“There isn’t much of a line. We’ll be fine!” I assured him, squaring my shoulders and hitching Sawyer up on my hip.
After another round on the carosuel, Patrick was going to skip the next ride at Storyland to go grab an iced coffee. I squared my shoulders, hitching Sawyer up on my hip as Patrick headed of.
Jasper eagerly pulled my hand, rushing us towards the tiny cove. As we reached the front of the line, my confidence dwindled; it looked like we might have to wait.
“I can skoot over. No problem!” a middle aged dad smiled at me, raising an eyebrow at his teenaged daughter.
“Me too,” she agreed.
Jasper took a seat next to her, introducing himself. “My name is Jasper. J-A-S-P-E-R.”
I smiled at both of them with gratitude and settled in for the quiet ride.Jasper was thrilled to be “rowing” the pirate ship. As the ship departed from the cove, I took a few calming breaths, willing Sawyer to sit patiently on my lap for the 7 minutes that it takes for the ship to make the lap around the pond.
“There’s Black Beards friend there in the cage! Arg!” our teenaged captain narrated.
I’d heard the speech a dozen times before on our trips to Storyland, and tuned out for a few minutes, enjoying the feel of the sun on my cheeks and Sawyer’s weight on my lap.
“Who knows a joke?” the captain proded the boat.
“I DO!” Jasper shouted, moving everyone in the boat to patient attention and pulling my heart to a stop.
It takes guts for anyone to speak in public, and here was my kid, calling attention to the 30 strangers on the boat. He was fearless.
But I knew what was coming next, and I began to sweat.
“Why did the monster get in the clock?” he fearlessly, timing the joke perfectly.
The boatload of passengers patiently waited in silence while Jasper waited the excited beat of a comedian.
“BECAUSE HE SCREWED IT!” he laughed.
My heart dropped at the uncomfortable entendre my four-year old had just shared with the people who were innocently taking their kids for a ride at Storyland.
Fortunately, they all joined Jasper in their laughter, and I shrank back into my seat, pretending that I wasn’t there.
Because he screwed it.
Post Scriptum: Jasper’s been trying to tell the joke, “Why did the monster throw the clock… to see time fly!” but he’s mixing up the punch line of screwing (like with the screw driver) with throwing. At least this is the story that I’m sticking to. Because god knows my kid’s already sworn enough in public...