Monday, November 24, 2008

Laughter--the Best Medicine

This may sound ridiculous, but I don't think I really knew what laughter was until I got married and became a mother. As I look back now on my teenage years I fear I was far too serious (it was the perfectionist in me, I suppose) and took few opportunities to simply find the humor in a situation and laugh, especially at myself. Well, motherhood has taught me that laughter is not only therapeutic; it's also mandatory. I have never laughed so much (or cried, for that matter, but that's a topic for a different day) as I have since becoming a mother, and I have my children to thank for that.

For instance, last night we were trying to gather the children for Family Home Evening. It was the end of a long, exhausting Sunday, and my husband and I were feeling anxious to get our dear children down for the night. I was trying to call everyone to attention but was having very little success. I glanced at my husband in desperation, hoping he would help when I noticed he was focused on our little two-year-old, smiling. I turned to see what he found so amusing and found Boston trying to figure out how a stuffed Santa could talk. He would push the hand that made the Santa speak and then bend down, examining the beard, trying to find the mouth in the middle of all the fur. It was hilarious.

Our other son often surprises me with funny little remarks. A couple of months ago, he came into the bathroom while I was getting ready for church and announced he was going to fast (it was fast Sunday). I asked him if he even knew what that meant, to which he replied, "yea, it's when you don't eat and you get gum." I chuckled and said, "So, how can you fast when you've already eaten?" "I'm starting now," he said. "Where's the gum?"

Our oldest child (who will be nine this week--I can hardly believe it) is beginning to care more about clothes and styles. It seems like we went from me fixing her hair (with a fight, of course), to neither of us fixing her hair (hoping to avoid any contention), to her fixing her own hair. Of course, I have had to learn to simply smile when she emerges from the bathroom with a less-than-well-manicured hairdo. I tell myself over and over it doesn't really matter, pat her on the back, and send her out the door to school. But the other day she came into the kitchen after fixing her hair, and I just couldn't help but say something (the perfectionist in me popping up again). I offered to help with her hair, but she (of course) refused. I waited a minute and mentioned again that I had some good ideas of how to fix her hair. Finally, she stormed out, but not before turning to me and yelling, "Mom, leave me alone about my hair. I do not want someone who fixes their hair like YOU touching my hair!" I couldn't believe it. "What's wrong with the way I fix my hair?" I asked incredulously, faking hurt feelings. "Have you looked in the mirror?" she answered. I hadn't. So I did. I went straight to the bathroom and planted myself in front of the mirror. I burst into giggles. She was absolutely right! My hair looked atrocious. I'm so glad my children have taught me to laugh at myself.

Then there's my three-year-old. She's more than hilarious. I have found with her I have two choices, either laugh or cry. I've tried to adopt the first. She changes her clothes on an average of eight times a day, concocting all sorts of unbelievable fashion combinations. It drives me crazy, but I've tried to just let it go, hoping she'll eventually grow out of this stage. Well, the other day she came waltzing in, wearing one of her craziest choices yet. At first glance, I thought she had on a familiar type of undergarment and thought she must have raided my drawers, but I wondered why they fit so snugly on her. Upon further examination, I found her to be wearing white baby doll pants! She looked hilarious. They were so tight on her bottom and legs. When I finally got her to take them off two days later (that's right--she slept in them and put clothes over the top of them when I demanded she wear something sensible to go places), I noticed the tight little shorts were actually 0-3 month baby pants! I can't imagine whatever possessed her to try them on in the first place (talk about "squishy pants"), but I laugh every time I think of her in those tight little pants. Except now I might cry because she just came in wearing them again--apparently she found where I hid them after I washed them. Oh well--I tried! Take a look at the pictures below to see the "squishy pants" yourself. :)
Am I raising a fashion diva or what?

Do these look comfortable?


Glitzy Glass said...

Hey, they are probably really in style! She should be a professional leg model! wo

Abby said...

Oh My Lori! That is so funny!! I showed my girls Reagan's picture and they remembered her. Amaya said "Mom, that is a pretty funny outfit!"

...and I love your hair! I wish you could fix mine everyday! :)

AJ Gorham said... is and always has been my saving grace! Love the post!

Randall McNeely said...


The more of your blogs I read, the more I laugh--I can't help it because my wife and I can sooooooooo relate! Again I feel like I'm reading our own story.

Boy, your spot on about laughter. I too was too serious as a teenager. I've had to learn to laugh at myself and to try to find humor in every situation--especially with my children.

One day I was talking to my brother on the phone. We were talking about weight loss and I was telling him about what I'd been doing to lose weight. We're both "weight challenged." While we were talking he told me about something my five year old said to him when he came to visit this past spring. She was walking next to him and suddenly stopped, looked up at him, and said, "Uncle Freckle (that's what she calls him) I like walking next to you. You're big and fat like my dad. Walking with you makes me feel safe"

My brother said he kept a serious face as he thanked her and told her she was glad she felt safe. Inside, however, he was laughing so hard his stomach hurt. I did the same when he told me about it.

Thanks again for sharing!