Monday, July 03, 2006

What are Words For?

Viva has always been ahead of herself verbally. At this point in her development, she is into all kinds of wordplay – she is really into rhyming, jokes, and is teetering on the edge of liking the concept of puns. (Yes, puns! That’s my baby! Someone once told me puns are the lowest form of humor, and you know what? Whatever.)

She and Best Friend, while not completely at peace, have come to some sort of understanding and are chummy again. What delights them to no end, and gives me a terrifying look at the gum-snapping, lip-gloss-wearing, cell-phone-blaring teenyboppers they might become, is the “See you later, alligator!” routine. Last week, I was witness to this:

BestFriend: See you later, alligator!
Viva: See you later, elephant! [collapses in laughter]
Best Friend: See you later, monkey! [gasping for air]
Viva: See you later, alligator! [practically peeing herself]
Best Friend: See you later, baby head! [screaming like a hyena]
Viva: See you later, elephant! [falling over herself]

It was strangely hilarious, I’ll admit, I guess mainly because they were cracking themselves up. So yesterday, Viva started up with the “see you later” bit with me, and I responded with, “After a while, crocodile.” She gave me a look like the light bulb had illuminated over her head, but maybe it was only a 40 watt bulb. I explained to her that the key to the routine was the part where it rhymes, and that she got the part where she had to add another animal at the end, but that it was supposed to rhyme.

Mama: So you say, “See you later, alligator—“
Viva: See you later, alligator!
Mama: And then I say, “After a while, crocodile!” See how that rhymes at the end?
Viva: Uh-huh!
Mama: Okay, now I’m going to say it: See you later, alligator!
Viva: Not for a long, long time, elephant!

My love for her swells into my chest like a big, big, fluffy marshmallow.


E. said...

Awww... I love it. My geeky english teacher heart swells every time my kid says something verbally dexterous or playful.

And I will put all my excessive education and teacher authority behind this statement: puns are the lowest form of humor, or the highest, depending on the pun. James Joyce? Puns galore. I rest my case.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

James Joyce? Well, all righty, then.

I am such a freak about language that my new boss has already begun to come over and ask me about grammar usage and etymology. I guess all that book larnin' is finally paying off...