The Indespensable Sense of Humor

With one, two, or even three kids, you can get away without much humor in life. Staid, humdrum reality can drone along like a bee on a lazy summer day. But with more kids comes more craziness, and a sense of humor becomes necessary for survival.

I have mentioned before that my hero husband is a large part of the reason I am still sane. I should mention that I tend more towards the serious side of life, while he leans hard on the hilarious. Kids making obnoxious noises? He will join them and do it louder and longer. People picking on or ganging up on each other? Better watch out, Daddy is infinitely creative and diabolically clever when it comes to assigning consequences. 

Not sure why, but with six boys plus my other half, a lot of humor involving bodily functions happens around here. I have said a lot of unexpected things in my parenting career, but “Don’t pee on the chickens!” probably tops the list. And the excitement of the big ones when one of the little ones produced an unusually large bowel movement resembled the frenzy typically reserved for a Superbowl touchdown. Now he is constantly trying to set a new poo record. I suppose fame of any sort will go to your head…

The girls are much calmer, more predictable. Their version of crazy involves dressing our Great Dane in their clothes (hilarious, by the way), getting into makeup, and looking like clowns at the end of the day. You know, girl stuff.

The dogs contribute to the ridiculous routine too. Usually just by being…dogs. The Dane got into some trash two days ago, and yesterday acted uncomfortable. One of the kids mentioned that she was moving very gingerly, and I said she couldn’t just flop down like the terrier because of her size. Not five minutes later, a smell wafted through the house. This was during lunch, and we all blamed each other, gagging dramatically. And then, we saw the floor.

Rivers of liquid brown ran down the hallway, artistically splattered on the doors and walls. An apologetic Dane hunkered on the door mat, begging (too late) to go out. Suddenly my tater tot casserole looked a lot less appealing. It resembled the semi-congealed mass in the middle of the brown puddle far too closely. And the screams and squeals from the peanut gallery definitely added dimension to the scene. 

Four older children and I enlisted copious amounts of paper towels, gags, and giggles to tackle the mess. Poor dog was banished to the outdoor kennel. Bleach and scrub brushes were produced, and the poo river quickly became a smelly but distant memory. 

Of course, we have loads of fun not related to excrement. One favorite is when they stuff their clothes with pillows pretending to be Sumo wrestlers and run and bounce off each other. Another involves a big Tonka truck, a small sibling in the dump bed and a larger sibling for a motor. But my favorite is a new family tradition: The Gong Show. Instituted by my hero, it is a takeoff on charades. The only difference is that you have to impersonate someone who is present while everyone guesses who it is. It gives a funny perspective on how you are perceived by people around you- a big one imitating a small one’s incensed stomp and slouch routine, a small one imitating a big one’s fairly consistent dramatic response to any unpopular orders. I swear I’m going to buy a tiara- I have a whole raft of drama queens who can take turns wearing it.

No, I would never make it without a sense of humor firmly attached. If you intend to have more than a couple of kids, make sure you order one commensurate with the intended size of your family. If you have a blended family, ask for the expansion pack on that sense of humor. There are days you have to either laugh or cry, and laughing is better for the blood pressure- or so they say. 😉


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