Family jokes are often completely lost on outsiders. Of the many jokes the kids and I have, such as our dog wearing pants, the least explainable one is the concept of cheese-teen. And while my son definitely knows the difference between counting at home and counting at school, he is not beyond incorporating our mystery word into play with friends.
Yesterday, Tiny went next door to ask his friend, Lu, to play hide and seek. Little Lu is a bit older--maybe by two years. He took the time to explain to me why Tiny isn't a good play partner for hide and seek, one reason being that Tiny doesn't stay hidden long enough, but the primary reason being that my son counts to cheese-teen and then stops.
Lu waved his hands with exasperation as he cried out, "I don't even know what cheese-teen is!"
"Well, it comes after fourteen and sometimes fifteen. It often comes before sixteen or seventeen," I said as if this explained everything.
Meanwhile, my son stood in the yardwith his hands pressed to his face counting:
"Firteen, fowteen, CHEESE-TEEN!! Ready or not!!"
Chuckling to myself, I sent a quick message about the incident to my parents. Later in the evening, my father wrote back saying, "Anyone who is anyone knows what cheese-teen is. Lu, as your mom says, has no soul."
You can definitely see how I inherited this sense of humor.