My daughter is three and she’s a damn riot. OK, I know…I know…every mom thinks their kid is great. But, mine really is. She’s a regular standup comedian sometimes. The things that come our of her mouth are priceless. I’ve often considered keeping a video recorder on all day to catch the raw, unscripted moments of humor. I try to remember all the funny bits that happen in the course of a day, but sometimes it’s too many to keep track. As Kenny Bania once told Jerry Seinfeld, “That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!”
My daughter loves to mimic me. But, as the saying goes, imitation is the best form of flattery, right? She definitely picks up lots of her catch phrases from grandma too. We are her muses. Sure, she doesn’t always come up with her own material. But, it strikes me as funny when she really has concocted a zinger on her own. If you haven’t read my post “I Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up,” about her Anaconda poopie, that speaks for itself.
The reason it is funny, is because she is not trying. She is innocent and dead serious.
For instance, this morning as I was getting ready for work, she told me in a very grown up voice, “Your bra is beautiful!” It came out of left field as I was brushing my teeth. But, it’s not often I get compliments, so I said thank you and went about my business. She then followed up with, “They are squishy circles.” Clearly, she doesn’t understand that my post-nursing breasts have been deflated and reduced to the size of flapjacks. Those squishy circles from Victoria’s Secret are all I have. Now, they are no longer a secret, either.
Yesterday, she pulled her brother aside (who is only 18 months younger than she is) after he hit the dog a bit too hard on the back. In a very serious scolding tone she held him square in front of her and said, “You must use gentle touches next time. Leigha is not a drum.” He paid no attention to the 3-foot figure reprimanding him and began to laugh. “Did you hear me?!” She warned. Her old mother-hen gene was seriously coming out. It was like watching two dwarfs face-off.
Sometimes, just her simplicity and candor are funny. When my daughter just feels overcome with gratitude that I am her mother, she regularly professes her feelings by saying, “Mommy, I like you. You’re nice.” When she is not happy with me, she scrunches her face into a scowl and then asks a pointed question like,” Mommy, does my face look happy or mad?” I take the bait and answer her, “It looks mad.” She responds, “Right. I am mad at you.”
Other times, she sounds more like she just came out of a nursing home, rather than a nursery school. Over the weekend, we were driving through town and as my daughter looked at a building we had just passed, she commented, “All of these places are changing around here. The old ones are gone and new ones are coming.”
Presumably, this was a repeated phrase from my 70-year-old mother who I sure must have said something to that effect in observation of the city which see has seen grown and change for the last 40 years. My daughter must have heard her say it, and decided to paraphrase. Still, it’s hilarious when something so mature comes out of a toddler’s mouth. She’s only been alive for 36 months – it’s ALL new for her!
Is humor genetic? My mother’s best friend still tells a story of when I was about the same age as my daughter is now. The two of them were on their way shopping and I was in the back seat of the car. As we passed the cemetery where my grandfather was buried, I said, “My grandpa is deader than a doornail.”
Was that in poor taste for a toddler? Maybe. Was it comical? Yes, so I am told.
- Jerry Seinfeld recalls the days when Jay Leno was a comedian (popwatch.ew.com)
- Biz e-Friday Countdown 3.4.11 (bize-mom.com)