Please share funny ancedotal stories that would work for a 3-year-old.
May 19, 2020 7:08 AM   Subscribe

Mom of two toddlers here. Working full-time with kids at home. Have exhausted my list of "funny stories" to share with my 3-year-old, who requests them all the time, and feel a little brain-dead. Would love your funny, anecdotal stories to use as my own. Some things that have worked: stories about bird poop, cars breaking down, and birthday cakes. The stories can be real, imaginary, and/or a combo. Please help.
posted by melodykramer to Writing & Language (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The key here, is that I need to make the story about either myself, or the three-year-old -- so funny things that happened to you, people you know, or imaginary people you think of....
posted by melodykramer at 7:12 AM on May 19

Like the time I was walking backwards and my friend said, "Pole, gideonfrog, pole."

And I said, "what? what did you say?"

She replied, "I said pole."

Still walking backwards, I said, "what do you mean?" and she said "POLE!" just before I walked backward into a pole.

Like that one?

(In her defense, we were 12, and the whole exchange took about 10 seconds.)
posted by gideonfrog at 7:20 AM on May 19

here's a very mild story and what sticks in my mind about it is that a child to whom I recounted it HOWLED with laughter and demanded more "like that", FWIW:

One day when I walked up the path to my apartment building, I saw an avocado splatted on the path. "Aw, that's bad luck" I thought. "Someone came home from the market and dropped their avocado. They're expensive too. I bet they were bummed. Sad!"

I forgot all about it but a few days later, there was another avocado dropped on the ground by our front door. This time I was a little annoyed. "Why don't they get a better shopping bag?" I wondered. "This seems an avoidable problem and it's a little gross. Why is this person dropping so many avocadoes? Sloppy!"

It was only then that I thought to look up. The whole yard was shaded by a large tree, which I had never noticed before, and was very surprised to see, was... (weirdly out of zone, we were nowhere near the tropics)... an avocado tree.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:22 AM on May 19 [9 favorites]

Oh, or the first time I went out for brunch at a VERY fancy restaurant and was surprised to see that the pancakes came with a tiny scoop of ice cream on top of them. Excited, I popped that little chunk of vanilla ice cream in my mouth--only it was butter, in a little ice cream scoop shape. Butter is delicious, but not when you're expecting ice cream. And also, everyone else at the table looked at me like, "why did you just put a bit ball of butter in your mouth?"

(This one was in college. I had never seen anything scooped like that except ice cream before.)
posted by gideonfrog at 7:27 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]

My friend was out for a run and got distracted by a cute dog being walked on the other side of the street. He ran into a telephone pole, knocked himself out, and had to be carried home by the mailman.
posted by coppermoss at 7:31 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]

Oh, if they like bird poop, here's another true story:

I'd moved to a new building, and I had an assigned parking spot in the back. I rarely used the car, mostly walked out the front door, so intervals of days would sometimes go by between times that I saw it.

The parking lot was edged by a fence. On the other side of the fence was a big apricot tree, full of fruit, whose branches hung over the parking lot.

It was early summer. The fruit was getting riper but wasn't ready to pick. But it was getting nearer and nearer time.

One day I went out to get my car.

To my horror, the windshield was lumpy and opaque with bird turds. I literally couldn't see through it. I have never seen an accumulation like that on anything, ever, before or since.

It was immediately clear what had happened. The neighborhood birdies had been seduced by the pretty apricots in the tree, but that not-quite-ripe fruit played absolute havoc with their little innards. Every bird in the east bay had come to the tree, feasted on the fruit, and had a massive, splashing attack of bird diarrhea onto my car's windshield. That tree was basically a bird diarrhea factory... and my car's windshield was strategically placed right under it.

This story also has a helpful moral about being careful where you park.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:35 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]

I was rereading this mumsnet thread the other day, it's full of amusing anecdotes. The OP was minding her friend's very lively daughter for the weekend.

Also today I saw a video of a dog and a duck chasing each other around a big rock. They were having such fun.
posted by kitten magic at 7:43 AM on May 19

This is the true story about how I mailed poop.

