Having reached this little milestone, it occurred to me that apparently I do have a lot to say about parenthood, babies, survival, and how I am at least getting by with a chuckle or two. In fact, I've come to a realization...no, I've had an epiphany...yes, that is even more fitting, an epiphany: God created humor so parents don't kill their children. I'm sure of it.
I think it was around "nap attempt number seven" today that I swayed, holding my screaming toddler who had yet again thrown herself on the floor in a bit of rage, only to hit her head and cause the drama to quickly turn to actual pain, demanding that I not only focus my attention on her alone, but comfort her with the single remaining nerve I had left...that I caught myself laughing out loud (barely audible above her cries) in utter, weary, survival.
It wasn't that I was laughing at her pain. No, I think I was laughing at mine! The parents' nerves are ever-so-finely frayed into what can only be left as...laughter! Humorous synapses, triggering uncontrollably as we pull our hairs out, wipe our brows, and giggle in sweet relief that, well, we are still alive and kicking. (Turns out, there can be a fine line between bursting out in laughter and throwing your toddler out the window.)
Certainly, it must have started with Adam and Eve? I can only imagine Eve, in total horror, asking God to repeat Himself:
I'm sorry, God, you want the baby to grow where? And come out how? And feed it what? Could we review this one more time?
Can you imagine being the first person to experience that? Um, no thanks. It's not like Eve could run down to her local Barnes & Noble and pick up a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" or even gab with her girlfriends...she hadn't birthed any yet!? Yes, it is all a bit mind-numbing to comprehend. Then again, at least she had Adam - the naming expert - there to "help" her. Hmm.
"Hey Adam, what do you think about the name Parakeet?"
"Oh, um, no honey, I already called those little birds parakeets, so that's taken."
"Oh. Okay. How about Tiger?"
"Yeah, no. That giant striped cat gnawing on that gazelle over there - yeah, I named that tiger, so that's a no-go."
"Adam! If you don't help me out here, I'm going to beat you over the head with this..."
"It's a cane, honey."
I can't imagine being the first parents. Granted, their first two kids didn't grow up so well...so, they had a long way to go on the whole "don't kill each other" rule in parenting. Ahem. But, somewhere in there I'm pretty sure God had to give Adam and Eve the gift of laughter to be able to make it through. Needless to say, I'm sure thankful the trait has made its way down through the generations, reaching me and my screaming, napless, blurry-eyed child - giving me an avenue to choose other than giving up.
Just think how we would cope if we couldn't laugh about our children? My husband would probably come home, wade through piles of laundry, find the babies screaming and strapped to their high chairs, sippy cups full of pinot grigio, as I'm locked in the bedroom, plowing through an entire cheesecake, crying and watching Nate Berkus give someone's dining room a makeover. Okay - maybe there are some days we would like to do this (I mean the whole cheesecake part is appealing at least)...but, it has to be only by the pure grace of God and His gift of humor that instead we can choose to step back, see the big picture, and laugh hysterically (emphasis on hysterical) at ourselves, wipe the poop off our hands and keep going.
It's a funny job we have, us moms. No one else has to get up every morning and wonder if their co-worker is going to spit-up on them today so "should I wear the black shirt or not?" No one else gets the privilege of searching for the ever-elusive baby sock under the dusty couch only to find bits of the last 82 snacks you fed your child hidden under there. And nobody (I hope) asks "Do you have poop?" more seriously than we do - with total straight face - about a million times each and every day.
And I can only imagine that it was God Himself, after explaining over and over again to Eve the ins and outs of her duties as a mother, who coined the saying: It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.