Could you be a grump a little further away?

I’m in a mood. And when I say in a mood, I mean a bad one. I won’t torment you all with the boring details as I assume most of you swing by here for a few hundred words intended to convey some minor entertainment value rather than to listen to me complain. Well, I guess sometimes the complaining might qualify as entertainment, depending on the presentation, but still I’ll spare you.

At any rate, whenever I’m in a mood, I thank God I have kids.

Obviously, I say that for all the usual reasons: it’s great to revel at their wonder, bask in their freely-given, uncomplicated love, cherish each day’s new accomplishments, blah, blah, blah.

Seriously, I do mostly mean all of that, but that’s not what I’m trying to get at. There are a couple of unusual reasons why I’m glad for the kids when I’m grumpy.

For one thing, if I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t have seen the video clip for this song on Nick, Jr, filling time between Dora and The Wonder Pets:

Whenever a dark mood hits me, I end up singing that in my head sooner or later. It definitely manages to brighten things somewhat. I mean, how can that not make you a little happier? You’d have to either be an ogre or work at the DMV.

Beyond silly songs, I’m also always glad that I have a mess of kids when I’m in a mood because they basically make me deal with my crap and get it over with. The majority of each evening is filled with keeping an eye on four kids. That includes making sure they don’t put their eyes out or burn down the house and then later cycling them through the bathtub before bed. With that in mind, there’s almost always a point in any night, even a good one, when I want to scream like a crazed lunatic. Because, while I want my children to learn to be independent, that doesn’t mean I want them to do it when I’m telling them what to do.

Given the general likelihood for hysterics, there’s just no way you can reasonably expect to mope through an evening while having yourself a nice pity party. Not when there are young lives depending on you. They take their cues from you, so you have to figure out a way to deal with your bad attitude before you start dealing with them. Otherwise, pretty soon you’ll all have sour moods, your daughter will be crying about how Diaper Dolly needs a change and a puppy, and someone will be buttering the cat just to see how pissed he’ll get*. So in the interest of keeping my children alive and out of shackles, I make a point to shake the dark clouds before after-dinner cleanup commences.

And if that doesn’t work, there are always brownies.


*We don’t actually have a cat; therefore, no felines were injured, condimented, or otherwise sauced in the writing of this post