Monday, May 5, 2008

We'll look back on this and laugh?

Being only 26 years old and the mom of three little ones, I get a lot of bizarre comments from people. Things like, "They're not all yours are they?" and "That's too bad" are ones I've heard. A month ago I was waiting in line for a prescription, since at least one of my children is ALWAYS sick, and the man in front of me commented on how I had "so many" kids. He then said, "Yeah, I don't have any. It just seemed too hard and really they'd just get in my way." In my mind I was thinking, "Wow. So that makes you selfish and a coward! Good for you!" Part of me still wishes I'd said it out loud. Of course, the one that takes the cake came from Santa Claus at the mall last Christmas. I walked up with my kids--so that they could stare at him, because of course none of them would actually sit on his lap or talk to him despite the fact that they begged to see him-- and Santa said to me, "Are they all yours?!" To which I replied, "Yep! I sure am lucky!" To which he muttered, "Well, I guess it's your choice. . ." Right joy old elf, indeed.

Anyway, the comment I get most often is one that is familiar to parents the world over. It usually comes from a little old lady or a well meaning checker at the grocery store when one of my girls is pitching a fit or the baby is wailing his guts out. The commenter get this simpering smile, nods a little, tsk-s, and says, "You know, someday you'll miss this. You'll look back on all this and just laugh at how wonderful it was!" I generally try to smile back and say, "I know. I really am lucky aren't I!"

I wonder, though, how much of this will I really look back on and laugh about? The tantrums in the grocery stores could be funny if told in the right manner and at a prime occassion (first dates? wedding receptions?). I think I'll hold onto to all stories involving poop and vomit for when my kids' kids are flinging bodily fluids madly about their houses. But, then, schadenfreude--while pleasant--isn't the same as having a good belly laugh. I know I won't look back on the sleepless nights and the angry outbursts with glee.

I think this is true for other things in life too. It's not just with kids, but when we are faced with anything hard we want to tell ourselves that we'll look back on this sometime and laugh. That someday, somewhere (anyone singing West Side Story yet?) we'll feel better about all the tough things in our lives. But will we really?

Maybe in an effort to look back on all my depressed days and laugh, I've been scouring the Internet for jokes about depression. Turns out there aren't any. Well, at least not any good ones. Read on, if you dare!, because I am about to post some really UN-funny jokes. (I got them from this website.)

Q. What's good about depression?
A. You always have your funeral planned in advance,

Q. What's good about being depressed?
A. Nothing. But it's no worse than anything else since life sucks anyhow.

Q. What's good about Treatment Resistent Depression?
A. You qualify for all the Clinical Trials!

Q. What's an advantage to Major Depression?
A. You never have to make your bed, since you're always in it.

And a final note from Woody Allen: "On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down."

If you guys know any good jokes be sure to post them here. We could all use the laugh!


Charlotte said...

Amen, Sister! The comment I get most from people when they see me with all my kids is "I bet they sure keep you busy!" One of these days I'm going to answer "They would if I ever let them out of the basement."

I thought your depression jokes were hilarious:)

Kelly said...

I'm sure I told you about my piano tuner that I basically fired after he informed me I was ruining the planet because I had a third child. Ah the perils of living near Boulder!

And no, you don't laugh at all of them, but you do learn to not overreact. And you know what, that mural of Star Wars pod-racers that #1 drew on the carpet in marker was actually amazingly good! His art teacher asked me this year to put together a portfolio of his work over the years. I wish now I had the good sense to take a photo of that. He was maybe 3 years old -- and what an amazing work of art! But I was too ticked at him at the time to think straight...

Coffinberry said...

Warning: don't listen to top-25 country radio stations. One of the songs on high rotation is titled "You're Gonna Miss This," about exactly what you mentioned.

Oddly, for me it helped to realize that I needed to live in the now, not the past or the future or the "I wish"--that realization was a leveling influence. But then again, that was effective when the very-little stage was pretty much over.

(PS, when I was pregnant with my second--yes, that 6-foot-2-eyes-of-blue-graduates high school in three weeks, that one--and went in for an ultrasound, the technician decided to use the whole time as an opportunity to lecture me on my irresponsible behavior toward the world and how I should not be having a second child. So I know a little of what you mean. But that was California.)

(PPS, the other foil is to tote other people's kids with you when you go places, then you just say 'nope' to that persistent question and let them be their ol' busy-body selves. This one thing Cub Scouting was good for.)

(PPPS, I just realized how hard this question must be for my sister-in-law, who is thirty four and her sixth child just turned one, but her oldest died six weeks before the baby was born... are these all yours? no, one is missing and we miss him very much, thank you. Ouch.)

Nurse Heidi said...

I got a good chuckle out of this post. One of my friends lived back east for a few months before moving to Utah. She said the most refreshing things about moving to Utah is never having to hear the "you've got your hands full" comment as she wrangles her four kids through a store. So dang irritating! We got horrified looks when we stopped in Glenwood Springs a few years ago, back when we only had TWO kids. Now, if we'd had two DOGS none of the Coloradans would have given us a second glance...

Laura said...

Coffinberry-I have totally heard that song and it actually makes me a little weepy. I blame hormones (oh, and your sister-in-law is in my prayers!)

Nurse Heidi- One of my has-a-dog instead-of-children neighbors made some crack about how many kids I have and I said, "Well, I'm just trying to create enough future workers to support YOUR social security payment!" Let's just say she'd never thought of it that way.

Heathie said...

I've never understood why people think that if you have kids, they can say whatever they want to you.
I love Charlotte's reply, and I'm totally going to say that to someone just to see how they react.
I don't have any depression jokes (Dave might; he has a joke about everything), but here is my all-time favorite joke in the world. It's a blonde joke (it's best said aloud, so maybe you can practice it and tell it to your hubby):

A blonde goes into a library, walks up to the circulation desk and tells the librarian, "I'd like a cheeseburger and a large Coke, please."
The librarian just stares for a minute, then says, "Ma'am, this is a library."
[Blonde, in a whisper:]"I'm sorry. I'd like a cheeseburger and a large Coke, please."

Sabrina said...

I heard the best response to the "boy you have your hands full..." comment: "Better full than empty!" Good point.

My OB doctor said the DUMBEST thing to me when I was pregnant with Thomas, and I've never forgiven her for it. I'll never use her again, either. When asking me about my pregnancy, she asked, "So what did you do to prevent this pregnancy?" Huh??? ACTUALLY, SOME people purposely get pregnant because they WANT a baby!! Sheesh.

Kelly said...

Sabrina, I really like that! "Better full than empty." I'm going to start using that.

I must say, though, that I'll take the "Wow, you've got your hands full!" any day to "How come you only have three kids?" that I get from older church friends and from family.