Coming back to the funny always works

One of the things I’ve been super amazed about since becoming a mom is the power of humor and a joke.  I remember reading that in this super amazing parenting book, Adventures in Gentle Discipline.  It explained that in any potentially or already tense situation, if you can be silly or funny, you’ll win every time.  That was new to me because I didn’t grow up with silly parents, silly was kind of foreign to me.  I first read that book over a year and half ago and I’ve slowly been more and more able to say funny things, to be silly and to crack up my daughter who has been on the verge of tears.  I don’t do it every time, I have this inner radar that usually guides me about when to use it, even though sometimes I ignore it if I’m super caught in the emotions and it’s urging me to the silly but I can’t quite get there!!  I just find it easier to be silly now that I’ve been doing some inner work to get to the true me, the real me who has been buried under all these emotions and memories!

So, tonight, thankfully, Zara and I pulled out the funny jokes and the tickling and it worked brilliantly!  We had a super busy day: we woke up earlier than usual, we got things ready to go to our new homeschooling group, we stayed with the group for almost 3 hours, we came home, had some cosy time and then some lunch, then Zara went off with her Dad to Home Depot and then for a bike ride and I did some errands, then we played a new board game on the grass when we were reunited, Zara had some supper and a bath and I was sure she was going to fall right asleep!  But she didn’t!   A year ago, I would have been really frustrated by her not going to sleep right away when I “thought” she was tired, but that rarely happens to me any more when Zara’s daily needs don’t fit into what I would have predicted or expected.  So we were in bed for nearly 40 minutes, reading and talking and I said, “alright, why don’t we go downstairs, it doesn’t seem like you’re ready for sleep yet.”  She said no she was ready for sleep, so we stayed.  Then we started talking about where she could hang her Winnie the Pooh poster in her room, and there was an energy coming up for me, the old energy of “get me out of here, she’s not going to sleep, I need to leave,” and I acknowledged it and then I let it pass because I didn’t want it to take over.  I was so pleased because it barely had any power over me and for that I was super grateful.  Meanwhile, Zara was talking about all the places she could hang her poster, and this time, it was her who got to the funny, she was like, “can I hang it on the lamp?, can I hang it on the ceiling, can I hang it on my closet?” so then I just started tickling her and squirming all around with her in my arms as she was making her outrageous suggestions and man did we have a good time.  This was HUGE for me, for me to be encouraging the not sleeping, for me to make it even more fun by tickling her and screaming with laughter with her, it was pure gold.  My heart was shining inside!  Who cares, she needs more attention instead of falling asleep when she normally does, who cares!  Is it really a big deal?  NO!  Especially when you get a chance to hear this:

“Mommy, can I hang my poster on my mam, mem, mam…..?”

“Zara, were just trying to say you want to hang your poster on your mammary glands? (I’ve taught her about them and she talks about them sometimes, so I honestly thought that is what she was trying to say)”

Insert hysterical laughter here from both of us.

“No Mommy!  I was trying to say my memory box, not mammary glands, (more hysterical laughter) oh, I just peed in my bed.”

Hahahaha, what a golden moment, what a riot.  We were honestly laughing so hard that she let out some pee in her bed.  Oh my goodness.  Man that was even funnier for both of us.  So she went to the bathroom and let the rest of it out, I wiped off the sheets because it was only a tiny bit and out of my mouth came the following, “well, do you want to go downstairs and make some ice cream parfaits while we’re waiting for the sheets to dry?”  Nice!  We were reading Fancy Nancy and that’s what they did before bed in the story, which breaks all conventional rules of course, but we did it anyway and it was glorious.  We put vanilla ice cream, broken up pieces of Girl Guide cookies, some strawberries slices and some rainbow sprinkles.  Nice!  Then we talked a bit, cleaned up a bit and then we went upstairs and cuddled and now she’s asleep.  The funny and the present moment and the cherishing of myself and my daughter, the putting the love first, all of it combined into magic.  Nice indeed.  Children are full of magic and silliness, we just have to let ourselves remember it in ourselves!  Thank goodness I’m realizing that it was always there in my heart, just a little buried.

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