Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

This Wonderful Life

September 17, 2009

This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope

In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

I’m not talking about knock-knocks that don’t make sense, so you laugh at their absurdity.

(Knock-knock. Who’s there? Uhhh, Poopy? Poopy, who? Poopy Pants!)

It’s not that I don’t enjoy the poopy pants-style humor that is so popular with small children. I just hope that, unlike Adam Sandler, my children will outgrow that particular phase of humor. That they might introduce subtleties of irony, word play, satire and even sarcasm.

Already I see good signs from Bee, who is about 6 1/2.

Last night, after a delicious meal of fried eggplant, angel hair pasta and red sauce with a side of tomato and mozzarella salad, Bee was leaning against the island in the kitchen while I cleaned up.

``Would pasta and pasta make a fire?’’ she asked. I turned to see her rubbing two tiny lengths of dried capellini together like a Boy Scout.

``No,’’ I told her. ``Two pieces of pasta will not make a fire.’’

``Or maybe they’ll make a pasta fire,’’ she said. ``With pasta sparks and pasta flames that explode everywhere. With pasta.’’ Her face melted into a wry, satisfied smile. My motherly heart skipped a glorious little beat.

Humor is important in my world.

Where other parents hope their children are successful, I hope my children are funny.

I mean, I know they can live fully productive and satisfying lives without being funny. And I would love them just as much if they weren’t funny. I know, I know. Really, it would be fine.

When they were babies, I naturally thought about all the other things that parents think about. Their health and happiness were my first hopes for them, of course. And I thought about all the firsts that we could experience together. Their first days at school. Their first favorite songs. Their first lost teeth and first bike rides.

Text Only
This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009