The Boy is at that great age where he likes to make up jokes. Maybe all kids go through this phase, because I can remember Older Girl doing it as well -- heck, I can even remember doing it myself! It's that age where they realize that certain sayings or phrases make people laugh, and they spend a huge amount of time and brain-power trying to figure out the magic. Some kids are natural born comedians, and others have to work at it, but they all have one thing in common; once they get started, it is awfully hard to get them to stop. At our house, it goes a lot like this:
Older Girl: Hey Mom, what kind of dog likes to get a bath?
Me: Hmmm, I don't know . . .
Older Girl: A shampoodle! Get it? A shampoo-dle.
Me: hahahahah, oh, that was pretty funny . . .
the Boy: Hey, Mom, what kind of dog is a dog?
Me: I don't know -- what kind of dog is a dog . . .
the Boy: A shamp-mustache!! Get it? hahahahahahahahahahah . . . .
And then he continues to laugh like some kind of deranged maniac until he comes up with another, even better and funnier, joke. They never make sense, and I never expect them to make sense, so once in a while he really catches me offguard with something that actually cracks me up. Like last weekend when we were out to dinner with my parents and my brothers for the Boy's birthday -- we were sharing our shrimp appetizer and the kids were trying to amuse themselves until dinner arrived and so naturally they decided on a joke-telling marathon. Now Older Girl has reached the point of no return when it comes to proper joke-telling -- most of the time she knows what is funny and what makes absolutely no sense, so she has little patience with the Boy's more extemporaneous offerings. After about ten minutes of jokes and the resulting bickering over what is a "real" joke, I put the hammer down and said that no more jokes could be told if there was going to be arguing. They were both silent for about 2 seconds and then the Boy stands up in his seat and says:
Mom, what did that shrimp just say to Gee-Gee (his grandmother)?
I don't know, what did the shrimp say to Gee-Gee?
Hey, let go of my face!
Well, that just struck the whole table as incredibly funny. We started laughing so hard that I thought my brother might have an asthma attack. I kept picturing a little shrimp face being squeezed between two fingers on its way to my mom's mouth, and I thought' "well, of course that's what the shrimp would say!"
And through the gales of laughter, I looked over at the Boy's face and he was beaming, eyes shining with pride. He had really made a joke, at long last, and there is no end in sight . . .