As I’ve mentioned many times before, I have the greatest in-laws in the world… and I’m talking about ALL of them on both sides.  The people who have married my siblings: I love them.  The people attached to my husband?  I love them.

My husband has two brothers.

One of them is named David. I love David. Everyone loves David. David is behind Danee who is behind Lacy.

Awhile back, we were all sitting in my mother-in-law’s living room. David spoke up and said there was one word that no matter when you said it, the person you said it to would laugh.
What word? We asked, staring at David and waiting in anticipation…

he said.

And the entire room erupted in giggles. I still laugh when I think about that, and in very fact, we use the POOP trick to get my son to smile in pictures.
Like this one:
If you know my boy, you know what a tough nut he can be to crack when it comes to taking his picture. That smile you see? It’s HUGE. We can hardly EVER get him to smile for the camera, but thanks to poop, we prevailed.

I come from a teasing family. I think my mother came nigh unto insanity over hearing me whine over and over, “Mommmmm, the brothers are teeeeasing meeeeeee.”
Well, of course they teased me! My Dad is the king of teasing. It’s his way of expressing his love, I think. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t tease you.
I’ve heard him lovingly speak of the time when he was dating my mother and she brought him lunch at work. He thought she was so thoughtful and wonderful… until he drank the beverage she left for him.
“It was buttermilk,” my Dad almost shudders when he tells the story, “I spit it out all over the ground and before I could get after her, she was halfway down the road.”
Dad LOVES that story. I think he fell more in love as he watched my mother screeching away, dust flying behind her car. She knew full well that he hated buttermilk.

Humor was the pinnacle of our home. Okay, okay. CHRIST was the pinnacle of our home, but humor? Right up there. Even when we were reading scriptures in the morning, we found some way to laugh. And prayer time? Well, with six kids all down on the their knees at the same time, someone is BOUND to fart. And then we were lucky to eek out any kind of prayer at all. There was early morning jokes, butchering jokes, brothers imitating old people to a perfect T and making us all laugh so hard our cheeks hurt. There was Dad jokes and Mom jokes and younger siblings that made jokes without even trying.
We weren’t a perfect family, but we laughed our way out of the home, and that was enough. Laughter has sustained us all through the hard times, the painful times, the good times, and the dark times. It keeps us afloat.
Since I’ve been married, I find myself cracking jokes when I should be crying.
Years ago, I was in the hospital with a painful infection. I had had my blood drawn so many times I wanted to cry. I HATE needles, and I had been pricked almost every. dang. hour. on account of my just coming out of gestational diabetes. I had an IV put in my hand because my arms were all poked out. I had just gotten an IV out a few days before. I felt like a human pincushion, ready to be used any time of the day or night.
One morning, a man came in to draw my blood. Like I had so many times before, I grit my teeth, clamped my eyes closed and curled my toes up tight.
“You hate needles?” He asked.
“Yeah,” I said without opening my eyes.
“Me too,” he said, “I find it easier to just look away right before I put the needle in the patient.”
And I laughed.
And laughed and laughed and laughed. And suddenly I didn’t mind having my blood drawn again.
“I can only use that joke with certain patients,” he chuckled, “You can always tell which ones have the sense of humor to take it.”
Oh, how I needed that joke.

Naturally, I annoy my children to DEATH.
“Mommy, can we look down that hole?”
“I can just throw you in. That would be fun!”

“Mommy, can I play with my puzzle?”
“Oh, shoot. I thought you hated it so I threw it away yesterday. It’s at the dump now.”

And that was just yesterday…

A few days ago, I was in the kitchen making something. I don’t remember WHAT exactly. I remember it was something sweet… but that’s all I got. The girl wandered in the kitchen and asked me what I was making.
“Poop,” I said, not cracking even the slightest grin as I stuck my finger in the bowl and licked a chunk of food off.
“Can I have some?” She wasn’t even a little bit fazed!
I was disappointed. I was expecting her to be grossed out, confused… something! And I got nothing.
“Fine,” I stuck my finger back in the bowl and stuck it in her mouth, “Here ya go.”
“Mmmm,” she cooed, “I like poop.”

And here’s my problem: she keeps asking for poop. I have NO IDEA what it was I made. Our conversations go like this.
“Can I have some of that poop you made yesterday?” She’ll ask (yesterday is all encompassing. It means “in the past.”)
“I don’t remember what it is.” I’ll shrug.
“Yes you do! It was just good…” she tilt her head and raise her eyebrow as if she’s just given me a dead-on clue as to what poop is.
“I don’t know.”
“Make it again! You can!” She pipes up enthusiastically.
“If you want poop, you can get it in the potty.” I say because I don’t know what else to say.
“Mom. Not THAT poop.”

My son is more than confused. I was in the bathroom yesterday and he perched himself outside, shouting out instructions.
“Don’t eat your poop!!!” He called out.
“I’m not going to.” I say back.
“It’s not for eating!!!!!!!!” He yells.
“I’m not going to eat my poop!” I say, hardly believing I have to speak the words out loud and knowing full well it’s my own bloody fault.
“And the toilet paper is not for eating wecause it’s not!” He keeps yelling.
“I’m not going to eat the toilet paper!” I yell back.
“You’re done now, Mom! I need to pee standing up!” He yells back.

And yes, he was pushing his little hands under the crack in the bathroom during the entire conversation.

I’m still at a loss. What was the poop I made? It wasn’t brownies. My best guess is oatmeal raisin cookie dough. I’m going to make it today and see if it passes the test. The POOP test.
Geez, I hope I’m not messing my kids up too badly.

If I do, I’ll pass the blame onto my teasing parents. It’s the acceptable thing to do now, right?

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