I have been trying to explain to Ella what sarcasm means. Not sure why. Probably because I thoroughly enjoy using it on her sometimes. It calms me down when my blood pressure starts shooting up. Anyway, so I suppose I thought it was only fair to explain to her what sarcasm meant. And I enjoy explaining difficult concepts to her. It's challenging and often very funny too.
For the sake of simplicity, I'd told her that sarcasm is when you say the opposite of what you mean. That resulted in this conversation in our hostel room in Sydney last week (of which I can only remember a small part):
Ella - There's NO pictures on the wall. Sarcasm!
Me - No, that's not sarcasm.
Ella - I'm NOT wearing a t-shirt. Sarcasm!
Me - Err, no.
Ella - There's NO bed. Sarcasm!
Me - No, I think sarcasm is usually a bit mean actually.
Ella - You're going to die soon. Sarcasm!
Me - No, that's just mean, but not funny.
Ella - A dinosaur is going to eat you. Sarcasm!
Me - No.
Ella - Oh, but I want to do sarcasm! What is it then, mum?
Me - Err, I really don't know how to explain it. I'll have to look it up in the dictionary when we get home.
I had a friend text me the dictionary definition later that day, and explained to Ella that sarcasm involved mocking someone, but by then she was a bit over it. And I had also started wondering if it was at all appropriate for four year olds to be using sarcasm anyway.