About 15 years ago I was living in New York City, in a place where if you wanted to mail a letter you had to walk to the big mailbox on the corner. On that particular day I had an important letter to send, that had to go out that morning. So I put the letter in my pocket, put the dog on the leash and went for our morning walk. But I can be a forgetful person, so as I was walking the dog I kept repeating to myself, "Don't forget to mail the letter. Don't forget to mail the letter." So the dog did her business ("Don't forget to mail the letter. Don't forget to mail the letter.") and I cleaned up after her ("Don't forget to mail the letter. Don't forget to mail the letter.") and I walked to the corner and I mailed the letter. And then I realized that the letter was still in my pocket.

Yep, I mailed the poop.

And you can't reach in to the big mailbox because everything drops to the bottom and your hand won't fit in the slot.

So then I freaked out because I couldn't put the letter in the mailbox because what if the poopbag opened and my letter got poop on it and the cops would find it and say "You mailed poop. You go to jail!" (this was always my son's favorite part of the story) So I had to sneak down the block in the other direction to mail the letter in a different mailbox and then ran back home and hid for a week. Or at least it felt that way.

I did not go to jail

But I am still very worried that because I just posted this, I might.

(and if your child is like my child this is often when we would segue into the story of Al Capone and why you don't mess with the postal system, but that's just us)
posted by Mchelly at 7:52 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]

One time I was driving down the highway really late at night and all of a sudden I started feeling my rear driver's side tire going WHACK-WHACK-WHACK and just making a horrible roaring noise. Oh no! I had no idea how I could have gotten such a dramatic flat on a smooth open road, or why the (crappy old) car was still handling so well despite the obvious disaster that must be my former tire, but of course I pulled over because 55MPH and alarming car noises is a really bad combination. It turned out the muffler had fallen off, except it didn't actually fall because my dad had foreseen it coming loose and had used that pipe hanging stuff, the metal strip with holes in it, to attach it to some part of the frame. So now it was swinging back and forth and whacking my wheel as I drove. WHACK-WHACK-WHACK. At least I hadn't lost it! (Thanks, Dad.) It took me over half an hour to get it loose, because it was a really low car and all I had was a tiny flashlight and a bike tool, but then I stuffed it in the back seat and the next day I was able to trade it for a new one at the shop and hardly owed anything. The End.
posted by teremala at 8:01 AM on May 19

When I was a youngster, probably about your child's age, my mother told me that it is good luck when a bird shits on your head. I thought that was funny. Later that week, we were in a park and a man was having trouble getting his dog to heal. My mom said, "He is having some bad luck there." I responded, "I hope a bird poops on his head." My mother howled with laughter.
posted by AugustWest at 8:06 AM on May 19 [8 favorites]

One time I was driving down the highway

When I was 16 and a new driver I was driving way too fast on I-16. It was July and hot, so I had the AC blasting. All of a sudden, a skinny little brown fuzzy wiggly thing pops out of the driver side AC vent and just starts flapping wildly. My brain says "MOUSE TAIL, MOUSE IN THE CAR, THERE'S A MOUSE IN THE CAR" and panic sets in.

I go into ultra heebie jeebie mode, but am going fast, so have to figure out how to safely slow down and pull over on the interstate. I manage to, somehow, and as soon as I'm in park I throw open the door and run toward the woods doing the heebie jeebie dance until I regain my composure. I still have to sort out the situation with the mouse in the car.

I approach...the mouse's tail is still flapping. I enter through the passenger side, maintaining maximum distance from the mouse, and retrieve the keys from the ignition. As soon as the car shuts off, the tail stops flapping in the AC vent.

At which point I can clearly see that it's a small strip of old insulation foam that has come dislodged from one side of the vent, and not a mouse's tail. I almost wrecked my car on the highway over 2.5 inches of foam.
posted by phunniemee at 8:12 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]

My aquaintance is a mailman and one day he finished his route and stopped under a bridge to, um, rest (smoke a joint).

A woman in very fancy neat jogging clothes with perfect ponytail briskly jogged under the bridge. She kept her attention out on the sidewalk to be sure nobody was coming, dropped her leggings, squatted, and, um, peed (took a huge runner’s dump) about two yards in front of my friend whom she hadn’t noticed because she was busy watching the road. Then she pulled up her leggings and jogged tidily away, leaving her steaming pile just a few feet away from him. She never had the slightest idea that the guy was there.

