This is a turkey:
The animal kingdom is full of animals and insects that resemble each other closely. Wasps and hornets. King snakes and coral snakes. I’ve even had students who couldn’t tell a hippo from a rhino. But I’ve never heard of anyone confusing a turkey with a rooster… at least, not until Julia made it hysterically clear that she had no clue what a turkey looked like.
We weren’t aware of our failings in the turkey vs. rooster department until November 1st. That was the day she and I sat down to do our calendar, and I showed her that the card for the first day of November was going to be a turkey. I asked her, “Do you know what this animal is called?” fully expecting her to answer correctly. Instead she tells me – confidently – “That’s a rooster.” Actually, she said, “Wooster,” and since I want to preserve these memories as purely as I can, roosters will henceforth be known as “woosters.”
I explained to her that it was a turkey, and in retrospect I probably should have showed her pictures of both so she could see the difference. But alas, I didn’t, and for the rest of the month we laughed our way through many rooster/turkey-related scenarios. We know that there’s no way she’ll be making the same mistake next year, so I wanted to document a few of the funnier moments we’ve encountered this November:
Someone at a store once asked her if she was excited about Turkey Day.
Julia immediately looked annoyed and corrected him, saying,
“It’s NOT Turkey Day, it’s WOOSTER DAY!”
Upon seeing the Christmas Santa display in the mall she yelled out, “WHAT? We didn’t even do Wooster Day yet!” (This totally made me burst with pride, as it’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Christmas before Thanksgiving).
Whenever we’ve done the pattern for November on our daily calendar, she’s proudly said, “Wooster, wooster, leaf. Wooster, wooster, leaf.” Sometimes I corrected her, but usually I was trying too hard not to laugh.
The girls and I went to get our turkey last week at the grocery store, and the whole time Julia would not stop talking about it – in the aisles, at the freezer bin full of turkeys, even in the checkout lane. And of course she was incredibly loud, so imagine all of these statements in your squeakiest outdoor voice (while people stare at you trying to figure out why you’re planning to eat a rooster):
“Where do they put all the woosters in this place?”
“I’m so excited we get to eat a wooster for Wooster Day!”
“Look at all those woosters, Mommy! That’s a lot of woosters!”
“Are people going to eat all those woosters, Mommy?”
“I want to carry the wooster when we buy it with my strong muscles. I can carry it by myself because I’m so very big now.”
Then, of course, when I try to get it on video she goes and calls it something else entirely…
Emily’s convinced that she was trying to read the label on the package and saw the letter “H” and that’s how she came to call it a hamster. I have no idea. All I know is that once again the word “turkey” eluded her completely.
Next year she’ll be a whole year older. And although I’m confident that she will be done calling Thanksgiving “Wooster Day,” I have a feeling that this is going to be an annual joke in our house for many years to come. 😀