“Hon, you’re so easy to mess with!” my hubby told me tonight as he crumpled up his snotty tissue and threw it at my face. Annoyed, I chucked it back at him; an auto-pilot response, thanks to my kiddos who use my pant legs as tissues on a daily basis.
I am messed with all. day. long. I laugh all day long. I tease and joke and play. I turn getting-dressed-time into scary-monster-time. I play Salt Shaker with my boys – a game I made up to distract them from their grumps – a game in which I pick them up, turn them upside down, and shake them till the salt (aka grumps) comes out. I smell their stinky armpits and pretend to die. I play Mousetrap and Go Fish and Hide-And-Seek. I laugh, I cry from laughing so hard, I try not to laugh when scolding for things that are hilarious but not necessarily appropriate.
I play all day, but I work all day, too. As all moms know, these moments of hilarity and fun occur between tantrums and timeouts. And then there’s the business of the day – making meals, grocery shopping, laundry, picking up messes, separating fights, dishes, more laundry, changing sheets, cleaning, etc. Sometimes I feel like Jekyll and Hyde, playing and working, laughing and scolding, sometimes simultaneously.
So when my hubby says, “You’re so easy to mess with,” let me interpret: “You are no fun.”
Sometimes this is true, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I’m in the mood to be messed with (ie snotty tissues in my face, or dirty socks, or worn boxers), sometimes I’m not. Tonight I was not. Ask me in the morning when I’m fresh and alert after a full night of sleep (hopefully), and I might be ready to play once again.
My grandpa’s 80th birthday is coming up (don’t worry, I didn’t just change subjects on you). I’m in the process of creating a memory book for him, and as I’ve been going through thousands of old photos that will represent his life, I have found hundreds of totally goofy, care-free, pre-kid pics that explain my husband’s comment. Here are a few.
|Jumping on the Bed - After|
|Jumping on the Bed - Before|
|Me: Intentionally in a Bush|
|My brother and me (right before I crashed backwards into the wall)|
ALWAYS making silly faces
Hubby biting my nose (and me actually laughing!!)
Me, listening to the creepy mannequin in the background
No caption needed
I used to be a complete goofball. I mean, shy to the outside world, but to family and close friends, I was the goofiest one of them all. Always. And this is when my husband met me. I was 23 years old, out of college and working a serious job as a newspaper reporter, but close enough to my post-teen years to still have a body full of silly bones (sans post-pregnancy stretch marks and an undesired muffin-top). I made goofy faces, sang at the tops of my lungs while driving, danced in circles in the kitchen while talking because I couldn’t stand still. I was always up for anything, and I didn’t let anything get in the way of having good, old-fashioned fun.
Then I had kids. They see the silly side of me all the time, but they see the serious me just as often, and unfortunately they see this side of me when I wish I had it in me to laugh. I wish I could laugh with Evan when he’s doing the twisty dance as I struggle to put on his pants, or appreciate the pre-flight plan the boys make before launching from the side of the tub (hand in mine, of course) to the floor. Why can’t they just get out? Why does it have to be a take-off and landing situation? Why do I care so much? It just takes a second! Answer: Because it’s at the end of the day and while my humor bone is still intact, my patience is not. Why does my anxiety greet the roof when the boys take 5 minutes to choose the perfect toy to bring when all we’re doing is checking the mail at the end of our driveway? As cute as it is to watch them struggle with such decisions, my patience is not laughing. When hubby throws a snotty napkin at my face, my patience is still not laughing.
When did I become such a bore? Okay, so I’m not 17 or 19 or 23 anymore. I thought life was full of responsibilities back then, but that’s a thought that can now make me laugh. Sure, I had responsibilities, but I also had all the time in the world, to myself, to get it all done. Work, paying bills, um…what else? Scheduling Friday night fun or choosing which movie to go see? I didn’t know real responsibility until I had kids.
And don’t get me wrong. I live for these two boys. They are my everything and provide me more joy in my life than I ever could have imagined. So now I need to embrace it. Not saying I won’t still have mommy days where the stress lets me see the humor in nothing. My days of laughing and playing with my kids will continue, because how can you not laugh when you are surrounded constantly by two very small, energetic, smart, witty, funny, playful boys all day? You have to laugh.
Hubby’s comment tonight reminded me that the laughing doesn’t stop with the kids. I need to consciously make myself snap out of mommy-mode. Not that hubby and I don’t laugh. We do. Sometimes we get a case of the sillies at 1 am when we both can’t sleep and the smallest thing can set off endless giggles in our state of delirium.But I am publicly announcing that I don't want to envy the care-free girl I was in these pictures - I want to be her again. And I can. I need to loosen up and not let my crazy busy, responsibility-filled life get in the way of laughing. I am vowing to reconnect with my silly self and let as much of my stress and anxiety float away as possible.
How do all you fellow moms keep the laughter flowing?? Please share!