My kid has grasped many concepts in her five years. She’s quite astute and has a well developed sense of humor. While she does not excel in straight forward joke telling, she’s got the observational and dry wit part down pat, as you have probably read in past posts. However, she equally impressed and disappointed me in the span of five hours.
Sunday, we went to the Aviary in Pittsburgh. The West entrance is a parent’s nightmare as it opens right into the gift shop. This is like crack for my child. She immediately wanted a stuffed animal as she is a stuffed animal junkie. We managed to get through the next three hours without having to buy something but on our way out, I caved. For $12 and ten minutes worth of heavy decision making, she settled on a parrot. As we walked up to the counter, she took the parrot and flipped it on its back. She then elbowed me and said, “Look, Daddy… Dead Parrot.”
Now, I’m not sure if it’s a genetic or instinctual thing for her, but it made me laugh out loud. I was raised on Python. My father, the corruptor, had all three of us well versed in British humor from the likes of Python, Dave Allen, and Benny Hill. So, this was a particularly proud moment. Why? I was once reprimanded, not severely, but shamed nonetheless, by our quality team in my old job over this love of Python. I worked at a medical manufacturer and included in the return authorization for broken equipment various phrases from The Dead Parrot Sketch. Apparently, the FDA does not have a sense of humor. Perhaps they are German.
To have my child, who to my knowledge has never seen or heard The Dead Parrot sketch, say to me, “Look, Daddy… Dead Parrot” almost made me question that whole genetic vs. instinct issue. However, not more than five hours later, after much debate about leaving the parrot at home while we went out, it joined the invisible choir. The foot fell off and she freaked. I left her in the car with her mother while I ran into the store. She continued to sob while I had much needed away time from the situation. After calming down from my fit of, “We spend money on stuff and it gets broke” to “Why can’t you just leave it at home and it won’t get broke”, I busted out into a fit of laughter as my wife informed me that our child wanted to take the parrot home and bury it. Literally put it in a box and bury it.
So, after getting home and unloading the car, I dug up some needle and thread and she waited patiently while I performed surgery on her bird.
I called her over and she examined it. It’s one foot was now a little shorter than the other but it passed. As we put her to bed, bird in hand, she kissed me and said, “You did a good job. A girl would have done better, but it’s OK.”