If you’ve followed this blog for long, you already know how sick my family is. We kind of take pride in our sense of humor, but newer members of the family have trouble assimilating to the mental illness that rubs off on them. Case in point is my sister-in-law. I mentioned yesterday that she and my brother came to visit with baby Bennett on Sunday. Bennett, of course, was not a happy camper and proceeded to snort and cry. Snort and cry. He sounded like a cross between a pig and a bull. It was too cute.
My sister-in-law said she’s a bad mother because when he gets mad, she laughs. Well, I’m here to tell her, and all of you, laughing at your children when they do something painful, stupid, goofy, or outrageous is acceptable. It’s even encouraged.
It isn’t that the women in our family are mean, but they don’t take crap from their kids either. There’s Mom who seems to have the kind of humor that ensures you won’t get sympathy and hugs when you accidentally stab yourself with a steak knife, or who laughs in your face when you admit to nearly breaking your nose on your dresser when you sneeze.
There’s my cousin who would laugh in the face of her daughter’s tantrums. There’s a picture floating around somewhere of a very red-faced, teary-eyed, pissed off seven-year-old who was told she couldn’t swim anymore with her mother laughing in her face. The more the little one would scream, the louder my cousin would laugh until finally her child gave up hope at having her way.
Is that cruel? I don’t think so considering tantrums are no longer a problem with the little one. She might pout and grumble, but she doesn’t throw screaming fits anymore because there’s nothing like being laughed at to ruin the mood.
There’s also my sister who will throw out sarcastic comments to her children, who are now grown. Her oldest son (22) says mean things to her like she can’t cook (before he turns around and pigs out). Over the weekend he asked her if she hated him. Apparently he does this a lot. I guess it’s his version of reverse psychology, except this time my sister told him “yes”. She said the look on his face was priceless which led to much laughter on both our parts. Silly boy.
So laughing at my newest nephew who hasn’t even reached 2 months yet is perfectly natural, as far as I’m concerned. It isn’t like we’re being cruel, right? It’s more of conditioning him so he’ll be able to handle the insanity of the family. Tantrums are not allowed, little Bennett. Take it from me. I used to throw some whoppers and my mom would go about making dinner with the comment “You’re going to dent the floor if you keep banging your head on it.”