Every parent at some point in time has had to bite their tongue to refrain from laughing at their kids.
Sure, there are plenty of laughing with the kids moments, but here I’m talking about those times when the kids either say or do something so ridiculous you have to contain yourself to not make them feel bad about themselves.
Here’s a few examples to illustrate the point.
Last weekend we took the kids go-karting for a bit. We went on several family rides, meaning the parents drive while the kids have their own steering wheel, which of course is doing nothing at all.
We knew Beckett would immediately want to drive and do his own thing on the course. We figured he was ready and able to do it on his own in a confined environment, but we were not so sure about Carson.
Without any discussion, we let each kid have his own go-kart on the kids’ course, which basically was just a well-padded oval.
Beckett, 5, immediately took off and had no troubles at all. On the other hand, Carson, 4, had troubles. He immediately floored the gas and turned the steering as hard as he could to the right. The result was one complete 360 before crashing into the wall at a good clip. All the while his facial expression never changed. The employee set him back in the middle of the course before he turned and did the exact same thing. Again, his facial expression was unchanged.
Meanwhile, it all played out directly in front of Pam, who could barely contain herself. I was on the other side taking pictures so could never see his face. He was never in danger and therefore it’s hard not to just break up laughing at what we were seeing. He just had no idea how to steer and no grasp of what he was supposed to be doing.
After the second crash, the employee said to Pam, “want me to hand him to you or are you coming in?” He was done.
Assuming he might be a little rattled and disappointed in himself, particularly as we watched Beckett drive around and around with no hands, I was giving Carson my best “keep your chin up” and “shake it off” encouragement speech. Meanwhile, he was looking back at me with a blank look on his face. No tears, no smile, no nothing, basically.
Later, Pam and I figured it was one of two things — he was shaken and overwhelmed by the repeated crashes or he was looking back at us thinking, “What in the hell were you thinking putting me out there?”
It’s funniest to think it was the latter.
When Beckett came out of the track, he shocked us with his sentimentality and what he said to Carson. He put his arm around his little brother and said, “Hey, Carson, you did much better than me.”
That was an awesome moment.
While we were practicing baseball the other day, Beckett’s frustration over the silliest things was cracking me up.
For some reason, he was just off on this particular afternoon and his patience was too thin to have a productive session practicing some basics. Believe me, I would have been happy if I had his attention for about 20 minutes, but on this particular day I lost him within five minutes or so.
For instance, when a ground ball went straight through his legs, he threw out his bottom lip, reddened his face, hurled his glove as far as he could (about 10 feet) and stormed off in a fit with his hands tucked under his arm pits.
I had to turn away so he wouldn’t see me laughing. In an attempt to get him back to some sort of normalcy, I had him take some swings off the tee and run the bases.
As he rounded third base every time, he put his arms straight up, shouting “touchdown, goal.”
When I tried to correct him and tell him it was actually called a home run, he quickly responded, “no I like touchdown, goal better.”
On that, I did laugh aloud at him.
Just when I think the kids have forgotten about their dog passing away last month, I got a nice reminder that Carson remembers.
The other night, Carson came running down the steps with a toy that had a yellow lab’s face on it. He came up to me and grabbed my hand, pointing at it and then pointing upstairs. I didn’t think much of it at the time until my mom said she had seen him do that before as well.
Later, while upstairs with him, he picked up the same toy and pointed up to the sky and this time patted his heart as well. I then realized what he was doing. He was referring to our dog, Fletch, a yellow lab who went to heaven last month. He was saying in his heart and in heaven. When I finally asked our non-verbal son if that’s what he meant, he was enthusiastic with his confirmation.
A couple minutes later, he brought the dog over again, patted his chest and pointed to the sky, but this time he added a new move by turning me around and trying to push it against my rear-end with tremendous force.
While all I really want to do was laugh at what he had just done, I instead corrected him and reminded him that was inappropriate.
I guess that was his way of reminding me he is 4 years old after all.