That one time when I almost puked from laughing so a funeral

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

That One Time When is a place where we want to share your stories of how your life has been impacted by someone with Down syndrome! If you would like 
to submit a guest post, just use the "Email Us!" form over there ----->

Today's post is by Vonda Weikert

I am so honored to be asked to share a few stories on this blog. When Jenny asked me to share some "hilarious Down syndrome stories" I knew it would be a piece of cake. All thanks to my son!

My son, Noah, was born with Down syndrome. It was not only a surprise, but a shock. I thought my world was over.  I thought that life, as I knew it, would be forever changed. No more good times....only struggles and sadness. I didn't think I would ever smile again, much less LAUGH. And the "make your sides hurt laughing" was surely a thing of the past.....or so I thought. Noah proved me wrong. He is 15 years old now, and the past 15 years have been some of the best years of my life. He is absolutely the funniest person I have ever met. And usually he doesn't even try! He is also handsome, sweet, compassionate, smart, witty, and awesome, but his sense of humor is beyond amazing! He was even funny as a baby.

I think the very first time I got a glimpse of his humor was around 6 months.... he would do this thing, where he would stiffen his arms and hold them straight out, along with stiffening his face and jaw. We called it his "stiffy face". He did this for years. His therapist told us that because of his low muscle tone, stiffening his arms and face made him feel strong. Whenever we'd ask him to do it, he did, because he knew it made us laugh.    

When he was around 2, I remember attending this stuffy little church for awhile. The pastor was giving his "oh so serious" sermon, and I was holding Noah on my lap, when he head butted me in the face.  In a seriously quiet church,  I made the mistake of whispering "ouch". Noah found humor in other people's physical pain, so he started loudly belly giggling and I could not stop him. The more I tried, the harder he laughed. The sermon stopped. All eyes were on us, and I began to sweat. And then, just like magic, the entire church was roaring with laughter. Did I mention these were stuffy, snooty people, who barely cracked a smile, and were now seriously LOLing? They laughed even harder when I told them WHY Noah was laughing! That was just the beginning.  

When he was 3, I had to take his tiny little self out and wait for the bus for pre K. Every single day when he returned home, without fail....I would get him off the bus, and he would run inside, whip his shoes off, stick his foot in the air and say "mommy smell"......and I'd have to smell his feet and pretend to gag and faint. EVERY SINGLE DAY through 2nd grade! And I did it.....because that giggle was priceless! Around this same time Noah's favorite phase was "I gonna puke up". Any strange smell, or anything unappealing to him, he'd announce "I gonna puke up" and would start gagging. Still, to this day, the smell of cut grass and oranges makes him want to "puke up"! 

I remember the first time that Noah realized that farts were funny. He was around 3 and we took him to the elementary school to do a discussion on Down syndrome. The first grade class didn't say much, .......until Noah FARTED the loudest fart ever while sitting on my lap. He giggled and giggled and giggled! The girls giggled and the boys fell into a heap laughing. That fart broke the ice, and all tension in the room was gone! One little boy said "he is just like me, I fart all the time". And then the hands were raised and the talking began. It was a great day. 

They told me when he was born that he would "probably never really understand humor, or understand joking or pranks". I beg to differ! His favorite toys growing up were his lifelike rubber frogs.  He carried them everywhere, made them have conversations, slept with them, bathed with them, ate with them, always. So one day when he walked up to me and sat one of his frogs on my shoulder I didn't think anything of it.......until it made a noise, and I turned my head to find a huge freaking LIVE warty looking TOAD sitting there. I screamed and flopped it on the ground and he laughed for hours! He KNOWS what a joke is! 

Another hilarious moment..... a time that I came THIS CLOSE to puking because I was laughing so hard, was at a funeral. Yes, there can be humor at funerals when Noah is around. It was a military funeral for my husband's uncle Kenny. Noah was sitting at the end near the aisle. It was extremely quiet. The men walked in with the flag and all at once the man yells some command at the top of his lungs RIGHT BESIDE NOAH and he jumped a foot off of the pew, grabbed his chest and yelled "WOAH.....give me a heart attack". I thought I was going to absolutely die. I have never in my life had to laugh that hard, when I knew I shouldn't! I had my handkerchief over my face and I was ugly laughing so hard I thought I was going to get sick. I looked at my daughter Halle, and she had laugh tears running down her face and was almost blue because she couldn't breathe. I tried to think of anything and everything sad to try and make myself stop laughing and nothing worked. Finally I contained myself........only to have that same man yell that command again......and all of the above happened all over again! Only Noah added "oh my God" when he grabbed his chest and jumped! I have tears rolling down my face just reliving this, and I'm sure Uncle Kenny was there in spirit that day laughing with us! Wherever we go, it seems Noah makes us laugh. 

Life is too short to worry about the little things. Noah has taught us to enjoy life and not to worry so much about what others think or trying to be "perfect". From what I can see, perfect is boring. We all need laughter in our life, and as long as it isn't insulting or hurting others, then I say LAUGH! I'd rather be laughing until my sides hurt, than crying and mulling over a diagnosis that I cannot change. We are in a good place, and I wouldn't change a thing about my son. 

If you want to see some Noah humor for yourself, look me up on Instagram. His videos are priceless!  

Vonda Weikert


  1. My grandson is autistic and we have our "you know you shouldn't laugh but you do" moments. I think these moments are what helps us get through the challenges. Thank you for sharing Noah's story.

  2. I laughed hard, he is soo funny and very handsome. Thank you for talking about your son. He is just wonderful!!