Lack of Independence Day

This Fourth of July, Mom and Buried and I are faced with a bit of a dilemma. The same one we are faced with everyday, really.

We want to celebrate our country’s birth in style by getting drunk out of our minds.

But we have a kid. They should call it “Lack of Independence Day”.

It’s a slightly more complex issue, but that’s basically what it boils down to.

We are visiting my parents in CT and were invited to a cookout, complete with a waterside view of the fireworks, which provides us with (yet another) opportunity to show my son something he hasn’t experienced before. The problem is, if we bring him along, it throws a major monkey wrench into our plans to get blasted.

If he were older it would by no big deal. We’d drop him next to the other kids and let him run around for a while. But he’s a toddler, and can’t do a single thing without adult supervision.

This visit to Connecticut is a little mini-vacation for us. My parents have a pool. There is a yard to play in. There are some nice beaches not too far away. Again, were my son just a few years older, we’d be able to watch him from a lounge chair on the sand or from the deck of a nearby bar (with binoculars!). That way we’d be able to relax while he played and had fun. Win-win.

But he’s a toddler, and can’t do a single thing by himself. As such, this Independence Day is anything but, for him and for us. Lose-lose.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had a lot of fun playing with my son in the pool and watching him make disgusted faces with every step he took in the sand on our visit to the beach. And my parents have been very helpful; it’s always nice to have a few extra hands with which to occupy an energetic toddler. Grandma and Pop-pop have even been gracious enough to watch their grandson so the wife and I could go out for a drink or two.

But other than that, the only respite we get – from constant hand-holding and supervising and stopping him from eating the Play-doh and making sure he doesn’t skin his other knee – is his naptime. And what a glorious – and spirit-crushingly quick – two hours that is.

So we haven’t yet made a decision about this cookout, whether we’ll leave the kid behind (thanks Mom and Dad!) and have adult time or take the kid along so I can have a heart attack every time he slips out of sight in a stranger’s yard. Either way he’ll probably be asleep when the fireworks start going off.

At least, he will be until I scream at him to wake up and watch. A little harsh, maybe, but haven’t you been paying attention?


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