On many more occasions he would be delivering mail in the same neighbourhood and the same woman would jog by. He said he sometimes wondered if there’s a nonverbal way to communicate “you pooped at me”
posted by nouvelle-personne at 9:07 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

one time I was trying to spray one of those pressurized whipped cream canisters onto a waffle, and I tried to put some on, and nothing came out. But the canister didn't feel empty so I said "hmm.. maybe there is something blocking it?" so I turned the nozzle towards my face to see, which is when the blockage gave up, and I sprayed a full waffle amount of whipped cream right into my face!

One time my mom was carrying a bunch of stuff to her car and her coffee, and when she got to her car she placed her cup of coffee on the roof of the car, then opened the back door and loaded her stuff in. Then she got into the front of her car, and pulled away slowly out of the parking lot. And then when she got to the exit, she thought "oh no, I forgot my coffee in the office!" and then she put the car in reverse to go back, but as soon as she started moving backwards, her coffee that had been balanced on top of the car tipped over and the lid fell off, covering her whole windshield with coffee.

One time when I was fairly small, we went to a cabin, and when I walked into the bathroom, there was a small mouse in there. I didn't see him, and he didn't see me, so the result was that I stood on his tail, and he squeaked! I looked down and there was a mouse who was trapped because I was standing on his tail, and I didn't know what to do! so after a minute, I lifted up my foot a little, and the mouse, panicking, scurried RIGHT UP MY BODY and jumped off my shoulder! He ran into the main room, where my mom happened to be sweeping, she saw him, and SWEPT HIM OUT THE DOOR in one big sweep!
posted by euphoria066 at 9:17 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

This may be a little dark, but it turns out OK.

I was behind a flat-bed truck hauling flat sheets of something white (drywall? marble? I didn't know) on a highway, so we were all going highway speeds. One of the sheets dislodged and I swear time slowed down as I watched this mysterious sheet of something fly through the air right toward my windshield. There was no time to stop or pull over. I really had the thought "well, I guess this is it for me."

It hits my windshield and bursts apart. It was a piece of styrofoam. There was absolutely no damage to me or my car.

(I still pulled over and got a hug from a very nice stranger because I was really freaked out and so was he.)
posted by darksong at 9:17 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

Do you want to hear the story of how I saved my sister's life? Once, when I was a kid, I was sitting on the couch, reading, and my sister was on the other side of the room, playing with her toys. I was bored so I asked her to come play with me, and she said "No," and I said, "Please?" and she said "NO" and I said PLEASE?!" and she said "Noooooooooooooo" and I said, "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease" and she said, "Okay, fine," and she put her toys down and came over to play with me, and right then a GIANT PIECE OF THE CEILING fell down right where she was sitting and it was so big it would have smooshed her flat but instead it didn't because she was playing with me, and that is the story of how I saved my sister's life.

Do you want to hear the story about how I let my brother and sister blow out to sea? I was at the beach with my brother and my sister, and I was ten and my sister was eight and my brother was four, and we were all playing on our tubes in the ocean, and then I got bored so I went back on the sand to read, and then my Mom looked at me and was like, "Where are your brother and your sister?" and I said, "How should I know," and she looked up and she screamed because they HAD BLOWN OUT TO SEA! They were on their rafts and they were so far out you could barely see them. And my mom yelled for help and a man who was very good at swimming swam out and got them and they were fine, but my mom was SO mad at me, she was like, "How could you let your brother and sister just blow out to sea?!" and I was like, "You never told me I was in charge of them!" But I got in big trouble anyway, and that is the story of how I let my brother and sister blow out to sea.
posted by Merricat Blackwood at 9:36 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

Once we stopped to eat at a museum cafe when the kids were like 3 and 4, & the guy behind the counter didn't know how to make a cheese sandwich. They had plenty of bread & plenty of cheese, but because the menu didn't say "cheese sandwich" anywhere, he had no idea that it was possible to put those things together in that way. I told him how to do it, and he went away to check with his supervisor to make sure that it was possible.

