Thursday, August 9, 2012

When I See You Smile

Since I’m away at a conference this week, I missing both my man and my boy terribly.  Since I’ve already written a gushy little story about Jay this week, I guess I’ll turn my attention toward the second love of my life (if you haven’t already read about the wonderful miracle of Micah, start here!).

Since my little guy is getting older, I’m running out of opportunities to tell really embarrassing stories about him without scarring him for life (Yes, I’m aware that once I put this out there in cyber space, it will exist forever, but he’s gotta have something to tell his therapist someday!).

Micah is a little comedian, and he will do just about anything for a laugh.  He has always been this way.  Even as a baby, when he would make a silly face or a funny noise, his ever-captive audience would laugh, and his natural reaction was to repeat.  This is one of the reasons he is such an absolute joy in my life.

It’s also the reason he is always in trouble.

Jay and I learned pretty quickly that if Micah was being mischievous, no matter what he said or did, we absolutely could not laugh, giggle or even crack a smile because to him, getting another laugh was totally worth getting a time-out.  So we have trained ourselves to stifle our giggles.

Others, however, have not.

Often when we’re out and about, Micah will say something rude or inappropriate and as I go to scold him, I will hear it and cringe…. A laugh.

I know from that point on, it’s just no use.  I might as well turn a spotlight on him and announce, “Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, may I introduce the hilariously rude and crude one-man-show… Mr. Micah Spalding!”

This summer, Micah attended a sleep-away camp with over 400 other children and yet, every single member of the staff knew my boy’s name.  Over and over, various members of the camp staff would come up to me to share stories of Micah’s antics, such as:

1)He refused to go to bed one night, ran around the cabin laughing and cheering, and then eventually went to sleep… in his suitcase.

2) His counselor told him he had to take a shower, but Micah thought it would be funnier if he ran himself a bubble bath in the sink!

3) One night he yelled out to everyone, “Hey, it’s 3:00 a.m.!  Where’s my cigarettes?”  (Let me ASSURE you that neither Jay or I have EVER been smokers!  Okay, wait. That’s a lie. I smoked once when I was nine years old.  I puked.  So I quit).

As I listened, slightly horrified, to each tale, I noticed a common denominator.
“I couldn’t help but giggle.”
“He was hilarious.”
“I was trying to get onto him, but I couldn’t stop laughing.”

Ugh.  I can just imagine Micah taking a bow and saying, “Thanks!  I’ll be here all week!”

When I think of Micah and his anything-for-a-laugh mentality, once incident in particular always comes to mind –

We had just moved to a new town, and it was the busiest time of year.  I was meeting with a group of volunteers one evening to help sort Christmas toys for needy children.  Some of the volunteers were from our new church and some were from the community.  Everyone was really nice, but I was a little nervous since I was new to everyone, and since Micah had to be there with me.  He was only four years old at the time, and I wasn’t sure how he would behave in front of everyone.

He did pretty well the first half of the evening, but when we all sat down for a dinner break, he began acting a little silly.  Of course, everyone was laughing.  And then it really started.  My sweet, cuddly, cute boy… ripped one.  And loudly.  The whole table erupted into laughter.  He did it again. I whispered threats into his non-listening ear, but all he could hear were the hoots and hollers from all his new friends.  So he continued on, cackling, tooting (that’s the cute way to say it), and grunting. 

Anybody want to guess what happened?

I saw his eyes turn just slightly red before they shot open in shock.  “Mom!” he yelled.  “I pooped!!!”


I spent 20 minutes in the warehouse bathroom with a bottle of hand soap and a stack of paper napkins, then searched through the extra donations to find my little stinker (see what I did there?) a pair of pj pants to slip on.  I was red faced (partly from embarrassment and partly from rage), but something odd happened.

Hours later, after Micah was properly berated and put to bed, I sat up in my own bed, put my head in my hands, and, until tears rolled down my face, I laughed.

Our attempt at a serious family picture

If you can't beat 'em...

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