Sometimes this parenting thing gets way too serious and humor is such a lovely breath of fresh air.
It’s 6:30pm, Monday night, my son is in karate for an hour and my daughter and I have some time – I have had a pretty sedentary day and am craving a walk/jog … really anything to move my body, clear the cobwebs … settle the monkey in my mind.
My 8 year old is not interested in walking/moving at all – “I’m standing right here” she says, “I’m not moving an inch”. Arms are crossed. Feet rooted, shoulder width apart. Well, whatever brilliant parenting move was available to me at this moment was lost on me – I was going with the path of least resistant that was going to get this need for speed met.
“OK, I’ll just run around here – all I need is 5 minutes.” And without waiting for a rebuttal I start to run - in my tight jeans and work shoes and grey-blue blazerish top - down the long parking lot - I run about half way and then turn around and come back - I am feeling better already but really it’s just been over a minute and I am going to take my 5 -- so I head off for one more round. I glance back at my daughter who is keeping to her promise of not moving an inch and just then someone is passing behind her. Then it comes, “Neighbor’s Mom”, my 8 year old daughter says sighing to the passerby - motioning towards me with a shrug and an eye roll and an “it’s out of my hands” type gesture. It’s not quite loud enough for the passerby to hear and I’m not sure I heard it right either.
I’m so in the flow of my mini exercise routine that I don’t quite get the implication of her comment till I’m half way down the parking lot “Ohhhhhhhh, neighbor’s mom, I’m the neighbor’s mom!” I slap my leg and laugh out loud and keep running, all of a sudden I am full of great energy. ‘Ha. Ha. Nice one.’ I think to myself shaking my head with amusement and some pride. I am doing something that isn’t cool enough for my daughter's liking and she pulls this comment out of thin air … Neighbor’s mom. Ha.
I jog back to her, stifling my adoration for her impeccable comedic timing, “Neighbor’s mom?” I ask innocently. Without skipping a beat she says “Excuse me, are you talking to me – uh, I’m sorry but I don’t talk to strangers.” And she turns and walks off, head held high. My daughter keeps in character - poker face on the whole time. I go with it and we have a tonne of fun together …
I so enjoy the lighthearted and playful aspect that children draw out of me – or bring me back to - the ridiculousness, plain silliness – it feels more authentic to me that the seriousness and mental chatter of expectations and judgments that I can get myself looped into --- helps me laugh at myself and brings me into the present moment – boom. (-:
When we’re in a place of connection parenting is easier – humor is a big help.
Sooo, your turn, what’s something recently that made you smile/laugh with your child?
What happened? Where were you? Engage all your senses, really get yourself into the memory and felt feeling you had --- it’s a form of self-care doing this – you are wiring your brain to your true nature … joy!