If there's one thing I love about my child it is his sense of humor. He laughs so easily and so sweetly, it is enough to make anyone feel like an amateur comedian. I remember being a quite young and very serious and principled 20-something, reading about the importance of sense of humor in relationships, and I protested internally that a sense of humor could not be nearly so important, and that an agreement of ideas and principles absolutely superseded anything else. Well, as I got older and more free with my own joking around, I finally realized its importance. And when I found my husband I marvelled that I got such a perfect match of ideals and sense of humor in one person.
Sam makes us a perfectly, happily, laughing threesome. Just the other day I was watching the VP debate while feeding Sam dinner; I actually had it streaming live on my new wireless laptop since we don't have tv. The next morning at breakfast Denis and I were enthusiastically mocking Palin's performance, not as well as Tina Fey of course, but we were cracking ourselves up. And Sam? He had only heard about one-third of the debate, but it was enough to put his political views in order. He knew exactly what we were talking about, and laughed right along with us. "I will answer that question, Gwen, and the answer is no. No I do not like jam with my oatmeal. But let me talk about something else: (look directly at imaginary camera) I am a maverick and I will stop this corruption on Wall Street for all Americans!"
When we were on the east coast recently, on a long drive from the mountains of New Hampshire to the narrow, map-defying streets of Boston, Sam began to fuss. When I exhausted my usual arsenal of distraction techniques (singing, reciting favorite books, telling stories of all the fun things we've done recently, pointing out the passing trucks and counting wheels), I got a novel idea. I began musing about what our cat (whom Sam adores of course), Taimi (pronounced tie-me, it means seedling in Finnish), might be doing right now. "Sam, do you think Taimi is at home right now, sitting in your highchair?" Quizzical look from Sam. "Sam, do you think Taimi is playing with your blocks?" Unsure upturn of the corner of his mouth. "Sam, do you think Taimi is...(big emphasis) brushing his teeth?" Non-committal short chuckle. "Do you think Taimi is reading a book?" Definite laugh. "Do you think Taimi is going for a walk in the stroller?" He gets it now. Laughs and laughs. "Sam. Do you think Taimi is at the park going down the slide?" Ha! Mommy's funny. Hearty laugh. "Sam. Do you think Taimi is getting his diaper changed?" Omg! Can't stop laughing! "Sam. Do you think Taimi is using his keys to open the door?" You're killing me! Keys and doors are my favorite things!
And this kept going with constant laughter from all three of us. Brushing his hair, eating yogurt, playing with mirror-pound-a-ball, washing his hands, all these crazy things Taimi was probably doing at home in our absence. And then, at one point I realized that Sam had said something in the middle of all his giggles. "Bath," he said. And I knew. Sam was making a joke of his own, "Bath! That's right! Sam, do you think Taimi is taking a bath right now?" Giggles and giggles and more giggles. Let me tell you, I CANNOT WAIT for Sam's next joke. Bring it on, little boy.