Sometimes, we fall into a moment that reminds us that mothering isn’t just work.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch a Facebook Live all about when mothering isn’t fun and how to change it.
We’d had a particularly tense week.
School grades weren’t good. Attitudes were worse. My husband and I were both stressed about all the regular old things that come with running a home together. And I’d been up at 4am to hit writing deadlines 3 different days that week.
It was Friday night.
We were pooped.
Rather than turn on the TV after dinner, I’d decided to play jazz music (“Alexa play jazz music station”) and just let the kids play. It’s my secret weapon when I want to flip the script on rough behavior and tense attitudes. For some reason, that cool music splish-splashing in the background just brings everyone’s blood pressure down.
It was working.
Two of my kids were playing dress up. One was reading.
And the fourth was sitting next to me, hungry for cuddles and unspoken Mommy time.
I held him close.
I stroked his hair, my fingers getting caught in the waves he slicks to his head in a thick coat of gel for school because he doesn’t want the girls seeing his curls.
About this weekend.
Then he got a wild look in his eye.
He smiled, wrapped his hands around the back of my head, pulled me close and said something I’d never heard before:
“You’re a butt licker!”
His eyes hung on my face, searching for a reaction.
Would I discipline him?
Or did I think it was funny too?
Normally, I’d correct him for using such language. I’d tell him we don’t call our mom a butt licker. (I literally can’t even type that with a straight face.)
It might have been because I was relaxed.
It might have been because I was in a good mood.
It might have been because I was tired.
But for some wild reason, I laughed.
It wasn’t a courtesy laugh. You know, the kind you feign for the old guy at the grocery store who makes a joke that isn’t really funny? Or for your kid who just did something funny that wasn’t really funny?
No, this was FUNNY. And my son could tell I wasn’t faking it.
A smile cracked across my tired, Friday night face.
I felt the rumble of laughter rise up from the pit of my stomach.
We could not stop laughing.
It was a moment.
He was delighted.
And so naturally, he said it again.
And the second time he said it, it was even funnier to me.
Before I knew it, my son and I were laughing hysterically together on a Friday night on the couch.
All because he called me a butt licker.
I’ve got to tell you.
It was really magical.
Not because it was perfect.
Not because we are perfect.
But because I stopped being Mom long enough to actually have fun with my kid.
Don’t get choked up in the chores and the schedules and the deadlines.
Because you just might miss the chance to laugh when your kid calls you a butt licker.
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