Tuesday, 1 September 2009

It’s so nice to laugh

I think one of the nicest things about my kids (and they are legion, those nice things) is that they’ve both got such a dippy sense of humour. (See below.)

Of course there have been times in our home when nastiness has gone down – one of the most recent was when my 19-year-old son lost his ID book and I had a meltdown. (His ID book was needed URGENTLY for a really really really important transaction.) In the absence of the option to tear him limb from limb (because they arrest you for that), I let loose on his snake-pit of a room. ‘Clean it ALL up!’ I roared (in the – vain, as it turned out – hope that the ID book might emerge from the chaos.) ‘Every Drawer! Every Shelf! Every Cupboard! Every Single Square Centimetre!’

An uneasy silence, broken only by the shuffle of things moving about on my son’s side of the house, reined for several hours.

Later, when I’d calmed down to a panic, I apologised to him. I gave him the usual speech – I have many things to be responsible for and not only him and his sister, he has to learn to look after his own stuff, I can’t mommy him forever, identity theft is a real danger, etc – and then added the inevitable maternal BUT: ‘Your room really is a mess, my darling boy. It’s probably not a bad thing that you cleaned it up.’

He said, ‘Well, there’s nothing like abject terror to get a body moving.’

I found this interesting, because I can’t remember the last time I terrorised either of my children, and I did so very seldom when they were younger, and only if they were (a) tantrumming in a public place – in which case I dragged them to the car and smacked them there; or (b) in clear and present danger, like trying to poke their fingers into electric sockets or hauling a large potplant off a table directly onto their heads.

Yet I am apparently able to instil ‘abject terror’ in my kids? Wow. I am heady with power.

Anyway, we laugh a lot here. My son has a bizarre laugh (a kind of high-pitched winnying, sometimes veering off into a series of snorts) which of course we find hysterical; and both my daughter and I find the way we laugh respectively infectious, so it doesn’t take much to set us off.

Today I asked my daughter (a learner driver) if she’d drive me up to the shops to buy - I hate to say this, but cigarettes: I wanted her to pop in to the shop because I was wearing my slippers and didn’t feel like getting out the car.

‘Sure!’ she said. (I could ask her to drive me to the edge of an active volcano, into the sea, straight into hell, whatever – as long as she has the wheel, she’s happy.)

As we left the house, she did a double take – she suddenly realised she was also wearing her slippers. ‘My god!’ she shrieked. ‘I’m turning into you!’

And that kept us practically insane with mirth for the entire trip.

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4 comments:

Lynne said...

so which one went into the shops in slippers?

Muriel said...

Hi Lynne! My daughter did - after going back into the house and changing into shoes. Sensible girl!

Yor Nesot said...

I know you don't advertise that you smoke!?
I remember a friend of mine having an ash-tray, which/that resembled a skull, and on it's forehead was printed, 't's better to smoke here than hereafter'.

Muriel said...

Well, I'm a sometimes-smoker. But more often than not, I suppose, and as has been pointed out to me several times, if I smoke AT ALL, then I'm a smoker. So there you go.