiled brightly, "That was very sweet of you. Can we see it?"
Haley again nodded quickly, "It's at my desk." She then pointed across the room and climbed out of Alex's arms, "And then you can meet my boyfriend."
Alex and Jo both paused mid-stride, their eyes wide as saucers. Jo was the first to speak, "Your what?"
Haley grinned brightly, "My boyfriend. His name's Keonte. He likes horses too."
With that Haley dashed away expecting her parents to follow behind her. Jo turned to Alex, who had his fists balled up at his sides, "Alex, look at me."
He glanced over and gave her an agitated, "What?"
"Do not go all Godfather on the five year old, Alex. This is just the first of many, many boyfriends. Be cool."
Alex snapped, "You're not helping!"
Jo giggled slightly, "Come on, let's go meet this boy before they make us leave."
A half hour later the remaining parents were ushered out with reassurances that their children would be fine without them. Alex and Jo walked silently to the car. Jo climbed in the passenger seat as Alex strapped their son into his car seat. He looked at Jo as he slid into the driver's seat, "Oh crap, what's the matter?"
Jo looked up at him with tears streaming down her face, "Did you not see her? She didn't even give us hugs or say goodbye! And she drew this!" She shoved the picture at Alex, "It's you, me and Landon at home and she's over on the side walking away from us! With her backpack on! Stop laughing!"
Alex braced himself for her slap to his arm, which started another round of laughter from him, "Oh look at the cool come unglued. You really had me thinking you were fine with all this."
Jo stared at him with her mouth agape and mascara smudging her eyes, "Seriously? Who would be okay with this?"
Alex laughed once again and kissed her cheek, "Don't cry on the artwork Mommy Badass."
He then moved the car to the other side of the parking lot and killed the engine before making himself more comfortable in the driver's seat. Jo looked over questioningly from fixing her makeup in the visor mirror, "What are we doing?"
Alex never looked away from the building, "They have recess at 10:10. I want to make sure none of those jokers mess with her."
Jo flipped the visor closed, "We need to go home, Alex. She'll be fine and Landon needs to eat." She cut her eyes with a mischievous grin, "Plus we forgot to bring your super-duper spy tools. I didn't even think to pack your walkie talkie and binoculars. I just clearly didn't plan adequately for this."
Alex cut his eyes at her and started the engine, "Very funny. But before laughing at me some more you should finish cleaning those raccoon eyes off your face."