I don’t know about you, but I never knew that parenthood would come with an abundance of laughter. It’s probably an involuntary coping mechanism. How else could you get through some of those rushed mornings where both you and the toddler leave the house wearing some flavor of yogurt and two different colored socks?

This weekend, as part of the Baltimore Buzz Brigade, had the great pleasure of visiting The American Visionary Art Museum for a quick tour given by Museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger. Their current exhibit? What Makes Us Smile. Creative, visionary pieces that range from glitter Elmo (or MoMo as he’s affectionately known in our house), to a whoopee cushion bench, to brilliant cartoons penned by a quadriplegic, to sock monkeys, to a personal letter written by a woman who’s first real kiss came from none other than Elvis Presley in the middle of a power outage.

Can you imagine that?

We’ll be heading back soon with the Bug in tow to give you the 411 on taking your family for a little visionary culture. Rest assure that our visit will include a stop at Mr. Rain’s Funhouse (the museum’s cafe) for a blood orange mimosa. It was beyond delicious. I’m a firm believer that the best culture soaking includes a fabulous cocktail. Don’t worry. We’ll stick to just plain OJ for the Bug.

Did you know that real laughter doesn’t usually follow a joke? Think about the last time you laughed hard. Not the polite ‘haha,’ but a good ole belly laugh. Chances are if you’re a parent of a toddler, that laughter was spurred by your pint sizer. In the spirit of the museum’s exhibit, I thought I’d share how the Bug has made me laugh out loud in the last 24 hours:

  • She insisted pants should be optional when I brought her to work yesterday. Ran around in an LAMade top and diaper. Did I mention I share an office with a law firm? Luckily, the partners were amused. But let’s be honest – – work attire should be comfortable, right? Who needs pants anyway.
  • We went to dinner and ordered her a very special treat: french fries. When the server put them down in front of her, she squealed “FRIES!!”
  • When she gets excited about something, she does a happy dance. Stops right in her tracks and wiggles. No hesitation. Doesn’t care whose watching. Just gets down with herself.

How did your kids make you smile today?

disclaimer: Heather was selected to be a member of the Baltimore Buzz Brigade, a social media project of Visit Baltimore. The program sometimes offers incentives for blog posts or social media coverage of local events or businesses, and (cool) progeny will always disclose incentives. We believe that our mission — bringing you the best of all that is Charm City kids and family — is closely aligned with the mission of Visit Baltimore. After all, we’re both about keeping it local.