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A general rule for dealing with a toddler is to not laugh when they do something bad, even if your sides are about to split open from the ridiculousness of a situation. It sounds like common sense, but there was a time when I didn’t know any better. I’d see a mom wrestling with her child on the bus or train and burst out laughing if the kid did or said hilarious.

It wasn’t the act alone that made me laugh, it was the absolute boldness of the child’s rebellion in the face of an inevitable butt whooping. Each time, the mom would shoot me an angry look or straight out tell me not to laugh because it only encouraged the kid’s bad behavior.

So I’ve been really good about not laughing at children when they do something wrong but funny until the other night when my son telenovela-slapped the s*** out of my wife.

Earlier that day, Liam and I went to one of his favorite neighborhood stores. It’s his favorite because the women that run the place love him. The place is filled with all types of colorful candies in containers perfect for little hands and he always gets a free treat. This particular day, Liam wanted M&Ms, so they gave him a small pack. As any kid would, he loved every bite and had a full meltdown when he was cut off for the day.

When my wife got home from work, Liam jumped into her arms and pointed towards the kitchen where the candy was. I let her know that he’d already had enough for the day and she told him, “Sorry, pumpkin, no more candy for today.”

The boy begged, cried and then made what could be called the first biggest mistake of his life. Liam raised his hand, pulled back and yaaaaaah! Whipped his tiny palm across her cheek. The slap silenced the room and my wife was so angry, she was literally at a loss for what to do next.

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