February 11, 2005

Making her laugh her way out of crying

I can make my daughter laugh her way out of crying. It is a gift, there is no question about it. I can take her right off the edge of the hysterical ledge to calm and laughing in under 5 seconds. I don't know how this came about, but as long as it works, I will continue to do it. Case in point, last night. As you know, from below, she has got pink eye. It makes her eyes hurt she says and she is very unhappy. When we put her into bed last night, she noticed that I switched out her little pillows for a big one from the guest room bed. Not happy, not happy. I had to explain that she could re-infect herself from her old pillows since she had her head on them. "Not my head", she corrected me, "my face". Right. She puts her golden little head on the pillow and consents to be covered up with the blanket. And then the tears come.

GC: I want my old pillows back! I don't like this [sob] pillow! Its [sob] too hard! [more sobbing as she begins to work herself up]

Me: Good! I want it to be hard! I want you to have the hardest, most uncomfortable pillow in the whole world!!

GC: [stops crying, starts to giggle] Huh? You do? For real?

Me: Yes! For real!

GC: No, you don't mean for real.

Me: [take pillow, fluff it up six different ways and put it back down] Try that.

GC: Ok. Still kind of hard [suspiciously], but better [grudgingly].

Kisses exchanged and off to the land of nod she goes, calmly and happily.

Thank goodness she enjoys the absurd. Absurdity, a parent's best weapon against tears.

Posted by Random Penseur at February 11, 2005 09:24 AM

I've also found that showing awe and jelousy over scrapes and bruises to be very effective. "Wow! Look at that knee! That is AWESOME! How'd you do it? I want to try!"

We don't get boo-boos at my house. We get Man Marks.

Posted by: Jim at February 11, 2005 12:18 PM

jim...that is advice i needed. thank you.
as for the laughing from crying thing....
it is a gift.

Posted by: standing naked at February 11, 2005 04:27 PM

I've made the mistake of feeling sorry when Xavier falls and stuff (I'm a new parent ok?) and each time it turned out way worse than the times where I said "Oops! Hee Hee!" or something of the sort.

Posted by: Oorgo at February 11, 2005 05:13 PM

I love the way you love your daughter, Random. :-)

Posted by: Amber at February 11, 2005 06:46 PM

Sweet! :)

Posted by: Hannah at February 12, 2005 12:01 PM

When I read your stories about your daughter and you it makes me wish we had decided to have children.

OK, ALMOST wish! I still stand by our decision, even though we enjoy our friends and family members' children immensely.

Posted by: Mark at February 12, 2005 07:10 PM

She is so loved!!!
My dh always takes the kids on trips to the (insert body part) store.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at February 13, 2005 02:22 PM

I'm finding my reverse technique is paying off: "Whatever you do, do NOT laugh right now. Come here young lady, I can see you smiling. Now stop it!" Never fails to get them giggling. If only they took me seriously!

Posted by: Simon at February 14, 2005 02:52 AM

One of my fondest memories with my nephew was when he was about four years old. My sister and brother-in-law had a scary-looking "monster" (statue) that they kept in the attic.

Nephew Boy loved/feared the thing. One evening he wanted to see it. "It's too late," his father told him. He began to fret. Then he began to cry "Please, please, I wanna see the monster...!"

His parents were sitting on the couch and he laid on the floor sobbing.

"But **sob** I wanna see the monster..." he sniffled and looked at me, good ol' Uncle Bobby, for help. I looked him in the eye for a moment then


He was startled... then confused... Then he burst out giggling. Suddenly he was happy. Probably mainly 'cause no one was ignoring him anymore. It had gone from "No" to "Yes" in a split second! No, you can't see the monster right now, but, yes, yes, yes, you can laugh at my funny faces!

If you deny a child something that they dearly want, and they don't understand why it's being denied, offer them something else in it's stead. They may not understand why what they wanted was denied, but they'll understand, as they already trust, that you aren't out to deny them what they want for the sake of deny them what they want, but to give them what they need.

They really do, they really do, they honestly do know that they're just kids, y'know. They expect you to teach them both possibilities and bounderies.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at February 16, 2005 01:19 AM
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