WHAT THE PARENTING BOOKS DON'T TELL YOU: The Unintentional Comedy Of Children

Or, that time my son pointed at a woman and called her a robot.

This is not going to sound right, but: one of the best places to take a kid if you need some easy entertainment is IKEA. There’s the play area, for one (complete with one of those bacteria-laden ball pits that all children love). Then there are the showrooms full of furniture and fake TVs. And finally, there are the meatballs.

I’ve taken Oliver to IKEA more times than I care to admit. He loves it there -- has loved it since he was a toddler. I even used IKEA as leverage during the pure hell of potty training.

We happened to be there the other night because I needed a picture frame -- but of course we ended up spending like two hours there, complete with meatballs and little $2 kitchen gadgets and bendy straws. We also looked at bunk beds because Oliver believes he might expire if he does not get one (he's not getting one).

So here’s my kid, reclining on the lower bunk of the bunk bed he is most definitely not getting, and he surveys the showroom floor.

“IKEA sure does bring back a lot of memories,” he says earnestly.

It took everything not to laugh. He really meant it, man. One hundred percent serious.

One of the surprising things about kids is how unintentionally funny they can be. I guess this is not really something that the parenting books don’t tell you -- after all, anyone who has read “Preschool Gems” knows this.

But nothing could prepare me for some of the stuff that comes out of my kid’s brain. He spends a whole lot of time being a goofball. He loves to think up jokes and pranks. He especially loves fart jokes or poop jokes or body jokes because: third grade. And he especially loves to bust out a semi-rude joke at the most inappropriate time, like when we are in a restaurant.

Some of his best material, though, happens when he isn’t even trying. Here I present to you three unintentionally funny/horrifying things my kid has said:

  1. Upon bursting into the bathroom as I was stepping out of the shower, “Daddy, daddy! Mommy has a mustache on her wee-wee!” (Age three)
  2. Upon listening to me talk about how he is growing up so fast, he nodded sagely, “Yeah, the years sure do go by fast.” (Age eight)
  3. Upon seeing a person use a wheelchair -- after watching “Star Wars” for the first time, “Look, a ROBOT!” (Age four)

That last one nearly killed me because the woman using the wheelchair was within earshot. I wished for the universe to swallow me up, but it did not. Instead, the woman laughed and it became an opportunity to explain wheelchairs to my kid (he was a little disappointed to learn that the woman was not, in fact, a robot).

Do you have kids? Has your child said something that was unintentionally funny (or awkward, or kind of mortifying, in public)? Have you overheard someone else’s kids saying something totally hilarious or inappropriate, even if they were being serious? Children have no filters.

Somer is on Twitter: @somersherwood.