And by some stroke of wild luck, and probably heavenly intervention, I managed not to make an ass of myself. That day, anyway.
A few play dates later (hoo-boy), she invited the whole family over to her house for pizza night. Sure! I'll bring the salad! And some caffeine-free soda! And, maybe even some brownies! Of COURSE they're from scratch!
And, it was so.
Unfortunately, however, the husband got a bit held up at work. Which meant I'd have to go over there. Alone. After a serious pep talk with the mirror including things like, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, WOMAN and maybe some slapping that was surprisingly painful, I lugged myself and the boys over a little early, hoping that he'd join us soon thereafter. I may or may not have sent some frantic texts (Listen, I know you're in an airplane, but they've got a big back yard...I'll get some flashlights.) along the way. Even then, after such a social snafu, there was only the occasional awkward silence and inappropriate yawn. On my part. Making salad is hard.
I'm not gonna lie, getting this far without an inappropriate utterance, gesture, or bodily function? I was kind of waiting for lighting to strike me dead. Maybe a froggie rainstorm or something.
After stalling for my husband long enough (I SAID LAND THE DAMN PLANE! They have PARACHUTES, right?!), we set the kids up on the back porch to dig into their dinner without too much assault on the beige carpeting. At one point, my friend's husband went outside to check on the kids and make some smalltalk. Start 'em young, is what I say.
He turns to T9 (aged practicallytwo), my youngest.
Neighbor: How's that food, little guy?
Neighbor: Good, huh?
Neighbor: No, he's not here yet...but soon!
...aaaaahhhnd, record scratch.
Now, I didn't hear all this as it happened, so the neighbor politely wound up the smalltalk with my son and meandered indoors for a polite inquisition.
Neighbor: Ah, is he trying to say...uhm...I can't tell...that word he just said...
I knew before he needed to add further detail. This new word of his had just presented itself about a week ago.
Me: OH. Did it sound like...um...? It was probably sock. Or fork. Was he trying to say fork? Good lord, it sounds just like, well, you know..
Neighbor: Yeah! Clear as a bell! [To his wife.] You gotta come hear this!
Me: Heh...yeah, well, it's...
Neighbor: [To T9] Whatchyou got there, little guy? Is that a fork?
Me: Oh, yeah, well sometimes it's a spoon, I suppose...heh...
At this point, I was starting to get scratchy because, OH HAI ANXIETY HIVES! (Abort mission! Abort mission! Red alert! Sky out!) The neighbor began to add some details, seemingly desperate to make sense of this corrupted, cursing little child. It was then that my eyes get wide with recognition.
Me: OHH! He was saying TRUCK! Anytime you ask him if his dad's at work, he invariably says TRUCK right after that. 'Cuz he knows he drives a truck. Like, to work. Then he usually says RUHN because he knows his dad goes for...no, really...I'm not sure exactly where it came from....but, you know...uhm...[SCRATCHSCRATHSCRATCH-HIVESHIVESHIVES]
Neighbor: [Unconvinced.] Ohhh.
And, well, yeah, OF COURSE it doesn't make any sense! HE'S PRACTICALLYTWO.
It didn't help when, later that evening, T9 picked up a plastic golf club and smacked the screen of the dude's plasma TV. Twice.
Fuhck indeed, little boy.