Unfit for the Job?

I had a comment on my blog about humor yesterday. Brian from New York wrote, “I’m curious: were you funny that way with your own kids or did you have to play the straight serious parent all the time?  I always used the grownup talking silly thing with all my friends’ kids and my assorted nephews and nieces. I was wildly popular with the under 10 set.. But mostly because they didn’t expect it from a “grownup”. They’re so used to their parents setting a good example.”

I’ll answer this in the simplest way I know: I’m huge with the Fourth Grade.

In other words yes, I think I was funny with my kids. The youngest one in particular liked a good laugh. He and I were always hiding behind the doors on each other. Only we didn’t ever  jump out and scream the way Peter Sellers’s manservant used to do in the old Pink Panther movies. We did something much worse:

Say one of us  was coming out of the master bathroom whose door opens outward and pushes back flat against the door to the bedroom that bathroom is in. It would swing out, bam! and hit the wall of the bedroom next to the bureau – unless the other person was standing behind it. Just standing there looking straight ahead and sort of crazed in a Tony-Perkins-as-Norman-Bates kind of way.

It wasn’t that you could see the person. The person was behind the door.  What you could so was feel the person.

Instead of the door banging smartly against the wall and thus making a sound,  the person opening it would feel something…  something sort of soft… and squishy …. and resistant, that something being the body of the lurker.

It made the door-opener shout way louder than s/he would have if the person had pounced, screaming like a banshee; yell so loud the one waiting behind the door would also yell .

The door opener never learned.

Sigh.  It was a great game and one we never tired of. All through his Sixth Grade year one or the other of us was screaming.

I guess this doesn’t really make me seem so much like a funny mom as a slightly deranged one with a kid to match. Let’s get a visual about the contagion of fear. Let’s close with the famous scene from  E.T. which I like anyway since I look kind of like the little alien these days, especially when I dress up to go to meetin’ in my purse and bonnet.

3 thoughts on “Unfit for the Job?

  1. Yes a bit deranged. But then how did your kids react when you had to pull mom rank on them and weren’t so funny any more?

    Brian from New York. I like that. Makes me sound, oh so debonair….

  2. you must be debonair no? Like the guy with the monocle on the New Yorker covers?

    I never really pulled rank on my kids. It sounds like a a fairytale but we gave our three kids a lot of freedom and they felt the gift of that and so, as this sixth grade boy said in a composition for school that year, they “never wanted to let us down.” It was pretty great with those three. Only one used to go out the window nights and that was just for a few weeks in 8th grade. She’s 35 now and teaches Sunday school now at her Unitarian Church . Does that say it all ? 🙂

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