Praying for Laughter
by Amy Julia Becker
It’s easy for our household to become grim. With two small children and another on the way, there are plenty of mornings like this past Saturday, when I found myself barking at Penny: “Get yourself in those pants right now!” The simple tasks—using the potty, getting dressed, putting on jackets, getting in the car—sometimes take all my patience and ingenuity, and leave me with little more than anger. On Saturday, I threatened. I cajoled. Iberated them. I berated myself. It was miserable.
But then there are mornings like today, when Penny and William were in their pajamas on our bed, and I said, “After I dry my hair I think there are two little people who need to get dressed. Where are they?” And the bed exploded in giggles because Mom just asked such a funny question. Soon enough, I was laughing with them. William stopped laughing long enough to say, “It’s Penny and William that need to get dressed!” And we laughed some more.
In both cases, all I needed was to get clothes on their bodies. One ended in shouts, and the other in giggles. What was the difference? How can I bring more laughter into our mornings, into our family? I’ve been considering the question, and five points come to mind. Our children are young, but I suspect these strategies would help any household—be it comprised of couples or roommates or families at any age.
Read on for the first strategy.