I'm raising three boys. My life is often... chaotic. loud. rambunctious. physical. very physical. did i say loud? Finding the humor in it isn't some cutsie little inspirational suggestion for me. It's a survival mechanism people. Sometimes I can't find it. I look everywhere, it completely eludes me. I just cannot dig that laughter from the well of my soul to save my life. And then sometimes, even when I really don't want to, I just can't help but laugh and laugh and laugh at situations that probably should not technically be laughable. Let me tell you what I mean...
My almost three year old locks all of us out of the house, and stands just inside the glass front door with his nose smushed up against the glass, an extremely ornery and smug little smirk on his face... I should maybe be stern. I should maybe not laugh at this, or it could become a repeat situation. (This particular boy lives to make people laugh...) I mean, Shaun, Drew, me and Jaden are all stuck outside at the mercy and mood of a miniature little tyrant. But as I approached the door to order him to open it back up, I could NOT keep a straight face!! I had to back down and told Shaun to try. Then he got the giggles too. We were both turning our heads to laugh, get it together, and then try to keep a straight face as we told Isaiah to open up the door. Now! Thank goodness he finally decided it would be more fun for us all to laugh on the same side of the door, but looking back I'm so glad that humor took over that situation. As I deal with my boys on issues both big and small, I sometimes ask myself, "Will this be a story I can laugh at later?" If so, then why not laugh now too? (I am not talking about moments that they are actually doing something REALLY bad, or hurting each other. I'm talking about those minor incidents that feel like a big deal at the time... like when you find the whole bottle of new hand soap pumped out all over the bathroom sink and floor. Or that time when one boy pooped in the potty for one of the first times ever, tried to show another boy his success, and consequently boy number 2 ended up with boy number 1's poop in his hair. Or that time when they thought it would be fun to throw handfuls of fall leaves through the open door into the house. Maybe the time when the boy was so excited about his full glass of apple cider that it spilled all. over. Those kinds of times.)
The other day nap time wasn't going so well. If you're a mom, you know nap time can either make you or break you. What we would do for a little bit of time to ourselves in a day.... But I digress. So you should know that I lay down with all three boys in one bed to get them to nap each day. And nap time wasn't going so well this particular day, and might have exploded a bit, and mommy in a not-so-nice-voice might have ordered all boys to put heads on pillows, feet straight out in front of them, arms at their sides with mouths CLOSED. And then we finally laid there in silence. And in the midst of my frustration and at the tail end of a not so wonderfully played out pre-nap time routine, I randomly remembered a funny family event that took place years ago. And I started laughing. But not out loud. Oh no, not out loud. I did not want to break that golden silence that had just been obtained. But the more I laughed inside, the more I started to shake. And finally Drew whispers to me, "Mommy, why is your belly shaking?" At which point I could hold it in no longer and burst out laughing, tears pouring out of my eyes. They totally didn't get it at all, but it at least lightened the mood and the tension and finally they fell asleep in peace.
I said to my best friend the other night (who also happens to have three boys) that sometimes I feel like my life is an episode of the discovery channel. Like I am raising a pack of little lion cubs, and the way they learn to survive and grow is by practicing their hunting and killing abilities on each other. (ok, not actual killing... but tackling, wrestling, mauling, etc.) Their competitive prowess is a skill that is under never ending refinement around here... and when I think I just can't take one more race down the hallway that ends in a boy who lost crying, or a head banging into a table, or a wrestling match on the floor because one boy started the race too soon and it wasn't fair.... I start narrating it like an episode of the discovery channel in my head. Or sometimes out loud. Depending on my mood. You know, like a slightly masculine australian accent... "the Drew bug spots his prey. He begins to make his move, as Isaiah Boo is still unaware. From across the room he begins to approach... then he pounces. The lion cubs roll across the room in a slightly dangerous form of play that will one day make them great warrior hunters.... The littlest lion cub looks on, shrieking in approval at the talent his older cub brothers display, and anticipating the day when he one day joins in their rough and tumble play..." I would like to add that, although little lion cubs require all the energy their mother can possibly give, they also are the best little snugglers in the entire world.
So, now you know my weirdness. But it's how I get myself to laugh in moments that might not feel laughable, but will be one day. Laughter is good for the soul. And the moment. ;)