Thursday, January 10, 2019

Zoe vs. Laughter: With, At, Near & Around. Or, Mommy, You're NOT Funny!

Apologies, I've been neglecting this space for a while. The usual reasons---work, life, holidays, etc. 
But it's also because as Zoe gets older, it's harder to write about her. Her thoughts and feelings are more particular to the person she is becoming. And so it doesn't seem fair to tell stories about her without her having some control over them. Even if this blog has always been more about my own reactions to motherhood than telling deep dark secrets about Zoe. 
And even though I've obviously exaggerated some of her antics and alleged crimes against my humanity. The records have been sealed. (And you can read them here.)

Another issue is her sense of humor. 
I often think she's funny. 
Sometimes she thinks I'm funny. 
For the past few months, especially, only three types of jokes have been funny to her: 
1. Those concerning butts and their doings. 
2. Jokes SHE tells. 
3. Jokes that she tells ABOUT butts.
She DOES NOT like jokes where she thinks, rightly or wrongly, that she is the butt of the joke. Butts are not amusing when employed in that fashion.
Obviously Zoe has become trapped in what is popularly called binary thinking. That something can only be one thing or another. You are either laughing with her or at her. 
And if she's the only one not laughing, hold on to your butt.
Her mother, unfortunately for her, is someone who thinks mockery is the highest form of love.
It's going to be a rough couple of years. For us both.
So far I don't think my attempts to elucidate the concept of binary thinking have gotten through. It might be because I use words like "elucidate." 
I've been trying to explain the middle ground between laughing at and laughing with, that there's a third option---no, not laughing near the person, though I never fail to chuckle at that zinger. 
The third laugh, which is maybe not the middle ground, but more a transcendent laugh, is where you laugh at the person but with love. Because it's funny but also so true about that person, and you laugh because you enjoy them at their essence. 
Feeling my words must have effected a breakthrough to some greater, sophisticated understanding, I wait for her to speak, her face, changing every day but still my baby's face, wrinkling in thought. 
"One question," she says.
Of course, I say, flush with teachable-moment success. 
"Can I go on the iPad?"
And so I sigh and say, yes, "for half an hour," which I know will stretch to an hour, so I can get stuff done around the apartment, while trying to convince myself I'm funny, it's just my audience that's lacking, as in the background Zoe giggles at some goofy video on YouTube while sitting on the couch, scratching her tiny hilarious butt.

Zoe: 190; Universe: 0

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy Zoe vs. Some Truly Terrible Knock Knock Jokes, which may include more butt-focused humor. Okay, it does.

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 

   Mockery is to love as butts are to comedy. Enjoying analogies is to fun with words as fun with words is to clicking here to subscribe.