Every time they asked me to tell them again about the cheese sandwich guy they found it funnier & funnier.
posted by rd45 at 9:40 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

This is the story of the time you threw a chicken taquito at my head. One time, when you were very little, maybe three or so, I was babysitting you, and I asked you what you wanted for dinner, and you said "A chicken taquito," and so I made you a chicken taquito and I put it on your plate, and then you said, "I don't want to eat this," and I said, "You have to eat it, it's your dinner," but then instead of eating it, you PICKED IT UP AND THREW IT AT MY HEAD!" And it bounced off my head and landed on the ground, and you thought it was soooooooooo funny and you laughed and laughed but I was very mad and you got in big trouble, you had to write me a letter of apology and so you wrote a letter that said, "Dear Merricat, I am sorry that I threw a chicken taquito at your head, I promise I will never do it again," and thank goodness, you never did.
posted by Merricat Blackwood at 9:41 AM on May 19

One more. When my brothers and I were around 8 years old or so, they first came out with plastic containers instead of glass. My mom got one of the new plastic containers that said on it, "unbreakable". It was a bottle of maple syrup. My older brother said to himself, "Self, hmm, unbreakable? We shall see about that." He promptly tossed it in the air and let it drop on the kitchen floor. Yup, hit a seam and there was sticky syrup everywhere. It took months before you could walk in the kitchen with your socks and not run into a sticky spot. Like in the cartoons, there was smoke coming out of my mother's ears! But it said unbreakable mom did nothing to quell the storm.
posted by AugustWest at 10:16 AM on May 19

so much poop. here's another true one my spouse tells my kid about themselves:

when you were a baby, one time I was relaxing with your mom, and your grandma was changing your diaper in the bathroom. Everything was quiet and calm. Then all of a sudden we heard a SHRIEK from your grandma in the bathroom. Nothing from you. We were scared!

Your mom jumped up and ran in the bathroom to see what happened. I expected her to call out to me. But she didn't! Instead I just heard a loud SHRIEK from her, just like grandma had made!

I was scared! So I ran in too, into the little bathroom! And what a sight met my eyes. Your mom was shaking, almost crying with laughter. Your grandma was still holding your tiny little ankles in her hand, in the position they'd been in when she'd been cleaning you up a moment before, motionless and speechless. Your little bottom was still in the air. And the giant ARC OF POOP that you had, incredibly, powerfully, squirted out from that position while grandma had been cleaning your bottom, was still on the opposite wall.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:16 AM on May 19

I am not sure if this one is age appropriate, but here is a link to a story about my kids when they were teens.
posted by AugustWest at 10:21 AM on May 19

When I was a kid, we had a potbellied pig as a house pet. He was extremely smart and rather devious. He was constantly on the hunt for food, as I imagine all pigs by nature are, but he didn't beg the way that dogs do. He would take note of flaws or breaches in our security protocols and bide his time.

Once when I was maybe 10 or 11, he was left inside alone on a Sunday while the family went to the mall. He was smart, but he was neither tall nor agile, so for security purposes, it had been sufficient for a while to just not store any food in drawers or cabinets below about knee-height. Well, my mom had thought that a large lidded tub of Crisco shortening was not sufficiently "food" for him to be interested in, and stored it in a lower cabinet.

She was wrong. When we returned from the mall, he was in the kitchen hanging out (really rather calmly, but I suppose you could embellish) with the Crisco tub wedged onto his head. Potbelly pigs don't have much of a neck, especially if they're as fat as ours was, so thankfully it wasn't too difficult to get the can off him, especially since he was already lubed up. But it took the rest of the afternoon to wash the Crisco off him.
posted by slenderloris at 10:45 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]

There was another time where he broke into the shed where his Rubbermaid tub of pig chow was stored, nosed open the tub, and ate his fill before anyone was the wiser. And that was how I learned the verb "to founder."
posted by slenderloris at 10:50 AM on May 19

