Land of the free, home of the barbecue

Hey, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be taking the day off of work, enjoying your family, and charring some meat in your backyard. It’s your right as an American. (What? You’re not American? Oh. Nevermind, then. You can be here. But you might want to see if you know any Americans who want you to come over and eat with them, today.)

There are a lot of sites out there that’ll tell you how to have a safe and enjoyable barbecue even with your kids around, and I dunno, I think it’s a lot of information to process, particularly if you’re sort of busy trying to make a salad. So I got to thinking that I could probably do a little summary for you, and then you’d be good to go without having to visit a billion other sites. Sound good?

Please bear in mind that I am not a trained professional, merely a mother myself and a lifelong smartmouth.

Food: Make sure to have food your kids like. Such as brownies. Oh, did you want them to eat some real food, first? Okay. Have hotdogs. What’s that? Okay, fine. Put out carrot sticks. But if you have hotdogs and brownies, your kids aren’t going to eat carrots, no matter how optimistic you are.

Games: While the adults are busy drinking beer and swapping recipes, children can be sent off to amuse themselves with bubbles, frisbees, or a puppy. I do not recommend buying a puppy purely for party entertainment, however.

Pool Safety: Do not allow children to be around a pool unattended. There should always be a few people present to point and laugh when they fall in. And, you know, pull them out if they don’t actually know how to swim.

Including Junior in the preparations: You don’t want your kids to feel left out while you prepare for your event, so feel free to give them brooms, mops, dusters, or whatever other tasks they’ll wish had never been invented. Everybody pitches in! Letting your toddler man the grill is, in general, not a good idea. But people tend to think it’s cute if you let him do the vacuuming.

You’re now totally ready to host a barbecue and maybe even keep an eye on your children at the same time. See how easy that was?

Enjoy the holiday!

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