Playing “Make Me Laugh” With A 2 Year-Old

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Somewhere in the realm of roughhousing with you is the game where I try to annoy you to the point you can’t help but laugh.

Well, you pretend to be annoyed, at least; but really, you’re seeing if I, as your Daddy, has what it takes to break you. Just so you know, whenever you challenge me to a game of “Make Me Laugh,” I am always prepared.

One of my favorite times to play this game with you is when I drop you off at daycare in the mornings.

It’s like you shut down your personality as I hand you over to your teacher. She tells me it typically takes about 10 minutes for you to officially come back to life, as you transition from “home mode” to “school mode.”

So as you soon as you pass from my arms to hers, I always try (and am usually successful) to make you crack from your straight face before I say goodbye.

What’s my secret? I put my mouth to your chest and sing the theme song from Dirty Dancing. (Interestingly, neither Mommy nor I have ever seen that movie.)

“I’ve… had… the time of my li-i-ife… and I owe it all to you-oo-oo…”.

I should point out that I am singing that line in my best Robert Goulet singing voice.

You just can’t help but laugh. Sure, it’s a little weird that your teacher now expects me to sing the first line of the chorus of “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” before I can kiss you goodbye, but after a solid week, it’s starting to become normal.

And there’s the drive home from daycare, where if you’re suspiciously quiet for 5 straight minutes, I feed you false information about your favorite TV characters.

“Mater is eating Jack’s pasta,” I warn you.

“No! My pasta! Jack eats the pasta,” you reply with fake intensity.

I egg you on about it enough to where you get so “fake upset” about the thought of Disney/Pixar’s star of Cars eating your dinner, that you finally bust out laughing.

Putting you to bed at night is also another opportune time for “Make Me Laugh.” You always want me to lift you up to turn off the light, then carry you to your “big boy bed,” then you say, “Daddy sing? Daddy sing ‘Snowman.”

That means I have to sing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” to you as an unlikely lullaby, which you inaccurately identify as a song about a snowman.

During my slow-motion, lyric-butchered version of the song, in the complete dark, which might I add should creep you out but instead you choose it as your favorite way to fall asleep, you like to try to grab my nose or my hand as I lean in close to you and sing.

You’ll deliberately swing your leg up into the air in hopes of hitting me; and when you do, I quickly grab your limb and squeeze it, making you laugh.

Again, that doesn’t sound like the best way to coax a 2 year-old to sleep, but for you, it couldn’t be any other way.

You like for me to tease you. Oh, and don’t forget, Mater’s totally eating your pasta right now…





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