Here comes the Super Bowl. I can see the preparations. Millions of eager families are buying new televisions and stockpiling salty snacks. Millions of husbands roll down the supermarket aisles and stop to buy the "good" beer. Millions of wives plan to make teeming plates of nachos.
None of these people will invite my family to their Super Bowl party. None. And it's all my son Gabriel's fault.
He's a chip licker.
Prior to having kids, my wife and scored many invitations to Super Bowl parties. Neither of us really watches football, but we attended the parties anyway. I enjoyed both the strategic and athletic elements of the game. But mostly, I enjoyed the free food and alcohol.
My wife, on the other hand, enjoyed the fashion and rooted for teams based on their uniform colors. She usually sat to the side saying stuff like,"Ooooh! That team is wearing white uniforms. That's so bold!"
Here's something I learned about my wife. Anytime she uses the word "bold" in a conversation,that means she's enjoying the free alcohol, too.
All of this crushed to a stop the first time we took Gabriel to a Super Bowl party. A close friend of ours hosted this particular party. Our son was maybe two years old. The party went well enough for about an hour, until we noticed people making odd faces as they ate chips.
The host noticed this as well and asked if something was wrong.
"I don't want to be rude," answered someone, "but your chips are wet."
Everyone eyed my two year-old son standing near one of the chip bowls. He fished a hand down into the bowl and snaked one chip from the bottom. He eyed it curiously and then licked it clean of Ranch seasoning, like a cat cleaning its paws.
And then he put the chip back in the bowl and grabbed another.
"Now, that's bold," I wanted to say.
We were not invited back the next year. And word apparently got out about our chip-licking son because we haven't been invited to a Super Bowl party since. No one invites us to Mexican restaurants either.
We hope to attend another Super Bowl party someday, but the odds - and our kids - are stacked against us. Yesterday morning, I opened a box of six glazed donuts on our kitchen counter. There was one small, neat bite taken out of every donut. I looked around to see my five year-old son Julian smiling at me. I think I cursed out loud.
"What's wrong?" my wife yelled from another room.
"It's Julian," I said. "I thinks he's a donut biter."