October 3, 2023

Pecking Order Debate

Over a million folks have watched this baby gibberish video.

Or else somebody working in the YouTube stats department has a twisted sense of humor.

In either case, don’t watch this video. Maybe a couple of seconds. That’s enough. If you watch the whole video, I’m guessing you have kids. And think this sort of stuff is funny. And beautiful. And you’re thinking I’m a misanthrope. A curmudgeon. Judge at will…

What’s funny about the video? Oddly red cheeks on one baby. Clown ambitions? Ostensibly the babies are twins, but Two Socks seems to be taller. Bigger. More assertive. More vocal. Funny is fast forwarding to their teenage years when little One Sock hits a growth spurt and leap frogs past Two Socks. Funny is the day that One Sock lifts Two Socks over his head at the end of the dock. In May. And flings his startled brother out into the still frigid Lake Champlain water bellowing, “That’s for the time you put my sock in the freezer and mom recorded the inane dance that followed and I blushed cherry bright and over a million people all around the world cooed over me in my soggy diaper!” That’s funny. Stay tuned. It could happen.

Rip, Laugh, Repeat

It’s all in the timing. After sharing the “Why no kids? Wino kids” video as a tongue-in-cheek debut post on the WNK website and the WNK Facebook page I stumbled upon this baby humor gut-buster. Actually, it’s one of three similarly goofy videos of babies laughing at ripped paper. Not that funny you say? No? Did you laugh? Thought so.

Actually, it’s not that funny. Not three videos-worth, and yet I watched all three. From beginning to end. And I laughed during all three videos. Kids are funny, even when it’s inane-how-can-this-still-make-you-laugh humor. Parents love this stuff. Love it.

“Did I show you the video of my kid laughing at ripped paper? Oh, you’ve got to see it again. It’s sooo funny!”

But after a while it isn’t. Not so much. Unless you’re a parent, perhaps.

See, for those of us who’ve sidestepped the baby, the paper ripping and the video virus, our interest diminishes with each new photo, video, anecdote. I’m sorry. I’m being honest. Really, I’m not a curmudgeon. I want to like the video of your child’s funniest home video. I really do. But after a while… I don’t. The funny wears thin. I’d love to discuss the book you just read, the mountain you just climbed, the sculpture you just created out of mud and ideas. I yearn to laugh and smile and joke about your most recent adventure in Central America, your latest boardroom SNAFU, the chocolate souffle you accidentally prepared with salt instead of sugar. I miss shooting the breeze about politics, windsurfing, fly fishing, heirloom tomatoes…

Do you follow me? Kids are funny. Videos of funny kids doing funny things are funny. But sometimes I miss the old you, the one I enjoyed spending time with before everything was baby, baby, baby.

(Hat tip to Brett Valls for curating this quirky content and Jane Friedman for spreading the love!)