When I was little, my mom had a few "Silly Sally" stories that she would tell every now and then. They are a tiny bit like Amelia Bedelia, only much shorter, and of an oral tradition rather than in any storybook. They all ended with someone in the story being a bit alarmed about a situation, and the phrase, "But Silly Sally just laughed and laughed. She knew..."

Um, the only one of these little tales I remember is about Sally and her friend coming across a large cow patty that smelled atrociously and had a big spider sitting on the top of it. Sally's friend ran screaming away, both because of the spider and the smell. "But Silly Sally just laaaaughed and laaaaughed. She knew that spider couldn't have made all that poo!"

Yeah, it's a masterpiece, I know. Too bad I can't remember any others. Of course, their punchlines and subject matter are not any more deep than that.

The thing about it, is that my mom couldn't get more than a wry smile out of me when she told these. Although to this day, I do smile inside when I hear or think the cadence in the words, "But Silly Sally just laaaaughed and laaaaughed...She knew..."

I've just always been kind-of a serious soul. Maybe with a little bit of high-brow humor. Or perhaps a humor that just has to be tickled at just the right time and just the right place. Because I have belly-laughed a time or two in my life, and maybe even had liquid come out of my nose over something funny. But I'm definitely not a ROFL type.

Mostly I take things seriously, if not literally. I pride myself on pragmatism and I often catch people's off-the-cuff jokes a little too late - like just after I answer quite seriously or defensively, when I should have just kept it light and fluffy.

Calvin is my child in that respect. He was born with a knitted brow - which Auntie S dubbed his "thinkie" look. And he thinks a lot. And while he does have fun and takes interest in many things, he is literal and serious and approaches play like it's his job. He likes his information and his conversation to be straight-up, undiluted correctness. No nonsense.

He never really liked when I would call his brown eyes purple just so he would correct me, and he doesn't like when we change the words to nursery rhymes or songs he knows. He rolls his eyes and groans when we tell him outlandish things or - heaven forbid - make up answers to questions that don't hold water. He doesn't laugh at the silliness. He hollers in frustration that we aren't getting it right. And I totally understand where he is coming from.

Enter Henry. The kid loves to giggle. He thinks nothing is funnier than when I say, "This little pig went to the beach, this little pig ate hot dogs and macaroni," or tell him that I love his polka-dotted hair.

His latest joke is to insert the word "applesauce" in place of any noun in any sentence: Last night he fell off my lap laughing during prayers because instead of saying, "We thank thee for the beautiful sunshine," he ad-libbed and said, "Thankee for de bootifoh apposauce."

"Mom, I need you to change my apposauce," he'll say with a cackle and a chortle at the end. "Calvin, you're a baby apposauce," nyuknyuknyuk. (Yeah, Calvin loves those comments.) Ask Henry to get in the tub, or pick up his toys and it's, "You pick up your applesauce!" with a big sassy hahahahahaha.

Who knew that applesauce could garner such delight in the mind of a young comedian? Or help his mom live - and let go of herself - a little? I'm learning to laugh along. And to do more silly things with him. It's really quite refreshing. Even Calvin gets in on it now, and can even provide Henry with a punchline, if he can't muster the silliness himself.

I'm learning that even if I don't "get" the humor in any of it, allowing myself to giggle with him instead of demanding serious focus on getting shoes on so we can go already, actually helps me get the spontaneous delight of childhood silliness that I think I never really allowed myself before, even as a child.

Maybe the Silly Sally stories are coming full circle. I'd like to hope that my boys will remember fondly: Our Mommy just laaaaughed and laaaughed...She knew that there is nothing better than a contagious, rolling, gurgling, belly laugh from a bright-eyed, silly 2 1/2-year-old.


Code Yellow Mom said...

Oooh...I remembered another: Silly Sally was babysitting and she took the baby out for a walk in the stroller. She stopped to talk to her friend at the top of a hill and accidentally let go of the stroller. It started rolling crazy down the hill, and Sally's friend screamed and the baby started crying. But Silly Sally just laaaughed and laaaughed. She knew there was stop sign at the bottom of the hill!

Yeah, they're all like that.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I loved Amelia Bedilia as a child and now my 5 year old little girl is loving her, too! Silly Sally sounds equally as funny.

My daughter often says Daddy is super silly, then she and Cory are silly and Mommy is the least silliest of all of us. I think I need to learn to laugh more often :) !!

someone else said...

Well, I'M the one ROFL!! This is so wonderful and I love your stories. Have I told you that before? I think so. And I still love to come here and read.

Angela said...

See, I always knew this about you at some level, but how is it that you can get a belly laugh out of me and get me to rofl? I'm a rofler, but someone's gotta cause it.

I love this post. I mean LOVE it. I almost want to memorize it, but that's just weird. But I love it that much. And I think the thing I love the most is the title. You're just clever. That's all there is to it.

Calvin would probably die a slow painful death in my house. We live to mix it up and say things that aren't true. I guess that's why we get the kids we do. I'm not sure my kids have ever actually heard the real version of Itsy Bitsy Spider. :) Maybe I don't even know it.

Super Happy Girl said...

You have written lots of posts that I just love. I LOVE this post CYM! That last Silly Sally's story sealed the deal.

Applesauce is hilarious at all times by the way (sssh, don't tell Cal).

KatieBug said...

My boys are the same way. My older one didn't even smile for the first time until he was almost 4 months old and the younger one smiled at a week. Now at 4 and 3 you can really tell my clown from my judge. Funny how such different people can come from the same parents.

Ice Cream said...

I am the same with humor. Not much makes me laugh. I am getting rather disgusted with myself lately, though, because I am finding, in my old age, that I find potty humor sometimes hilarious. Your spider poo Silly Sally had me chuckling OUTLOUD. I'm still chuckling, just writing about it. I'm also with Henry on the applesauce thing. I still find it very funny to tuck in my upper lip and say "Pokechops, en applesahs" (from an oooold Brady Bunch episode).