What Made You Laugh Today?

One of my daughter’s (and my!) favorite bedtime books is Time For Bed by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer. It’s sweetly written and has adorable pictures. She loves stories and I love kids’ books — this is one of my favorite things to do together. Anyway, there’s a line in this book that has become part of our daily conversation: “What happened today that made you laugh?”


I love this. Whenever I would read her this book, generally at bedtime, I would ask her this question. It’s such a funny little question to me — so simple, but really makes her think. Days are busy over here (not all that unique of a dilemma, I know) and between pickup from daycare, grocery shopping, taking the dog out, unloading the car, yada, yada, yada, I’m trying to engage my daughter and see what her day was like. In all of her toddler-ness, I don’t think she necessary knows what to say to this question. Hey, neither do I, really. How was your day, Tara? Fine, it was work.

But when I stop what I’m doing for a few minutes while we share a snack before dinner or when I actually sit down for a second to watch her during bath time, I’ve been trying to make it a habit to ask her to tell me something that made her laugh during the day. Or, what was silly today? Did anyone do anything funny? I think about her a lot during the day, and I sometimes I wish that I was a fly on the wall to see who she plays with, how she behaves, which toys she chooses, how she interacts. I feel like that question makes her think about her day a bit. Like, what was good today? I know it immediately makes me reflect on the day more positively. And I know I need to be doing this more often, and modeling it for her regularly.

In the same vein, we also make prayers part of our bedtime routine. I wouldn’t consider myself religious, but I like the act of saying what we’re grateful for each day. It’s definitely for me as much as for her. I handle prayers on behalf of her each night, because at almost three years old, that would just go off the rails immediately. I have more recently been asking her what she is thankful for, however, so that she may participate. Sometimes it’s something ridiculous like some God-awful annoying toy that I am NOT grateful for, but sometimes it is something that I am totally surprised by — like seeing Granny or Facetiming with Grandma that day. Or sometimes she says thank you for Vince, our dog, because “some kids don’t have a dog”. And checking in with her in this way helps me get a glimpse of what is important to her and who she is becoming. Because she is just a little person, becoming a big person, and sometimes I forget this.

8 thoughts on “What Made You Laugh Today?

  1. I love this book and that is my favorite line as well. So simple yet so important – for
    both my daughter and me. It makes us appreciate even the simplest parts of our day and allows us to reflect on really what is important; each other and those things in life that make us smile and laugh.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. Especially the last line. My goodness they are little people becoming big people and we get to shepard that experience in moments like you describe. I thinks its really cool!

  3. So sweet! I loved picturing you two saying prayers and what you’re grateful for at night. My brother and sister-in-law do something similar but instead they ask their children what they did that was kind that day. I love that too!

  4. This is so sweet Tara! I have always had a hard time pulling this sort of info out of Z. Like, seriously, you can’t tell me one thing you did today?? But I keep trying! I love the idea of “what was silly today?” or “what made you laugh?” I’ll be trying those for sure!

  5. My favorite part of my day is when I sit down before sleepy time and talk with my kids about whatever is on their minds. They are now starting to understand what (nighttime) dreams are – so lately we’ve been talking about their dreams. My daughter usually dreams about things that she loves – ballet, her friends, mommy and daddy. My son almost always dreams about food… and usually, I’m in his dream, sharing the delicacies with him (I wonder what that says about me?!).

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