Saturday, August 15, 2009


Simon is almost four. I love the boy he is becoming - how his fears have been melting away and his vocabulary is full, but he still says things like "Un the Brakes!" Because he thinks "un" is a word that means what the prefix does, and that unning the brakes will make his bike go again.

I love that he plays with his friends, even if he does stalk one of the neighbor boys out our kitchen window.

But there is a childhood phase that is rounding the corner that is a challenge for me. The unfunny funnies. I think it must be about four years old when kids start developing their sense of humor. When they stop being funny on accident, and start trying to be hilarious. But they're not so good at it yet. Because they're four, I guess.

From my expert observations of other people's children, this phase seems to last a long time.

During the unfunny funnies, kids say things like, "I'm going to poop on your head!" or "Mom, let's eat the TABLE for dinner."

Things that aren't even a little cute-funny.

But, I can see how badly he wants to make me laugh. How he's trying on his sense of humor the way he tries on Daddy's shoes. And so I giggle, and I try to make it sound real, so that he believes me when I sigh, "You are Hilarious."

But the moments I treasure are the accidentally hilarious things that come out of his mouth. I try to remember to double over in laughter when he uns the brakes, or "goons" someone with a water pistol. I remind myself to let those moments wash over me and make me smile - if only so that I have some laughter stored up when I hear another lame joke authored by a four year old.

I know it's coming: the sharp wit and sly timing that his uncles have honed over the years. They can make me laugh with a word. In fact, I almost ruined one of their weddings because I couldn't stop giggling during my reading. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure they weren't this funny in pre-school.

Apparently it takes years of practice to fine-tune your sense of humor, and I'm betting that for every funny guy out there, there was a mom who heard many a stupid joke.


Stephany said...

You took the words RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH! Peter is in a 'knock, knock' phase - where each joke ends with some random word that had nothing to do with the actual joke. Parts of me cringe because it didn't make any sense, but I also see that look in his eyes, the look that he can't wait til I 'get it' and bust out laughing. So, until they are actually worth the 'laughed to tears' I will entertain this 'non-humorous' child with laughing and returning the favor with an (actual) joke!!! Kudos to you, Mom!!!

Anonymous said...

I am laughing hysterically over here! You should just hear the hilariousness that comes from my 5 and 3 year old boys! Just today...over dinner, I might add: "knock, knock". Okay, here we go. "whose there?" "pee pee and bombs (their word of choice for poop) on you HEAD!" "HAAAHAAHAA!" Oh yes, hilarious. But I too offer and half hearted giggle and say "you guys are nuts". Followed by "use your table manners". And I too have a very funny brother who wasn't always so and he gives me hope.
Kathy Jamison

DrMommy said...

We are so into this phase right now. They have no concept of the pun factor in knock knock jokes, so they make no sense, but they laugh HYSTERICALLY. I have been able to reduce them to a pile of giggles with, "Guess what? Chicken butt!" "Guess why? Chicken thigh!!" "Guess where? Chicken hair!!"

Each time they laugh uncontrollably and say, "do it again!!"