This evening, MiniM had a friend round after school.
She had been pestering me for a while, and because I was going to be at home today, I said yes.
MiniM and her friend helped prepare dinner and when we sat down to eat we started to tell jokes.
We’re big on family dinner time in our house. I think it is important to have, at least, part of the day when you can all sit down as a family with no distractions and talk.
When I say distractions, I mean TV, mobile phones, Facebook, Internet.
So, we sat at the table talking about school, and brownies and plans for the weekend, and then we started telling jokes.
I don’t know whether you have quietly listened to 7 year olds when they are together. They tell a lot of jokes. And laugh. A lot.
I thought that I had quite a good repertoire of jokes for children.
When I started to tell jokes, I had a tough audience. I don’t ever want to be a stand up comedian.
My best joke was met with stony faced silence, and then I was interrogated as to why it should be funny, with comments such as “But carrots don’t make a noise!”
Then it struck me. When 7 year old girls are together, telling jokes and laughing hilariously, they are not laughing at the jokes. They are laughing because they are gloriously happy in each others company.
The jokes are incidental, and half the time are not even understood.
The joy of children telling jokes is their ability to be happy. Their ability to appreciate the simple things in life. Children enjoy each others company and they are happy to be together. That happiness quite often expresses itself as hysterical laughter.
I tried this experiment through the week. You should try it too.
I collected MiniM from school, and on the walk home we both skipped. How fantastically liberating! I’m sure the neighbours think I’m nuts, but it was lovely.
Hand-in-hand we skipped all the way home. It was childish. It was funny. We laughed. It felt great having a fun time with my daughter. And I arrived home feeling like I was 7 years old.
And my best joke?……………