"Where did your socks go?" I asked. She shrugged her shoulders and looked around the room quickly before telling me that Ollie took them. Ollie is the cat.
A tiny foot slowly moved into my field of vision as I lay on the couch. It hovered for a moment then landed on my face.
"Stinky," my 2-year-old said with a giggle.
In our house, "stinky" is more a punchline than an actual description of a smell.
I let out a big "P.U!" Again, she tried to put her foot in my face.
"Laugh, daddy," she insisted while pulling my glasses off my face and putting them on.
This is mostly my fault. I try to make my kids laugh as much as possible, and they, in turn, try to do the same with me. This means a stinky diaper isn't just a stinky diaper, it's a chemical weapon that makes me wobble around the room while claiming I'm blind and calling for someone to open a window. This always is met with screams of laughter.
Have you ever laughed so hard that it makes you weak? We do all the time.
Of course, kids absorb everything, including a sense of humor.
Back on the couch, I laughed, kissed her and tickled her feet. Then I stopped and looked at her. "Where did your socks go?" I asked.
"I'm daddy," she said, adjusting her glasses. I took my glasses back and asked again.
She shrugged her shoulders and looked around the room quickly before telling me that Ollie took them. Ollie is the cat.
"So if I find Ollie, he'll be wearing your socks?" I asked.
Her eyes got wide, and her smile grew twice the size of her head. And she nodded.
Children have a natural aversion to socks. Bare feet just must feel better. Or maybe, socks just aren't funny. Maybe, the cat is stealing them. I'm not sure the exact reason, but if my girls have socks on, it's because my wife and me have told them to keep them on their feet.
"My feet can't breath in there!" my 4-year-old told me one day.
There are many ways to tell just how much your kids are growing. It could be when they get too big for their clothes, or when their hair gets longer. You also can tell how much they've grown by the quality of their humor.
I made a scavenger hunt throughout the house the other day. The first clue was meant to lead them to the bathtub.
"This is where you get all wet," I read.
My 4-year-old guessed the kitchen sink.
My 2-year-old pointed to her diaper and answered, "my pants."
It seemed like just yesterday her best joke was to hide behind her hands and claim she had disappeared. Now, it's stinky feet and diaper humor. They grow up so fast.
Now if she could just learn to keep her socks on.
David Manley is a husband and father of two. He also is the visual content editor at The Canton Repository. Share your stories with him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: @DaveManley.