A laughing matter

Laughter.

If I could sum up this past year in one word, that would be it.

And around here, it takes many different forms.

Like Belly Laughter.  I hear it when my daughter’s watching Pingu.  Which I think is the stupidest show ever but, apparently, is hilarious in a preschooler’s mind.  Or when I tickle Chip and he laughs so hard I think he might float up into the air, Mary Poppins style.  You can’t help but smile when you hear a child bursting into fits of belly laughter.

Or Wild Hyena Laughter, a sound that’s become more prevalent around here as of late.  It’s the kind of hysterical cackling that comes from two tiny caged animals trapped inside on a cold day.  Wild hyena laughter has a savage quality to it, and has a tendency to leave my ears ringing.  But, still, I’ll take it any day or whining or crying.

And then there’s Stifled Laughter.  As in “Oh my god, my husband just dutch ovened me, and I can’t help but laugh even though I’m trying to keep my mouth shut because it smells like something just died under here.” Yeah.  We get a lot of that in our house, too.  After 11 years of marriage, we still giggle about farts like we’re middle school boys.

And let’s not forget about Resigned Laughter.  It’s a mixture between a guffaw, a groan, and a muffled scream.  I used it the other day when I had just about hit my breaking point with the kids.  As I was about ready to explode, my daughter looked up at me and said seriously, “Momma, you look kind of scary when you make angry eyes.”  And suddenly, the tension was broken.  I had to laugh about that one.  Even if it was a resigned, wave-the-white-flag sort of laughter.

Or Silly Laughter.  Because one of the greatest gifts my children have given me is the ability to let my hair down and be crazy.  They’ve taught me that sometimes it’s okay to dance around the living room with underwear on your head.  (As long as they are clean.)  They’ve taught me that it’s okay to poke fun of yourself and not take life so seriously.  They’ve helped me release my inner child that I thought had long since disappeared.

I’ll admit it’s not always fun and games around our house.  We’ve had our ups, downs and utter failures this past year, just like any family.  There have been times when I wanted to throttle my children.  Or just throw in the towel and quit.

But the glue that holds us together… and that makes those crappy times seem far less significant… always seems to be laughter.

Above all, there has been laughter.

Mama's Losin' It
#1. A word that encompasses 2010

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29 thoughts on “A laughing matter”

  1. i love way kids laugh when they’re being tickled! i tickle my nephew sometimes but recently he has started requesting that i tickle him. haha that’s how much he loves it!

  2. Too funny. I didn’t know what “dutch oven” meant and never really laughed about farting until my husband came along. Now we laugh like a bunch of middle school boys too. Oh yes, and there’s tons of laughing and giggling in my house from my little boy. You describe the various types of laughs just perfectly. Here’s to a New Year full of laughter for your family!

  3. Laughter from kids can make any crappy day suddenly so much better. And my 4yo has a gift for saying the wackiest, yet oddly wise things at the right moment so you can’t help but bust a gut.

    Visiting from Mama Kat’s

  4. I have no idea what it means to throttle someone but I’m sure I feel that way at least once a week. And, I pretty much always sound like a hyena when I laugh.

  5. belly laughter is my fave. and when craig dutch ovens, i just want to yell at him and giggle at how proud he is of himself!

  6. What a great word for 2010. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll steal it and us it as my 2011 word.

    I can relate the most to your resigned laughter. I do a LOT of that around here!

    1. Steal away. I totally don’t mind.

      Or, better yet… do you want me to send one of my kids your way the next time they’re full of the Wild Hyena laughter? I’d be more than happy to spread the joy…

  7. Laughter IS the best medicine. I love, love when I hear laughs in our home, and it’s a daily thing for sure. Sometimes? All through dinner.

    And yeah, we’ve been married 23 years and the farts are still funny. Or blamed on the cat (who’s been dead for YEARS).

    That pic of your two? They are uber adorable; almost like the kids that come with the wallet.

  8. As a friend of mine stated once…farts will be forever funny!

    And laughter is a great thing to have it cures almost anything!

  9. It’s all about laughter in this house, too! There is no other way. That is how my husband and I get through things he’s done wrong (b/c of course, I never do anything wrong). I love the picture of your precious children!

  10. Your kids are gorgeous! As long as a family has laughter, what more do they need? I don’t think you could pick a better word to encompass 2011.

  11. Sob, sniffle. That was *beautiful!* You’re right about all of it: The laughter, the clean underwear and the um- dutch ovens?! Way to bring that one into play! Excellent post, friend! Love it! XO

  12. You nailed this darling! And I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy, and I can say there is A LOT of resigned laughter in my life. And I like that. And I like you. See, what you’ve started, this whole ‘I love you because you made me realize the importance of laughing” thing.
    Seriously, you did remind me that laughter is essential!

  13. Oh-my-God…my six-year old likes to crawl into my bed on Saturday mornings to “Dutch Oven” me. Only he doesn’t truly understand the rules and gets under the covers himself…followed by little brother. Love your post!

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