Humor is a wonderful tool for coping with challenging situations, diffusing arguments, asking your kiddos to pretty please do their chores, or reminding your sweet baby for the eleventy-billionth time not to wipe her boogers on the wall next to the bed. While being funny is good for handling these situations, I don’t know anymore, because I am no longer funny. I can not muster even a bad joke around any of these things. When I try, it comes out strained and a little sarcastic-ish and my children are confused and I am sad.
I used to be funny. Hilarious, actually. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I was at least mildly entertaining. To myself. And sometimes my spouse. And my sister, she thought I was funny. For realsies. She did.
My husband was funny before kids and is still funny now. Nine years later. Still funny! He can waltz into the same booger-on-the-wall scenario and make a joke about it, insist that daughter clean the wall and use the tissues that I have so conveniently placed next to her bed, and then place the used tissue in the handy little garbage and not under her pillow. (Why? Why does she do this?!) He does all of this and it’s funny.
Maybe I’ve lost my sense of humor because I deal with this nonsense every day, all the time, but I don’t actually think that’s quite it. I’m hoping that by the end of this short piece of writing I will have gained some clarity and my funny will miraculously turn up. I’ll be all, like, “Oh, hey there humor. I’ve been missing you. Let’s hang out.” And then I will be funny again.
I miss the lighthearted version of myself. I miss the me that was able to roll with the punches, that had perspective. Okay, maybe that’s not accurate. I’ve never been good at perspective. Maybe that’s part of the problem. I have always struggled to see through the weeds. To see that it won’t always be this way. Whatever “this way” happens to be at the time, feels like the inevitable future. We will always be waking up 73 times every night. We will always be washing boogers from the wall. Again and again and again.
It’s not just the irritating stuff. I feel this way when things are dreamy, too. When my girls manage to not fight for 32 minutes, I forget that they were little monsters all morning and I was mired in despair because, really, how can one be expected to live with small monsters who wipe their boogers on the wall?! The humanity?! Oh, right, they’re not fighting now. Minute number 33. Yes!
What is a parent with no perspective and a missing sense of humor to do?!
- Read funny stuff. I think maybe that’s what we’re supposed to do. I like this one. Jenny Lawson is FUNNY! Also, some of these tweets are hysterical!
- Avoid social media these days. It’s decidedly unfunny. It’s stressful. Instagram, though, is fun. More pictures, less words. Maybe avoid Pinterest so you don’t feel bad about your inability to recreate all of the perfect stuff. Or maybe not, maybe it’s inspiring. At any rate, it’s not inherently funny, so it’s sort of neither here nor there what you decide to do about Pinterest. But I digress.
- This one is cliche, but, I think maybe makes some sense; try not to sweat the small stuff. Boogers on the wall are probably a small thing.
I was with a group of mamas the other day all recounting their stories of booger picking, booger eating, and booger wiping. Eeeewwwww!! But we all had a good laugh. So, there’s that. Some day my girls will sit around with their mama tribe recounting their booger stories. And they will laugh. Because it’s funny.