February 1943. Moreno Valley, New Mexico. Mary Mutz making an apple pie on the Mutz ranch. Via Shorpy.
One of the great joys of life is being silly with kids. I’d say eighty percent of my time with our three is spent playfully (and the other twenty with me shouting ‘Get in the car! Get in the car! Get in the car!’)
It’s almost always a great time. But sometimes comedy can backfire (and often in humiliating ways.)
Anything to do with bums or poo is champagne comedy to kids. It’s like Kid Shakespeare. I try to please my audience and so one of my gags is to pretend that the whole idea of defecation is impossibly vulgar. ‘Poo? Out of my BOTTOM?’ I shriek, hamming up my best prissy voice. ‘That is a disgusting thing to say about your mother! Your mother!’
The kids will up the ante. ‘The Queen goes to the toilet,’ they will insist as I act increasingly horrified, until I have them shouting ‘The Prime Minster does poo! It comes out of his bum! It does Mum!’
Classy good times at our house.
Lately, though, Peanut has taken to trying to get me to do this gag in front of other people. She’ll wait for a break in the conversation and then say, eyes shining with anticipation, ’Mum, you have got a hole in your bum.’ It’s never the right crowd or moment to perform the whole routine, and it’s even more impossible to explain it. So I have to shake my head and hiss ‘Not now,’ at Peanut.
‘But you do,’ she insists. ‘You’ve got a big hole in your bum…’ I give her the mothers hiss, short and sharp. ‘Stoppit.’
She knows I mean business then and disappointed, lets it go. But then the whole thing hangs in the air – do I have some sort of secret, shameful medical issue? Hemorrhoids? A fistula perhaps? Or is the child just very, very strange?
Comedy children. They are my curse and my blessing.
In other news, I am so happy that today is the last day of school before the Easter break. All the Tupperware lids are missing, as are all the socks, and the couch has disappeared under all the unfolded washing. My kindy boy is all tuckered out and more than ready for a break from the routine.
This afternoon, a surprise celebration movie (Frozen, I think), popcorn, an apple-pie baking session and a huge, collective sigh of relief. I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead.
ps – Tomorrow I’m off to Sydney for a Voices of 2014 blogging class (If I am nominated as a Voice of 2014, I fear it means 2014 will make a lot of poo jokes.) Are you going? Please come up and say hi. I’ll be the one with a red carnation between my teeth and a hole in my bum.