It is no secret that I have been having a difficult time lately with our 4 year old son, E. Family has seen it when they come over for dinner and he won’t stay in his seat. Friends notice it when we’re out and I can barely get through a conversation without having to turn and say something like “E, please put that stick down before you poke somebody’s eye out” at least twice. Neighbors have watched me carry a howling boy, nearly my size, over my shoulder while my husband wheels the bike and stroller back home. He has enough energy to make your head spin, and can be so loud I consider ear plugs on a daily basis.
There are days when I message my husband to pick up some wine, but please get home fast.
But, he is also hilarious. He has the ability to be blunt and truthful, or innocently inappropriate. Like when he pronounces “peonies” as “panties” and says things like “mom, your pink panties (peonies) are dead and have ants crawling in them.” These are the times when I can’t help but laugh. And there are also serious moments, perhaps when I am in a bad mood, stressed, and/or scolding him, and he says something that lightens the mood and I’m so appreciative of it.
Not only does laughing ease my stress, but I can see how it changes E’s body language as well. With just a moment of laughter, we both relax and can more easily work through conflict. It reminds me that laughter really is the best medicine. It reminds me that when my face breaks out into a smile, or my children hear the sound of my laughter, it puts all of us at ease.
Some days, all you can do is laugh. For me, it usually is a day when nothing is going as planned. The kids are slowing me down as I try to get us all out the door, the baby has put cereal bar crumbs in my clean hair and, go figure, E tells me he needs book order money as we are getting our shoes on. Then the baby has a giant, audible poop the exact moment I buckle him into the car seat. His face is what I’d imagine mine to look like, had I just let one loose while pressed into a seat, and I burst out laughing. E is laughing and the baby is giggling right along with us.
Who can stay upset when they hear the laughter of their kids?
I’ve come to really enjoy the moments my husband and I have (lately its been around dinner-time) where we witness our child say or do something so ridiculous it warrants a few good laughs. Not only does it make us feel better in an otherwise chaotic scenario, but it feels like we are sharing some inside joke. Sure, our 10 mo baby threw spaghetti on a wall I just cleaned, and our 4 yo called me “banana-fana mommy” for not fetching him a glass of milk the second I sat back down at the table. But, having my husband there to share in it and laugh over it with sure does help make it easy and fun.