Monday, 26 September 2011

How Do They Do That?

Son number one has recently discovered the concept of jokes, although he doesn’t quite understand it. He just takes a bunch of random words, puts them into a sentence and labels it a ‘joke’. “What did the tree say to the poopy?” “Um, I dunno.” “DOG POOPY!” Cue hysterical laughter. Anything involving poo, wee, farts and bums is the comedy flavour of the month.

It was after one of these ‘jokes’ that I decided it was time to introduce him to knock knock jokes, so he at least had a few he could pull out with other people, avoiding the embarrassment of being told his jokes weren’t technically jokes and also trying to quell his tendency to shout the punchline “POOPY!” at the top of his lungs while going round the supermarket.
“I’m going to teach you a proper joke, it’s really funny, OK?”
“Right, I say “knock knock”, you say “who’s there”? Ok? Ready?”
“Knock knock.”
“Knock knock.”
“No you say “who’s there?” OK, ready?”
“Knock knock.”
“Come in.”
“NO! You say “who’s there?” Right, knock, knock.”
“It’s me.”
“You’re really not getting this are you? You say “who’s there”? Ok? Knock Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Um, come in?” Even once we managed to get the joke right he is far too young to even know who Doctor Who is so it was wasted on him and we were back to the “what did the car say to the road?” “poopy poopy brum brum” school of comedy.

Son number two is at that really frustrating age where he’s got lots to say but can’t quite get past the babbling stage. He makes his feelings known through a system of babbling, pointing and patting us on the arm. He has a complicated rule process that everyone must follow. For instance, no work clothes or apron at the dinner table. If I sit down in my apron he won’t eat any dinner until I’ve taken it off, and god forbid if the man sits down in his dirty work t-shirt, apparently it is much less rude of Daddy to sit bare chested and half naked at the dinner table.

He also doesn’t like eating dinner while wearing shoes, likes to watch Toy Story 3 from start to finish at least 5 times a day, and he doesn’t like it when people wear glasses when they don’t need to (Nana is only allowed to wear glasses for reading, nothing else).

He is amused by the strangest things. I spent twenty minutes at the saving stamp machine in Tesco this morning because he found it highly entertaining that it kept rejecting my pound coin. Each time I put the coin in and it rolled out underneath, he would cackle hysterically, red faced, eyes watering. I ask you, what exactly is funny about that? I kept doing it because it was an extra few minutes of not being at home watching Toy Story.

The kids woke me up at 4am today and told me it was morning. I (as usual) was half way to the bathroom to brush my teeth when I realised it was still pitch dark outside and they were at least 2 hours too early. So once safely back in their room, I decided to plug our fan in to drown out the noise of them sorting through Duplo (why kids have to do that in the middle of the night is something I will never understand). As I was fumbling around in the dark on the mans side of the bed trying to find the plug, the man, half asleep and thinking I was one of the kids fiddling with his stuff (this happens often) growled “Leave it”. “It’s just me,” I said “Oh ok” he said, back to his normal voice. But being on the receiving end of that growled “leave it” was not nice, and I realised I speak in that growly (or shouty) voice to my kids hundreds of times a day. They are great kids, but I seem to spend my entire life shouting and being stressed with them. I really need to start enjoying them more. No more shouting, I said to myself.

When I did get up at 7am, to discover they hadn’t actually gone back to sleep but had spent the last few hours trashing their bedroom, son number two didn’t stop whining and crying (because he was tired, surprisingly) and son number one insisted on eating three weetabix flake by flake (still in his pyjamas ten minutes before we had to leave for school), so despite my resolution I was red faced and screaming within minutes of waking up.

I don’t know how kids manage it, no one else in the world has the ability to irritate us and make us cross like they do. But they also have the ability to make us laugh like no one else does. I mean come on, ‘dog poopy’? That’s pretty funny.

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