Here’s a rule at my house:
There will be no one food item that all five kids will like at the same time. Which kid likes or dislikes a specific food item is subject to change without notice.
Therefore, there is only one proper response to the following statements:
#2: I don’t like pie.
#3: I don’t like chocolate.
#5: I don’t like vanilla.
#2: I don’t like berries.
#4: I don’t like peanut butter.
#3: I don’t like cake.
#4: I don’t like bacon.
Me: (in my best Joe McCarthy voice) What are ya, a freakin’ Commie?
This is hilarious to me. I think it’s one of the funniest things I say. Like all of my good material, it isn’t mine. I don’t remember who I stole it from but I’ve been using it forever.
The kids don’t understand the intricacies of what make this joke funny to us. They only know that it makes us laugh. So they throw it out to each other and to us whenever possible, because in our house, making each other laugh is the very most important thing.
One day last December, #1 had a friend over after school. Everyone was sitting at the kitchen table, having snacks, pretending to do homework, chatting.
#1’s friend: Your Christmas tree is really pretty. Is it real or fake?
#5: It’s real. What kind of Christmas tree do you have?
#1’s friend: We don’t have a tree because we don’t celebrate Christmas. We’re Jewish.
#5: (breaks into a huge smile, points at her and shouts) You’re a Commie!
Yes, folks, I did that. That’s my work there.
#1 and I just stared at each other with our mouths open for a minute, and then we fought not to laugh. Well, I fought; I don’t remember her fighting too hard or even coming to my aid, now that I think about it. I launched into some lame explanation to #1’s friend, trying to explain away a joke that in the current context clearly wasn’t funny, except that it was hilarious in the context of inappropriateness and bad parenting.
Later, when I had a talk with #5 about how “different people believe different things”, he was way ahead of me. He has zero problems with anyone’s religion.
Then I tried to explain why it’s okay to make fun of someone who doesn’t like pie, but it’s way not okay to make fun of someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. (I left out my justification for why it’s okay to make fun of an entire political system.) He just stared at me with complete and total incomprehension. I realized that the nuances of a good double standard are lost on a seven-year-old boy, particularly when he’s making people laugh.
So I settled for us adding Commies to the growing list of jokes that can only happen with just the family.