Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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To Your Health

There are loads of studies out there about the positive effects of laughter on your health. WebMD (my Primary Care Physician) agrees, so you know it must be true (although the article about it is listed under Women's Health, which I found puzzling—I guess you fellas are on your own). The story raves about the health benefits of laughter, although they do temper their enthusiasm a bit with the following quote from a Leading Humor Expert:
I certainly wouldn't want people to start laughing more just to avoid dying—because sooner or later, they'll be disappointed.
Thank you for that reality check, Dr. Downer. If that doesn't get you concerned, we've also all heard about the claim made during Dr. Michael Titze's panel discussion on humor that children laugh 400 times per day, while adults laugh only 17 times; and if you have to hear the words "government shutdown" or "Occupy Wall Street" on any given day, you might not be able to finish being annoyed quickly enough to have time for laughing at all. Clearly what science is telling us is that, although we're all going to die anyway, we need to hurry up, get cracking, and laugh more, because at some point in our lives (adolescence, I'm looking at you) we really started slacking off. Shame on us—we've really let ourselves go.

Luckily I'm here to help by sharing some of the output from my little Laugh Factories (a.k.a. kiddos) from the last few days. We have a theory around here that kids might laugh 400 times a day, and most adults 17 times, but parents laugh about eleventy million times a day because they laugh when their kids laugh, plus they get to laugh at all the stuff that the kids didn't intend to be funny.

First of all there's Maddie, and although she doesn't talk (at least not in a language that we mortals are smart enough to understand) she is constructed of some special kind of cuteness that makes you laugh every time you look at her anyway.


Then there are Jake and Zoe, who do speak in a language that we (usually) understand, and thank goodness for that. Here are a few things that've made me laugh recently; yes, much of the humor is juvenile, but that's probably why I like it. And maybe some of it is the You Had To Be There variety of humor, but I was there and it was funny to me, so you'll have to sort that out for yourselves.
  • We saw a commercial on TV for (brace yourselves) Justin Bieber's new fragrance line (just what we needed—it's not too late to update your Christmas wish lists...). My brain power was being utilized in an attempt to figure out if I was seeing things correctly and it is, in fact, a women's  fragrance, so I almost missed it when Jake astutely pointed out, "It doesn't matter.  It probably smells like cow barf anyway."
  • On Zoe's birthday, she came home from school wearing a special paper crown—so special, in fact, that it was ditched almost immediately in favor of her Fancy Party Clothes. Hours later, as I was tucking her in to bed, I asked the traditional question, "So, do you feel seven now?" She looked at me blankly and said, "No, I'm not wearing the crown."
  • Jake was waving a toy back and forth in front of Maddie to make her laugh. I heard him reassure Gerry, "Don't worry, I can't hypnotize her. You have to have a weak mind to be hypnotized."
  • The four of us were playing Diner with Zoe's felt food; Zoe was the customer, I was the owner of the diner, Jake was my inept employee, and Gerry was a disgruntled customer. I served Gerry a grilled cheese, and as he took a bite I quickly said, "That's $45, please." He ranted about how he wouldn't have ordered it if he'd know the price, and I said, "Well, you touch it you buy it—you should have seen that on the door when you came in." Ready to back me up, Zoe popped up onto her feet and stage-whispered to me, "I'll go write it on the door!"
  • Looking at the patches of melting snow, Zoe exclaimed, "Look, the snow's healing up!"
  • Jake was excited that he'd invented a new Star Wars LEGO guy ("I named him Lord Vactis - doesn't that sound eeeevil?"). After showing me, he took the guy into Zoe's room, where she was playing with a doll.
  • Jake: Look, Zoe! I created LORD VACTIS.
    Zoe (in her grown-up voice): I'm much too busy. [I hear the sounds of birthday balloons being knocked around violently.]  I'm taking my daughter to ka-ra-tay.
  • I gave Zoe some small plastic bottles to use in her kitchen that once contained Gerber juice for Maddie. Zoe came rushing out of her room, very concerned, and said, "Mommy, there are cigars in this!" I looked where she was pointing on the nutrition label; she seemed genuinely relieved to learn it said "sugars." 
  • The kids had been to see Santa, so I asked Zoe if she told him what she wanted. "No, he didn't ask," she said. "He didn't?" I asked, surprised. (Since when does Santa not ask what you want for Christmas?) "No, but that's okay," she told me. "You know how he's always watching and listening? Well, I just walked around all night saying what I wanted over and over, as loud as I could, to make sure he overhear'd me."

  • Somehow we got on the topic of childbirth (I believe it's because Jake referred to Stewie, Zoe's guinea pig, as his "brother from another mother," and I just pointed out that Jake's mother and Stewie's mother are quite different). Jake said, "Yeah, but you both pooped babies out, so you're both mothers." Not wanting to get into a Where Do Babies Come From discussion but feeling a need to correct him, I said, "That's not exaaaaactly how it works." Zoe chimed in with her Know-It-All voice and added, "Yeah Jake, they don't just poop the baby out. They go to the hospital and poop the baby out."
Well, there you go, hopefully you got a few snickers out of that list.  If so, only 398 laughs left to go today—get to work!  I highly recommend getting yourself a couple kids to assist you with that goal.  No doubt they shave years off your life from the stress, constant worrying, loss of sleep, and sudden blood pressure escalation every time milk gets spilled on the cat, but I feel certain that's all more than outweighed by the healing power of their absolute silliness.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


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