It Only Works Once

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Kids say the darnedest things. Seriously. I don’t know how parents do it: you know, parent their children without laughing at the ridiculously hilarious (and more often than not, bad) things that they say or do.

I’ve learned in my time as a teacher and auntie that kids don’t even realize the funniest things that they say or do until they’ve already been said or done…and it resulted in an outburst of laughter from the resident adult. I’m usually pretty good at holding it in when I’m teaching, but when I’m auntie-ing, LOOK-OUT. If the kid does something bad in a remotely adorable way…you’re bound to see me laugh until I cry…or pee…or both.

What’s even better, though, is when they realize that what they’ve said is funny…but they have no idea how or why. One of my students, an unfairly cute, precocious little seven-year-old girl would occasionally talk in her own little world. She would talk to me or herself, depending on how much she liked me at the time. She proceeded to talk to me, telling me that I was a mom, asking why I wasn’t a mom, and eventually calling me, “Big Mama,” at which point, I couldn’t help myself: I burst out with a large HA!

Of course, she checked back into the real world, and asked me, “Miss Christy (as children tend to call me, though I despise being a “Christy.”) What’s so funny?” She smiled a smirkish grin, knowing that whatever it was, she had done it. “Big Mama?!”

She spent the next hour attempting to call me Big Mama, without receiving the reaction that she wanted. It was so unexpected the first time, that I couldn’t help laughing. But…it only works once.

Many other students, nieces, and nephews in my world have done similar things, expecting the same result. (If you haven’t heard a really good cackle, you should hear me laugh. I inherited the world’s most infectious cackle from my grandmother.) Of course, the kids don’t understand that to adults, an unexpected action seen as a joke is only funny once.


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