Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is there Humour in your House?

It is inevitable. We are sitting around the family dinner table having a serious discussion about politics, the environment or some other important topic such as resolving mastitis in dairy cows - well, it is a serious issue for those who work on dairy farms - when some smart alec, on this occasion, my teenage son interrupts 'Oh the funniest thing happened today at work.' All heads turn in his direction, he is already laughing, we know this is going to be a good story and what's more, it is true - this really happened. Two guys turned up at the farm as my son was pushing up the cows in the direction of the dairy shed. They had come to look at a gate - this thing does tend to happen on farms by the way. They are watching the herd when the younger bloke, a Maori 'fella' as my son describes him, upon seeing a rather large beast (the bull) in among the herd turns to my son and asks 'Ay, whatcha been feeding that one bro?' My son being a New Zealander can do the accent and at this point most of the members of my family are in hysterics- we can just picture it! The smile would have crept across my son's face as he tells him 'We don't milk that one mate.' The older man whispers in the ear of his young companion and a sheepish smile appears with the realization 'Ahh!'

At this point we have all forgotten about the serious stuff and we are all telling funny stories about life in the country. I'm not worried. I love to see my children smiling. Laughter and joy are another two of the characteristics of my home that I want to actively encourage. Laughter is good medicine for the soul, it makes a heart glad (Proverbs 17.22) and needs to be heard in every family home!

Do chickens chat?
Have your children invent funny captions for your photos- this encourages creative humour!

So how do we have humour in our households without resorting to crass or irreverent jokes, tales or put-downs? Humour should never humiliate! Real life funny stories are permitted in our home, even embarrassing incidents can be related with the permission of the perpetrator but dad is always ready to step in and say 'That's enough.' Jokes can wear thin and if the retelling of humorous incidents in the company of others may cause humiliation it is stopped in its tracks.

Nevertheless, we do let our children know that it is fine to sometimes laugh at yourself and we do this by sharing with them funny stories from our younger days and pulling out the old photo albums to show the kids that mum and dad also made fashion mistakes, especially in the 80's!

Yes, that is me in the middle in the 1980s - going somewhere in London on the tube.
Bananarama hair was so in! And big hair is returning so they say!

Talking of fashion mistakes, apart from big hair, I let my daughter know that little red leather ankle boots with flat soles do make you look like an elf and should never be worn when the library floor has just been polished. My children love to hear me relate the story of the day when as a college student, I not only skidded on the parquetry floor but went the complete length of the room on my backside. It also happened to be exam season and the library was packed with students revising who thought my slide was so spectacular they gave me a round of applause!

I was in a clothing store the other day when I knew I had to alert my daughter. I beckoned her over and said ' Trust me. Whatever you do- do not buy a pair of these'. I held up the offending item. 'What are they?' she asked. You don't know what leg warmers are? I replied. 'All the trendiest people wore these in the eighties.' 'You didn't mum did you?' ' Unfortunately, yes, with my little red ankle boots!' They did keep my legs warm but were not very flattering and I cannot believe they are back in fashion! Thankfully, she decided a scarf was the much safer fashion accessory!

A funny moment on a busy day. Rather than pointing out the fashion mistakes of others (yes, I know there are plenty of examples around these days!) use your own experiences. Mind you, I could not help laughing at the dress up dolls I found in a bookstore recently. The same daughter was with me so I called her over. We were soon both laughing out loud as we flicked through the various outfit ensembles for the paper dolls - everything from ball gowns to loud shirts for the Hawaiian vacation. 'Shall I buy it for the twins - they could have one doll each?' I asked my daughter.'You are not serious mum?' Why was she so concerned about paper dolls? Well, these dolls just happened to be President Obama and his lovely wife Michelle! I'm being serious Right here in Australia! The real one couldn't make it but you can console yourself with a paper edition! I want to know why there was no Australian version - where was Kevin and Therese?!

They made a paper doll version of me! As a child I had curly blond hair

And dresses and cardigans just like these!

Sorry - I could not help myself sharing that story!
My husband snapped this shot on his mobile phone across the road from his workplace. Can you see the store in the background? It is a liquor store, a drive through liquor store no less! No one was hurt in this incident, just some pride.

Can you think of a funnier caption for this picture?

Or how about this one?

This photograph was taken by my daughter and was a local finalist in a competition. There were over 7000 entries - unbelievable! You had to enter photos that would make people smile. Lots of the photos were of children, some obviously posed but others like this picture, impromptu shots of funny moments in time. Always have your camera ready because young children not only say the funniest things - their actions inject humour into a household! Record these incidents so they can be recalled and shared around the family meal table. I'm saving this one for her 21st!

This picture is going into the slide show that his sister has put together for his 18Th birthday party next month - just to prove he used to be domesticated! These days he scrubs milk vats! We started training him early!

And his younger brother is well aware that he was truly an obedient child. When dad said 'Take this rabbit home to mummy' he did as he was told! Rabbits were a serious pest on the farm but I could not bring myself to make rabbit stew!

So many of the incidents that made us laugh actually happened. We do sometimes watch funny movies but it is hard to find ones that contain no crass humour. I'm thankful there are still a few gems out there - our all time family favourite funny movie is 'Secondhand Lions'. If you have not seen this you will laugh yourself silly at the antics of the two old men!

There are so many ways to inject humour into a home. And joy! Allow your children to sing really loud! My teenage son has music playing most of the time and sometimes when I venture down the hall I catch him singing along to Sanctus Real, Casting Crowns or Hillsong United. Now he will definitely not be auditioning for Australian Idol(phew!) but it sure brings a smile to my face as I hear him belting out ' Today, Today I live for one thing - to give You praise in everything I do.'

He is joyful! Living out the words of Psalm 149 verse 5 'Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.'

I do! Let them sing aloud in their bedrooms! How about you? Is there humour in your house? Not sarcasm or demeaning put-downs - cheap laughs at someone else's expense but laughter that is provoked from sharing good wholesome jokes, relating funny family moments and incidents. And I must add seeing Cadbury's TV ads of eyebrow raising kids and the tap dancing dairy cows and can't forget Toyota's Border Security ads - no man bags or tofu allowed. Now they are funny! Telling funny stories and sharing funny pictures which bring smiles and a lightness of heart.

You have watched 'Funniest Home Videos and you realize that most of the tapes of people are not that funny but the animal ones usually are, so I'm finishing with another picture to bring a smile to your face today. What on earth is the cat whispering into the ear of the dog? I'll leave that for you to decide!

With love and joy and lots of laughter!

Posted by Picasa


simplelife said...

not nearly enough...but I'm working on it.

cheers Kate

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Our Home is pretty full of lauhter But Normally it is due to someone "letting off"....I tell myself it is just a stage that makes this apparently so hilarious!!! "oh dear"

Fruitful Harvest said...

Great Pictures!
So fun!


I pray all is well with you all!

Farming On Faith said...

Oh Ann~
I so enjoyed this post it made me smile. I just got caught up on all your post I have missed while playing with Boston.
We have a busy last two days. I am going to cry a river~I am sure.
Have a lovely weekend!
I enjoyed getting caught up with you!

Renata said...

Hi Ann
I'm back to finally finish catching up on your blog. I loved, loved, loved this post - I was laughing out loud. I do remember leg warmers, and even though I was a child in the 80's I still had a pair (passed down from a trendy friend). I love laughter throughout our home & it's great with little children because they find many, many things to laugh at.
We enjoy funniest home videos because we can sit down as a family & LOL together.
Will go & read the other post I missed
Love to you


Blog Widget by LinkWithin