My son spoke very clearly – and in complete sentences - at a very early age, and ever since then he’s been ahead of the curve verbally. My daughter wasn’t quite as advanced but she makes up for it with the sheer hilarity of what she says. Actually, both of them are pretty funny. My husband is fond of saying that if we could catch even five percent of the funny stuff they say on video we could post it on YouTube and make millions.
I write down a lot of the funny things they say, but somehow the humor is often lost without both the context and the delivery. For example, the other day my son proclaimed, completely out of the blue, “Sometimes, I just HAVE to lick my elbow.” Now, that’s a pretty funny line by itself, but when you add in the fact that it was a total non sequitur and the perfectly serious delivery complete with slightly furrowed brow, it’s REALLY funny. My daughter gets in on the non sequitur act herself, like a few weeks ago when in the middle of quietly playing with her dolls, she suddenly shouted from across the room in an urgent, almost panicked tone of voice, “I NEED A KISS!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!” Of course, I raced right over and kissed her, and she responded very calmly and matter-of-factly, “Thanks, Mum,” and went back to playing with her dolls as if nothing unusual had happened. And yet another time, she was playing with a toy giraffe near a pair of my sneakers that were on the floor, when she suddenly stuffed the giraffe into one of the sneakers and announced, “We gotta go. Come on, giraffe. We gotta go. Get in the shoe. GET IN THE SHOOOOEEEEEE!!!!!!!”
Sometimes my son is funny because he makes up words to express something that he doesn’t know the right word for. After enjoying a particularly buttery English muffin for breakfast one day, he examined his hands carefully and informed me, “Mama, I need to wash my hands. They’re all…muffin saucy.” Making up words is nothing new for him, though. When he was about 3, we were driving home from a friend’s house and he asked my husband if we were on a highway. Upon being informed that we weren’t at the moment, he quietly murmured to himself, “Oh, we’re on a low-way.” At about the same age, he noticed my niece’s pedicure and informed her that he really liked her toenail disguises.
At ages 3 and almost 5, my kids are smack in the middle of the time of life when everything is new and amazing. They’re young enough that they’re constantly experiencing things for the first time, and they’re old enough to be able to process and appreciate those experiences. And they’re full of curiosity about everything around them. Half of what makes them funny is the pure joy and wonder they find in everything that’s around them. Their joy is contagious, and you can’t help but laugh with them as they discover the joy and humor in the world around them.