First, some background: Secondborn is in Kindergarten. He's been having some trouble with his Sight Words (I suspect mainly because he's been having some trouble sitting still), so the other night the Beautiful Woman (my wife, his mother) took some note cards and made labels for some of the common items in our kitchen: sink, refrigerator, oven, cabinet, step stool, drawer, etc.
Then, a couple of days later, we decided to have Thai food for dinner. Among the items we ordered were some curry puffs. In the dipping sauce for the curry puffs was a bit of jalapeño. Upon finding this in her mouth, the Beautiful Woman remarked: "Wow, I just got a bit of jalapeño. A year ago, I wouldn't have liked it, but that was really good. I feel like a real adult now!"
So I got up from the table, found a note card, and made a little sign. I taped it on her back while she was busy getting a cup for one of the boys. "What does it say?" she asked suspiciously. "'Kick me'?"
I gestured for Firstborn to read it to her. "It says, 'Real Adult'," he told her.
"I thought you needed a label," I added, gesturing vaguely at the various note cards scattered around the kitchen.
The Beautiful Woman laughed, Firstborn laughed, Secondborn laughed, I laughed... and then Firstborn got a gleam in his eye.
He went and found the note cards, wrote something (without letting me see it), then came around and taped it on my back.
"I think I should be worried," I observed.
"What does it say?" asked the Beautiful Woman.
Firstborn just walked back to his seat, looking smug.
I stood up and turned around. The Beautiful Woman looked at it, then had Secondborn spell it out. "R-E-A-L N-E-R-D... Is that a dash? ...U-L-T." There was a brief pause. "Real Nerdult?"
Firstborn nodded. I broke up laughing. We congratulated Firstborn for coming up with a joke of his own that was hilariously funny, utterly appropriate to its target (me), and not in any way mean.
This prompted Secondborn to get up, collect a note card, and write his own note, which he also taped on my back.
The Beautiful Woman read this one with a slightly puzzled expression. "K-O-L-R?" she asked. "Koler?"
Secondborn nodded, grinning happily. "It's because you play Infamous so much," he told me. "And the character you play is Cole."
"So I'm a Cole-er," I elaborated. He nodded, pleased that I got it.
So we laughed and congratulated him on coming up with his own species of joke, which again was funny, appropriate, and not mean.
On a related note, if I ever write an autobiography, I may very well have to entitle it, Memoir of a Real Nerdult.