It’s five o’clock: time to make dinner. Slice the potatoes, marinate the meat, then reach into the fridge for… a pair of dirty socks. Indy strikes again.
Indy is a newcomer to the field of humor. While her elder sister has always enjoyed a good joke, Indy has remained resolutely literal. When the girls play dress-up, you wouldn’t dare say, “I see we have princesses visiting today. Good morning, your royal highnesses,” because the certain retort would be, “I’m not! I’m Indy in a princess costume!” The dress would promptly be abandoned, and Indy would stomp off.
Perhaps Australia is particularly funny, because Indy has recently warmed to the idea of wordplay and the unexpected. Thus, the socks. I now find her socks – always used, often smelly – under my pillow, in the crisper, nestled amongst the knives. Whenever I unearth these treasures, I am required to express shock and outrage, and Indy laughs her dirty, delighted four-year-old laugh.
|Why? Where do you keep your socks?|
Not being one to leave things to chance, Indy often hands me the script in advance. “Mom, I’m going to hide these socks beside the milk. You go find them and get mad.”
I dutifully wait in the hallway while said socks are deposited in the fridge.
Indy emerges from the kitchen. “Okay, go.”
I walk into the kitchen, keeping up a stream-of-consciousness patter about wanting a glass of milk. When I discover the planted socks and overreact, Indy laughs herself sick, and though we hadn’t set the scene together thirty seconds ago.
Knock-knock jokes are also a big theme. Sometimes they make sense (Knock-knock. Who’s there? Snow. Snow who? ‘S nobody but me!), and sometimes not (Knock-knock. Who’s there? Candle. Candle who? Candle sitting on the table beside the ketchup!).
But, newly-hilarious or not, Indy remains Indy. This morning, she was colouring in a picture of a cake. As she carefully shaded in pink and purple candles, I said, “That cake looks delicious! I think I’ll have a bite.” I pretended to cut a piece and eat it.
“Mom,” said Indy, “it is only a picture of a cake. It isn’t real – you can’t eat it.”
Well, we’ll get around to imagination another day.