The jokes from the nine year old are steadily getting better

At bedtime the three year old comes down out of her bedroom and stands on the landing of the stairs, just out of our eyesight, until we call to her. “Yes, Baby Chickadee?” Then she comes down a few more stairs so that she can see us and we can see her, she pulls on the hem of her nightgown, tilts her head to look at the ceiling and responds with an, “Uh… Uuuhhhhh… I forgot to tell you sum-ping.” Only rarely does she actually have something to tell us, and we send her back up the stairs with I love you’s and See you in the morning’s.

At bedtime the nine year old comes out of his room--sometimes after more than an hour of reading--and groggily hollers down the stairs, “Is it time for us to get to bed yet?” Because he won’t go to bed of his own volition when he’s exhausted and so will just keep reading until we tell him it’s lights out.

At bedtime the seven year old quietly reads or draws in her bed until she falls asleep without another peep to us, save for those nights she comes down the stairs and stands in front of her father and me and asks to sleep in our bed for a little bit. Which is totally fine, for now, but that girl’s limbs are getting long, and Hubby is having trouble maneuvering a sprawling half-asleep child into her own bed when he and I turn in for the night.

The jokes from the nine year old are steadily getting better. I remember standing in line at the movie theatre when he was about four and I grimaced for him as he told one of his terrible nonsense jokes to another four year old in line. But to my happy shock the other kid, my son and my daughter all cracked up. Now, though, he sometimes has one-liners that make me laugh, like actually laugh, no pity laugh that you sometimes have to give your kid.

The seven year old’s repertoire of fart jokes is ever-increasing. Most of the time she knows to keep it with her brother and sister, the only ones in the family who appreciate the non-stop barrage of potty humor. Sometimes when I’m in the room adjacent to the three of them and hear them giggling I know not to investigate because it’ll just be another poop joke that I’ll be annoyed with, so instead I let the sweet sounds of giggling continue without my intervention.

The three year old’s jokes revolve around tickling. Nice and simple.

The seven year old is taking an interest in fashion. My daughter who up til now just wears the first clean clothes she comes across in her closet planned her outfits around a fedora last weekend, a fedora she asked me to buy her Saturday at Walmart. That girl wore it loud and proud both Saturday and Sunday.

The three year old and I get into it every morning that I make her wear pants, which, it being Kansas, means that she has had to wear them every single day, and so she pouts every single day. The only day she doesn’t argue is when she wears her pants with the darker blue polka dots because “Darker blue is my favorite color!” So I’ll be buying mostly cotton dresses for the summer, hopefully in the shade of darker blue.

The nine year old, who is my most patient and most likely to go with the flow, puts down his foot and shakes his head with a, “No, Mom. No. I am not going shopping.” His only school shoes are nearly worn through on the toe, and that is better to him than taking the time to look for new ones.

All in all, this is a good age.


Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three. She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.