Reasons My Kid Is Crying - Greg Pembroke

Subtitled "No. 46: I broke this cheese in half", this is a collection of pictures of crying toddlers, with explanations of their reasoning. The pictures are sourced from some blog thing on the internet, and they are mostly pretty amusing. This is a lovely Christmas present from a friend who has become a parent in the last year. It makes a good stress-relief after dealing with children who, well, burst into massive tears when their Mummy dunks a biscuit in tea.

However, as always, I am prone to overanalyse these things. It must be said, I find it a bit weird to think of these parents taking pictures of their bawling offspring, rather than comforting them, even if the reasons for the tears are utterly inane. David (now 4 1/3) asked me what the book was about, and it's... surprisingly difficult to explain that Daddy is laughing at pictures of small children crying because the things they want are unreasonable ("my child is crying because it's not raining indoors").

And, as usual, I have to transform these things into adult terms. Sure, they're crying at completely unreasonable expectations and desires that cannot be met. Why is this funny? There are plenty of things that really make me sad that can't be fixed. Perhaps their breakdown at trivial problems is funny... but again, in the grand scheme of things, my worst problems aren't up to much either. And the fact that they are completely unaware of the bigger issues to worry about isn't particularly funny, either.

When it comes down to it, though, the book is funny. You could claim a complicated rationale based on all humour being rooted in suffering or something like that but, in the end, it's nice to have acknowledgement that children do cry at the silliest things, and there's nothing you can do about it....

Posted 2013-01-19.