Uranus is a gas giant


March 20, 2013 by talkaboutyork

There comes a point in every parent’s life that you just have to put aside what is sensible, adult and responsible, and unleash your inner kid. Today was one of those days.

My 7 year old son had to take part in his class assembly on the solar system. Each pair of children had to give one fact about their assigned planet and one lovely descriptive phrase that they would use to describe the planet.

My son had Uranus. His fact was:

Uranus is one of the gas giants.


When he first told me his line, over dinner, I said: ‘Come again, did you just say Uranus is one of the gas giants?’

He nodded solemnly.

My husband and I took one look at each other and melted into giggles.

‘What’s so funny?’ he asked, utterly bemused.

‘Erm, nothing,’ I said snorting my dinner out of my nose.

The more we giggled, the more we couldn’t stop. The children were astounded at their cackling parents.

Fast forward to today’s assembly. Son2 proudly stood on the stage and belted out his line: ‘Uranus is one of the gas giants.’ I held it together. Just. No-one else seemed to be laughing (they’re obviously all terribly grown up).

This evening over dinner we were discussing his assembly and he was repeating his lines for his brother’s benefit. An internal war raged in me. Do I tell him why it is so funny? Or is that wrong?

I decided to shelve sensible. I warned him that what I was about to tell him was not to be repeated to his mates and that he had to promise not to tell. He promised.

I then explained the joke (and the erm, anatomy).

The lightbulb went off, two seconds of silence and then laughter. Proper belly-shaking, rib-tickling, tear-inducing mirth. All three of us were in stitches. He literally couldn’t talk or breathe he found it so hilarious. I had just handed this child a corker of a joke. He’s seven. There is not much funnier for seven year old boys than farts, bums, poos or willies.

Of course he immediately said: ‘I am so going to tell my friends. And Ms S (his teacher)’.

‘Noooooo! You cannot tell them,’ I yelled. I can see that I am going to become a pariah at the school gate, with other mums hustling their children away from me and the teacher calling me aside for a quiet word.

But I don’t care. I may have taken I tiny piece of his innocence away from him by filling him in on something he didn’t know. But by God, it was worth it.

And I am certain that he will always remember that Uranus is a gas giant.


P.S. I just discovered that today is the UN’s International Day of Happiness, which I feel makes this post even more appropriate and my actions further justified 🙂


4 thoughts on “Uranus is a gas giant

  1. Lynette says:

    The title and tag line is awesome, I giggled too. When I told my co-worker, he giggled too. Love, love, love that this was his fact. BTW: are you sure his teacher wasn’t snickering on the inside? (How could she NOT?)

  2. judithkingston says:

    That is brilliant! Totally worth telling him – nothing beats having a really good laugh with your children.

  3. I can’t believe no-one else laughed! That is hilarious. I love it when I can bond with my kids over silly jokes – usually I’m telling them not to use rude words but occasionally you do just have to join in.

  4. […] I turned forty was going pretty brilliantly, despite ongoing battles on the frontline of parenting, some funny, some mortifying, some poignant and some making me want to resign as a parent because I feel like […]

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