Did you hear the one about the money?
Did you hear the one about the money?
Scott Dunlop
Like any parent, I stress about money. Sometimes the BIG money for a different place to live where we aren’t all on top of each other, sometimes the small change needed to pay for food. That’s when Daft Dad kicks in, and we tell stupid jokes to avoid thinking about the serious stuff.

You know the kinds of jokes:

Knock knock…

Who’s there?

Cows go.

Cows go who?

No, cows go moo, silly.

The best jokes are the ones you can repeat. The ones which will become part of your Parenting Legend. When your kids grow up, they’ll tell their friends about your terrible jokes, and how you made them roll their eyeballs all the way through childhood.

We write our own scripts as moms and dads. Anyone who calls themselves a “parenting expert” is fibbing. They’ve never parented my kids. We get to choose whether our scripts are full of drama, tragedy, comedy or romance. There will be elements of each of those, and not just the crowning achievements the “experts” would have you believe.

I try and keep the intense parts diluted for my children’s ears. Someone’s very ill, or the bank account is showing signs of implosion? My kids can hear a version to which they’ll relate at their own level. I know it’s important to explain how much money infiltrates our lives, but ultimately it’s my burden to carry, not theirs.

I guess comedy is our family’s default setting. Nothing feels better than when we’re all laughing together. One of my greatest pleasures is watching my children learn how to laugh, and then watching them learn to make others smile, too.

Of course, it doesn’t help me much when I try and get money out of the ATM, and it laughs at me, and there’s no laughter when my phone lets me know it’s that revolving door time of the month for money in the bank account: Funds IN! Funds OUT!

I’m a little like Jonah: If we go to the local toy shop, I sometimes give my kids a few bucks to buy a novelty toy. Without fail, Jonah will pick up a box the size of a bed worth thousands of rands and ask if he can have that. A little negotiation and he’s more than happy with something very small.

If I can learn how to negotiate with myself like that, I’ll be happier: I can’t afford the BIG box, so let me make the most out of the small one. Like laughter with my family. Yes, I’ll happily choose that.

Why not tell us your silliest jokes? The funniest ones could win a R250 Kalahari.com voucher! Email chatback@parent.com.

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