Friday, August 22, 2008

Funny things happen

I know one of the most rewarding parts of home education is the humorous conversation we'd miss if our offspring were at school .

I was reading to the kids from a book with a character named "Stewie" and had to explain to Emma that it was almost certainly short for "Stewart."

She commented, "Stewie must eat lots of stews," and I gave an obligatory "ha ha."

Emma grumbled, "That wasn't a proper laugh. I'll bet if Logan made that joke, you'd be almost rolling on the floor laughing." Her older brother is the quiet type outside the house but he has an acerbic wit and a knack of being a natural comedian. Just recently, she is beginning to wonder why she finds it hard going to get the same response.

And Logan quirked an eyebrow and said, "Emma, come on, you have to admit, my jokes have a bit more class than 'Stewie eats lots of stews.'" And although it might not seem that funny, just the way he said it made me begin to laugh. He has the facial expressions to go with his comments. And when I started laughing, Emma began to get really mad and said, "See, I told you!"

She's really trying to figure out what makes a joke funny lately. Both she and Logan love stories I tell them about my Dad, their grandfather, while I was growing up. For example, once we were out at a flash restaurant for a celebration and Dad went to the toilet, leaving a tiny inch of wine at the bottom of his glass. While he was gone, a waiter came over and re-filled the glass to the top. Of course Dad didn't realise this. When he returned he decided to polish off his last bit of wine. Without even glancing at his glass, he tilted his head and flicked it back with a neat jerk of his wrist, ending up with a full glass of wine splashed all over his face.

Emma says, "Mum, Papa must've been funnier when you were growing up than he is now. Because when we visit him, he usually just likes to watch the sport on TV." But I tell her, "The thing is, he used to be just the same when he was middle-aged. He used to love sitting around watching sport then, too." The key with humorous moments is that they're like looking for a 4-leaf clover. When you search for them they're elusive but when you're just going about your day, that's when they occur. And if you want to get a collection of good family jokes you just need to remember them.

As Doctor Seuss said in "Old Fish, New Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," from there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!


  1. I'm laughing because the same thing happens here. Sometimes we click with the humor of our children because we understand it or we know immediately what's going to happen next. It's just fun. Makes the time interesting.

    Tell Emma, that I understand her pain, too. I'm funnier when I don't try to be funny. :-)

  2. You know, Alec is the one who has a natural wit around here. Much to the consternation of his older brother, Chad. Chad tries too hard to get a laugh and I've had to do the "fake" laugh quite often. But Chad is learning, he'll ask, "Was that funny, Mom?" And I actually coach him on what is/was/or might be funny. You never know what you might be called upon to teach, do you?

    And, yes, what a shame it would be if some stranger got to hear our wonderful children display their unique personalities all day ... instead of us! We are so, so blessed to be able to spend the days with our kids. So blessed!


  3. Oh goodness, humor is so hard to learn! I remember how jealous Marina would get of Chase when they were little because Chase just knew how to make us laugh. I hope Emma finds her own way to humor. I think it helps to think about what makes her laugh, and why. Also, timing is everything.

    Marina has now developed her own way of making us laugh, which is very different from Chase's and Sierra's. She has a drier wit, and gets her best laughs when she's "channeling" the cats and giving them voices. (hmmm, maybe ventriloquism...)

    Peace and Laughter,