For as much as I kvetch about my kid, one of the many things that I love about Margaret is that she’s really funny; sometimes at the expense of her better judgement. Earlier this summer, we went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant we really like but for some reason rarely patronize. It’s the kind of place we always say, “we really should go here more” but never do type thing. The strawberry daiquiri was doing its job making me feel relaxed and silly, and before we left, I started singing my own made-up lyrics to the tune of “You’ve Got to Have Heart” from Damn Yankees. It was in my head from my dad’s 80th birthday party, where someone changed the lyrics to my dad’s name: “You’ve got to have NORM, NORM, NORM…” My dad’s friend was singing the rhyming words really slowly – which is what made it so funny. So I started singing, “I’m such a big HAM, HAM, HAM put some gravy on the YAM, YAM, YAM..” So Margaret immediately chimed in. “Just got back from VIETNAM, NAM, NAM, was the fault of Uncle SAM, SAM, SAM…”
After a while, my husband – who is often very silly with us – had decided he’d had enough so he asked us to stop. Margaret kept going until he got even more angry and said if she continued than we could walk home. She was really into that idea but it was getting late, so I said no. So Margaret (who doesn’t know when to stop) says, “Do we have to take the VAN, VAN, VAN” which sends her dad into orbit. He’s about to threaten a punishment when she promises him she’ll stop. We’re driving home now and she’s laughing so hard she can’t contain it. I’m cracking up too but trying not to lest I seem divisive. We pull onto our street and I see a guy in front of the house on his cell phone. I say, “who’s that man?” and I look back at Margaret and she’s hysterical, mouthing, “MAN, MAN, MAN” – I shoot her a “you’re gonna end up in your room dad’s so mad” look and she mouths “Now you’re thinking like I AM, AM, AM” and I laugh out loud. My husband shoots me a dirty look and I shrug my shoulders innocently like “I’ve no idea what’s gotten into her?” as we walk into the house. Margaret runs in with more rhymes and we end up laughing uncontrollably the rest of the night.
I absolutely love those “relate-able” moments with her – when I can step out of being “the mom” and we just mesh and enjoy the funny things in life together. And I often furtively think during those cherished times that if I were Margaret’s age and not her mom, we would be great friends.