At dinner, Sam asked Manny if he loved cheese. Manny said yes. Sam said, "Then why don't you marry it?" and went over the top with a goofy laugh so that Manny would know what he was supposed to do next.
Manny totally ran with it. Everything Sam asked him about, Manny loved. And when Sam would say, "Then why don't you marry it?", Manny would erupt in gales of laughter.
At this point, I was sort of regretting the whole thing and said, "Why doesn't Daddy tell you another joke?"
So Sam said, "Knock, knock."
Manny said, "Who's there?"
Sam said, "Orange."
Manny said, "No! The other joke!"
Eventually, Manny swapped roles with Sam. He started with a strong offering.
"Do you love playdoh?"
Sam said, "I love playdoh."
"Then why don't you marry it!!!!" (Screeching laughter!! This is the best joke ever!!)
"Do you love soup?" (We were eating soup.)
More punchline. More screeching laughter.
"Do you love applesauce?"
More. More! This just kept getting better and better in Manny's estimation.
There were too many questions to count, at which point, I could tell Sam was quite sorry he had ever introduced Manny to this ancient joke that human beings have been telling each other ever since there was some concept of legalized, committed relationship between two people.
So, to mix it up a bit, when Manny asked Sam for the second time, "Do you like Wall-E?" (as in the Pixar robot character), Sam said, "Oh, you're not going to get me this time!"
Manny burst into screaming sobs. He could not be consoled and all that we could make out was, "I WANTED YOU TO MARRY WALL-E!!"
We couldn't help it. For the first time, I laughed at my child until I shed tears. I was not laughing with him. I was laughing at him.
At bedtime, I asked Manny what he was thankful for. Silence. I said, "I'm thankful for you. Who are you thankful for?" Pause. "Dinosaurs," he said. Pause. Pause. "I'm thankful for the dinosaurs who aren't here anymore."
When I prayed, I said, "Thank you for Manny, for Daddy, for Glory and Elena, for Rona and for all of our friends and family. Manny said, "Don't forget the dinosaurs who aren't here anymore." "And for the dinosaurs who aren't here anymore," I promptly repeated.
Sam came in to say good night. I asked him to turn off the light, and in the bright hue of Manny's night light that he insists on having plugged in right next to the head of his bed, he asked Sam, "Do you like Mama?"
"I love Mama," Sam said.
"THEN why don't you MARRY HER?"
"I did!" Sam said.
Then Sam and I went back to our bedroom, totally exhausted. Sam had to go back to work for the entire evening so we laid down on the bed for a quick hug, right on top of Manny's new birthday rocket ship from Rona.
The deep, bellowing voice said, "3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!" Then lots of sounds of blasting engines.
Sam tried to muffle it, but Manny came prancing down the hallway as though he had been paged.
So the second time, we put Manny AND the rocket to bed. Haven't heard a peep since. Which is good, because I'm guessing the jokes will resume first thing in the morning.