Laugh it up

Written by: Suzanna Palmer

Before Jacob was born and I became wise in the ways of infants, I thought that all babies had only three basic functions: to eat, sleep and poop. But, it turns out, that miniature humans have a lot more character than I ever gave them credit for. From the time they’re just a few months old, they begin to develop a personality and sense of humor all their own.

I first realized that our little guy was a total ham after a series of mishaps around the house left Jacob rolling with laughter. I stubbed my toe, and he broke out into a fit of giggles. I hit my head on something, and he chuckled away. He pulled my hair hard enough to elicit a spirited “ouch!” from me, and he was all smiles.

There’s no doubt that our little guy’s preferred sense of humor, at least for now, is slapstick. His love for the silly and unexpected came out other day while Tom and I were out playing Frisbee. When the wind took the disc into an unexpected direction, Jacob started cracking up. Every time the Frisbee went the wrong way, he noticed and responded with belly laughs instantly.

In addition to having an appreciation for slapstick, Jacob thinks that roughhousing with Tom is pretty hilarious, too. The more spirited the play gets, the more fun Jacob has. Ever since he was small, Jacob has loved when Tom would “headbutt” his belly. Even at three and four months, he would eek out little baby laughs (which were always followed by the hiccups). Now, he laughs so hard that his whole body shakes (and the hiccups still follow).
It’s a well-known fact that baby laughs are more contagious than chicken pox—and way more fun. As a parent, I can’t think of anything that brings more joy to Tom and me than making Jacob laugh. I remember before he was born, we would watch funny baby videos on YouTube. Hearing other people’s babies laughing would have us cracking up within seconds, but it doesn’t compare to the joy we now have hearing our own little guy bubble over with mirth.

Being able to send Jacob into fits of giggles makes us feel like we’re the world’s greatest comedians, but I don’t think Tom or I will be quitting our day jobs for careers in standup anytime soon. To have even a small chance at success, we’d have to find a venue that plays to babies, and though babies are big on personality, they’re usually short on cash. So, for now, we’ll keep playing to our audience of one and loving every minute.

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