There are so many jobs for parents. Think about it from the time they are born until the time they move out of your house (and beyond) your job is to keep this person alive, that in itself is huge! But that is not the job I’m going to talk about today. Today I’m thinking about the job of parents to teach children to learn to laugh at themselves.
Yep, it’s part of my job to get my sons to see that life isn’t always perfect and when you step back at some of those imperfect times you will see that life is pretty odd and funny.
One way we do this in our house all the time is with pronouncing words. When the boys were little there were a few phrases that we loved and didn’t want to fix, but now that they are 9 and 11 we tend to point out these mistakes. I’m not doing it to be mean, but you can’t go to school saying things wrong. It’s just not a good idea. Often times they mispronounce words that they’ve read, but didn’t necessarily hear it spoken. Some words we can understand the mistake like mispronouncing countries on in the the former Soviet Union or Africa or some of the smaller countries even in South America. These are words that people do not go around using in their everyday life.
Many times when they say something wrong it takes me a beat of two to figure out what in the world they were trying to say, and then I’ll say… did you mean “________”. Or if I know the word right away I’ll just fill in the word and let the story go on.
Ok so this sounds like typical parenting, but there are times when we just have to laugh at it and those time tend to stick for a while in our family.
I’ll give you a funny story from the past that has stuck. One day Richard was making breakfast for dinner and Blake asked to help. Richard told Blake to get out the bacon. Blake went to the pantry and then asked where the bacon was. Richard responded by saying “In the cold section”. Well, Blake couldn’t figure this out so Colby chimed in and said that would be the fridge or the freezer, there is no cold section IN the pantry. Well to this day we occasionally refer to the fridge as the cold part of the pantry.
At the time, Blake didn’t think this was funny, but over the months and now years he has learned to find this story about him amusing.
I mentioned in my post yesterday about calling Costco “not BJ’s. Here is how that came about. When we lived in Orlando, we went to BJ’s Warehouse all the time, actually almost weekly. Well when we moved to PA, they don’t have BJ’s near us so we got a membership to Costco. Ok, fine, well and good…. so now we go to Costco, but for some reason I keep calling it BJ’s when we talk about making lists and items we need. The first time I did this the boys said “It’s NOT BJ’s” and without missing a beat I said… ok so what do we need at “Not BJ’s”. This annoyed them and they kept saying it’s not BJ”s it’s Costco. I would say yes it’s Not BJ’s. So now we often refer to going to Costco as going to Not BJ”s. There are still times when this annoys Blake (in his book things are right or wrong and calling it Not BJ’s is wrong), but we joke about it.
I want my boys to see that yes life is busy. Yes life is hard. And, yes you should strive to do things correctly, but when you don’t… it’s not worth getting upset about. it’s not worth stressing over. and more times than not later on you’ll look back and laugh.