Kids and jokes

Kids and jokesKids love jokes – especially toilet humour. Poos and wees make them giggle like nothing else. I give you Exhibit A, a conversation which took place between my son and me the other day.

Master Five: “Knock knock.”
Me: “Who’s there?”
Master Five: “Europe.”
Me: “Europe, who?”
Master Five: “NO, YOU’RE A POO!”

And then he ran away, laughing hysterically, shouting, “You’re a poo!” in between hoots of mirth.

I don’t think he knows what or where Europe is. To him, it’s just a means to a poo-themed end.

All I can do is roll my eyes. Because I’ve seen this stage before, when Miss 11 went through it years ago. When she was five, her favourite jokes were all about poos and wees, too. It’s not just a boy thing. It’s a kid thing.

My favourite kid joke has always been, “What’s brown and sticky? A stick!” which still makes me grin, although it makes Miss 11 roll her eyes now. When she was five, she loved that joke. Mostly because she could change the answer to “A POO!”

It’s hard to dissuade kids from toilet humour, and it’s even hard to dissuade adults from it. I was away from home tonight when my husband texted me the following: “Miss 11 just made a poo bikini.”

I was afraid to ask, so I didn’t reply. His next text was a series of emojis – the poo emoji, and the bikini emoji, repeated a couple of times.

I still didn’t ask. Then my mobile rang, and Master Five was on the other end, laughing so hard he could barely talk. Finally, he gasped out, “Poo bikini! Poo bikini!” and hung up.

I’m not going to ask what this is all about. I just hope that when I get home, there is not an actual bikini made of poo anywhere in my house. It must be a joke… Although what the punch line is, I couldn’t tell you.

My only hope is Miss Five Months, who is too little to know what jokes are. Yet. I’m sure her big brother and sister will take care of that soon enough.

What I’m reading this week: Caraval, by Stephanie Garber (Hodder & Stoughton $29.99)

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite as it seems… Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the chance to go to Caraval, a once-a-year, week-long performance where the audience participates in the show. Caraval is magical and mysterious, and for Scarlett and her sister Tella, it represents freedom and the chance to escape from their abusive father. When the sisters’ long-awaited invitation to Caraval finally arrives, it seems their dreams have come true… But no sooner have they arrived than Tella is kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend, and Scarlett needs to outwit and outplay everyone in order to win the game, and her sister back. I loved this magical book with its dark undercurrents and mysterious characters. The premise is utterly original and captivating. I just wish it had been longer – there were so many interesting details I wanted the author to flesh out more. The themes are mature so this is not a children’s book, but teens will enjoy it, as well as adults.

Katherine Granich

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