What I learned from Justin Bieber, a dancing monkey, Elmo and Godzilla.

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” ~ Dr. Seuss

As I have mentioned before, since I was a child and even now, I am a fairly serious person.  I am a paradox in my own mind, in that I love love love to laugh, yet I have found myself battoning down the hatches when often others are so freely laughing. I cannot exactly say why this is, other than I have always shouldered a great deal of responsibility in my life and therefore never felt the same light-heartedness that others around me so clearly possessed….that is, until I began one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys of my life, becoming a mama.  Some might find this surprising in that I really enjoy sarcastic wit and banter, but laughter, real laughter didn’t often flow freely from my soul and being silly is something that made me uncomfortable for fear of being embarrassed.  I always took myself quite seriously. I was frequently described as “driven” and  “goal-oriented”. When people would say this to me, while usually they were complimenting me, I would think enviously about being described as fun, funny and kind.  To me the subtext of being driven and goal-oriented meant I would sacrifice all else for achievement and success. In some ways, especially as I was starting out to achieve my career goals, this was true.  I didn’t “show up” for my family and friends sometimes when I should have because I was striving to get to the next milestone in the path I had defined for myself.  I think at this stage we collectively have made peace with those moments, but it has helped me to know how I do want to be described and how I want my children to see me.  To do this, and not get caught up in our drama, I employ some special tactics:

1. Justin Bieber – yes, you guessed it, I have cut my hair and now comb it all forward. Ok, not really, but I do belt out the song “Baby” for my babies and they love it.  In the car (please don’t stare if you actually do see me driving along the streets of LA singing this to the Glee Cast version at the top of my lungs. I don’t expect you to look away as it is a bit like a car accident, it’s painful to watch but you can’t take your eyes of it.  At this point, if you are transfixed by the horror, you are welcome to clap and sing along.)  It all started when my sister was visiting and we were cycling through some Glee episodes OnDemand. Q and E happened to be in the living room, I figure since the show is musically oriented, I am not damaging their future completely as they love music (KSP may disagree with me, so let’s not ask him as we all know his position on the show).  We decided on the Justin Bieber experience episode.  Up to that point, I had not been a Belieber despite continuous exposure to him through one of my clients Sweety High.  It is a lovely online community for girls 8-14 girls and boy do I now know a lot about Justin and Cody Simpson (he is the next Justin Bieber for those not in the know yet).  Please note, this is more than I ever thought I would care to know, but this is my new demo and apparently I am fitting in quite nicely.  Ok, back to my living room where as Sam (the cute blonde kid) starts singing “Baby”, D, Q, E and I become fixed on the TV.  We can’t help it. Q gives D and I a look like we just delivered him a giant Elmo doll playing a guitar, and begins to move his head side to side.  D and I start to sing a long and Q gives a giant smile while E starts to push herself around the room on her back (for not crawling in any way shape or form she is quite mobile in pushing herself around on her back, it’s the craziest thing).  Then, just as quickly as it came, the song ended, and we had become “Beliebers” (for those that think I am crazy, this what they call the teeny bopper Justin Bieber fans (oh, and apparently now that includes me and my 34 year old sister and my 18 month old twins as well).  Since that fortunate/unfortunate day in February (it depends on how you look at it), I can not get that song out of my head and I love it!  In the morning when the babies wake up, I can put on the song on my iphone and Q starts smiling, dancing and laughing, it’s amazing.  E gives her giant, I am not totally sure what I am smiling at but I am a happy girl, smile and we are off to a happy day.  And I embrace my inner silly, I  sing right along because their happiness gives me laughter, hope and pure joy.

2.  The Dancing Monkey & Elmo – you have heard about this monkey before in the Playlist post last week, she (she wears a pink bow on her head) and sings Ke$ha’s Tik Tok (you know you know it, it goes something like…Tik Tok on the clock dj blow my speakers up tonight…and so on.)  Q recently learned to push the button on the monkey’s hand so it will dance over and over and over again.  He immediately starts to dance and I immediately feel lighter inside. Ususally, I get up and dance over he an E. This overly dramatic jumping up and down Olivia Newton John “Let’s Get Physical” style aerobics dance routine drives them crazy with smiles.  E smiles and laughs (she loves heavy stimuli so this definitely fits the bill) and Q looks at me like I am the best mama in the world because I love to dance as much as he does.  Last night, as I sat feeding E, Q was playing next to his basket of toys where Elmo and the monkey were in the far right corner.  Out of nowhere, suddenly the monkey started to play and dance in the basket (Q had obviously pushed the hidden button).  As it happened, monkey was in front of Elmo so as monkey danced it looked as if Monkey and Elmo were at a club and dirty dancing. I nearly dropped E I was laughing so hard.  I am not sure if Monkey and Elmo will keep up their relationship and start dirty dancing on a regular basis but I hope it’s after hours.

3. And last but not least on the list, Momzilla.  Momzilla is a useful and completely embarrassing display of silliness to be employed anywhere and everywhere necessary.  For example today, I had to take E and Q to get their special RSV shot and being that it was the first time Q clearly knew something was going to go down, Momzilla came out, right there in the Drs. office. To paint the visual picture, this involves me stomping on the ground and jumping forward slightly. I then raise my arms high over my head look directly at Q and smile with a roar.  He then screams with delight and starts to laugh this deep belly laugh. I then usually run forward, kiss him on the mouth, tickle his belly and walk back to where I came from to start the process again, which elicits even more delight, screaming and wonderful wonderful laughing.

Writing this blog and talking with all of you has helped me to be more like Dr. Seuss’s wonderful quote (please note, I do not like green eggs and ham). While not so long ago, I might have not fully embraced my desire to be silly or laugh, I now see funny things everywhere and I am not afraid to laugh or be silly in return. I know some moments will be sad in this journey and some days will be far from silly, but sometimes the silliness helps to break me out of a funk.  So thank you Justin Bieber, I am a Belieber. I hope you all can become one too…and if that’s just too much to stomach, find a song and get in your car and sing at the top of your lungs and don’t care who sees you!

If you are so inspired, please share with the comments function what silliness brings you your new favorite day. Maybe others will be inspired to try it!

Have a great new favorite day.

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