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!