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Are dads funnier than mums?

Are dads funnier than mums?

I have a confession to make: I don’t know what my daughter’s first word was.

I mean, the first recognisable thing that she came out with was ‘dada’, like most babies. But she used it indiscriminately at first, so it didn’t really count. Everything was dada. Me. The cat. That green plastic triangle she used to be obsessed with. It was just a sound, basically.

Then there were all the almost-words, the things that could have been words if you used some imagination. ‘Dat’ might have been ‘that’, and ‘uh’ might have been ‘up’, but only because I really wanted them to be. I have no idea when those almost-words started to turn into real ones.

But I know what her first sentence was, for sure. She said it last week when we were in Berlin just after we’d finished dinner.

“Dada is silly!”

I’ve written before about how the Popple doesn’t appreciate my sense of humour. This confirmed it.

“Dada IS silly,” I said. “But Mama is silly too.”

“Dada is silly!” she yelled. Then she repeated it about 100 times, just to make sure I got the point.

But here’s the thing – I AM silly. Or at least I try to be. I do stupid dances. I sing Frozen lyrics in a weird voice. I pull a great ‘Are you serious?’ face that the Popple thinks is pretty genius. And yet Dada, with his fart noises and toddler-throwing abilities, is the top comedian of the house.

Maybe the Popple senses how hard I’m trying, and that’s part of the problem. Silliness comes naturally to her father, like it seems to for a lot of dads. After all, the ‘dad joke’ is a thing. The ‘mum joke’ isn’t.

It’s not that mothers are less funny. In fact, we’re pretty great at seeing the humourous side of parenting. Most of us find the funny pretty quicky during those newborn months. When your baby does a poo all over themselves (and you) five minutes before you’re about to leave the house for the first time in two days, you can either curl up into a smelly ball and weep, or make a crack about how this motherhood s**t just got real. Most of us choose the latter, because we’re awesome like that.

So mums are funny, but perhaps we’re less ridiculous that dads. And children love ridiculousness. They like pratfalls, armpit farts and jokes like this:

What do you call a fish with no eyes?

A fshhhh.


What did the ocean say to the shore?

Nothing, it just waved.

The Popple knows that Dada is silly, but she’s not sure what Mama is yet. She was babbling all about me after dinner the other night, but it was hard to tell what she was saying. Adrian and I took turns trying to interpret.

“Mama is…pop?”

“Mama is…bib?”

“Mama is…bap?”

“Mama is…pad?”

The Popple continued to yell her toddler nonsense about me until we eventually gave up trying to work it out.

“Yes,” I said. “Mama is.” Because mamas are whatever their kids need them to be.

25 thoughts on “Are dads funnier than mums?”

  • Baby girls first word was hello! Then mama mummmm mam mam or anything sounding like mum! Only recently it’s been dada and you would have thought that’s the only thing she knows as it’s now dada dada! Xx

  • Kids are so funny. Can’t tell what’s going on in their little heads! Are you pleased she thinks you’re ‘pop’ or ‘pad’? This could mean your in touch with modern culture or your like the most exciting toy grown ups play with all the time 😉 adorable #eatsleepblogrt

  • I think that my daughter feels her dad is funnier than me. I just tend to be more reserved. He don’t mind playing the idiot for her. My little one doesn’t say any words yet, but I notice she attempts to say “hello”, she makes the “heh” sound!

  • I’m extremely competitve in the funny. I’ll do anything, almost, for a laugh, and at the end of a long day our son will say, you know Daddy’s funny. Drives me nuts.
    Here’s a cracker for you to beat your OH:
    Q: Why shouldn’t you believe atoms?
    A: They make up everything.
    Happy Christmas or whatever you’re celebrating! 🙂 Jo #eatsleepblogRT

  • The other day my oldest said to me, “I do love you mum, but dad is my favourite’ !!

    (Basically it doesn’t get any better! But it does mean you can palm all the childcare jobs you don’t feel like doing on them 😉 )


  • I love your last line. Very true. Mine went through phases of Dad was better at everything because they see him less. Mum is best when they are sad, tired, upset, hungry and so on. My son’s first sentence was ‘Cuppa tea’, even though he didn’t drink it then, but we do (copious quantities). He obviously decided it must be a good thing.

