Love laughs

I often feel like a lot of things leave you with no choice but to cry or to laugh, and laughing is a lot more fun.

Not that I always manage it, don’t get me wrong. I’ve done my share of crying. And sometimes I throw in some yelling and swearing, just for good measure (I’ve always been something of an overachiever, I know). But it’s also clear to me that laughter is an undervalued commodity when it comes to maintaining a healthy outlook on life. You know, one that’s more “It will all work out in the end” and less “I may just need to punch someone in the face.”

Fortunately for me, my family is an endless source of humor. Last night we had a particularly raucous dinner hour—I don’t know why, but man, it was LOUD—and afterward Otto pushed back in his chair and grinned at me.

“What are you smiling at?” I asked him.

“Nothing,” he said. “I just like how much fun we have at dinner.”

Now, the thing you have to remember about humor and our household is that we have two “special” factors at play. First, we have Monkey, who doesn’t always get jokes, on the one hand, but on the other hand often cracks us up either with his literalness or earnest attempts to amuse. And second, we have a tweenage girl with a—as we would say in New England (I insert this to make Otto homesick)—wicked sharp sense of humor, but also all of the over-sensitiveness that tends to come along with being nearly-12.

The bottom line is that not-infrequently we’ll all be going along having a wonderful time, and someone (read: one of the kids) will suddenly get their nose out of joint over something and the fun comes to an abrupt end. Downer city.

But last night, everything was hilarious and easy and everyone was relaxed and happy. After dinner I found myself thinking about how the kids have changed over the years; how they’re still changing, of course, but in particular how Chickadee is maturing and having fewer of the *STOMPSTOMPSTOMP* *SLAM* kinds of outbursts that seemed to be the hallmark of 11, and how nowadays she is usually a genuine delight to be with. I mean, I don’t kid myself—the teen years are coming and I have my seatbelt and oxygen mask ready—but she is just so lovely and goofy and funny these days. Sometimes she seems so much older than her years, to me.

And then sometimes we have things like this conversation from earlier this week, after I packed a hard boiled egg in her lunch:

Chickadee: I had Ms. M smash that egg on the table at lunch today.
Me: You… what?? Why?
Chickadee: I was afraid it was raw.
Me: No, seriously. What?
Chickadee: No, Mom! I thought maybe it was raw! I was afraid to peel it! So Ms. M took it from me and smashed it on the table to prove it was hard boiled.
Me: Chickadee?
Chickadee: Yes?
Me: Have I EVER packed a RAW EGG in your lunch?
Chickadee: Well no, but—
Me: Can you think of any circumstance under which I would say to myself, “Oh, hey, I think today would be a great day to TOSS A RAW EGG into Chickie’s lunch”?
Chickadee: Well NO, but I didn’t know!
Me: Really? You didn’t know??
Chickadee: Remember there’s a Junie B. book where all the kids crack their hard boiled eggs on their heads, so Junie B. does it too, but it turns out that the hard boiled eggs were right next to the regular eggs in the fridge, and so they’d accidentally packed her a raw one, and she got it all in her hair?

[Here we pause in the conversation because I'm laughing so hard I can barely breathe, and she starts laughing, too.]

Me: One: You read that when you were FIVE and I can’t believe you remember it. Two: I have NEVER packed you a raw egg. Three: WERE YOU PLANNING TO CRACK IT ON YOUR HEAD, WEIRDO??
Chickadee: I don’t know! I was just worried, okay? But after Ms. M smashed it for me I could see it was hard boiled and then it was fine.
Me: Um, good?
Chickadee: Yes, it WAS good! You should pack me another one.
Me: Sure, but now I have the overwhelming urge to pack you a raw one.
Chickadee: You wouldn’t do that.
Me:
Chickadee: YOU WOULDN’T DO THAT, RIGHT, MOM?
Me: [still laughing] Excuse me, I have to go pee. You’re welcome.
Chickadee: Moooooooom???

I got to giggling while I was packing lunches, today. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo—I had to sneak a quick shot with my iPhone before the kids came down to breakfast.

I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoy laughing with her.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. I hope you find a way to laugh today and every day.

34 Responses to “Love laughs”

  1. 1
    Debbi April 15, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    LOL!! Too cute!! thanks for the smile today. Happy Love Thursday to you and your family!

  2. 2
    Leandra April 15, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I hate to be “that person” but that was Ramona who cracked the raw egg on her head, not Junie B. I used to LOVE me some Ramona and I’ve never forgotten that storyline!

    On a positive note, now you have a “weapon” you can use against Chickie — “straighten up, girlie. You just never know when I might pack a raw egg in your lunch!”

  3. 3
    elz April 15, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Awesome. I was just thinking of how much mileage you can get out of this one!

  4. 4
    Alice April 15, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    That is so cute! If my mother had done that, I’d have gotten paranoid, but this is why I know that one can shake an egg back and forth to see if it’s boiled or raw. Hopefully Chickie is a bit more trusting.

    And Leandra, don’t worry – I got strangely defensive of Ms. Quimby when I read that Junie B Jones had stolen her storyline! Apparently we’re very defensive towards our fictitious heroines. :)

  5. 5
    Mary April 15, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Love it!

  6. 6
    diane April 15, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    You probably don’t want to let her know that if she spins it on the table, she can tell if it’s raw or not…

    Too, too funny. Chickie is going to have to explain to her lunch buddies why she’s laughing like a crazy person at her egg.

  7. 7
    Randi April 15, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    LMFAO – that’s hilarious!!

  8. 8
    Summer April 15, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Sniff. I never got a parenthetical phrase in my lunch when I was a kid.

