Thursday, March 11, 2010

Childish Humor

Kids have a funny sense of humor.  As infants, anything from jingling car keys to tapping a soda can on the counter can elicit full-blown belly laughs.  Then they grow up and start to hear jokes.  They laugh when adults laugh, or when their siblings laugh.  They know the words were funny, but don't always understand why.

This is most apparent when they try to make up jokes on their own.

This doesn't always work with the intended degree of success.  I find myself laughing at my kids' jokes, but not in a "Wow that's funny" way.  More in a "Where the heck did THAT come from?" way.

Here's an example.  It's a simple knock-knock joke my five-year-old told me recently.  It's spent two weeks on a post-it note on my desk, awaiting its turn here on Ye Olde Blogge:

SON: Knock-knock.

ME: Who's there?

SON: Working out.

ME: Working out who?

SON: Working out at the place you work at.

ME: Huh?

SON: (Belly laugh).

So I end up laughing at his laughter, and he thinks his joke was a screaming success and tries to come up with more.  It's a self-perpetuating cycle ripe with a mixture of delight and confusion.  I'm sure I'll have more examples in the future, please stay tuned...

16 comments:

kdrausin said...

Very sweet-you're a good dad

jbchicoine said...

Somehow, I imagine you being the exact same way when you were 5!

Michelle said...

Oh, yes, the knock-knock joke phase. I used to teach pre-K and most kids seem to go through that at some point. It's a rite of passage!

Laurel said...

Do you find that after the joke elicits the desired laughter you get a repeat performance? We get treated to the same five or six over and over.

Rick Daley said...

@ Kristin- My wife and I both try to do our best. But rest assured, we are not perfect. It's just that I don't blog about our lesser moments!

@ Bridget- I don't think my powers of cute were as strong as my younger son's. He's cute and funny and he knows it...although he's starting to get to the age where he can't push the envelope as far as he used to.

@ Michelle- As corny as they are, it's a blast to listen to a kid tell them!

@ Laurel- They can milk it like a cow, can't they?

Kristi said...

My 5-yo has been teaching my 2-yo knock, knock jokes but the translation gets lost which results in her telling us the punch line first:

Her: Knock Knock
Me: Who's there?
Her: Orange you glad I'm not a banana.

However, since my 5-yo laughs at her, she does it OVER and OVER and OVER. I hope they get some new material soon!

Rick Daley said...

Kristi- I'm pretty sure that EXACT scenario has been played a dozen times in our house!

Crimey said...

It made me laugh out loud mainly because I imagined it told from a five-year-old. Little Daley's at work again. :)

Bane of Anubis said...

Based on all your anecdotes, I'm not sure whether I should be worried or excited about having kids ;)

Rick Daley said...

@ Crimey- Little Daley's work 24x7!

@ Bane- Be excited. Being a Dad is the coolest thing I have ever done, and I've climbed to mountain peaks and jumped from airplanes...

Susan Quinn said...

Rick - I wish the world was filled with good dads like you.

Ah the knock-knock phase. I used to think it was punishment for all the laughing I did at their earlier cutie pie antics. Then I met a 6 year old who was WICKED funny with the knock-knock jokes - had the timing, the lines, the cadence. Funny is a talent, I've decided. Sadly, it doesn't run very strong in our gene pool.

Vodka Mom said...

I LOVED IT!!

And I started laughing because I could SEE YOU GUYS!!!

Sharon said...

All these praises on a great dad- which I won't question, but jeez- it was Victor doing the joke, right? How can you not think it was precious, cute, funny, etc (I'm not a writer, so someone needs to fill in the rest of my run-on sentence....)

jbchicoine said...

I know you like to horde awards in some vault somewhere, so here's another.

Lady Glamis said...

I'll definitely stay tuned! Hah!

Anita said...

His knock-knock actually made me laugh out loud for the reason you cite...I can totally picture the whole scenario. You and your wife are raising some great kids.