Jokes with Talia

My oldest daughter has what we affectionately term a "developing sense of humor." She is delightfully logical and studiously serious most of the time. This is what makes her recent obsession with joke books that much more enjoyable.

Talia : I have a joke for you. .. why did the toilet paper roll down the hill?
Shane : Gravity!
Talia: No Dad. It's a joke.
Shane: But it's true. Gravity is why it is rolling downhill. The rest is irrelevant ....
Talia: Aaaaagggghhhh... to get to the BOTTOM.
Shane: Right. With gravity.

Talia: What kind of reptile tells on his friends?
Mom: A not very nice one.
Talia: No Mom. Well, yes...but no.
Mom:Ok, what kind?...
Talia: A tattlesnake.

Talia: What did one dog say to another?
Me: I had a "rrruff" day? *laughs hysterically*
Talia: No Mom. *sighs* it says "I can lick you at anytime."
Me: Nope. Mine is funnier.

Then Talia got a new joke book. Her first joke: Why did the elephant paint his toes red?
Mom: To scare the mouse
Dad: To look pretty
Talia: No. So he could hide in the cherry tree...
Dad: That makes no sense

*Same night. Piper convinces Talia to let her tell some jokes from her book*
Piper: Why was the porcupine wearing red boots?
Dad: So he could hide in the cherry tree
Talia: (hollers from the other room) AAAAHHH! DA-AD!
Piper: No, because his brown ones were being repaired.
Dad: Interesting.
Piper: Why was the goldfish red?
Dad and Mom together: SO HE COULD HIDE IN THE CHERRY TREE!!!
T: (stomping in utterly disgusted) Come on Piper, they aren't allowed to have anymore jokes tonight. Let's go to bed.
(p.s the answer is the goldfish rusted)

And then, the next day....
Talia: Why did the elephant paint himself different colors?
Dad: Ooh, I know this one! To hide in the cherry tree!
Talia: (deadpan stare) Seriously Dad? I said different colors.
Dad: Maybe there are blue cherries....
Mom: Or green and yellow cherries....
Talia:You guys have failed me. The answer was, to hide in the crayon box.
Mom: (stifling hysterical laughter) Oh. I see. Yes. That is different.

Talia: What do polar bears eat for know what? Never mind. I think we should move on. I don't really think Mom will like this one.
Me: Wait why? What's the answer?
Talia: An Eskimo pie.

Talia: What do you get when you cross a mouse and a ghost?
Me: I don't know. What?
Talia : A cari-boo
Me: What?!? Let me see that book. Talia, It's not a mouse. It is what do you get when you cross a MOOSE and a ghost?...
Talia: Oh....moving on....

Talia.: What happened after the mare broke her leg?
Me: She couldn't run for office .
Talia: That makes no sense.
Me: What do you mean? It makes perfect sense. ...
Talia: No. The answer is, she was in stable condition. Get it? *laughs* Stable?
Me: ???? Oh.... Does the book say m.a.r.e or m.a.y.o r?
Talia : m.a.r.e. you know, like a girl horse?
Me: Ok, that does make more sense. I thought you said mayor. But make sure to write mine down because I am hilarious.
Talia : *rolls eyes and walks off*

