The greatest pleasure of having children is when they Achieve. With a capital A. When they come home with straight A’s, get into the ‘best school’ and then ‘choose’ that highly respected or financially lucrative career path that you’ve been not-so-subtly prepping them for.
Ah yes. Nothing more rewarding than when you finally see the results of the hard work that you’ve invested in the little swines and you can sit back, feel smug and crank yourself up to another level of living vicariously through them.
OK, OK – I’m being really sarky now. The truth. For me, the greatest pleasure is when your child finally begins to understand a much more sophisticated level of humour and when you can begin to have a proper belly-laugh together (although I’m sure that some critics would point out that there is an element of surrogation in wanting your offspring to share your own preferred brand of humour.)
So, yeah. I’ve noticed recently that my 10 year old is enjoying the laughs a lot more these days. And this is of particular importance for me because – as I have blogged here before – for dyslexic children, humour can be a tricky subject; the brain has a tendency to locks itself into the literal meanings behind the words and to focus on literal imagery.
So here’s a little conversation that demonstrates that we are getting there. Not quite there…. but certainly en route to sharing some more ‘mature’ family jokes.
7 YR OLD LAD: Mum, you can’t come and stay at Uncle Pete’s with us. There’s gonna be no one to look after Elvis [nb. Elvis is our budgie. In case you were thinking that The King really is alive and living in a terraced house in west Yorkshire.]
ME: Oh, Elvis will be fine. We’ll top his seed and his water up. He’ll enjoy the peace.
7 YR OLD: Noooo! We can’t leave him! What if he gets kidnapped?
ME: Actually, that’s a good point. We should really be on our guard against those pesky budgie-smugglers, eh?
(Both daughter and her dad erupt into laughter.)
HER DAD: HaHaHa! That’s a classic! Your mother is unusually quick witted today!
10 YR OLD: Hoooh yeah! Budgie smugglers! So funny!
HER DAD: Yeah. But hang on (to daughter.) How did you know what the term ‘budgie smuggler’ means?
10 YR OLD: Oh – the radio was on last week and I heard someone say ‘there’s lots of budgie smugglers about these days’ so I panicked. And Mum had to explain to me what it really means.
HER DAD: Ah, right.
10 YR OLD: Yeah. But I still don’t get why blokes would want to put budgies down their underpants. Men are so weird.
7 YR OLD: Oooh yeah! It would be all scratchy and nip-nippity-nippy wouldn’t it?
POST-SCRIPT- Regular readers will know that I like to use my own photos as much as possible for this blog and I did consider asking my other half to pose for the budgie-smuggler photo. But I knew that he would then start getting a bit silly and start trotting out things like “Yeah, but in my case we’d have to rename them ‘Mynah Bird Smugglers or ow about RaptorPants?” So I thought that I’d give that one a miss.