The other night as I climbed into bed, I began listing a long list to Mike of why I was a horrible mother. Most of them revolved around my voice becoming just a little too loud that day. Interrupting me, Mike declared, "You're a good mom, you've just got a short fuse." So I re-committed myself to relaxing more, and I don't mean by spending hours on the couch. (Although I do have to say I stayed in bed this morning until 7:13am and it was DIVINE!)
* On Saturday I came home from somewhere and Megan had an old photo album of mine from high school/college. She had it marked with papers and said, "We need to discuss some of these outfits." Hilarious. I hadn't looked at the pictures in a couple of years and between the outfits and the memories I had some good laughs. Then my BFF who is in half the photos in the album came over that night, and oh boy did we laugh some more. Hours later when the photo album had still not returned to it's proper place, instead of getting mad that it hadn't been put away as asked, I flipped it open and found yet another photo to laugh at.
* I let my kids have a 'Just Because Day' 2-3 times per school year. They can stay home for no other reason than, 'just because.' It is rarely planned in advance, and typically they are already awake and dressed when they choose to take it. **disclaimer--my children are rarely sick and we rarely travel, so they typically don't miss many days of school during a school year** Yesterday, just an hour or so into Luke's 'Just Because Day', Luke decided to be funny and put an elastic band around the kitchen faucet sprayer. It drenched me unexpectedly and I had to change my shirt. But guess what? I laughed!!!! I didn't get mad, I didn't get upset, I laughed. I was very proud.
* My husband is honest and I love him for it. The other night I was complaining about having to eat a combination of foods together that I didn't think 'went together' at a place I was due to go. (I know, I know. It sounds ridiculous even to me now in hindsight!) Finally after listening to me complain, Mike said, "I am so glad I'm not you, you waste so much energy." Though I played mad at first, I laughed. His comment was a big wake-up call--sometimes I am pretty pathetic.
* We sing a song in our church that begins, "We have been born as Nephi of old, to goodly parents who love the Lord..." Joshua had been singing the song on and off for days. After probably the 428th time singing, he stopped mid-way through and said, "Why does it say ugly parents?" I laughed, and then I felt mildly guilty that I hadn't really been listening to his singing or else I may have noticed his mispronunciation days before.
* Last week, at the last minute I decided to have my neighbor take some family photos. I needed to submit a family photo for something and I didn't want to take Mike's suggestion of using our year old photo when no one is the same age. It was a nightmare. My neighbor/friend was awesome, her camera was awesome, but seriously--the subjects!? Between Luke poking HIMSELF in the eye with a toy gun in between a background change, someone crying because a nail was poking their back, and someone else wanting a horse rope in every picture (wait, I think all those 'someones' are the same person...) and of course the issue of trying to get seven people to smile all at once, it is no wonder that at least once each of my kids told me in some variation or another, "You're so ornery, Mom!" Later that night after reviewing the photos I had a good laugh when Mike finally garnered the courage to ask me why exactly Joshua was wearing a 'girl shirt.'
* Saturday as we were all gathered in the kitchen working on different tasks, the ipod was blaring some of my good old music favorites. Of course, in typical Tiffany style I was singing along. (Very loudly.) Without trying to be funny, Luke said, "Mom, if you were ever to do a concert and people were there, they would leave as soon as you started singing the first line." What do you say about that? Of course I laughed. And so did Megan, because less than 24 hours earlier, Megan, the musical prodigy around here said to me while I was singing an old Disney classic song, "Mom, I don't mean to be rude, but I just don't understand how it is even possible to change keys as many times as you do in one short song." I had laughed pretty hard. Instead I just explained to my children, that though God didn't bless me with a good singing voice, He blessed me to love using the one I have. Further I explained my belief that one day God will bless me for loving to sing, and I will have one of the most beautiful voices in heaven. (No one really believed me. Imagining their mother singing with a beautiful voice is like telling them one day they will never have to make their beds ever again.)
* Sunday night Mike was laying with Drew in his bed while he cried and cried (Drew, not Mike). It had been a long, napless day and there was no explanation for the crying, besides the fact he is two years old. I walked into the room dragging a screaming and kicking four year old. Mike glanced over at me with a slight grin on his face. I couldn't help but laugh. It was a pretty pathetic parenting sight.
Sometimes around here that's all you can do--LAUGH instead of cry.