The Real Problem With Juvenile Humor

The Real Problem With Juvenile Humor

Want to hear a knock knock joke as told by a 2-year-old?

Jamie: knock knock. (Hitting the table and smiling.)

Me: Who’s there?


So the sophistication isn’t quite there yet, but the enthusiasm came in spades. It isn’t even my son’s first attempt at humor.

I don’t even remember how it began, but my son has been obsessed with sneezes. Once he observed the “bless you” response, he began fake sneezing. I mean he’d look right at you, smile and just say “AAAAA-CHOOOO!” approximately 50 times consecutively. It became his first attempt to seek a laugh, and sometimes you have to because of how cute it is.

This routine evolved into a physical comedy routine that involves sneezing something off of his head. Sometimes he’ll make ridiculously funny/expressive faces that force you to laugh when you see them. He’ll have the ability for physical humor as he grows older, I’m thinking.

He knows he’s commanding the attention of the room with these kinds of jokes. He thrives on repetition, which either makes you laugh more, or want to stab your eyeballs out with a butter knife, depending on your mood of course.

My son is also incredibly funny, in a way that only a 2-year-old can manage. Like so many of us, the humor comes out in the subtle moments of life, not necessarily when he is in search of a laugh. My son’s humor comes in his attempts to figure out his surroundings.

I correctly predicted my problem with toddler humor way before my wife ever became pregnant. It’s the stuff they didn’t necessarily mean to be funny that has me laughing uncontrollably.

The problem is that you cannot laugh whole-heartedly and follow up with “Don’t do that” in the same breath. Well you can, but it’s not an effective way to parent. The whole “Do as I say, not as I do” element of parenting must come much later.

There are so many genuine toddler moments that make my sense of humor a detriment to my ability to parent.

  • When my only child says he has a sister. When you correct him he argues, and says he got her from his friend.
  • When he cleans his hands at the dinner table by wiping the spaghetti in his hair.
  • When he demonstrates a commanding knowledge of the human anatomy you were not aware he had.
  • When he asks if the older lady at the store is a dinosaur.
  • When “I POOOPED ON GOOFY!!!!” is his way of telling you he had an accident (while wearing Goofy underwear.).
  • When he continuously asks for Halloween candy, cookies or chips for breakfast.

Sometimes I need to excuse myself from the dinner table. Sometimes I need to leave the room. The humor is in the uh-oh moments. The humor is in the fact he could possibly think what he is doing is acceptable. The humor is in hearing a 2-year-old say something the world knows he shouldn’t.

The humor is everywhere, really. The trick is knowing how to ignore it. Most parents possess the ability to wait until their kids are no longer present to laugh at these situations. I am not most parents.

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1 Comment

  1. Nice sense of humor from the boy. My younger son was like that. He still is laughy/jokey kind of kid (most of the time).
    I say enjoy it. Laugh.

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