There little in the world that could drive Esposito batty the way his family did. He loved Meredeth with all his heart but sometimes he seriously had to wonder if his adorable babies had been swapped out for aliens.
Today was one of those days.
He didn't begrudge the fact that Meredeth had to be in meetings all day and he was using his only day off in the last eleven to spend some quality time with his children. On the contrary, he quite liked having them to himself. But man oh man there were days when he was certain they were from another planet. Tessi being Tessi and the oldest was used to weird things going and adapted easily. Max was the same since he was simply born into it.
The twins were a different story.
While Tessi and Max played with his trucks downstairs in the living room, Esposito was upstairs with the twins in their room watching Trini prance around in her best sundress with a pair of clean underpants on her head, holding her toothbrush in her hand and singing some unknown song while Leo appeared to be her back-up dancer wearing only his Huggies training pants and bright red socks on his hands.
'Da-do, da-do, da-do,' Trini crooned away. 'La-loo, la-loo, la-loo.'
'Trini my treasure,' Esposito said, dragging his hands over his face as his patience strained like never before with his baby girl, 'I'm sure this is great fun, but we have plans today to go and visit the Bricks, remember? We're going to see Nessa and Heddie?'
'Nessa is fun-fun-fun. She sure is, fun-fun-fun,' Trini sang away.
'Fun-fun-fun,' Leo echoed, planting his hands on the ground and swinging his little tushy in the air. 'Si, si, si!'
Esposito would have been pissing himself laughing if it weren't for the fact that in about ten minutes, all of them had to leave if they were going to make the subway to be in Grammercy Park on time.
'Alright, my little Eurovision wannabes, time to-'
'Wait Daddy, big finish!' Trini twirled in a circle and howled at the top of her lungs, 'Yoo-hoo, yoo-hoo, yoo-hooooooo!'
'Wow-wee, Tah-rini!' Leo plunked himself on the floor and clapped wildly. 'You so ah-some!'
'Guh-racias, guh-racias.' She turned and bowed deeply to her brother and her stuffed animals, then looked Esposito like she'd just noticed his arrival. 'Okay, now time-a get ready.'
'That's right, starting with your headdress, milady.'
Esposito tapped the top of his head and Trini clamped her little hands on the top of her head.
'No, Daddy it's my cuh-rown!'
'Katrina, you're not going out in public with your undies on your head.'
'Then I'm not going.' Trini squatted down where she stood, folded her little arms over her chest with her lower lip in a pout.
'Me too.' Ever one to back-up his twin on principle, Leo mimicked her movement, then forgot to pout, and grinned at his father. 'See? We go-a 'gedder.'
'Okay, first off, you're not staying home alone, you're too little. Secondly, Tessi and Max really want to see Nessa and Heddia and they want to be on time.' Esposito held up a third finger. 'Thirdly, you both need regular clothes so let's get cracking.'
'I get my crown,' Trini said regally.
'Nope, not happening kiddo. Underpants are off your head now.'
'Fine, then I call RJ and tell him you didn't obey your parents which means no ice-cream at his house on Friday night.'
It was a firy battle of wills but finally Trini pulled the underpants off of her head and went to Leo's bureau to find him shorts and a t-shirt. 'Here Miser Naked Man, put some cuh-loss on.'
'Thank you.' Esposito sighed in relief, and when he was ushering his children down the stairs, he was more than a little happy to hear from his bride. 'Your twins are insane, Mere,' he told her without preamble.
'What'd they do now?' she laughed, and when he told her, he actually heard her pounding the desk she was laughing so hard. 'Oh, please, Javi, no more! Are you at least on your way to the subway?'
'In seven minutes.'
'Perfect. See you tonight. Love you, and love my babies.'
'Love you too, Mere.'
Esposito hung up, and when he saw Tessi helping Max tidy up his toys into his big red plastic tub, he gave her a big smile. 'Thank you for being so helpful with Max, Tessi.' You ready to go?'
'Uh-huh, we have our toys ready, right Max?'
'Toys comin', Daddy!' Max smiled and patted the big bin. 'All toys!'
'Oh, good God,' Esposito moaned softly. 'Here we go again.'