Once upon a time you didn’t understand sarcasm. You were a painfully literal little girl. With a champion smart-alec for a father, this became a problem.
Daddy would tease that he was going to eat all your candy, and you would bawl because you believed that he would.
Daddy would tease that he had used up all of the television and there wasn’t any left, and you bawled because you thought Mickie Mouse was gone forever.
I got tired of the daily emotional outbursts, and Daddy got tired of you not appreciating his obvious comic brilliance.
And then, one fateful evening during dinner, you requested a glass of milk. While Daddy was preparing it, you asked if he would add chocolate sauce.
“Hot sauce?” Daddy asked. “You want hot sauce in your milk? Ok, coming up!”
Per usual, you lost it; distraught that you were not only not getting chocolate milk, but hot sauce milk, at the hands of your father who apparently was losing his hearing as well as his mind. All was lost!
“Kitten,” I said, “Do you really think Daddy is going to put hot sauce in your milk?”
You nodded through your tears.
“Do you think maybe Daddy is teasing you? That maybe he’s just being silly?”
You slowed your sobs and seemed to consider this.
“Do you want to be silly too? Do you want to out-silly Daddy?”
You nodded while a smile spread across your tear-stained cheeks.
“Then you say something even more silly than hot sauce milk, ok? What’s more silly than hot sauce milk?”
You called in to the kitchen, “Daddy? I want elephant, volcano, hot sauce milk!”
“What??” Daddy cried. “That’s so silly! You got me, sweetheart. Here’s your chocolate milk.”
“My elephant, volcano, hot sauce milk?”
“It tastes good!”
Ever since then, when you suspect sarcasm you call, “elephant, volcano hot sauce milk” on us. You call us out on our silly. You haven’t totally got the hang of sarcasm, but you will. And until then, I’ll take a big glass of elephant, volcano, hot sauce milk over a bucket of tears any day!