The Adventures Of Fatherhood – December 3, 2021

This is Thanksgiving.

The 13-year-old walks around a huge buffet featuring a variety of food. Like most Thanksgiving spreads, there is an abundance of food with too many offerings. He’s first in line because he’s starving. He sits down with two pieces of ham, some broccoli, three rolls and an orange Gatorade. Though trying to sneak bites (a roll disappeared on the walk back to the table), he waits for the blessing before diving in. He then wolfs down the small sampling of food on his big plate and pulls a stool up behind me as I eat because he prefers the “adult table” conversation. He maintains he’s full but he’s not. He just doesn’t like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato biscuits and “all the other stuff I don’t recognize.”

Later when it comes to dessert he says he doesn’t like pie (or more accurately will not try) even one featuring chocolate and peanut butter, two of his favorites. Beckett likes vanilla milkshakes but not vanilla ice cream until he realizes there is chocolate syrup in the cupboard to add to it.

A couple hours later, he asked what was for dinner, hoping it was barbecue sandwiches. As I was still at the uncomfortably full stage of post-Thanksgiving, I pointed out where he could find what he wanted. Since I never heard the microwave, I am guessing he opted for cookies for dinner.

On the opposite extreme was Carson, who Pam spoils when it comes to food in a good way. Because he doesn’t eat dairy or gluten, she takes great care to ensure he’s not left out of all the Thanksgiving staples. He loves turkey, ham and deviled eggs so he was good to go on the main courses. However, she also made him dairy-free sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese as his sides.  He was so well taken care of he almost ate as much as I did. When it came for desserts, Pam got him his very own strawberry pie with gluten-free crust. He was blessed with an amazingly caring mom.

Carson even likes leftovers. When Beckett came down for dinner the next night, his body language confirmed his disappointment when he saw a spread of Tupperware leftovers. His mood changed when he saw a plate of barbecue made for his dinner.

Our first foray into smash turkeys was interesting.

Pam picked up six of these hollow chocolate delights from Dolle’s before Thanksgiving. The concept is you melt some of the provided chocolate and use it to help dress up your turkey with candy decorations, candy corns and other edible fun. After you have finished your creation, the idea is you smash it with the given mallet and then eat it.

We thought it would be fun for the kids on Thanksgiving. Of the five turkeys created, it was interesting to note the different approaches.

Beckett, 13, immediately bit off the turkey’s nose and ate the chocolate pellets before we could get them away from him for melting. He ate some of the other add-ons and could barely contain himself from smashing the turkey to pieces. We insisted he wait as his cousins and brother decorated their turkeys. All the while he was picking at the chocolate hole he had created at the nose. When the greenlight was given, he destroyed his turkey with reckless abandon sending chocolate pieces all over.

Carson, 12, got into this activity, taking his time and focusing deliberately on his masterpiece. He worked hard on it. He was so focused he even let me take a picture of him at work. He did not eat one piece of candy. He refused to bang on his turkey and instead insisted it be left out on display. It’s still on the counter a week later.

Niece Peyton, 12, clearly has craftiness in her as she won the prize for best decorated turkey, creating a unicorn-turkey with a cleverly placed candy corn piece. Despite her pretty work, she didn’t have a problem breaking her turkey and taking home the treat for later.

Nephew Reagan, 15, seemed to feign interest in dressing up the turkey. However, I blame his mallet-wielding cousin (Beckett) next to him for the distractions. Like his sister, he had no problem smashing his turkey into pieces in quick fashion.

Granddaughter Zoe, 2, took after Carson with her turkey. She created a pretty turkey and preferred to take her chocolate treat home with her to New York. A couple days later, we got a video of her breaking into the turkey. It was fun to watch, as she was clearly torn on destroying her creation. She tapped it six times lightly before she finally got into it, thanks to her mom encouraging her nearby. She then took the biggest piece of chocolate for a snack before I assume it was put away for later.

We had one leftover smash turkey we gave to a friend, who reported his young daughters fell into the decorate and smash category.

Therefore, in the end, it was only Carson who could not bring himself to destroy his turkey. For now, it’s staying on the counter.

The turkeys seemed to go well in our house, as a quick iPhone search by one of the kids led to the discovery of smash Santas for Christmas.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.