My life often feels like a comedy, and my kids say some hilarious stuff. I was acutely aware of that due to a childhood full of babysitting, but it’s even funnier now that my own kids are trying to put my adult words into context in conversation…which clearly takes a detour most of the time.
My recent favorite is my 3-year-old daughter’s reaction to adding one more stop at the grocery store when she’d rather be at home on her slip and slide. A disdained…”CCCRRRAAAPPP.” is what I got. Exactly how I would have said it. How can I possibly tell her not to say crap when that right there was so funny I busted up laughing.
Then there’s my one year old, who is verbally limited to “Uh, Oh” amongst a few other words and phrases. Even she can instigate by shooting a look in my direction, arm hanging out over the side of the stroller clutching a toy, letting out an “Uh-Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh” as it hits the ground…again. Completely deliberate, followed by a storm of giggles.
I can’t help but think how appropriate that response is to so many things on a daily basis. The long, drug-out version like my one year old does. “Uh…..Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Too bad it’s not as funny and cute in grown up situations. Like…I forgot to drop the water bill in the mail box and they shut it off…”Uh…Ohhhhhhhhhh.” Wouldn’t that be great if the water company just laughed in frustration, took the sealed envelope with a stamp and just turned it back on with out socking me a gigundous fee for being too over-tired and over-tasked to put it in the mail? Darn it.
It doesn’t work reversed on my kids either. I can’t just burn the tarnation out of their chicken nuggets, serve them up anyway and tell them, “Uh…Ohhhhhhhhhhh…tee he he.” No empathy there. Just a giggle-voiced Brianne saying “MOM! You very MESSED up my chicken nuggets! New ones, please!!….” as her younger sister goes for a taste and literally pulls it back out of her mouth to launch in my direction….she herself smiling as she shakes her head from side to side saying, “no, no, no, no, no…..” At least I got a please.
How quickly they learn sarcasm. This magnified yet again by yesterday’s gold mine amidst the Halloween aisle of the craft store. “MOMMY YOU WILL NOT BELIEEEEEVE WHAT I JUST FOUND!” Rushing to see what my three-year old’s about to break, I find her holding up plastic rat babies…with quite possibly with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen light up her face. “Now Lester (her rubber toy rat from Halloween last year) can have…1…2…3…little rat babies!!!! Awwwww, they’re so cute, Mommy!” It’s at that moment I turned to my 1-year old, who looked right at me and let out a bunch of giggles followed by “Uh, Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….” Even the woman behind me thought that was comedic genius. Lo was right. I had to spend the remainder of the day convincing her older sister it would be a good idea to leave the rat babies in the car while we went in to sign up for ‘ballerina school.’
Yes, ‘ballerina school.’ My 3-year-old, the one whose favorite holiday is not Christmas…it’s Halloween…has begged me for a year to go to ‘ballerina school.’ The bribe was to fill up her ‘Good Girl Chart’ (in itself…a long, strung out bribe to get her to behave) with stickers each time she did something good. Do something bad, like tell me (as she laughs with a dirty look on her face…oh, it’s possible…) “I’m going to rip you up if you tell me ‘no’ again…” no ballet. Maybe I should be using Halloween as a bribe….hmmmm….
Like my kids, I like to see the funny side of things…and lots of times I end up laughing right along with them, or around the corner where they can’t see me laughing at them. But when milk cascades on to the newly cleaned kitchen floor, my gut reaction is not to laugh, but to run for the paper towels. Why? Do I really have a chance at beating the milk to the floor with my trusty roll of Bounty? It’s a quicker picker upper…but come on. Not that quick. Wouldn’t a laugh feel better instead of letting my inner clean freak take over? Maybe if I knew I wasn’t going to have to be the one to clean it up…and probably ram my head into the bottom of the table in the process…causing more shrieks of laughter from my 3-year-old and another giggly “Uh, Ohhhhhhh” from Lo…or maybe the reaction is based on the fact that I am constantly sweeping and cleaning the floor. It’s a mystery to me how I walk away and 5 minutes later its full of crap again…
They have it right, though. Laugh it off. If they could only master sharing like that….
Happy Laughs, Peeps.