On her most recent trip to the library, my mom picked up a bunch of joke books for Gabi. The thinking was that if Gabi heard a bunch of funny jokes, she might start to understand how jokes work. Like, how they're actually supposed to be funny.
Because she doesn't really know that. She tells LOTS of jokes, but none of them are funny. Most of the time they don't even make sense.
Gabi: Knock Knock
Me: Who's there?
Me: Cat who?
Gabi: Kitty cat tumble two! Shoe!
Gabi then laughs at her joke. Super laughs. Laughs so hard that her head snaps back and I worry that she's going to permanently damage her throat.
After hearing a joke like this, and there are many spread throughout each and every hour of the day, I sit there wondering if I should laugh or not.
I used to pretend to laugh, but then something started nagging at me.
By laughing, am I LYING? Am I setting her up for future failure? She could get all the way through high school thinking she was a kick, and then find out in college that we'd been lying to her all that time! It could really damage our relationship.
But by not laughing, would I be eroding her self-confidence? Would I be depriving her of some sort of crucial childhood brain development? Leave it to me to not laugh at a not funny joke and deprive my child of some much needed brain pathway. I could be killing her chances at a Nobel Peace prize. Or the presidency!
It's a big dilemma. I want to do what's right! So should I laugh? Or not?
And I only ask, because the joke books didn't work.