Me: Do you want a drink of water?
Z: No! Waaaaaaagh!
Me: Do you want to read a book?
Z: No! Waaaaaagh!
Me: Do you need to go potty?Z: No! Waaaaaagh!
Me: Tell Mama what you want!!
Z: [long pause while she looked around at each of us, who were in turn watching her, waiting] Candy?
It was in the sweetest little voice, in question form. She says a lot of things with the last syllable raised. But the best part is that as soon as she said "candy," she burst out laughing. I think she knew it was funny, presumably because candy was not her original desire, so it surprised her too, this hesitant siezement of an opportunity. We all laughed, which got her going more. It was one of the better long bouts of laughter not associated with chasing or tickling.
Today I opened our bedroom door to check on Zoralee, as she'd shut herself in a few minutes before. There she stood with a small dark object at the corner of her mouth, barely grasped between her lips. She's in a habit of sucking on beads these days. I found one in the toilet recently amongst her poo. Not that bead-sucking is the end of the world, but there's the whole choking thing. Anyway, it's not every small object, just a certain style of bead I was using for an art project and haven't yet managed to round up from all corners of the house, to where she'd spread them while I worked.
"What do you have in your mouth, Zoralee?" I asked sternly. Not twitching a muscle, she ever so deftly let that bead drop from her lips to the ground, staring at me. I quickly closed the door so that I could laugh without her seeing. I opened it again within a few seconds, and she had brought another bead to the front of her mouth, this one bigger and orange. "Zoralee!" I said, "What do you have in your mouth?" Seeing that the trick had worked on dumb old Ma last time, she again she let the bead escape unobtrusively. Gosh, it was funny. What can you do? I just swooped them up and turned away. I think those were some of the last beads to be found and gathered.
Zoralee's even getting to be funny in my dreams. I woke up last night laughing over something she'd done. I thought, "I have GOT to remember this in the morning." Then she did something else funny, then a third thing! I was chuckling as quietly as could be, to not wake her, all the while thinking, "These are three great things. Should I get up and write this down? No. I'll remember them. They're THAT funny." Now I have no clue.
Final anecdote, and it's more of a "smile over Zoralee" than a laugh. A couple days ago, she was standing in front of the full length mirror, pursing her lips then opening her mouth, experimenting with shapes. She walked over to me and kissed me on the mouth. Back to the mirror she went, keeping her mouth in a pucker, to see how it looked. Then, back to me for another kiss, still puckered up, and back to the mirror.
When unexpected stuff like that happens, you think, man, if somebody invented a laughter pill with no negative side effects, they'd be a millionaire overnight. But that'd be so Western. Instant everything, and now we don't even have to exert effort to find or think up humor?! Ironically, it'll be a sad day when somebody invents a laughing pill. Who needs em, if you have a toddler, I guess. They are life's laughing pills. They are also life's tear-your-hair-out pills when they won't sleep well through the night, as well as germ-gathering-and-distributing pills and make-you-second-guess-yourself pills. It's weird; they're all-in-one pills that pull out of you the widest range of emotions ever.