Stuck in the daily locomotion of getting kids corralled out the door on time for school, eagle-eyeing what they watch and say, and guiding who they spend their time with, I often forget that I've checked my sense of humor at the door, um, about six years ago.
It's a small price to pay on most days. I think I've got it all figured out (ha ha) so I'm going to go full speed ahead to prove that I'm doing it the best way ... that is until they turn into teens and remind me that I'm utterly and completely clueless about pretty much everything. ;)
Until then, Ben and I rule the roost, but differently of course. Ben's a jokester. Which, again, I'm not. Beyond, knock knock, who's there jokes. I've got nothin'. So his shinanigans crack me up but yet I sometimes wonder when he goes full steam ahead on the sarcasm train with the girls or tells them lie-jokes about eating broccoli for dessert. But, I sigh, smile and remember that's why kids have two parents. One that can kid with them and one that they know isn't always full of bologna! ;)
But then steps in more male antics from influential family members. It's funny to me that with family out of town, I forget sometimes the positive effects the different people in our circle of life also have. That is, until we go visit them or they come visit us.
My uncle came to visit my parents and us this week. And like when my brothers come to visit, I am reminded two things. One -- I take things way too seriously. and Two -- kids need teasing. (In a healthy way of course.)
My brothers and my uncle and my dad love to tease the girls. It's super dooper fun to watch because often the kids do not know what to do with it. They are so used to the grown ups telling them what to do, encouraging them, or playing normal games with them. They are NOT used to people threatening to stuff them in trash cans, tie their shoes together or hide their toys. They are not used to pranks, people stealing their noses, or pretending to write a letter to Santa.
"Dear Santa, Saylah has been very bad this year. Do not bring her any toys."
~ Uncle Matt
"Dear Santa, Uncle Matt is lying. He should not get anything ever. Please bring me a microphone."
It is great to watch this unfold. It reminds my kids that even grown ups can be silly. Really silly. And it teaches them to have a sense of humor and not take themselves too seriously either. I grew up with these things too. My dad and uncle used to spank my dolls and I'd get SO upset. Yes, I've been stuffed in a trash can and have had my shoes tied together in a crazy mess of a knot on more than one well-deserved occasion.
My uncle taught us each to howl like a wolf, lay an egg, oh and to snipe hunt. My favorite. It was hillarious to watch the tradition continue on Memorial Day as the wolf-howling was passed from generation to generation when Dad and Uncle Dan taught Isaac to howl. (see video)
Tuesday morning Saylah woke up to find her shoes in a knotted mess. And I'm pretty sure the antics will be coming all week while my he's here. The teasing doesn't stop with the kids. And for that I'm "thankful" ... I suppose. ;) When I left this morning to work, Isaac was jabbering "cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie" thanks to my uncle; who I believe spoke that for my benefit rather than Isaac's. And I was texted that the baby likes strawberry frappaccino, too. Sigh, the antics of men. We're lucky to have them. They remind us all to not be so serious. Kids won't break from too much sugar every once in a while, howling like a wolf, or even being stuffed in a trash can.
I'm grateful my kids get to experience uncles, great uncles and grandpas. Without these influential men in our lives, they wouldn't be as tough as they will be, wouldn't learn how to take a joke as well, nor would they have the good sense not to mess with someone who is wiser, older and bigger than them. ;) At least not more than once.