Last weekend I had a conference for work in Kiawah Island. Casey and the boys joined me for some fun at the beach. Kiawah is one of our favorite places and is also special because it was, I believe, the first place Casey and I ever vacationed together on our own. Alligators roam freely in Kiawah, part of its charm, but also somewhat scary, like when you round the corner and see a 16 foot alligator about 10 feet away from you sunning itself on the bank of a pond.
Riley and Chase were fascinated by the alligators. Riley was fearless in his attempts to get a good look at them -- right up until one of the ones he was watching much too close for our comfort started moving slightly... to accommodate his MUCH larger friend who appeared out of nowhere and climbed out onto the bank of the pond right next to the guy he was watching. After that, he was not too keen on getting close.
Chase calls alligators "chomp chomps". There is a great pool area for the kids at Kiawah, complete with a water slide designed for toddlers that requires the child to climb stairs positioned in the middle of an open alligator mouth. Very cool design, but Chase was not enthused about its teeth. After standing somewhat nearby and staring at the chomp chomp for at least 20 minutes, we made a game out of playing with chomp chomps teeth. I would stick my hand in its mouth, yell "ouch" and then tell chomp chomp that it's not nice to bite. Chase thought this was delightfully funny. (He also eventually worked up the courage to climb into its mouth and go down the slide, all of which he loved.)
With that background in mind, the boys now think that alligators live in every pond in the United States. On our drive to Chicago over the weekend, any time we passed a pond, Riley would ask about alligators and Chase would shout from the back seat, "Ouch! Not nice chomp chomp." Never mind that this would be his first full sentence...
Casey, being the nice daddy he is, bought Chase a new cup while in Chicago. The new cup has a dinosaur on it. Chase thinks the dinosaur is a chomp chomp. As a quick aside, in visits to Casey's parents at Amelia Island, the boys awesome grandparents rent a golf cart for us to get around in while we are there. We all love it -- an awesome way to get around and see things that you would never notice in a car. Not sure how it started, but Casey tells the boys to put their feet up every time we cross over a bridge in the golf cart. Somehow that has carried over to every day car trips as well, so any time we pass over a bridge of any sort in any type of vehicle, you'll hear them yell, "Feet up!" If the adults don't have time to lift their feet up, Riley passes out pretend paper towels so that we can wipe off our wet feet. Half the time we don't realize what Chase is even saying since it sounds more like "Eee yuh", so this is not really a fair game. Anyway, during our long trip home from Chicago, we would occasionally hear Chase shout, "Eee yuh, chomp chomp!" Guess he does not want his friend to get his feet wet either. Could not be more adorable.