Ha, Ha… Go Away.

Last night we had joke night at dinner.  It underscored my belief children have no sense of humor or ability to follow logical reasoning until they’re at least older than five.

For example, here are some of the jokes we heard last night:

Why did the cow go on an airplane?
Because he wanted to eat some food.

Why did the butter boy cross the road?
Because he wanted to meet some salt and he needed to wear a shirt.

Why did the eye cross the road?
He wanted to get his shirt – a really big shirt – a 2T!

Why did the blanket cross the road?
Because he wanted to get a Tater Tot out of his mouth!

Why did the cross cross the road?
Because he wanted to get a Tater Tot out of his underpants!

All of their offerings were greeted with great excitement by Tres, who was chomping on an ear of corn and yelling, “Hurray!” every time we laughed.

And, we did laugh, even though the jokes didn’t make any sense.  I learned if you say “underpants” in a joke to a preschooler it’s funny even if the rest of the sentence is nonsensical.

For myself, I have only one joke.  I’ve used it non-stop because it’s the only I can remember and usually people at least smile when they hear it.  So I tried it on the kids:

What did one burp say to the other burp?  “Let’s be stinkers and go the other way.”

Crickets chirped when I told the kids.  They didn’t get it.

So I said, “In their underpants!”

Tres yelled, “Hurray!” and Uno and Dos laughed raucously.  It’s a tough crowd.

Our time eating together is either great or dicey.  When we go out to eat as a family to a restaurant I feel like it’s an escapade fraught with danger.

Will they sit in their seats?
Will they spill the milk across the table?
Will our server be attentive to the fact we have small children with us and move the hot plates away from little hands that multiply like octopus arms?

Now, in reality, our kids are pretty solid.  Yes, they wiggle, yes they are capable of spilling, and yes, at the end of every meal I find myself on my hands and knees under the table cleaning up  any treats that have fallen to the ground.

And, I’m proud to say Uno ordered her own meal for the first time this past Sunday!  It was a big deal!

I believe in the value of eating together as a family, even though it can be challenging.  It provides an opportunity for conversation, role modeling, and connection.

I’m a little concerned to discovered there are restaurants across the country banning children.  I received an email from Focus on the Family raising concern about the growing trend of “children not allowed” businesses.

The issue conflicting, because I’ve definitely been in the situation where I want to scream at a parent for allowing their child to run wild… and I’ve also been embarrassed of my own children’s behavior and spent more than one meal outside with the loud and wiggly kiddo while my own meal gets cold on the restaurant table.

There are a few questions that come to mind:

** Why are we moving toward a culture where children are not valued? (This can be argued through teacher’s salaries, child-free areas, childless marriages, etc.  It’s rampant within our culture.)
** Why are parents not stepping up to the responsibility of raising children to be a joy to be around? (My suspicion is it’s selfishness.  We have to give a lot as parents to raise “good”, enjoyable kids.  So why has our culture decided selflessness is rubbish?)
** What will we gain by creating spaces only for children?  What will we lose?  (I’m thinking of Brazil, with the hordes of invisible children growing up without families or parents.  What are the long-term effects of separation of children from families?)

My brain is now done.  But I’d love to hear your opinions – you guys are smart!

I’d also like to know a few more jokes – so please share it in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Ha, Ha… Go Away.

  • August 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I say there are already plenty of places that are “no kids allowed.” They’re called bars. If you want to go somewhere without kids, that’s the place to be. Plenty of bars serve great food, too.

    • August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Hadn’t thought of it like that – and you made me laugh. 🙂 Thanks!

  • August 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I would first like to apologize for the length of this comment. Yes this is a subject I seem to be very vocal on.

    I don’t see child free areas and childless marriages as we are “moving toward a culture where children are not valued?” In my opinion the increase in communication and media outlets that we now have access to and are simply creating a bigger story than it really is.

    I remember as a child in the 70’s/80’s when our parents went out for special occasions without the children they simply told us kids were not allowed where they were going. Once we were older and were allowed to join them at these resturants I remember looking around and sure enough there were no kids in the resturant and there was no sign posted saying children were not allowed, parents simply just did not bring kids to those resturants. It’s possibly simply an evolution of times and an shift of generations or mindset of parents.

    I have noticed fewer parents now finding babysitters for their children and choosing to take their children everyplace the parents go. I can see both sides of this, yes it’s important for the child to learn how to act appropriately when in public. However, I am also inclined to wonder if we are not trying to teach these lessons before the children are mature enough to understand the concept.

    I recently saw a child having a temper tantrum in an establishment and the mother was determined to teach the child a lesson right there and then and told the on-lookers “give him a break he’s just a child and needs to learn”. Honestly, when the child is kicking and screaming are they really in the correct mindset to learn a lesson. I know when I was that age learning lessons was not on my radar during temper tantrums, I learned more about how to act in public from being taken outside and told I was never allowed to return to that place again.

    Isn’t teaching children independance and social skills by staying with and being cared for by others (babysitter/family member) for a short time just as much of a lesson as how to act in public?

    As someone who is married and both of us are choosing not to have children I am faced with the question of “why no children” quite often. And yes I agree it does appear we may be selfish. However, I would like to share my reasonings why I choose to be married and not have children.

    First of all I have learned in my life that my state of happiness and being content comes from doing things that make me happy and not strickly what will make someone else happy. I married my husband first and foremost because I love him for who he is not the type of father I thought he’d make. After seeing so many of my friends and family get married because they felt pressure from others to do so I vowed to myself that I would only get married if I felt it was right and because I wanted to.

    Secondly, There are so many children born into this world that are either neglected, abused, or simply unwanted that could use compasion and be cared for by giving adults. Why should I bring children into this world simply to appear selfless to others. It could also be viewed as selfish to have children of ones own rather than give care to those in need?

    And what about adults who need care in which they can no longer provide for themselves. I have heard throughout my life family memebers use the words, “I have my own family to care for I am out of resources to also care for my parents/grandparents.” Rather then have children is it selfish to choose to do things that will help adults (related or not) live a better life. Either through providing companionship or through a professional field in which others count on you to make their days more enjoyable.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I do love kids, they are so funny and and it’s great to see the world through their innocent eyes. I am simply choosing to contribute to this world in ways other than having my own children.

    • August 5, 2011 at 11:58 am

      You bring up a lot of good points here – and I’m so glad you commented! As I read your comment I felt an interesting sense of conflict, because I 100% believe that not every couple should have children, that having a child you don’t want is a true shame. I also know when I was growing up parents were MUCH LESS permissive than parents are today. In fact, I tend to be pretty strict with my kids in comparison to other contemporary parents… but in my own parent’s eyes I let my kids get away with murder on a regular basis!

      All this to say – I’m giving your comment thought and thank you for submitting it!

  • August 5, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Oh I forgot my joke contribution.

    nephew: Knock Knock
    me: Who’s there
    nephew: Orange
    me: Orange Who
    nephew: Orange you glad I’m here to make you smile?


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