My constant need to amuse myself has caused me many problems over the years.
Like the time when the beautiful BossLady was 8 months pregnant. One night, as she was going through her closet and lamenting the fact that none of her clothes fit her anymore, she suddenly took a few steps backwards. Without even thinking, I started making the noise a NYC bus does when backing up. Beep! Beep! Beep! Sure, I slept on the couch that night and was in the doghouse for about a week but you can bet your ass I was giggling to myself the entire time.
Then, there was a time back in high school when I had a brilliantly absent-minded teacher who was constantly misplacing his belongings. It was so funny watching him get frustrated that whenever I walked by his classroom and saw that it was empty, I'd quickly run in and hide his lunch. Even when another teacher warned me not to do it again, I couldn't help myself. It was like an involuntary reflex. To this day, the mental image of him finding his lunch stuck inside a globe still cracks me up.
I find myself unconsciously doing this with my three-year-old daughter all the time.
Lately, the Peanut has been in non-stop question mode. Usually I'm fairly patient with her but sometimes I'm busy so I just reflexively snap off absurd answers to her without thinking. Last week, I stuck her in front of the television and put on "Free Willie" so I could get some work done. When she asked me what "Free Willie" was about, I hurriedly told her it was an updated morality play about two absurdly co-dependent friends: a boy who needs a whale and a whale who needs a boy.
I often forget the implications of speaking to her like that until we're out in public and I see her interacting with other people.
- Last week, one of our neighbors asked the Peanut what she wanted to be when she grew up. My daughter's deadpan reply? "I'm going to be a greeter at Wal-Mart."
- When her little friends at school start dancing, the Peanut doesn't join them. Instead, she jumps in front of them and starts singing, "Shake shake shake, Shake shake shake, Shake your booty! Shake your booty!"
- And lately, whenever she has to go to the bathroom, she grabs a newspaper, sticks it under her arm, and announces to everyone that she's "going to the office."
I have to admit that those things crack me up. Why wouldn't they? After all, in a simplistic way, aren't I merely putting my words into her mouth?
Don't get me wrong. There are times when I briefly worry about how my strange sense of humor is going to affect the Peanut. Will she be marked as "the weird chick" in high school? Will this cause her to be withdrawn and reclusive? Will that mean she'll have a hard time forming relationships and will never get married?
Then I remember how much I hate it when people blame their personal failures on their parents.
Quick side note: Is it me or have we become a country of ragged recidivists addicted to the belief that parents are to blame for all our personal shortcomings? This drives me insane. Too fat? Mommy must have mistakenly thought food was love. Anger issues? Daddy was always busy at work and didn't have enough time for you. Body issues? Blame it on that time Aunt Ruthie made you take a bath with her. Spare me!
Anyway, when it comes to passing on my sense of humor to the Peanut and using her as a form of entertainment, I've come to accept that when push comes to shove, I'm going to go with funny every single time.
After all, isn't one of the greatest benefits of parenthood being able to use our kids solely for entertainment purposes? How else can you explain the fact that my mother sent me to school having a bowl haircut, wearing green corduroys, packing smelly Korean food for lunch, and cruising a girl's bicycle with a wicker basket and a banana seat?
Shit, despite the embarrassment, even I think that's pretty funny.
Anyway, I mention all of this because BossLady and I have recently been discussing Halloween costumes for the Peanut. Last year's costume was perfect because she was so into "Annie." But this year, we're thinking of dressing her up in a costume solely for our own entertainment and we came up with an awesome idea. In fact, BossLady and I think the costume is so uproariously hilarious that we've completely lost perspective on the idea and can't stop giggling whenever we think about it. That's why we're turning to you, internet. Please give us your honest answer.
Is it funny or just plain wrong to dress the Peanut up as an underage Chinese Olympic gymnast?
An inquiring mind wants to know...