No Laughing Matter

January 31st, 2012

I’m not the funny one. Oh I can be funny even without a glass of chardonnay in hand. But I’m not the funny one. Put in me in a crowd and I’m rather silly if you catch me in the right mood, yes I’m may have heard a chuckle or two in my presence. It’s true; I can work a crowd on a good day. I enjoy a party, an audience, and even resort to laughing at myself just to get the ball rolling. But still, I’m not the funny one.

Somehow my jokes just don’t seem to translate at home. I used to pull it off, back when they were little. But now I crash, I forget the punch line, stumble over words and just I don’t seem believable anymore. They’re a tough crowd.

So now it’s him. He’s the funny one. He does his thing and they laugh. I don’t even know what he does, it’s his. I’ll watch, take notes and try it later. But I can’t do it, because it’s his. It’s a dad thing. Kids like goofy dads, all the moaning and eye rolling are just a part of their game. He’ll hum a funny way, say a silly word, doesn’t take a lot. He’s our light relief, our breathing space. I was just the warm-up act.

Perhaps I blew it when I started getting bossy. Telling them to clean bedrooms and do homework. There are too many jobs to do to be funny any more. Now I’m just mean and poor funny is merely a fleeting moment in my limited repertoire.

“Excuse me Funny, can you please move? I have to vacuum here. Funny, you’re in the way; I’m trying to cook dinner. No Funny I don’t have time for this, can’t you see we need to get to swimming lessons. Funny, just back off!”

I’m not entirely sure how, but over time Funny turned into Irritating. But now I want my Funny back and I will search until I find it! Perhaps it’s shivering in a dusty corner hoping not to be yelled at. Maybe it’s shoved under my bed with the other things I don’t have space for, or maybe it’s in the basement with the long forgotten ab-cruncher.

But I will guarantee you this. Just when I’ve searched high and low, exhausted all possibilities, stopped trying so hard to find it and finally let go, Funny will creep up behind me, poke me in the ribs, and laugh right in my face. I just hope I recognize Funny, and laugh right back.



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  1. I admit, I’ve lost my funny. In between parenting and studying and wife-ing I am not even the warm up act. I am the guy with the big hook who yanks the acts off stage when they get out of hand or break the house rules. I am the bouncer at the front door, responsible for keeping things calm and safe and definitely not to be trifled with. I am envious of the ease of “good-time” dad who can breeze in and out without the responsibility of ‘rules’

  2. Meg says:

    Oh Lisa, I hear you! but for what it’s worth….I think you’re funny 🙂

  3. Cindi says:

    As a mom of six grown kids, I remember how it was. ” Dad is great.Dad is the one who loves us”, and on and on.  I learned over time that I was just doing my job and not trying to be my children’s friend. There was a lot to do to take care of the children and the house, and teach responsibility.  The other thing I learned was, that it’s okay to have a day off from the chores and the house, and just have fun with the kids.  Give yourself permission to do this.  Your kids will think you are funny again, and you’ll enjoy the moment!

  4. Barb Best says:

    Ah, the value of taking time for humor… priceless.

  5. Jessi says:

    I think your funny will come back. It’s a phase thing like everything else. Moms are always the underdogs in the funny department when the kids get older, because we’re better at keeping our mom hats on than dads are. My hubby is always the first to break character and the kids revel in it. I agree with Cindi. Allow yourself some fun time to show you’re not all business. I know it’s easier said than done from personal experience, but it’s worth it.

  6. Monica says:

    In true spoken word form. Love it, love it, LOVE it!!

  7. There is an important message in your post. If we succumb to the stress of family administration, and bypass the deep love, intimacy, and joy of our children’s childhood. If we can… Thank you for your message

  8. Virginia Urbach says:

    Meg, the seriousness of motherhood is so underrated. Mothers should be serious. Wait until you become a grandmother, it’s a point in your life when you can laugh at your children’s upbringing of their kids because you can step back and say or think “aha! it’s your turn now! You can spoil your grandchildren rotten and send them home to their parents. But your grandchildren will say or do something remarkable and you can take responsibility for that, too! So be serious, laugh every now and then, and when the time comes, laugh a lot!

  9. Jasna says:

    Even with Parkinson´s disease,I still can laugh  and make jokes.Laugh relax tight muscles and cramps.It is important for face muscles too,by Parkinson face became like mask and laugh is good against  muscle tights  on face-muscles are by laugh in upward direction,by Parkinson in downward direction.LAUGH AND JOKES are  absolute GOOD ACTIVITIES by Parkinson´s disease.PATIENT CAN TAKE EVEN HIGHER DOSE OF BOTH .MORE LAUGH+MORE JOKES=BETTER MUSCLE  RELAXATION LOVE&LIGHT&LAUGH

  10. Ruth says:

    You will get funny again as the sardonic wisecracking mom of teens…get ready! 

  11. Alex says:

    I am soooooooo here!  I lost it… Disney Dad has it- along with the icecream cones and trips to the candy store… Im responsible for 100% of the stuff to be responsible for now… and Im working on funny too!

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