Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Inappropriate Laughter

One of my worst habits is laughing at inappropriate times. Shows like “America’s Funniest Videos” were made for people like me. I howl with delight when someone gets hit with a baseball bat, breaks a chair when they sit in it, or falls just walking down the street. When watching the show, it’s ok to laugh, but in real life, sometimes laughing is inappropriate.

I was once away with a group of friends and someone was goofing off and broke a glass at the house we were renting. I laughed my head off, couldn’t help it. They yelled at me because something had BROKEN and we were all going to be in TROUBLE. I laugh hysterically when my boss tells a story from when he was young and a friend of his got knocked in the head with a candlepin bowling ball. Now all he has to do is mimic a ball smacking into his forehead and I’m in stitches.

I laugh at myself too. I once fell in an icy parking lot when I was about seven months pregnant with Sugar. I ripped my nylons to shreds and had to go into a business meeting like that. The fall happened in front of a ton of people and it hurt, but I stood up and laughed about it… all in an effort to not cry.

One time EN fell off a ladder when he electrocuted himself. Another time, his sister popped the clutch on the motorcycle he was teaching her to ride and the bike rode up his leg and left a skid mark on his jeans before it stalled. Both those incidents could have ended tragically and what was I doing? Yep, you guessed it, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Even picturing both those situations over ten years later, I’m still trying to contain my laughter, silently shaking in my chair.

It should come as no surprise then, when I hear that one of my children has behaved badly, my first reaction is to laugh. This week Spice did something very naughty and I was spoken to by the owner of the day care she goes to. Let me back up and say that countless times over the years I have watched this woman natter on to parents about their kids’ bad days in a public forum. In five years I have never been in those shoes and thought I was home free as we will be leaving the daycare in just over two weeks. Thank you Spice for ruining a near-perfect run.

It appears that on Monday, Spice grabbed onto a little boy playing in the sandbox and pulled him by the neck of the shirt. She then proceeded to dump handfuls of sand down his shirt. Meanwhile, one of her boyfriends stood in front of this little boy and slapped him across the face repeatedly. This is bad, bad, very bad behavior. I am distraught that my child would do something like that to another kid, especially seeing as it’s someone she likes. That’s on the outside. On the inside, I’m laughing so hard I’m afraid the giggles will come bubbling out. How the hell did this happen? Was it a planned attack or spur-of-the-moment? I have asked her over and over why she did something like that and she just shrugs and says she doesn’t know why.

For those of you that are horrified by me laughing at the Sandbox Bully, I can assure you that she was punished to the fullest extent of Ice Princess Law. Furthermore, she never had any idea that I was laughing on the inside.

I don’t know why I laugh at inappropriate times. Maybe it’s to cover another reaction, like crying or screaming. Maybe I’m laughing out of sheer relief when the situation could have ended badly? Or perhaps I’m just laughing while my brain scrambles around trying to find the right thing to say.

In any case, I apologize in advance if I ever laugh at you. I hope it helps you to know that I always laugh harder at myself than I do at anyone else. 

Ice Princess

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