Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works a straight job and is just about finished writing her first novel.

And this is why I'm now a vegetarian

If you were following me on Twitter a few weeks ago you'll know that I came close to killing us all by splashing poisonous turkey juice all over the kitchen. It wasn't intentional, I'm pretty sure -- I don't know, maybe it was one of those subconscious deals where instead of strapping everyone into the car and driving over a cliff screaming into the ocean I chose a more domestic strain of murder-suicide. Really, though, it was just that Jack had taken Jackson on an overnight trip to L.A. for a Lakers' game so he wasn't around to say, "Look, a turkey cannot safely sit in the sink for thirty-six hours without becoming a giant pink ball of raw, lukewarm death."

I need a lot of supervision.

Eventually I came clean about my neglectful turkey thawing -- I mean, I pretty much had to after raw turkey blood juice dripped down all over everything in the vegetable drawer -- and Jack shooed me from the kitchen, bleached the refrigerator, and cooked the shit out of that bird. Everybody had a wary polite slice or two and then filled up real quick on stuffing and pie so the meat disease wouldn't have a chance to leak out of the blessed food mass and get absorbed into our intestines and whatnot.

So the day after Thanksgiving I'd arranged to take Jackson to see Twilight with Roxane and her daughter. I guess the movie was heavily advertised on the kids' channels that I entrust my son's education in cultural stereotypes to -- Jackson had been begging for weeks to see it. I'm normally allergic to horror movies but Roxane said that the previews would probably be scarier than the feature so we made a plan to cover Jackson's head with a tarp until the trailers were over.

Roxane and her family go to visit relatives in Japan fairly regularly, and as a result they've hipped Jackson to the surprises and joys of Japanese candy. So we got our popcorn and got our seats and Roxane handed Jackson a Ziploc bag full of what I assumed were some wonderful pastel-colored Japanese gummy things. They may have been regular American gummy things, or the fine Swiss type of gelatinous pastilles, I didn't ask. The point is, the previews started and Jackson started horking them down like they were, you know, candy.

The movie was actually kind of funny in a lot of unexpected ways (I never read the books, I'd never even heard of them until Matthew posted about the first one), but about a third of the way through things started getting a little steamy. Nothing R-rated, just a lot of breathy teen dialog, but Jackson started moaning, "Mom, I'm so hot." Hrm? Oh. Yes, I could feel the heat through his jacket so I helped him take it off and let him put his head in my lap. Roxane looked over at me with raised eyebrows; I shrugged at her and cautiously went back to watching the film. Pouty lips burned! Chaste bosoms heaved. Jackson sat up, grabbed his stomach, and threw up a big splat of creamy gummy candy onto the floor between his feet.

My first thought was, well, all that kissing and stuff could make a second-grader barf, right?

My second thought was that despite the fact that we'd cooked the living daylights out of that turkey, a small, worried percentage of me recognized that we may have served Jackson a slab of salmonella surprise and the clock was ticking on the 48-hour disease incubation period.

So I'm sitting there going, do I take him to the emergency room for barfing up his candy during a vampire movie? Or do I wait until he spikes a 104° temperature and his innards liquefy?

Turns out it was the candy after all. Thanks for not killing us, Butterball!

(Also, this might be really funny to you if you're a Twilight/Harry Potter [movie versions]/Robert Pattinson fan.)