Laughter is the Best Medicine
My husband, Robert, is a hoot. He is sarcastic and funny. He is able to twist words and thoughts and make something funny out of just about anything. He can find humor in the bleakest of situations. He is not disrespectful, but he is definitely able to find the FUNNY in most things. It used to really irritate me. Sometimes I just don't want to laugh. I want to wallow in my anger or frustration. I used to get angrier when he would try to make me laugh. I was a pro at the "evil eye". But I began to embrace the FUNNY. I have purposefully, willed myself to smile at his stupid jokes when I was angry. Or giggle at his odd thoughts or puns when I was frustrated. It is pretty hard to continute to be mad when you are snickering.
For instance last night I was getting very frustrated with my son. He was doing his best to get my attention and I was attempting to watch television and do some work on my laptop at the same time. I didn't have time for his nonsense. . Sometimes if you ignore him he will quiet down because he is not getting a reaction from you. Other times, he takes it as a sign that I cannot hear him if I am not looking at him (he struggles with object permanence)so he thinks he can just continue to play around. Even though he is 18, has has the intellectual capacity of a 5 year old, so he plays like a five year old. In the 30 minutes that I had tried to ignore him he had pretended to fall unconscious out of his chair three times. He had hummed his version of the National Anthem complete with bombs blasting 3 times. He had played drums on his bare stomach for almost 5 minutes. He had attempted to whistle over and over and over. He had smacked himself in the face and on the top of his head approximately 1,256 times and pretended to shoot 859 arrows, from the pretend quiver oh his back, into the television.
At this point, my frustration had built and I was D-O-N-E trying to ignore him. I lost my cool and told him in no uncertain terms to "Knock, it off!!!" He turned to me and said, "Geez mom, took you long enough."
It would've been very easy for me to holler at him. I could've very easily thrown a pillow at him. I am certain I was red face and steam was likely coming out of my ears. I chose to chuckle. I said "Touche!". And he looked at me with the quizzical look and just smiled his silly grin. I asked him why he thought I was ignoring him and he answered, "So I would stop. But I wasn't going to until I got you mad. Why didn't you get mad?" I replied, "Because you are being ridiculous. Please stop." He did.
Humor is an important diffuser in our house. Sometimes when I am getting really angry at something Dustin has done or something I am trying to discuss with him Robert will come up behind him making silly faces. There are other times when I will walk away from a situation that has really made me angry and my husband will come up and whisper in my ear (quietly, away from the children) "Honey, that kid ain't right" in some sort of accent of his choosing. It always relieves the tension and makes me giggle. I don't see it as disrespectful, I see it as a coping mechanism. We are not making fun of him, we are trying the best we can to cope without losing our cool. Humor and laughter makes us better parents and helps us realease the frustration.
Hopefully, we are also teaching all of our kids that life is not so serious. We are showing them that laughter is a salve to the soul. It can help us deal when things seem so very hard. It can lighten our mood and help us get back in touch with our therapeutic side. It helps us remember that we are all human and make mistakes. It helps us not to take ourselves too seriously and move on to better things. It shows us that our angst is not permanent and we make the choice to let it go.
So L A U G H. It is ok to have fun. Stop taking yourslef and your kids too seriously!
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