Was it Wrong to Laugh at This?

During my 29 years of parenting I've been in situations where I could not help but hysterically laugh at something that happened to my child. This would not be a problem except for the fact that my kids often didn't share my sense of humor.

When my oldest daughter Shelby was little, she had a knack for relaying what to her were upsetting experiences, but in a way that left me unable to fight the laughter.

When Shelby was in the first grade she came home at the end of the school day upset. She said she was the "only one" in her whole class that wasn't wearing red that day, as they were instructed to because it was "Red day", whatever the hell that was.

Side note, I hated theme days when my kids were younger. It made more work for me and I didn't see the point of wearing certain colors on certain days. Too conformist for my taste. Why couldn't they do things like "Clean your room at home day" or "Learn to mop the floor day"? Something more useful. In the first grade they know their colors.

Anyways the conversation between me and my then six year old went something like this:

Shelby: Mom I was the ONLY ONE not wearing red today. You were supposed to remind me.

Me: Nope! You get told in school and see the same notes home that I do. Not on me solely to remind you.

Shelby: You are the mom!

Me: As mom, my job is to raise you to be independent. Plus, I find it hard to believe you were the only one not wearing red.

Shelby: Mom! I was the only one it was embarrassing.

Me: You mean to tell me every single kid remembered to wear red today? I find that hard to believe.

Shelby: Well, there was one other kid that didn't.

Me: So you weren't' the only one!

Shelby: He doesn't speak English! He didn't understand he had to wear red.

This is when I lost it and laughed so hard I peed. Six year old Shelby was not amused but I sure was.  I'm embarrassed to admit her upset made it even funnier.

The following year in the second grade, Shelby came home once again upset about something that happened that day. Shelby was probably my smartest kid, but the least athletic.

Shelby: We had to run the mile and I was the last one.

Me: You mean to tell me you were the very last kid to cross the finish line. I find that hard to believe.

Shelby: Why don't you ever believe me?

Me: Because it's often not the case. There was not one kid behind you? You were dead last?

Shelby: Well there was one kid behind me.

Me: Well see! You weren't last now were you?

Shelby: He was blind! He was led around the track!

Once again, I lost it. The visual was just too much. I barely was able to verbalize, "So you weren't last after all?"

Shelby and her soon to be husband

Today Shelby is 29 and we laugh about this today. Though I think she still harbors a tad of resentment over my lack of control over my laughter. She was so great at painting a picture and delivering the punch line, without meaning to. It was precious!

I don't really feel bad about it because Shelby grew up to adult like a champ. No doubt because I kept her honest.

Do you ever feel bad about laughing at your kids?

Live aloha,



Ultimately I'm a writer who works out her issues through shamelessly sharing them. My partner Tony and I strive to "Live Aloha", but often miss the mark. I overshare about our travels, life and blended family.

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