one of the things we've always gotten mad at Mother for is her inability to reprimand our brother John Pat without laughing at whatever crap he was pulling. we would say stuff like, "He's never gonna listen if you're laughing while you're yelling at him..." it made us all angry that he was able to get away with stuff just because Mother is easily amused.
I can't be angry anymore; apparently I am also "easily amused". a few days ago, Birdie wanted to call her dad while he was working. I dialed the phone and handed it to her and she spent the next minute or so just kind of mumbling into the phone. she wasn't saying anything intelligible and so I took the phone and continued the conversation. the Bird left the room, only to return about a minute later to say: You didn't let me talk to Daddy, you loser. even as I type this now, I can't stop laughing. when it was actually happening, I was hysterical. I had to step into the closet so that she wouldn't see me laughing. once I felt like I could compose myself, I called her back in to apologize.
Biride is very sensitive, and when she knows she has done something wrong, she gets mad. so when she came back into my room she had a scowl on her face, "angry arms", and a deep low voice. I asked if there was something she wanted to say. she said, "Sorry." I said, "For what?" she said, "For saying you're a loser."
baaaaaaaack into the closet.
and then, in the same way we used to call Mother out, Babe told me (like I didn't already know) "You can't laugh when you're scolding her. She won't take you seriously."
this I know. boy, do I know.