Explaining Irony to a Child

Recently my daughter asked me one of those head scratching kid questions.  “Mom, what is irony?”

I don’t know about you, but ever since Ms. Morissette released her hit single “Ironic” I have had a hard time explaining the difference between bad luck and irony.  Rain on your wedding day?  Not ironic.  Behold, last night provided me with the answer to the wee Afthead’s question.

Upon realizing that she had a cut on her foot –  that didn’t hurt at all until she saw it – little Afthead went to get the box of first aid supplies.  This was unusually independent of her.  Normally wounds require drama and snuggling and mommy’s attention.  However, as the wee child got her stool and reached up to the top shelf of the linen closet tragedy occurred.  A can of pain relieving spray tumbled down bonking her on the head.  I came running when I heard the clatter, but before the tears could start I assessed the situation and exclaimed, “This, this is ironic!  Remember when you asked mommy what irony was and I couldn’t explain?  You getting bonked on the head by pain spray is ironic.”

Amazingly the definition was enough to stop the tears and launch us into a conversation about other ironic first aid situations.  Getting a paper cut opening a band aid.  Getting an infection from a germ on the outside of the antibacterial spray.  Apparently irony is best explained in terms of band-aids and boo-boos.