Dear Internet, Safety is an Illusion

Dear Internet,
About the Cincinnati Zoo incident. [Or Insert latest media story involving a child]
I understand. I understand you are angry that a gorilla had to be shot. That is sad.
I understand that you believe in your heart of hearts that the child must have been unsupervised in order to land himself in that situation.
I am here to tell you something you may not have realized before. You are not in control of your thoughts. The fact is you are reflexively parroting our American belief system that if a child is hurt, in danger, or killed for any reason….any reason, then this must be, by definition, someone’s…anyone’s fault.
You may not realize it but somewhere along the line most of us (yes, even me!) have fallen into the crusade for a zero percent mortality rate. This is the belief that if we all just follow the rules, or make enough rules, or supervise our children enough, than it is possible to reach a perfect 0% rate of mortality for children.
Is it tragic when a child is hurt or killed? Yes! Absolutely!
Is it automatically criminal, or someone’s fault? NO!
And yet we feel a desperate need to spin every child death, every child accident and every child endangerment into some sort of preventable tragedy. We have a need to do this because it makes us feel like we are in control. Americans have a long-term, shared belief system that if we just work hard enough we can become rich and “make it” in the world. This belief in the control over our own circumstances spills over into every facet of our lives. If we just legislate safety enough, maintain enough supervision or protect our children from enough things- then we will never have to face the possibility of losing one.
News Flash: This. Is. A. Lie.
It is a horrible, unpleasant thing to think about, but children die. Children disappear from even the most watchful parent and get themselves into mischief every day.
We often wrongly assume that children are passive players in this scenario. Many of those children are actively watching for that one second, the one tiny opportunity to slip away and explore somewhere or do something forbidden. The tighter we crack down, the more those children are going to be watching us- waiting to exploit that one distracted moment.
Just like an oppressive regime that eventually loses control of its people, so are the children of helicopter parents. They are waiting, ever watchful of that single moment in time when Mom has to tend to another child’s needs, or is distracted by the phone or another adult. And in that moment, they will slip away.
But, that isn’t how we treat these parents afterwards. Oh no. God forbid your child be injured or taken from you by death.
Understand this. The mere fact of child loss is all that is required. Just as my friend who lost her 2 year old in a parking lot- standing exactly where he was asked to stand. The minute the news reported the mere fact that it happened was the very same minute that the condemnation started flooding in. Assumption that he had run into the street. Assumption that he hadn’t been holding hands. Assumptions, assumptions, assumptions. All of it proceeding the worst and most horrific condemnation. My friend’s family, facing the worst grief imaginable, began having to defend themselves daily against a world that felt compelled to shout that it was all their fault.
The nightmare is more than anyone can imagine.
So to all the individuals out there making “funny” memes about this family’s near tragedy, or any other child tragedy for that matter, understand this: the only thing separating you from this kind of judgement is coincidence. Safety is an illusion. Childhood is risk. Good parenting is no inoculation to tragedy. Sometimes accidents are just that. Accidents.
And to anyone who might disagree with me, I challenge to you find me ONE- just one article about a child who has died from something other than illness like cancer or the flu where the parents haven’t been questioned, charged or justice demanded in the court of opinion. Find me one where a lawsuit or non-profit hasn’t sprung up to re-write laws to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again, “if it saves a single life, it will be worth it.”
You can’t. Because we need someone to blame. We need to spin that tragedy into a preventable one. Because if we don’t, we all have to face the truly terrifying fact that no one is immune. No one is safe.
Instead I challenge us all to read a story about an accident involving a child and either hold our tongue or simply post, "I am so sorry this happened." Because how we treat struggling, grieving families is how we will in turn be treated if, God forbid, tragedy ever strikes us.

A “Good” Mom (read: A Lucky Mom)

Awkward Pediatrican Visits: Mr. Evil-Thoughts

Today we had yet another epically awkward pediatrician appointment.

Let me begin by saying that our pediatrician is amazing. For over a decade she has been an honorary member of our family in the sense that she accepts our special brand of crazy and has yet to call Child Protective Services on us....a joke we frequently use with her, and that she still laughs at...Thank God.

I had made yesterday's appointment, the last one of the day, so that we could consult on where my sweet middle child, Piper, is in her journey with her various issues, and what our next step is.

Piper is my quintessential "middle child" that struggles with ADD and SPD and probably GAD and OCD...or in other words, she has major issues with the alphabet.

I made the appointment to determine what exactly our next step is in the process to help her. We just finished brain integration therapy and some weighted and sensory therapies, but the meltdowns haven't seemed to diminish, so, I have declared this summer my quest to find something, anything, that can help her essentially stay out of her own way.

The appointment lasted and hour and we now have some new steps with where to go, but there is nothing quite like going in to the doctor to discuss your child's a-typical behavior than having your eight year old crawl under the chairs and refuse to come out, and it sort of went downhill from there.

Me (pointing under the chairs): Like this. Is this normal?
Dr.: Typical
Me: It's Typical?
Dr.: No, we prefer the term typical.
Me: Oh, sorry. Is this typical?
Dr.: No, not really. So, Piper, whose your friend?
Piper: (holding up rubber, squeaky dog toy from under the chair) This is my friend.
Dr.: Does he have a name?
Me: Uh...yes. She just named him Octi today.
Piper: Yes, that's true. But his other name is Mr. Evil Thoughts. See *squeak squeak* I have had him for a long time.
Me: Yeeaaahhh. So, it isn't really like it sounds. That's just his name. He doesn't actually have evil thoughts or anything. I mean, she just named him that because it sounded more dramatic.
*long pause*
Dr: So, I am thinking we should start with some counseling first, before we check her for learning disabilities. Just to rule a few things out.
Me: *sigh*

Disclaimer: Named 5 years ago. Does not actually have evil thoughts. Really. I promise.