As the little children in my lives continue to grow, my humour has changed.  I started parenting full of jokes.  At first, it was self-deprecating zingers to cope with the overwhelming scope of my new job description.  As my children began to emerge and begin talking back, I tended to give into humour that was a little on the ridiculous side.  I would hear their lament, sometimes from their position sprawled on the floor of the grocery store and rally them with quips to get them up and out the door.

Their ardent, earnest queries like, will you pick me up? were often met with jokey gambits like ...oh no sorry, I packed your sleeping bag so you can sleep here all night.  After a while, this approach ( as hilarious as it was to me) came to irritate my kids and they would vehemently command me not to joke.  As time slipped by, first my daughter, then my son started to become sarcastic and quick witted and my wit began to dim.

As their humour turned more caustic, they will tear an episode of Caillou to shreds, I measure up every situation a smidge before I throw a joke into the ring.  I finally recognize how fleeting their time with me is and I want them to trust what they bring to me will not be hosed down with a joke.

We have our silly moments, but they are now the showrunners.  There are times the wisecracks are so fierce and unrelenting (never mean, just testing) I have to take a break and switch activities or insist that they think of something kind or neutral to say.

Now when I am with littler friends, I am gentler. I respond back just as earnestly as they tell me a story or explain something to me.  I put them in charge of the jokes and I am, if I do say so myself, a great audience.

Hilarious, but not my idea.