When I was in high school once, my friends came to pick me up. They said, “I think we ran over a branch and it got stuck. Can you look?” So I got down on the ground and it wasn’t a branch. It was a whole pine tree. It took four of us to pull it out and it came out looking like a small Christmas tree, completely intact and the car was fine too. We just sat it at the curb and drove off like it was the most Norma thing in the world.
posted by BlueBear at 10:55 AM on May 19

One day while we were out, our kitten tipped over some liquid laundry soap in the garage and got some of it on her fur. What do you think happened next? She tried licking it off. By the time we got home, she was blowing bubbles. She just couldn't get herself clean, and large bubbles kept coming out of her mouth, floating up into the air. We tried our best to give her a bath, which she hated, and made her look like a scrawny rat. Ingesting soap can be really dangerous for cats, but fortunately she did not get sick and the bubbles stopped after a few minutes. Whew!
posted by oxisos at 11:14 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

Thank you all, these are great. His favorite story is one about my Uncle David, who (according to family legend) got peed on by a tiger at the Philadelphia Zoo in the early 1970s. I can't tell the tiger pee story again. I just can't. Now I have some more options!
posted by melodykramer at 12:01 PM on May 19

One more if I may. When I was an infant, my older brother was in the room while my mom changed my diaper. The phone rang. In those days you answered the phone. I was lying on the changing table butt naked. She looks at my brother and says, "Watch your brother, I need to get the phone." Well, apparently, I rolled off and went head first into the trash can. Screaming ensued. By me. My mother comes running in. "What happened? I told you to watch your brother!" "I did mom. I watched him. He rolled over and fell into the trash can. See?"

Littler kids are like Greg Brady, literalists.
posted by AugustWest at 1:43 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]

We had been in Asia for almost two years. When we came home, one of the things I craved the most were Dunking Donuts. So my friend took me for donuts. We sat down at a table outside the store, opened the box, and I was savoring the anticipatory first bite. As I picked one up - a vanilla filled one, I think - I just heard a wet "splash" noise. Turned out a bird POOPED ON MY DONUT! Right as I was about to bring it to my mouth! I haven't had one since, I think. Maaaaan the letdown!

Once I joined a work crew for a survey in Arkansas. I was replacing someone who had to leave, but the others had been together for a few weeks. I felt a bit like an outsider, but it was alright. Until we had lunch on my first day, sitting around outside and chatting. I had an apple that I couldn't finish, so I tried to throw it into the woods. I threw it as hard as I could, but missed. Instead, I beaned the crew chief in the side of the head. The apple crunched very satisfyingly, but I'll never forget the look of painful and genuine surprise on his face. Oh man, I was mortified. Still am, 25 years later. Those people still tease me about it!

We were at Johnny’s Reef on City Island outside of New York when I was a teenager. It was super busy - you know how one of those seafood shacks can be on a summer day when everyone wants to eat by the water. We waited for a long time for my order, and I was dying to get my clam strips. When I got the basket, it looked kind of odd. But I figured I had forgotten what they looked like. Chowing down, it didn't taste like clams either, but it was pretty good with tartar sauce and fries. It wasn't until I had finished my food that my mom realized we had received the wrong basket, and what I had been eating were frog legs, not clams... I kinda freaked out, honestly. It was pretty weird for me.

Huh. All my funny stories are about food, I guess!
posted by gemmy at 3:52 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Two quick ones:
- tried to visit a friend who lived on a boat moored on the Cam. There was a thick covering of green weed on the surface of the river and I somehow mistook it for land and literally walked right off the bank into the water
- out running at the weekend. I could hear a bike coming up behind me so I turned my head just to see as it came past. The person had a surprisingly large dog in the front basket so I had the strange experience of "wait why is a dog in the air" before it barked very loudly and frightened me out my wits.
posted by crocomancer at 2:15 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]

True story: A couple of summers ago I was sitting in the back yard, under a tree. I saw a male house finch in the branches above me. I had my phone with me, so I went to the house finch page on and started playing house finch calls. Soon, I noticed the finch hopping on branches closer and closer to me, looking at me. I thought "Wow! I'm talking to a finch!"

He hopped over to a branch directly above me, pooped on my leg, and flew off.
posted by telophase at 12:40 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]

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