Monday, July 22, 2013

No babies were harmed in the making of these tears #CrybabyCaptions

The best kept secret of parenthood is that happy children will bring tears to your eyes, but tearful ones will make you happy.

No, not the cries born from real pain. That's the stuff of boo-boo kissing. It's the crocodile tears—wait. Do you know where that particular idiom comes from? According to five seconds worth of Wikipedia reading, I've learned it's the belief that crocodiles cry in order to lure their prey into trusting them, right before the crocs bite their heads off.

Who knew kids and crocodiles had so much in common?

A child may wail from across the house as if she's had a limb severed from her body, but have no fear, she only wants a Popsicle. I know there have been countless times that the insistent, mind-shatteringly annoying cries of my kids have driven me to the brink of rage. Until I can tease out discernible language from their anguished animal cries. . .


And suddenly, I'm giggling, laughing at a crying child, right in her face even as she cries harder, in a picture only Norman Rockwell could have painted. Because wailing over foot coverings is a perfectly logical response in Opposite World, the home planet of children under the age of 10, but it's a punchline here on earth.

I was looking at some old photos of my own kids, and found this pouty child.

I don't actually know what she was crying about, but I know it must not have been life-threatening or I wouldn't have stopped to snap a picture. As I wondered about her predicament, I remembered that most of the reasons my kids cry is because I tried to please them in some way. Oh, sure, that sounds nice enough. Mommy has a cookie for you. Let's color with crayons! Who wants to go to the playground?

But for expert contrarians like children, these suggestions are a slap in the face that pale in comparison to the things they really want: cupcakes, paints, the zoo.

And I knew something else: I wasn't the only one with children who are displeased by their lot in life. So I put out a call on my Facebook page for pictures of your crybabies. You answered. You shared over 100 pictures. You've proved my point that seeing our kids upset over the color of their cups (where whichever color we pick is wrong), gives us great joy. And so we take pictures of it.

Here's a special scrapbook, just for you. I picked ten of my favorite submissions and captioned them. Actually, I captioned all 100+ photos in the Crybaby Captions album on my page, but these I dressed up a bit. Sometimes my captions have everything to do with the picture's back story; other times I just made stuff up:

No one understands this crying is funny phenomenon more than Reasons My Son Is Crying creator, Greg Pembroke. He started his Tumblr page with a handful of images of his own kids sobbing, complete with a few short words explaining why they were upset. Since then he's been featured on TV and collaborated with The Huffington Post on a Cry-Off.

If you liked sending your pictures to me, consider also submitting them Reasons My Son Is Crying. Or just check out his many reader submitted photos and enjoy a good giggle over their childish misery.

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