"Hey, Maude, come here! I think he just laughed!"
Maude and I are drinking tea in the kitchen of their charming British house, while Dan is in the living room playing with Benjamin. He's three months old, and this is his first laugh. Benjamin, I mean.
We hurry into the living room. Benjamin is on the floor on one of those mats with lots of colors, and two arches that connect over the top and have a multitude of orange and yellow and blue animals hooked on them, all with their own special texture and sound.
But Benjamin is not remotely interested in the squeaky animals. What is currently fascinating the little boy is his father. Who is making fart noises in his face.
Dan turns to us. "OK, watch this!"
And he turns back to his son. "PPTHHHPTTTTHHHHPPPPTTTTT! BBRRRTTTTT!"
Impressively realistic fart noises.
And Benjamin laughs. A real, ohmygod it's not gas, it's actual laughter laugh.
We giggle. Maude grabs the video camera. "Do it again!"
As if Dan weren't itching for the chance to show off his fart-noise prowess.
"BRTBBBBRRTTTT! PPTHHHHPPPPTTT! BBRRRPPHHHHT!"
Benjamin laughs with delight. Maude laughs. I laugh. We think this is hilarious. Maude has always been a sucker for fart noises, and she loves fart talk and fart stories, particularly when they're humiliating, but only when they happen to people she knows. Like, um, me. She has told my farting on the plane story countless times, she said.
Really, it's Schadenfreude. But she's not unkind. She's more "You don't want to count on me to help you up when you fall down because I'm going to have to finish laughing first."
She's beaming at Dan, clearly so impressed with her husband for his fart-noise making ability.
And then she smiles down at her son. "And look! He's already got my sense of humor!"