‘Reasons My Son Is Crying’ dad on wailing toddler pics as a parenting tool

One of Pembroke's sons was not happy while traveling to New York City to talk about the blog. (Courtesy of Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York)
One of Pembroke’s sons was not happy while traveling to New York City to talk about the blog. (Courtesy of Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York)

Greg Pembroke’s son was having a meltdown in a museum. Over cheese. A piece of cheese, torn down the middle.

“My oldest son just started to wail in the middle of this museum,” he remembers. “I’m like, well this is so over the top. That stuff happens all the time when you’ve got a kid.”

The Rochester, N.Y., dad of two snapped a pic of his son’s tear-strewn face, posting it to Facebook in an album that became a blog that spawned a book.

The creator of the “Reasons My Son is Crying” Tumblr blog, which went viral this month, is now penning the book. Parents from all over the world flooded him with submissions of their bawling babies, from New Jersey kids tumbling out of a hammock to a Chinese baby upset with his Superman outfit.

“It’s really funny to have accidentally found something that everybody can relate to,” Pembroke says.

Posting pics can be a parenting coping mechanism, he says.

“It’s easy to get bogged down and feeling upset about all the times your kid’s crying, because it makes you feel like a failure,” he explains. “Parents are wired to think that if your kids aren’t happy all the time, that you’re failing. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent just because you have to carry your kid screaming out of Disney World on your shoulder, crying the whole way. Which I did in May.”

The 33-year-old dad told us about posting pictures as parenting therapy.

What was it like to have pictures of your kids go viral?

It was so crazy. After [it appeared on Reddit], it started to spread so quickly. … It’s a little weird because, it’s easy to say this now, but we are pretty private. That week on the MSN homepage, there was a picture of LeBron James, Margaret Thatcher and my 1-year-old. It was absolutely surreal to see. It’s a little overwhelming initially, but the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive. … I think someone has visited my blog from every country in the world, except maybe North Korea. You can’t win them all.

Why do you think this has struck such a chord?

In general, the people that get it are people that have normal, healthy toddlers, who have been around kids. This is a phase they go through. It’s going to happen. …. Kids are going to cry. You can either pull your hair out, or you can say, “This is a little bit ridiculous.”

How has this helped you in your own parenting?

It really does help you see the humor side. This is a stage in childhood development, a stage in parenting. I know right now that I’m going to miss this when they’re out of it, and I think it’s a reminder to me to just kind of laugh about the insanity. It’s not always going to be this way. When they get older, they’re going to have problems that aren’t always as easily laughed off, and I think then I’m going to be a bit nostalgic.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.