Ask a dozen women what they look for in a man and 90% of them will list sense of humour as the most important.Funny though, I usually snap at the OA if his sense of humour gets in the way of a conversation. Everything is funny until you get married. Then you wonder if life played a joke on you.
Yennyway. This is not about the OA’s sense of humour that kills me. Literally. It is about the Brat’s sense of humour, or lack thereof. A few months ago the OA and I noticed that the Brat didn’t tell jokes or get jokes. Most other kids in that age group seemed to get it. And were cracking crude potty jokes but the light of our life seemed to find nothing funny about that joke that turned my stomach while the 6 year old narrated it.
I realised that the OA had noticed it too. Why didn’t our son get a joke? It wasn’t the end of the world, but as parents, it interested us. We really thought we were giving him a good childhood. So err.. why didn’t he laugh when he heard the punch line. And then being the person I am, I began to think about it. Was it a lack of vocabulary? Was it some sort of developmental delay? What is a joke? How do you know that it is funny? What makes a joke funny to some and not to others? What does it mean if you can’t see the funny side of something?
Fortunately we met an educator some days later and she gave us an interesting explanation, or atleast a theory. Jokes are funny because you expect it to go one way and then the punch line happens and it is completely unexpected and that is what is funny. Jokes get funnier and you understand them better and laugh harder as you grow older because you are more set in your ways and ideas and you have an expectation in your mind. It is only when you have an open mind, she mentioned, that you don’t find jokes funny. Now this is not meant to be taken literally. To expand on it, when the Brat hears a story, he has no expectation of how it is to end and he has no limits to what is possible. So even a joke with an outlandish ending, is possible in his little Calvin Hobbes world. He nods, takes the joke in his stride as food for thought and walks on.
It was an interesting theory. I am not sure if it is a valid theory but it made sense when explained that way. A few days ago the Brat came and sat in my lap and looked out of the window.
Oye, I said – must you land on my lap?
Yes, he nods seriously.
Why? I ask
Because its there, says he. Much like George Mallory.
Ha ha ha, I laughed, forgetting for a moment that he is a child and thinking – Kya chance pe dance kiya. Until I realised that he had said it in utter seriousness. And of course remembering that he was too young to even be aware of the quote.
Anyhow, I don’t know if this is good news or bad, but he is slowly beginning to see a joke. I have to admit, that while it turns him into a normal little boy, laughing at age appropriate potty jokes, it’s the end of yet another era, the passing of a milestone. He’s slowly losing the willing acceptance. The suspension of disbelief. The open mind that doesn’t second guess and innocently nods and believes. Gradually he is getting expectations, it is no longer open ended. I think I’ll miss my little boy so full of wonder.
PS: After I wrote this post I was chatting with the OA who smiled his OA smile and said, “You know he gets it from you, don’t you?”
I do? He does?
OA: I think he does. Aren’t you the one who still holds your breath each time the aeroplane takes off and wonders anew at how it can lift off and soar through the air? Aren’t you the one who always has 20 things to tell me even if you’ve been home all day? Aren’t you the one who is always full of little observations for your blog? The one who is happy over the funniest little occurrences?
And so I had three things to be happy about
– The son who is growing into the spitting image of his goodlooking father instead of average looking mother gets atleast something from his mother – a sense of wonder
– That apparently I have a sense of wonder that I have never realised
– That the banker husband who wouldn’t bother if I walked around the house with my head stuck up a turkey’s arse, has not only noticed something about me, but about my son too and has actually had the time to draw conclusions. 2011 might just be the year of miracles!