Kids playing at trickery. And failing hilariously.

Liam has been trying to teach the girls some jokes lately. I think Nora kind of gets the humor, but not really. She has a good memory, though, so she’s able to retell them flawlessly. Frances, on the other hand, has just about no clue, but realizes I will laugh at whatever she says regardless, so she just throws it all on the table. 

From earlier today…

Nora: “Mom. Wanna hear a joke?”

Me: “Sure do!”

Nora: “Where did the pencil go on vacation?”

Me: “I don’t know. Where?”

Nora: “Pencil-vania!”

Me: “Hahahaha! That’s a good one!”

Frances: (not to be outdone-ever) “I’ve got a joke.”

Me: “OK. Let’s hear it.”

Frances: (looks at ground for inspiration and—apparently—finds it) “Where did the dirt go on vacation?”

Me: (looks at Nora and winks because recognizes this is going nowhere fast) “I don’t know. Where?”

Frances: “To Pennsylvania! And Mr. Dirt was driving!”

Me: (erupts into genuine laughter)

The fact that she felt the need to add that last bit about Mr. Dirt driving is hysterical. Just brilliant.

Then later, trying on the knock-knock joke for size.

Frances: “Mama—knock-knock.”

Me: “Who’s there?”

Frances: “Don’t worry. Papa Bear is here to give you a hug.”

Me: Okaaaay. “Hahahaha!”

Frances: (smiles proudly)

I wasn’t worried. But perhaps I should be!


We’ve gotten into a routine of doing a nightly talent show after dinner, thanks to my sister-in-law, Clare. She had the kids and their cousins performing in the living room a few weeks ago and it just stuck.

Usually, the kids choose to dance or sing. Liam, however, has been performing rusty magic tricks for the kids (think marble behind the ear type stuff). 

Tonight Nora decided to perform a trick. She vanished into the playroom for a time and then reappeared wearing a red Melissa and Doug dress up fire hat. Also, she had a metal play kitchen ladle that was doubling as a wand.

She told us she was going to make some magic things come out of her hat. Only—the second she removed the red plastic hat from her head, everything she planned on making magically appear fell out onto the carpet. 

The next few seconds were priceless. She was embarrassed and humiliated—at least asuch as any near five-year-old might be. She wasn’t sure how to proceed, or even if she could still perform, having given away her trick. Liam and I were dying trying to control our hysterics. Dying.

Luckily Liam jumped right in saying, “We didn’t see anything. Quick! Start over! Start over!”

Gratefully, Nora settled her shaking lip, took the bait to save face, and shoved everything back inside the hat. Meanwhile, we were still trying so hard to keep a straight face.

Then she said: “For my first trick, I am going to pull a robe out of my hat. Abracadabra!”

We oohed and ahhed for effect.

However, as she was struggling to apparently separate the clothing she’d shoved inside the hat, Nora pulled out the wrong item. “Oops!” she muttered aloud, looking up to see if we’d noticed. We played it off like we hadn’t. Again—dying!

She recovered nicely and pulled out the robe. We erupted into applause and oohed and ahhed some more. She then proceeded to pull out all the correct clothing—thanks be—and ended with a bow.

When she left to return her ‘props ‘ to the playroom, Liam and I finally allowed ourselves the freedom to crack up. What a moment. A talent show performance for the ages, really. I only wish we had thought to get it on video.

These kids playing at being older than they actually are—it’s just so dang FUNNY.

Talent show performance circa last week.


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