Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Roast

This past Sunday marked what was my seventh(???) annual Choate Family Weenie Roast, an event we look forward to each year as summer turns into fall, causing us to indulge in delicious food and conversations with family. And despite whatever changes have brought to the brood in the 12 months that fly by in between, we always manage to have a good time and lots of laughs beside the fire pit, catching up on old times, swapping jokes and consuming mass amounts of chili and brownies until we need a sweatshirt to cover up our burgeoning buttons. This year, in addition to spreading family cheer, we had the luxury of learning two valuable lessons:

1. There is still a pecking order
2. A pre-schooler will say just about anything

Scene 1: the family is gathered in comfortable silence, recovering from phase one of food intake and watching nearby as a darling chipmunk makes his way across the leaves and grass. We begin to quietly point him out to Lawson, who has not yet met a creature of this sort, and as we begin to describe what he eats, his coat and how he hops about…

A ginormous eagle-like hawk thing nabs him by the back of his furry little neck, squealing and squirming as the bird chose him as dinner. To make matters worse, he did this male chest puffing thing like “check me out I’m a bada$$ bird who just pulled a National Geographic move on you” type of dance.

Try explaining that to a two-year old.

And where was my iPhone in that moment? Total YouTube material.

Luckily, Lawson ended the conversation between looks of shock and held-in hysterical laughter among the family with “MOMMY! THE BIRD TRIPPED OVER THE MICK-MUNK!”

Hey – you’ve learned two year olds are always, right haven’t you? I think I’ll let his imagination stick with that thought then teaching him life’s pecking order. He’ll unfortunately have plenty of years for that.

Scene 2: an Uncle of the family arrives who we don’t see often, and Lawson has likely only met once. A man who tends to get second glances due to his long hair, laid back attitude and all-black clothes immediately catches his attention, and I don’t know whether to let him stare as he is in a discovery stage or launch into some kind of lecture about politeness and equality. Because you know how preschoolers are with lectures…

Anyway, Lawson starts to get really worked up, pointing and saying “the man! THE MAN MOMMY!” and for once my own child is making me uncomfortable and I’m left trying to decide if I toss him in the woods or just own up to whatever is going on and hope everyone around me understands he’s an innocent two year old. When he starts to spout of words about a circus and a parade I’m about to distract him by kicking a soccer ball he’ll have to chase for a good 20 minutes or make some excuse to head back to the car, I realize:

He’s mistaken his Great Uncle for Weird Al Yankovic. From Yo Gabba Gabba.

Which is totally fair given the hair length. Still inappropriate, but fair - if you're two. After all, Grandpa’s scooter is a motorcycle or tractor at any given moment and Mommy tickles spiders who suddenly disappear into Kleenex world. Daddy grows grass on his belly and in his nose and anytime Mommy has more than a salad there is a baby brother or sister tucked away in her tummy.

Yah – preschoolers will say just about anything.

But maybe we’re just jealous because they can?!

Either way the cookout was a blast, sinus infection, pecking order, preschooler comments and all. Thank you GGC for making it another fabulous year we’ll never forget!

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