Monday, March 7, 2011

welcome the unexpected

It's so amazing how having kids completely alters your perspective on essentially every aspect of your life.  For one thing, Randy and I have realized that, as parents, you have to learn (quickly) to expect the unexpected.  Because of this fact, my husband sometimes goes a little crazy with the 'over-preparation' that usually occurs before any outing--even to Target for groceries.  Moms learn quickly how to properly pack their diaper bags, purses, and even glove boxes in their cars to accurately respond to practically any situation.  MacGuyver would be envious of the stash of supplies I have in my purse on any given day.  In fact, just last week, while driving Gavin to school, I remembered that he had Show and Tell at school for the letter D.  Never fail!  While waiting at a red light, I was able to find a plastic dinosaur measuring tape (?I know, right?) in my purse.  Show and Tell was saved!

Ok, so I didn't 'prepare' for that particular situation. However, there was a reason that I didn't clean out my purse like I typically do at the end of the week, as it tends to become the meeting place for all kinds of bizarre and unrelated kid items.  I look at the extra 5-6 pounds of 'stuff' I've accumulated as just another way that I can be prepared and 'expect the unexpected' (like the need for a dinosaur tape measure). 

Tonight, I was reminded of another way I should 'expect the unexpected' with children.  The kids and I had a quick and easy dinner, and then they 'cuggled' on the couch to watch Blue's Clues under their blankets.

Since I *love* watching the same episode of Blue's Clues for the third time in the past month, I decided to take advantage of the peace and quiet and take a shower.  The kids were fighting, no tears, no talking. 

Not even ten minutes later, I finished drying my hair, and as I turned off the hairdryer, I heard a strange sound.  How was it possible that in the few minutes I was out of the room, things went from one extreme to the other?!  When I left the living room, I had two quiet and 'cuggly' kids, enthralled by the blue dog who sends his human on a scavenger hunt for paw prints.  Then...when I returned...I saw this...


pre-school humor

hysterical reaction to his brother's joke

drying the tears from her eyes

asking for another joke

You were thinking the worst, huh?  Yeah, me too.  I was assuming that the screams I was hearing from upstairs would mean that I'd be in for a teary-eyed tattle session.  But as I descended the staircase, I realized the 'screams' were actually 'squeals' and their tone was the exact opposite of what I had envisioned in my head upstairs. 

When I rounded the corner into the living room, I discovered that my previously 'cold and cuggly kids' had turned into 'loony little laughter boxes'.  Gavin kept cracking jokes of the pre-school variety; therefore they weren't funny in the least--unless you happen to be Brynn.  With each ridiculous and confusing punchline, Brynn literally dissolved into giggles.  She threw her head back, chuckled a lengthy and hysterical sounding string of laughs, and was practically breathless at the end of it all.  She was laughing so hard, she had tears streaming down her face.  They were so involved in their little brother and sister joke session that they were oblivious to me snapping photos to capture what I'm sure will become a rare occassion over the next few years--getting along and enjoying each other's company. 

At one point, Gavin told another joke and Brynn gave a very forced, very 'fake' sounding laugh.  Immediately, she stopped and looked right at me.  "Hey!", she shouted.  "My funnies are gone!".  Now it was my turn for giggles and tears in my eyes.  I asked B what she meant, and she said "I can't laugh anymore!  My laughing is broken!"  More giggles from Gavin and much so that when I said that it was bedtime, there were no tears.  There were no arguments.  They walked up the stairs, went into their respective rooms, helped put on their jammies, brushed their teeth without whining, and cuddled up together in Gavin's bed for their book.  (Ironically enough, they chose the Pout Pout Fish, which was totally the opposite of the mood in our house tonight.)

I realized tonight that it was 'just another manic Monday'...daycare and preschool drop offs, walking into work at the bell with my students, teaching all day, directing drama club, rushing to pick up Brynn, heading to the doctor for my 34 week check up (all's great with baby!), driving across town to get Gavin from preschool an hour later than usual...and my expectations for a stressful and busy evening to follow my stressful and busy day were unexpectedly changed for the better (even though I still don't get the jokes that Gavin was telling!).  Sometimes you can't expect the unexpected...but welcome it.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
                                                      ~e e cummings

1 comment :

  1. What a delightful tale of laughter and giggles! It's enough to make even Mr. Fish smile.

    Best Fishes to you and your family,
    Debbie Diesen (author of The Pout-Pout Fish)