Actually it is. Quite.
Ever since I’ve become a mother, it seems that I have grown a funny bone – somewhat tenuous, but it is there all right. Forget the rose-tinted glasses – what one needs to survive parenthood is the aforementioned funny orthopedics, gallons of pinches of salt and a skin as thick as a rhino’s hide (only figuratively of course – no ones asking you to skimp on your yearly facials! Because that’s as many as you can manage to have – no?).
I can see all you mothers and fathers out there, sagely nodding your heads in agreement. And why would you not – having been subjected to all manners of ‘susu-potty’ jokes has made us see funny in the washing machine throwing up mangled multi-coloured versions of favourite white shirts – all because a little someone masterfully hid a marker pen in their pants.
And then, you really know you have passed muster when you go for that all important meeting/date and then in one defining moment you and your companion simultaneously realize that the pattern running down your dress is – actually not a pattern – but dried puke/toothpaste/baby food – take your pick. If that does not make you go up in the ‘ha-ha’ meter then – you really need to pick up speed.
Before your child can even learn to talk and bring unending hilarity to your life, you learn that there is so much to throw up, give up and just sit back and laugh about. If your middle name is perfection, house-proud or straight-laced, be doubly prepared. Actually it’s not all that bad. Serves as a perfect icebreaker when you meet another new parent. Try, “You know what my son did to my iPod/iPad/laptop/any other supremely expensive electronic gadget”. Didn’t work? Then surely, “So you know what my kid flushed down the toilet?”
Speaking of toilets, we now come to bodily functions. You have had a child and now the inevitable will happen. You are contractually obliged to be aware of every pore and opening of your child’s body. And most of these openings leak and stink at the most inopportune of moments. Cut to the scene when an important personage (Boss/Socialite aunty/Arch nemesis) comes to visit your bony baby and asks to hold her. And then as he/she puts their face down to touch pillowy baby cheeks – a loud sound with accompanying olfactory molecules emanates from the little backside. Yes, that.
It is not just what they do. It is also a lot about what they make us do, undo or redo. If it was not for humour, we would all have gone stark raving mad. There is a story about Newton’s dog ‘Diamond’ who tipped over a candle and set fire to twenty years worth of his research papers. Newton is claimed to have sighed and carried on. Parents all over the world know that exact feeling. There is not much you can do to salvage spilt milk – even if it happened to be the last gallon you had at home – and the shops were closed for the rest of the day. Or till the cows come home, as it were.
I can go on and on and on about the benefits of humour to parents – but you already know it, don’t you? These little funny beings who come into our lives have a lot to answer for. They lower our defenses; make us feel totally insecure and unsure.
Above all, remind us of how much the evolution of civil behavior really happens after years of training in polite society (Any doubts, see George of the jungle, Mowglee etc). But in their actions and foibles they also remind us that life takes a serous amount of work, but it’s not necessary to be serious and stern while doing all of it.
Do you have a super rib-crackling funny story to tell about your kids? Congratulations – you will survive. 🙂
PS : You could also check out http://www.shitmykidsruined.
Nidhi Dorairaj Bruce is a Freelance writer from Mumbai. With no formal education in Parenting, she has been getting on-the-job training ever since her daughter, affectionately referred to as ‘the kidlet’, arrived on the scene 5 years ago. On Twitter, you can connect with Nidhi @typewritermom