    On a more practical note, my Russian MIL taught me to toss a few onion skins into the water when I’m boiling eggs. The eggs turn yellow, which makes them easy to distinguish from the raw ones. And yet my son still forces ME to peel his egg, sprinkle it with kosher salt, and tuck it into a Gladware container for his lunch. I think it’s more laziness than a trust issue, though.

  9. 9
    el-e-e April 15, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    OH, I love this. I can’t wait to hear about her reaction when she opened her lunch today. Pls. Tweet. :)

  10. 10
    Mara April 15, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Leandra is totally right– that’s Ramona not Junie B! I used to love those books…

    And I love the egg idea!

  11. 11
    Julie April 15, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Too cute. I hope she gets a good laugh when she sees it at lunch.

    In a similar vein at our house this week, we dished up some plain yogurt for the kids dessert on Sunday and I grabbed two of the plastic easter eggs with easter M&M’s in them. I told the kids as a special treat they were going to get to crack an egg straight into their yogurt, stir it up, and eat it (hiding the eggs behind my back). They were horrified and demanded to know if I was joking. I insisted that was the plan. DS (age 3) was game. His sister (4.5) burst into tears and fled the room before finding out the trick…not such a hot joke with the 4.5 year old set; I’ll try again at 12.

  12. 12
    Katie April 15, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Every Easter we would give my Grannie a black Easter eggs. Some years they were raw and some years they were not. My mom told me one year Grannie took her egg to work and cracked it on the edge of her desk to have it run down the side. We also reused the eggs occasionally.

  13. 13
    Little Bird April 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    That is just adorable! You should write that on all the eggs that go in her lunches!
    And Katie, how does one reuse an egg? Just curious.

  14. 14
    Javamom April 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Ok listen, my mom accidentally packed me a raw egg once. Ok? She didn’t mean to…but it happened. She was working and had 3 kids….

    I’m just saying it *could* happen…..

    sigh.
    hahahahaha

  15. 15
    Heather April 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Haha you’re rad, Mir, and so’s your family. The stomp-stomp-stomp slam thing was familiar in our house, too – we had FOUR girls to get through teenagehood – but in ours, it involved counting, “1-2-3…” and then the inevitable slam and then timing just worked out so perfectly every time and it was hysterical :P

  16. 16
    Megan April 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Those darn untrustworthy eggs – always plotting something. I do miss packing lunches (now and then – not first thing in the mornings!) ’cause I used to use brown bags for the longest time and would draw things on them (YEARS of Calvin and Hobbes – YEARS). On the other hand, I now am responsible for My Own Lunch Only which definitely has its perks!

  17. 17
    Carrie April 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I read that Ramona story every year with my 3rd graders. Shortly after I do a science lesson in which I use hard-boiled eggs to show the layers of the earth (the yolk is the core, the white is the mantle and the shell is the crust). Of course, I have to open the eggs to show them this. But I always make a big deal out of trying to recall which eggs in my frig were boiled, which were raw, and I’m just not sure… This never fails to get big laughs as the kids eagerly volunteer to crack the eggs on their heads Ramona-style to find out. Some year I just may stick a raw one in the bunch, although I haven’t yet.

  18. 18
    Katie in MA April 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    I love when you do something similar to what I’ve done. CLEARLY you’re doing an awesome job…so I must be doing okay. (Although I can’t ever claim to have written a love note on an egg…yet.)

    Happy Love Thursday!

  19. 19
    Lanie Ree April 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Oh, this story just made my day!

  20. 20
    My Kids Mom April 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    “Ramona, Age Eight”. We had to crack eggs on our heads at Easter after reading that book. “There are rappers and there are whackers”. My boys were whackers, I was a timid tapper. Eggs are hard!

  21. 21
    Sarah K April 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    BAHAHAHAH I bet she brings it home… uneaten!

  22. 22
    ClumberKim April 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I think you’re “wicked sh-ah-p” too. (And pretty, of course.)

  23. 23
    mamaspeak April 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    “the *STOMPSTOMPSTOMP* *SLAM* kinds of outbursts that seemed to be the hallmark of 11,”

    EXACTLY how I feel about age THREE! I can hardly wait to see what she’ll pull out for the tween and then the teen years. I’m pretty sure it’ll just be life support for me by then.

  24. 24
    Lisa April 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Hysterical post! Love the “Not Raw” (probably) ! Priceless!

  25. 25
    Alex April 15, 2010 at 11:07 pm #

    The message on the egg — AWESOME!!

    Ps. I’m relieved that it was Ramona because I didn’t know who Junie B was and thought: Why do I know this story line? I’m REALLY losing it now.

  26. 26
    bethany April 16, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Ramona not Junie B! Aack!

  27. 27
    Brigitte April 16, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    That was wicked awesome!

  28. 28
    Nicki April 16, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Love it! I really love it.

  29. 29
    Samantha April 16, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Love family times like you described, laughter really is the best medicine! What a great story, and love that 12 seems to be better than 11. I am currently living with an overly emotional 11 year old daughter right now!

  30. 30
    Anna Marie April 16, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Oh Mai Gawd – I am a day late reading this but I have tears of helpless laughter rolling down my face right now. A raw egg in her lunch. Bwahahaha!

  31. 31
    Katrina April 16, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    You could teach her the egg spinning trick so she can check herself. Or “amaze her friends”!

    http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/eggs/activity-spin.html

  32. 32
    Tracy April 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    There is no doubt, she cracked up laughing when she opened her lunchbox. (no point intended) I’m sorry I missed Love Thursday…I had a miserable day at work. :(

  33. 33
    Aimee April 19, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I know I’m really late with this one, but I had to just stop in and say HA!

  34. 34
    Amanda April 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    I love this! Remembering the egg for future lunches.

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