New parents have it rough sometimes. Babies cry — a lot. I’ve often found myself thinking it’d be so much easier if the small one could just tell me why she’s upset. Then I could fix the problem and everything would be wonderful, right?
Journalist Laura Moser, whose daughter Claudia you might remember from the hilarious viral photo of her meltdown at President Obama’s Passover Seder, recently opened up about the incident in a piece for Slate. The reason for two-year-old Claudia’s tantrum? Laura insisted that she wear a dress, and not a dinosaur bedsheet, to the White House.
And that right there is what cured me of my need to know why the baby is crying. Sure, sometimes it’s because she’s hungry, and sometimes she’s tired — those ones are pretty easy to figure out without words. But next time she cries for no discernible reason, I’ll think of wee Claudia and her dinosaur sheet, and remind myself that knowing why probably wouldn’t make a difference since it’s likely to be one of the following:
- She isn’t allowed to climb into the oven.
- I won’t let her light the cat on fire.
- The kitchen garbage is not for licking.
- Electrical cords are not teething toys.
- We weren’t invited to the White House Passover Seder, and never will be.*
We can all learn an important lesson from Claudia: be careful what you wish for, because one day your kids will be able to tell you why they’re crying. And the reason will be so ridiculous you won’t be able to do anything about it anyway — except maybe laugh, and also thank your lucky stars you weren’t standing before the leader of the free world when they lost their damn minds. Thanks, Claudia (and Laura).
* For a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the facts that we are neither American nor Jewish.