Well, April flew by like a jet plane! So fast in fact, that here we are again in another month and another Stop the Madness Monday entry where I will be attempting to encourage you to turn away from the thoughts that will drive you MAD in MOTHERHOOD and embrace God’s truth instead.
WHAT NOT TO DO: Have absolutely no sense of humor.
Stop the Madness: No sensible person ever said that life would go perfectly smooth. Anyone that even hinted at it being that way is, well… a liar.
You may recall the example I gave earlier about the preschooler peeing on the tree. That was actually a story from my days as a nanny told to me by the sweet girl’s mom. She really did handle the situation with a little laughter, but she was a teensy bit mortified inside. So it made me think of all the different scenarios of how that could have played out without having a sense of humor in the equation. There could have been yelling and pandemonium. There could have been a scared little girl running around – now peeing on the entire yard. There could have been tears shed (by all parties). There could have been a silly and simple teaching moment completely wasted. Instead, as I recall, the mom laughed, placed her forehead in her palm for half a second and looked at her distinguished new neighbor and said, “Welcome to the neighborhood!” Kudos to you, Momma! Well played.
We have SOO much to learn from those precious tiny humans that are entrusted to us! Think about how seriously they take life…. for the majority, the answer is ‘not very’. Now, my Cutie Pie is in the life-phase of feeling embarrassed and learning consequences, so sometimes she thinks things are a much bigger deal than they really should be. Even as I type this, my mind is wondering if my lack of humor in some situations has tainted her ability to just roll with the punches (of life). I mean, we certainly don’t want to completely throw caution to the wind and run a amuck like the Mad Hatter, but maybe we do need to LIGHTEN UP A LITTLE
Most of the time, children see humor in things that we just don’t get. Peek A Boo, for example, is one of the most mind numbing games known to the adult brain, but to a 9 month old…. HILARIOUS. Slapstick comedy is also a winner every.single.time. To me, my body cringes and aches when I see someone fall or trip or get hit with something. Have you ever noticed the joy all over their face when they play in the mud or splash in a puddle or finger paint their entire body. They giggle, their eyes sparkle, they get lost in the the fun of doing something crazy. They truly Live. Love. Laugh – and learn, might I add.
Some of our lack of humor comes with age, with experience, or with wisdom. Some of it is because we’re tired, we’re stressed, we’re ‘responsible’. Sometimes we forget to laugh because we want to cry or yell. Sometimes we’re too busy or distracted to really pay attention. Sometimes we are just guilty of forgetting the same thing that I tell my Cutie Pie… ‘No big deal. Accidents happen’. We even made up a song for that little phrase, and sing it multiple times a day.
It’s hard to find the line between enforcing consequence and allowing freedom. It’s hard to decide the best way to make a learning point in a situation on the spot. Is a simple yes/no they way to go, or a more drawn out explanation? Why do I want to say ‘no’ anyways? Is there really harm in letting her use the curb as a balance beam? Just because I fell off of one and was greatly traumatized, doesn’t mean the same thing will happen to her. Maybe, you fear that if you don’t have strict rules and boundaries your children may grow up and be featured on America’s Most Wanted. Well, it is true that those people were indeed someone’s children once, but I don’t think the likelihood of your children growing up to be like them is very high.
If you’re like me, you want to make a teaching point out of nearly every moment. Sometimes, the teaching point is meant for us to learn from them. What we need to remember is that sometimes, the best lesson to be taught is how we respond to life’s curve balls… to the tantrums… to the messes… to the toddler
defiance independence… to the crazy drivers… to the rude people that clearly hate their job in customer service… to the waiting for.ev.er at the doctor’s office… to the peeing on a tree. The best lesson of all isn’t correcting their behavior on the spot, it’s reminding your little sponges that you are one cool, calm, collected, life loving, grace giving, joy seeking, AWESOME MOMMA!