Monday, September 13, 2004

Our Own Little Bob Hope. Or is it Tristan Tzara?

When Sarah was a baby, maybe only three or four months old, she used to do this scary little thing where it sounded like she was gasping for air. RW and I would flutter around her, watching for her to turn blue or show other signs of distress, but the weird thing was that she always seemed to be smiling while she did the scary wheezy indrawn breath. Finally it dawned on us: she was laughing. That gasping was her little baby laugh. Ha, ha. Joke's on you, silly parents!

She's had a healthy, if occasionally mystifying, sense of humor ever since. Lately, though, she's been obsessed with being funny, even kind of jittery about it. She wanders around the house practicing her routines and chuckling nervously at herself. It's like being backstage at Catch a Rising Star. She's also taken to questioning us sharply whenever we say something vaguely sarcastic or teasing: "Are you kidding?" she barks, looking anxious. I get the feeling she's trying to get a handle on what humor is.

Last night she was over by her play table moving stuff around (her primary occupation of an evening) while doing her yammering/laughing routine with greater and greater intensity. Finally it was just too much for her not to share, and she came over to me, bursting with hilarity.

"Mommy!" she gasped between snorts of laughter. "Mommy! I have to tell you something funny!" She was laughing so hard she could barely get the words out. "Mommy...Mosquito bite Pope!" She doubled over in hysterics. "Mosquito bite Pope!" she repeated, for good measure. "Isn't that funny!?!" More hearty guffaws, which slowly faded as she checked me out; apparently my response was less than satisfactory. " that funny?"

I had to admit I guessed it was funny. (In an absurdist kind of way. But I left that part out.)

Relieved, she cranked up the laughter again, and exited as she had entered, chortling and mumbling. "Mosquito bite Pope! Mosquito bite Pope! I have to tell Mama! Ha, ha, ha! Mosquito bite Pope!"

What I can't figure out is where she ever heard the word "Pope." Not around here, that's for sure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

COuld it be some other pope than the Pope pope? Like a dog named Pope? I remember my brother coming out, at four, with the following joke: "What's round like an eye? A hamburger!" At least Sarah's joke has some minimal relation to humor. Like a nascent Three Stooges type of humor.

Oh, dear, back to work, this blog is very bad for me.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was Angela, by the way.


10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that "Pope" is a euphemism for the same word with two oo's and no e on the end. Sarah's very fond of Potty Humour lately, and disgruntled that we refuse to let her express it anywhere except in the bathroom.
- Renaissance Woman

8:27 PM  

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