  • I do understand, daddy just does these things and little one’s just laugh! H first laughed at daddy, and still goes hysterical at him most days. H’s first word was ‘duck’ – and she’s been obsessed ever since!


  • Ahh! Clever girl saying a sentence. I think TM is still small enough that we are both equally hilarious, I know it will change soon though. When my nieces and nephews first met B I was shunted aside as he was so much more entertaining ? Every time I went anywhere without him they were hugely disappointed. I was like, come on guys, I’ve been your pal since BIRTH!!

  • Proud to report that Moo’s first word was “mama” but equally I’m pretty sure it’s just a noise, and I’m DEF not the funny / silly / enjoyable parent. Anything Daddy can do, I can do almost as well, but I don’t cut the mustard. They also ignore me when I tell them off so I’m not getting much right! Thank you for linking up to the last #Chucklemums, it’s been a blast! Look out for a possible reincarnation next year…

  • Our little one tends to find both of us quite amusing and irritating in equal measure! He’s also keen on being thrown about like a plane which I tend to do more often because it means I can lay down whilst doing it!! #chucklemums

  • don’t remember The Boys first proper word. The Girl is still saying mummm and dada to everything really. she says “ta” when you pass her something but i don’t think that counts as she’s just copying me.

    I would say I’m funnier, to adults. And he’s funnier to kids. Women just have a more sophisticated more. We’re clever. We’re better! #familyfun

  • I think this raises a really interesting point about how children perceive their parents. Perhaps, if Mummy is the parent who spends the most time with them, they want her to have a slightly more sensible side, whereas Dad can make the appearance of the clown…maybe? Anyway, daughter 2’s first word was: pub…says it all really! Alison x #FamilyFun

  • Daddy is king in our house as well, but we all make each other laugh. I would say the “Dad Joke” is about TERRIBLE jokes – obviously us Mummy’s only tell brilliant ones. Like:

    Two eggs are frying in a pan and one says to the other “Phewf, it’s a bit hot in here” and the other one says “Argh! A talking egg!”

    Hahahahahahahaha #chucklemums

  • Dadas are silly. My daughter says it at least twice a day. There is something special about a dada. But there is something special about a muma too and you summed it up just perfectly! Have a wonderful Christmas lovey and thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  • I’m not sure on first words either, I’m still hung up on the fact that my brothers first word was supposedly concorde and me the 2nd child was “me” my parents had given up with me! We get a lot of car so i’m inclined to say car for rob. I don’t think either of us are that funny for the robot really. We try, he laughs, this is good! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun

  • Dad’s do always seen to get the ‘silly’ or ‘funny’ badge more easily that mum’s don’t they! I love this post. I think you’re so right that dad’s can do the more farcical humour that little people find hilarious. But mum’s keeping them joking and smiling through the whole day. Humour in a different way! I think you / Popple are so right: “Mum is”! #FamilyFun

  • I know in our house that I am a bit more of the ‘serious one’ because someone has to be! Daddy is at work so much that he’d rather use his time to joke around then tell them to put their washing in the basket! I’m not bitter…… 😉 Thanks so much for joining us at the #bigpinklink and Merry Christmas from all the team!

  • In our house I am the funniest as I come out with such dry comments without trying – but that humour isn’t child friendly therefore in terms of Ben, daddy seems to be the favourite (but I also think that’s because he comes home just as Ben is going to sleep so its a new face other than same old me)

  • Ah in our house Daddy is the king of funny – he does stupid dancing, silly voices and dangerous things! I have come to terms with not being funny. But when someone needs a cuddle its all about Mummy! #eatsleepblogrt

  • Oh yes! I get this!! My daughter is a daddy’s girl because he is way more sillier than me. He’s the one who throws her in the air whilst I’m saying mind her head/she’s just eaten/she’ll be sick, i.e the sensible one. I try to make her laugh and do, but daddy has the novelty factor in our house! Great post x #FamilyFun

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