stomps foot petulantly
Spousehole and I were riding in the mommyvan one evening and he had a paperback book that he was reading sitting on the dash in front of him. He took a corner at such an angle and speed that the book spun across the dash to the passenger side and slid gracefully into my lap. It was almost elegant, the way it moved. I said, doing my best little kid imitation “Ooooo - that was way cool! Do it again! Do it again!” punctuated with a little clap.
Spousehole, who had seemed to be in a good mood (for him) up to this point, was not amused.
“You are 40 years old now! When are you going to grow up?” I was shocked. Not by what he said, but that he had changed it from “You're somebody's mother now! When are you going to grow up?” which I've heard regularly for the last 7 years. Once again, I was reduced to explaining that it was just a goof, me trying to be funny, make light of a silly situation, and on and on.
Apparently, as Spousehole sees it, 40-year-old parents are to be “grown-ups” and are not allowed to have fun. Joking, laughing, lightening a mood – all for the immature and child-free. And God forbid I make a double entendre or any other statement that might be construed as risque. Definite evidence right there of my immaturity and lack of fitness to be a parent.
“Why do you have to be so bloody serious all the time?” I respond when Spousehole is intent on quashing my fun. “Life is serious and responsible adults are serious” is his reply.
Fuck that. An occasional joke, some well-placed laughter, a goofy exchange – none of these preclude my being a responsible parent and adult. It's not as though I'm constantly making jokes to avoid my responsibilities or duck out on my duties. Is it so wrong to want to raise my children in a home with laughter and happiness instead of doom and gloom? So long as the kids are clean, fed, and not dead, would it be so bad if they were also happy and relaxed? And Mom too? (He also thinks my playing with the children is a waste of my time. That's a whole other post right there.)
Ironically, one of the things that supposedly made Spousehole interested in me, way back when, was my sense of humor, my ability to keep the mood in my department light in spite of the fact that we dealt with extremely unhappy people all day (our governmental unit enforced child support and visitation orders in divorce, paternity, and neglect/abuse cases). I made him laugh and he liked that. Now it's just something else he wants to extinguish in me. Except when we're out with friends or at a dinner party or with his family or something - then my humor and wit are prized qualities once again.
I'd like your thoughts.
Do you have to give up humor to be a grown-up?