The pandemic and its aftershocks of fear, anxiety, anger, isolation and death are not funny, so, dear reader, you may be wondering why I am writing a column on humor during this stressful period.
The LOL, Parents! series began in 2019, a different time in our nation’s history when we could never have conceived of a virus that would ravage our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our hospitals and our communities.
For this last installment — as with every column in this series — I recently posted a request on some of the single parent Facebook groups I follow, asking for funny moments single parents wanted to share. Among the many I received was this one:
“Umm, do you mean funny stories where the punch line is me asking, ‘Is this poop?? This isn’t poop is it??’ And my 12-year-old and 3-year-old daughters dissolve into fits of laughter while tears threaten to overflow my lids … Is that single parent humor these days? I haven’t interacted with anyone other than the delivery guys from Instacart and Walmart and Amazon since March 18, 2020, so I’m not so sure what’s going for single parent humor right now. Can someone please start a delivery service for Marlboro Ultralight Shorts and my lost human dignity? Thanks.”
This single mother’s poignant response gave me pause.
Should we seize upon the laughter erupting from hilarious moments in our lives?
Is doing so appropriate when COVID-19 is devastating so many lives and livelihoods?
Many psychologists assert that humor is critical to our well-being — now more than ever. Not only does humor help us regain power in a powerless situation, but it also helps us connect with each other. The funny stories, memes and videos offer us a much-needed break from our daily stressors and even help improve our physical health, according to an article titled “How Humor Can Ease the Stress of COVID-19.”
Perhaps, we do need to laugh — even a little, perhaps just a snicker — because honestly, laughter could be the best medicine we have. Anyone can laugh and you don’t need to make an appointment to do so!
Following are the amusing situations many single parents shared in 2021 for this last post in the seven-part series:
“I just tried to squeeze into my 12-year-old’s snow pants so I could go play with them … it did not go well.”
“My daughter’s father called me at 10:30 at night the other day, and when I told him our 2-year-old was asleep, he said, ‘Darn, I wanted to play guitar for her.’ Funny because she doesn’t even know who he is.”
“We were watching a show and the single mom dated someone and they fell in love. I said to my 7-year-old, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I met someone?’ He said, ‘Nope, you’re not. You’re never going to meet anyone.’ LOL!! I was like, ‘What the heck?!’”
“A while back, something needed to be fixed in my house, so I did it myself and my 9-year-old at the time said, ‘Nice job, Mom! You don’t need no man!’ She’s my witty middle daughter.”
“My second son [who is now 23 years old] was into Heelys and I told him he couldn’t ride them in the grocery store. He was 6 years old at the time. He saw a man on crutches and said, so loud across the store, pointing, ‘Hey, no fair! I can’t ride my Heelys but he can walk with sticks!?’ I was so embarrassed.”
“I was struggling with my son in the front carrier, holding my daughter on my hip, my hands full of groceries, while going on the bus in the snow. I was taking the money out and my daughter said super loud, ‘It smells like someone didn’t wash their butts, Mom.’ I got some looks!!”
“My 3-year-old told me that his sister is a girl, he is a boy and I’m not a girl because I’m a mom.”
“We were driving home and my 5-year-old son wanted McDonald’s. I said, ‘No, we have to get home to let the dog out to pee so he doesn’t explode.’ The very first question two full minutes later, calm but curious, from my son: ‘Will he explode into pieces?’”
“My one child said, ‘Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a missionary.’ My second child, who vaguely overheard the conversation from the other room, yelled, ‘Yeah, when I grow up I want to be a mercenary too!’ ‘Um, darling, come over here a minute,’ I said to my second child. ‘We need to have a vocab lesson because those are two very different career paths.’”
“When my son was around 3 to 4 years old, he was on this kick to find me a husband. So we would be in the store and he would point to random men [usually younger] and say, ‘Mommy!!! Mommy!! Maybe he can be your husband!!’ All loud. It was so embarrassing. I finally got him to stop. Now he’s 11 and he doesn’t want anyone around me. LOL!”
“My daughter and I were at the drive-thru and she was about 3 years old and they were learning in preschool about boys and girls. Well, the person at the drive-thru was a girl but looked like a boy, so she was confused and she kept yelling from the back seat, ‘Are you a boy or a girl? Mama, I am confused.’ I politely looked back and told her she was a girl and to be quiet.”
“My son introduces himself at the park to kids like, ‘Hi! I’m Mxxxx. My dad doesn’t live with us anymore.’ I was always like, ‘Oh, God,’ until one day a kid responded, ‘Hi! I’m Kxxxx. My dad doesn’t live with us anymore either so mommy’s boyfriend just moved in. He likes cars.’”
“When my son was about 5 and I was busily cleaning, laundry, etc. on a Saturday, he quietly hung out in my bedroom watching Netflix. I thought it was Netflix Kids. Then, I saw that he was like three episodes into The Walking Dead. Then, there was the time I was watching Trailer Park Boys and he came into the living room and asked, ‘Mom, what’s a lap dance?’ He’s 16 now and a perfectly wonderful and well-adjusted kid. LOL but I felt like a shit mother.”
“My son was 5 and would call my bathroom my office when he would show people around.”
“My son went to school and told his teacher that his father went for a walk in the woods and was eaten by a bear! He was 4 years old at the time.”
“One of my kids had their teacher convinced a baby was going to be under the tree at Christmas. I said, ‘No. No babies here.’”
“When my son was t3 years old, he had a water gun and we were in the park. A single man who’s always there with his kids came and sat on the bench next to me and started talking to me. When my son saw this, he ran over with his face all snarled up and said, ‘Leave now or I’ll water you to death.’ The man and I both looked at each other and just started cracking up. LOL!”
“Before my now-boyfriend and I started dating, my son saw a guy at the beach who was exactly my ‘type.’ He went over to him and said, ‘My mom thinks you’re hot. Wanna meet her?’ It was very awkward when this guy said, ‘Sure!’ and came over and I wasn’t expecting it. My son just decided to take matters into his own hands! [We ended up going out for drinks the next night, but he lived too far away and wasn’t hip on a long-distance relationship. Nice guy, though … and he was gorgeous!]”
“My 5-year-old son and I had the conversation of where do babies come from and I’m pretty open and honest and anatomical. The next day, he comes up to me and says, ‘So before I was born, I was just a little sperm swimming around?’ ‘Yes, son, just a little sperm you were,’ I replied.”
“The other day I drove through a couple of yellow lights and they turned red. My daughter said, ‘Mom, what are red lights for?’ All serious like. I said to control traffic and prevent accidents. She looked me in the eye and said, ‘Oh, but you don’t seem to believe in red lights.’”
I hope you enjoyed these funny snippets. For more humorous columns, check out the Humor section of my blog.
On Thursdays, I share a blog about a day in the actual life of a single parent. Every other Thursday, instead of a personal post, I put together one where I assemble news on and about single parents nationally and globally.