It feels like I’ve been purposely telling corny jokes my whole life. Truth be told, though, I haven’t. Before kids, my humor was usually off-color or, if on-color, the color was blue. Some were twisted. Some were adult. Some were riddled with curse words. I’ve told many doozies in my day and left many more dinner guests with their mouths hanging open in unhappy shock.
That had to change when I had kids. Suddenly, my humor was more about witty observations or, in the absence of wit, just observations. They leave my family with the same hanging jaws of past members of my audience but usually due to their sheer amazement that I find these thoughts to be even remotely funny.
Oh, but I do. I find them mocha fudging hilarious. Most times the joke comes out in real time. My mouth spits them out before my brain can process what I am saying and it often leaves me laughing the hardest of everyone. My favorite moment happened just a few weeks ago.
My ten year old daughter, Olivia, had asked for a cinnamon roll. It was all very straight forward.
Can I have a cinnamon roll?
I repeated it back to her but accidentally stumbled on my own words.
You want a cinn-a-sinn…min roll? Wow. I got all caught up on that.
She gave me a smirk that showed she noticed too but was more eager to get a roll into her face than join in any discussion about how I pronounced it. My brain, however, wasn’t finished analyzing what I just said.
That’s funny. Did you hear that? I almost said like Synonym Roll. Ha. Thats’s funny. Synonym Roll.
Then, as if there was a third person living in my head, I shouted out a statement that was like listening to someone else say it.
What’s a synonym roll? A bun! HA!
I started laughing so hard that I nearly collapsed. Honestly, my knees buckled. Olivia looked at me with a mix of subdued laughter and obvious horror. While I know she found humor in it, I could tell that my over-the-top reaction to my own stupid joke had left her mortified.
Here’s the thing about Dad Jokes, though. They keep me sane. In fact, being a parent without them would be pretty boring. We don’t talk about that much, but parenting isn’t entertaining most times. It’s a lot of cooking, cleaning, buying stuff, driving, and watching your kid watch God-awful TV shows. It’s the irony of spending your entire childhood waiting to grow up and then, when you finally do, you just have to watch someone else do it. It’s sitting through a rerun without a laugh track.
Which is where Dad jokes come in. They’re the laugh track of my life.
Dad jokes aren’t limited to Dads. I’ve heard moms tell them too. Dad jokes also aren’t limited to puns. I constantly use my warped humor to needle my kid about anything that could give her grief. My favorite is implying that her teachers are in love with me. I’ve done it every year.
Have fun at school today. Ms. Mendel isn’t embarrassing you, right?
What do you mean?
Like with all the “Oh, your daddy is so handsome” stuff. Telling you how much she is in love with me. It doesn’t make the other kids resent you, right?
She doesn’t say that. She never says that.
It’s OK. You don’t have to hide it. I know she does.
Do you want me to call and tell her to stop? Remind her that I’m married and it’s not nice to make you feel embarrassed in front of your friends. I would do that for you because I’m your dad and I love you.
That would make it worse probably, right? If I called, she would spend the whole time telling me how much she loves me. It would be weird.
Stop Mommy from what? What is she doing? Is she annoying you with stupid jokes?
I’ve done this every year. This year, she got a male teacher and figured I would probably stop doing it. She figured wrong. It just added a new spin to an old favorite.
I mess with my kids all the time. Maybe it’s taking my son’s iPad away and magically making it disappear just as he’s whining for it most or it’s sending the Twilight Zone Theme Song to the Chromecast on the TV in my daughter’s room without warning, it breaks up the monotony. Being able to elicit groans or taking a joke so far that it goes from laughter to anger and back to laughter again is an art form. It’s also a beacon of humor in a world of responsibilities that would be easy to capsize and drown in.
We all need humor and, until they reach an age where it’s appropriate to say my nastiest jokes around them, this is what they get. At first, I was counting the days until I could drop my corny facade. Sadly, I don’t do that anymore because, well, I’ve started to embrace my corny facade.
Yup. Dad jokes are an art form. Anyone can think of a humorous shocker that leaves people aghast. I can think of five off the top of my head now. It takes real skill to twist the words of a sentence around without saying a single swear word. You never realize how much of your life isn’t kid friendly until you find yourself tasked with being friendly to kids.
I’m proud of my Dad jokes. The title of this blog is based on one. I hope one day, my daughter causes her own kids to roll their eyes at her terrible attempts to replicate what her dad did years earlier. When she has little ones of her own staring back with a look of annoyance and whining, “I’m tired of your dumb jokes”, my only hope is that she’ll say the one thing that will make me prouder than anything.
Hi, Tired Of Your Dumb Jokes. I’m Mom.