What’s funny is that Thursday was marked on our scavenger hunt calendar as a day to make someone laugh. It was also the date of Sam’s back-to-school night. This is where the real part kicks in.
Everyone is fine now, there were no physical injuries, but it was a night of drama and tears. And in retrospect, I should have known better. All the elements of the afternoon were pointing us straight toward drama and tears, but me and my stubborn monkey brain just had to go to the back-to-school picnic. Here were the warning signs that I willfully ignored:
- Both kids were tired after a long day at school.
- Both adults were tired after a long day at work.
- All four individuals were very hungry.
- A few of the key players don’t like large crowds of people.
Then there was an added mix of “factors” that took the situation from bad to worse. These involved sweatshirts (or lack of), food trucks, a bloody lip, and sunglasses (a story for another night). The bottom line is that by the time we made it home for the night, both kids were weeping and both adults were on the verge of running away from home.
No jokes were told. Nobody laughed. We were all sent to bed without baths or stories. Because this is real life. The image in my mind of our happy family enjoying a picnic dinner before meeting new friends and teachers didn’t become the reality. But there were some subtle lessons that I have to remember the next time my monkey brain is taking over.
- If we’re all tired, it’s okay to opt out of the event, no matter how important the event may seem.
- Make sure everyone eats something before heading into an unknown dinner situation (and keep more granola bars in the car).
- Figure out ways to avoid situations that are overly crowded – arriving earlier or later can sometimes help.
- Pack sweatshirts.
- Always have cash on hand if food trucks are involved, preferably lots of cash.
Lessons learned? Maybe. We’ve got birthday parties and get-togethers with friends on the agenda for the weekend, so I might need to come back and read these points a few times.
So now you know that it’s very easy to make me laugh; I’m hoping that rubs off on the kids eventually. Of course kid jokes are a very special genre – if you’ve got some funny jokes for kids we’d love to hear them, in order to be better armed for next year’s picnic.