How to Survive Parenting

As a parent, God gives us tools to cope. No, I’m not referring to Margaritas or binge watching your favorite Netflix series… I’m talking humor.

Raising four kids… three who were teenagers at one time.

I can remember a cryptic comment whispered in my ear as God reminded me, “You’ve lost your sense of humor!”


I mean really, how can you do anything but laugh when your thirteen year-old daughter tells you the reason she borrowed (and kept) your mascara you’d been looking a month for was, “I need it, you are already have a husband, Mom.”

Really, you are already hunting a spouse?


Then there was the time when the two oldest boys, both in high school, were hurling insults at each other.  The rudeness escalated way beyond lighthearted kidding. Their barbs were snarky enough to be featured on Saturday Night Live. Their dad, normally the calm parent, had had enough. He blurted out in exasperation, “If you can’t treat each other like family, at least treat each other like ….. (Long dramatic pause) American citizens.”

Hmm, that was a unique slant on promoting family love and unity.


And back when they  were early elementary school twinkies, throwing bent straws out the car back seat windows , kicking my seat like they were in soccer practice  and smashing ketchup packets all over the upholstery, I admonished them all, with the time honored mother of all warnings.

“Knock it off, I have eyes in the back of my head. I don’t miss a thing.

That’s scary enough… who wants a grotesque alien mother with extra peepers? That’s the fastest way to never find kids to come over to a sleepover at your house.


Of course my daughter who has always had faith that whatever mom says is the gospel truth, immediately started plowing through the back of my head looking for those mysterious portals of vision. I think I lost a little of her trust that day when she didn’t find anything but my scalp.

Now as a grandma, I have regained my humorous faculties just in time for frantic phone calls such as the one a few years ago when the back-eyes daughter asked how to get pee out of the heating vent.

“Seriously? That’s hilarious,” I said. “Three year-old boys love to practice their new skills.”

“It’s not funny.”


Yes it is. And, it will always be. It’s one of the perks of parenting.

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