If I haven't mentioned it recently, let me do so now: I am incredibly grateful that Penny and Alex like each other. My brother and I loathed each other, mostly, from the time he made his appearance until we were both in high school, so I know whereof I speak: I am insanely lucky.
In the mornings, when I'm driving Alex to daycare, the two of them play together. Lately, they've been playing with the puppy stuffies that I gave them for Valentine's Day. (They're identical in shape; Penny's is white and has a purple bow on its head, while Alex's is brown and has a red collar.) Alex's puppy is his new favorite toy -- he even takes it to bed with him, and he's been extremely reluctant to change anything about his bedtime routine up until now.
Penny's not as deeply attached to her puppy, but they both bring their puppies in the car for the morning commute, and pretend the puppies are their children. It's cute play, and I appreciate that it mostly lets me concentrate on traffic and my own thoughts. Of course, since the puppies call Penny "Mama" and speak with the voices of my children, at least once a drive I find myself saying, "Yes, what is it?" and being told that no one was talking to me. Which they find pretty funny.
Of course, Alex is potty training and Penny is a 2nd grader, which leads to a certain regrettable lowest common denominator in what they find funny. For a few days, the puppies were having numerous "accidents" (and being rather harshly scolded) and the kids were immensely enjoying making what I can only describe as graphic potty noises. Late last week, they were announcing they had to go to the bathroom about every ten seconds and receiving potty rewards (but still getting a lot of giggles out of the potty noises).
Yesterday, out of nowhere, Alex made his puppy say, "I lost my penis!" Both kids found this insanely funny. As soon as the laughter began to die, Penny picked up the theme: "I lost my butt!" Screams of laughter. It continued nearly halfway to the daycare. "I lost my underwear!" "I lost my panties!"
They did it again today.
I'm trying to be more or less tolerant. There's a reason it's called "juvenile" humor, after all, and 3 and 7 is about as juvenile as they come. So I only step in when they start getting too loud, and let the "jokes" of questionable taste fly.
But I never thought I'd be looking forward to "What's grosser than gross?" jokes as an intellectual advancement.