Monday, April 22, 2013

The Illusion of Funny

Several months ago, Amanda found my blog on the Internet.

At first I was worried. I mean, I didn't know if I'd be as free to blog now that I knew some of my "material" was reading it.

What took me by surprise was how funny Amanda thought my posts were. I say "surprise" because I can assure you, she does NOT find me funny in person. Hard to believe, I know.

Now part of the reason she finds my posts so funny, is because 85 percent of them revolve around her sister. But that's a whole separate issue.

The other day ...

Amanda:  You make the stuff we do sound much funnier in your blog.

Me:  I know. It's a gift.

Amanda:  I mean, it's not that funny when it happens, but you write about it like it was.

Me:  I don't change anything that you guys say ...

Amanda:  I know. It's just funnier on the blog.

Me:  I agree.

I then explained that most of the things I write about are not funny to me when they happen. AT ALL. Some things ARE hilarious, but many times they're raw parenting moments that just plain SUCK, and it's not until I've had time to reflect on the incident that I can see any humor in it whatsoever.

A good example of this would be a couple weeks ago.

Henry told me Monday morning that he would be leaving the next morning for a broadcaster's convention in Las Vegas. 

Side note:  If I, the mother, had only given him a 24 hour notice that I'd be gone for the next 2 days, do you think that would have flown? Well I guess I'll never know until I try it, right? ROAD TRIP!!! WHO'S WITH ME?!?!?!? Oh, and he ended up leaving that night, so I actually only had about 9 hours notice.

Okay, so the following night, he texted me to see how the day went. I replied with:  Well, tonight both girls yelled that they hated me.

His response?  At least it was unanimous.

Funny, right? Yeah. NOW it's funny. Guess when it WASN'T funny? The moment I received the text. Why? Because I'd had an exhausting day at work, came home only to have to help with homework, pretend to cook dinner, play referee to two sisters who are determined to kill each other, prod them to take showers, etc., etc., ETC.!! And after all that, there were still lunches to be made for the next day and laundry to be done ... so when the girls gave me grief about going to bed, guess what? My humor had LEFT THE BUILDING. And that's when their "I hate you's" started flying. I went to bed utterly spent and completely defeated. 

As I laid in bed, I wondered how in the WORLD my mother survived all those years as a single parent. Then I said a prayer for the other single parents in the world. You all have my utmost respect, just so ya know.

Anyway, that's when I got the text. And no, it wasn't funny at the time, though my reply to him actually was the word: "Funny." Which of course really meant, "NOT FUNNY, Mister-having-fun-in-Vegas-without-any-parental-responsibilities!"

Fast forward several minutes, and I started to appreciate the humor in his reply. I appreciated it enough to even post it as my Facebook status, and got over 60 "likes". Go figure.

So just in case you're under the impression that life at our house is just one huge comedy show ... I assure you, it is not.  Oh sure, there are fun times, but half of the stuff I write about isn't funny to me at that moment. Of course I know there's humor in everything, if I take time to look for it.

Here's what I'm currently trying to find humor in:

Book report projects. 

Yeah ... I got nothin'.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

R.I.P. Mr. Crab

In the last several weeks, our family has put to rest 4 pet fish (that I can recall), and 3 hermit crabs. 

When the last hermit crab passed, Megan almost seemed upset.

Megan very somber like: Mom, my hermit crab died.

Me: Are you sure?

Megan:  Look at it! It's out of it's shell and just laying on it's back and not moving at all.

Me:  Let me see.

I picked it up.

Me:  You're right. It's dead.

As I prepared myself to comfort her in her time of loss, I was accosted by her enthusiastic response ...

Megan:  YES!! Now I can get a hamster!!!


Yeah.  No need to send your condolences. It appears she's turned a corner in the grieving process.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Four Fingers are Better than Five

Megan:  You know how cartoon characters only have 4 fingers?

Me:  Huh?

Megan:  Cartoon characters. They always have just 4 fingers.

Me:  I guess I never noticed that.

Megan:  Know why that's good?

Me:  Why?

Megan:  No middle finger.

Me:  No middle finger?

Megan:  You know ... the BAD one?

Me:  Oh ... right.

I hate that she knows there's a "bad" finger.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Great minds think alike ... unfortunately.

This morning we were running late (shocker!)

Meg was the last one in the car, and as soon as we'd backed out of the driveway, she realized she'd carried shoes with her, but no socks. (She blamed this on her dad, by the way, because he rushed her by saying, "See you in the car, Meg.")

So back in the driveway we go.

About halfway to school, she started complaining that she needed a white tank top under the t-shirt she'd worn.  Just a rough morning all around. Henry said he could go home later and bring back the desired white tank top. Father of the Year candidate ... even though his main motivation, I found out later, was to retrieve his cell phone that he'd left behind. :)

About an hour later, I got a text from Henry saying that he couldn't find any white tank tops. 

What I did next, I'm not proud of, but in the spirit of "keeping it real", I'll admit to texting back that he might want to look in the hamper. As in the dirty clothes hamper. I KNOW!! But what else is a working mom supposed to do?!

He brought back one clean pink tank top, and one unclean white tank top.

When Meg came up from recess to retrieve her undergarment ...

Me:  Dad couldn't find any clean white tank tops in your drawer ...

Meg: Did you tell him to ...

Me:  Look in the hamper? Yes, I did. And that's where he found this one.

Meg smiling:  Yeah, that's what I would have told him.

"Train a child in the way they should go, and when they are old ... they'll dig through the hamper instead of wearing something clean."  

Kinda reminds me of my post about recycled banana muffins. Poor kids.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Truth About School Drop-Offs

Several mornings ago, as Henry was driving us to the school drop-off, Amanda noticed a mom driving away from the drop-off area ...

Amanda:  Wow. Why is she so happy after dropping her daughter off at school?!

Me:  Uh ...

Amanda:  Oh my gosh, and THAT parent is smiling TOO!

Me:  Hmm.

Amanda:  So it looks like parents like leaving their kids at school.


All I could do was laugh, because I'd never noticed before how positively GIDDY the parents were as they drove off WITHOUT their children!

Oh well. She'll understand someday. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Babysitting Bribery

We've reached that stage in our parenting where the oldest child can "babysit" the youngest child.

It's also the stage where we get multiple phone calls and texts from the youngest child reporting how mean the oldest child is being to her while we're away.


The first time we decided to leave them alone for a couple of hours in the evening, I came up with a bribe that I thought was pretty good. So good, that I blurted it out to the girls before mentioning it to my husband. 

Me:  Okay, Dad & I are going to Uncle Roger's for dinner Friday night, and when we return, IF you are both alive and HAPPY ...

Amanda:  Yeah?

Me:  You'll each get $10.

Amanda & Meg:  YES!!!

So much for saving money on babysitting.

That Friday afternoon, Meg came into my office after school telling me that she'd been invited to spend the night at a friend's house ...

Meg:  So can I spend the night?

Me:  Sure, that's fine.

Meg:  Aaaand do I still get the $10?

Me:  That would be a NO.

Meg:  UGH!!!


Then Amanda came into my office ...

Me:  Well, Meg went home with her friend to spend the night.

Amanda initially happy, until the horrific realization hit her:  WAIT!! That means I don't get the $10, doesn't it?!

Me:  That would be a YES.

Amanda:  UGH!!!

Like the saying goes: 

Life's a b.... bummer, and then you die.

Or something like that.