Let me start by saying that if someone falls, my first instinct usually is to laugh. However, my second instinct is to see if they are okay. But for some reason I think it should be the other way around.
One time in college, I witnessed what was probably the most hysterical thing I had seen up to that point in my life (and it still remains in my top 3). A girl was riding her bike down the street when a group of people that I am assuming were her friends rode by in their car and called her name. She turned to look at them and wave. At that very moment, she got clotheslined by one of those thick wires that are attached to telephone poles and secured into the ground. She completely flipped off of her bike. Her friends stopped the car immediately and jumped out to check on her. Thank god they did because I would have been useless. I had to continue down the street as quickly as possible so they were not able to see the tears streaming down my face caused by uncontrolled laughter.
So, it was a not much of a surprise today that I could not control my laughter once again at my daughter, Maddy's, swim lesson. She is almost 3 and completely fearless in the pool. However, when we go to her lessons, she has trouble taking orders from her instructor. She loves to swim but it has to be on her own terms. Well, she was screaming at the top of her lungs during the first half of the lesson (after her instructor allowed her to remove her goggles, she was much better...most likely because she felt she was in control of at least something). But for the first 5 to 10 minutes, she was causing quite a scene and trying to get out at every opportunity. I should have felt bad for her or at least had a pang of guilt due to my motherly instincts. I did not.
What my daugher didn't realize was that she was floating on her back the length of the pool completely unassisted. It was the sight of her little body floating on her back, with her arms neatly folded on her stomach, and her face as angry as could be while screaming that had me in hysterics.
On several occasions, I looked around at the parents of other screaming children and they all looked concerned. I was the only one laughing. I even apologized to the instructor and said, "I am so sorry I am laughing like this but she looks so funny floating along and having a tantrum." Thank god she saw the humor in it too because every time Maddy would scream again, the instructor would look at me and laugh. At the end, she told me that despite all that commotion, she did really well and was basically swimming by herself.
Part of me thinks that I should be ashamed of myself for laughing at my poor daughter's expense...but I think laughing it off makes the kids relax. Or at least that is what I tell myself to feel better about my behavior.