Friday, October 31, 2003

Helena the comedian

She's developing a sense of humour. Helena laughs. A lot. Sometimes I wonder if everything's quite right with her to laugh so much. It seems so unnatural. But it's an innocent delight — I can only hope this means we haven't wrecked her yet.

The infant sense of humour has really taken a leap over the last few weeks. It's developing alongside a concept of category. For instance, she'll spend hours (OK, minutes) removing the toy sea creatures from their fishbowl, and then returning them to their bowl. If she loses sight of one of them, she'll find it and return it to the grouping. It won't do to put the sock or the Megablok into the fishbowl — they don't belong. The Megabloks go in their own blue plastic container, and she'll examine that more carefully later in the day. And Mommy's balled-up socks fresh from the laundry, well, they're a divine mystery.

And like that, it's very, very funny if I get my foot "stuck" in the fishbowl, or if I wear floppy bunny as a hat. Ordinary things occurring in slightly unusual ways. Humour. She'll giggle hysterically, but look at me knowingly, "Don't be silly, Mom."

Often she will suddenly start laughing, for no apparent reason. Is she remembering something funny, and trying to communicate the humour to us the only way she knows how — through laughter? Or is she perceiving humour in something around her at that moment?

Maybe it's not funny at all, but sheer delight in the now.

Almost a year, and we haven't wrecked her yet.

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