Little Girl the comedian is at it again. She’s taken to holding a play phone, pretending to pick it up, and then screaming into it, “I told you not to call me!” And then, after she pretends to slam down the phone, she laughs and laughs. All of us — Big Girl, me, and my husband — laugh, too. None of us can figure out where this strange pantomime came from. I have never said anything even close to that. My husband barely touches the phone. She doesn’t watch TV, so it’s not like she saw it on some random show. (She has a small library of Sesame Street DVDs that she watches from time to time, but I am pretty sure Elmo doesn’t berate callers in Elmopalooza!.)
Inexplicable, really. How does one so young have such an evolved sense of humor? She frequently declares that we should stop, “joking” her, recounting stuff that she says we say. She also likes passing gas, and can do it on her own whim. Again, laughing and laughing. It’s especially funny to fart ON people, BTW. The kid even takes credit for other people’s gas. She finds humor everywhere.
Today, for example, as we played tea party with her dolls and tiny toy pets, I asked her what her dog’s name was. “Poop,” she said with a smile, laughing hysterically. Then she jumped up, grabbed the pretend potty, and made the small dog go poop, except oops, it fell in. I got fake indignant, of course. No! Dogs don’t use potties. Ewww! And she laughed some more.
It’s not just scatological humor that she’s got down, either. Last night we were playing with an empty toilet paper tube. I was using it as a secret-sharer, putting it up to each girl’s ear and telling them a secret. I started with Big Girl:
Me: I want to tell you a secret.
Big Girl: What?
Me: I love you.
Big Girl: That’s not a secret. And then she laughed, and my heart melted.
Then came Little Girl’s turn. I put the tube against her ear, and she started making whispering sounds as I tried to talk. Big Girl and I looked at each other, not being able to control our laughter. No, I told Little Girl, Mommy goes first. You listen, and then you get a chance to talk. But she wanted none of it, preferring to whisper, whisper as I whispered, laughing the whole time. We all collapsed laughing until their daddy, my husband, came home soon after. This kind of stuff happens all the time. It’s rare that she’s sad, pensive, or upset.
Tonight — just a few minutes ago, actually — was one of those rare occasions. She had a nightmare. I heard her crying in her room. I went in, my arms aching for her, and picked her up. What’s wrong, mama, I asked. Are you okay? And then I carried that little bundle over to the chair and rocked for what seemed like forever. Smelling her little head, rubbing the small of her neck. No jokes, no laughter, just a tiny girl clinging to her mommy. I wondered to myself if she senses how serious the rest of her family is and tries to make us all laugh. I wondered if she thinks she has to be funny. Crazy, right? She’s only two. But I still wonder. Because of that I will try harder to make sure she knows I love her whether she’s funny or not. That she knows we love her and not her funny jokes and infectious laugh. Oh, I’ll still laugh just as hard at her jokes — who wouldn’t — but I want to make sure as she grows up she realizes that there’s more to her than just being funny.