Inappropriate Laughter

Has anyone else had that parenting fail when your kid does something wrong but instead of reprimanding them you’re doing your best to not laugh?

 That was me on Sunday night. It was almost bedtime. The kids were delirious with exhaustion and putting up their best “we’re not tired” front. AJR bent down to pick up a throw pillow from the floor. Because GOD FORBID THE PILLOWS STAY ON THE COUCH EVER. Anyway, I digress. He picks up this pillow and because kids so clearly telegraph their moves, I knew what was happening. He was not going to gently place it back on the couch where it belonged despite my heart wishing it were so. No, he was plotting to use it to seek vengeance against his pesky younger sister. I knew that I could have stopped it. I am not one to brag about my skills, but since becoming a parent my reflexes and reaction time is on a superhuman level. It’s like I’m in the Matrix and I’m hyper aware of everything. Today I just didn’t have the energy to intervene as I watched AJR  wildly fling the pillow towards his sister. Pouring all of his sibling frustration and anger into one mighty heave. I watched the pillow’s trajectory in slow motion until it made contact with Olivia’s face. The force of contact caused her to stumble backwards a few steps until she hit the couch and plopped down on her bottom, angrily shouting “HEY! STAAAAHP IT, AN’KNEE!”

Look closely at this picture, AJR is totally plotting to kick Olivia in the back and send her down the stairs. In this instance, I did intervene before things got ugly.

Then I basically died. I had to look away from the comical scene before me. My laughter was immediate. I am the person that still gets a kick out of America’s Funniest Home Videos and this was basically the $10,000 winning video. With my back to my children, I tried to muffle my own laughter in my sweatshirt, which only caused my body begin convulse uncontrollably.
Thank God my husband was there and apparently not nearly as amused as I was by the scene. He was able to step in to reprimand AJR and console Olivia who was more pissed than hurt. In the meantime, I continued to replay the scene over and over again in my mind with tears pouring down my cheeks at the hilarity of it all. I was utterly useless as an authority figure.
Later that night once the kids were in bed, I leaned over to Joe and asked, “Hey, wasn’t that hilarious when Olivia got hit in the face with the pillow?”. Someone please be sure to include this on my Mother of the Year nomination form as I can only imagine laughing like a maniac over your son causing your daughter bodily harm makes you a shoe-in.
Joe, narrowed his eyes. “No. One of us had to be the adult there.”
ZING! But true. Thank goodness there are two of us because clearly I don’t possess the maturity required to parent properly all the time. Sometimes those parental walls have to come down. Kids are hilarious. And assholes. And sometimes hilarious assholes. And it’s so damn hard NOT to laugh sometimes. Sometimes a well-timed”Well, fine! Then I’ll poop on you!”  has me all like Ron Burgundy – I’m not even mad, that’s amazing! Should I let my kids threaten to defecate on each other and me? No, probably not. But COME ON! You have to see the humor in a verbal rebuttal like that sometimes, right?
There are many a video I’ve taken of the kids playing and suddenly they trip, slip, or fall. Not in a gruesome way where my motherly instincts kick in, but rather a hilarious “I’m going to laugh first, make sure you’re okay later” type of way. As a result, many of those same videos include me snickering on the background as my resilient children spring right back into action.
Growing up I remember times with my own mother where in the middle of disciplining us that she would laugh over the absurdity of what I was being punished for until  we both started to laugh. I knew I shouldn’t have done it and more than likely didn’t do it again because I knew my mother was a force to be reckoned with.
Don’t get me wrong and think I’m letting my kids run around like it’s some lawless, toddler wild west. I am usually the “bad cop” in our parental unit. Mostly because I’m around the kids all of the time so I have to take on the role of enforcer. However, there are those times where you have to laugh. Whether it’s your kids behaving inappropriately or falling in a slapstick comedy sort of way, sometimes funny is funny. To my credit, I did eventually go back and tell AJR that he can’t launch pillows at his sister’s face UNLESS I’m taking video. KIDDING! Sort of. Did I mention that America’s Funniest Home Videos is still on and giving out cash money?
What have you laughed about that you probably shouldn’t have?

If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry, right?

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