I have no fine motor skills, and I must laugh.
November 23, 2013 1:30 PM   Subscribe

My favorite part was when the baby laughed at the dog.
posted by phunniemee at 1:38 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

....man, I feel silly for saying this, but baby laughter kind of freaks me out. Especially when I can't see their faces. It sounds too much like hysterical crying and/or screaming. (Presumably, if I ever have my own children, I'll quickly learn to tell the difference.)

But other than that, SUPER CUTE!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:42 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

No, baby laughter is pure evil. Your gut instincts are correct.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:47 PM on November 23, 2013 [11 favorites]

Babies laugh at everything.
posted by readyfreddy at 1:51 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Some of the shots of toddler-type kids, who are squirting the hose which causes the dog to drink from it greedily, which makes the kid laugh with delight, are probably fodder for some sort of scientific discussion. Kid realizes that X behavior (squirting hose) makes dog act Y (laps up water every time he squirts hose) and he laughs because it is funny. But perhaps he also laughs because this is planting the germ in his brain that says "I can control another 'thing' with the squeeze of a finger. I have power!"
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:55 PM on November 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

This can't be good for those dogs' self-image.

Oh, wait, dogs have no shame at all. They'll be fine.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:57 PM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

And the baby with the dalmatian was probably laughing because the dog was doing something he wanted to do (rip up the magazine), but couldn't manage yet.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:58 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

That was his "Hee hee hee, destruction!" laugh.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:59 PM on November 23, 2013

"This video is not available in your country."

posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:06 PM on November 23, 2013

The Internet is being good to me today!
posted by Anitanola at 2:06 PM on November 23, 2013

"This video is not available in your country."

Don't worry. The best thing about this post is the title.
posted by pipeski at 2:08 PM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

When my son was an infant I could keep him laughing like a loon for minutes at a time (and thus myself secondarily entertained*) by "tooting" a beer bottle.

*I'm sure my drinking of said beer contributed to this.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:08 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

They're missing one of my favorites.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:12 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Properly hysterical baby laughter tends to make me worry that the baby is going to hurt itself, like they're in danger of coughing up a lung or something. Even bearing that worry in mind, though, I do have a favourite instance of baby laughter.
posted by Dim Siawns at 2:30 PM on November 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

Can't tell whether the dalmation owner is a dog-owner who shouldn't breed or a parent who shouldn't own a dog. Kid's lucky to have his/her fingers.
posted by dobbs at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2013

That was really cute, but now I really want a baby or a dog right now...

...I'll go with a dog (especially that big black one near the end).
posted by littlesq at 3:03 PM on November 23, 2013

Man that first baby has a super villain laugh.
posted by winna at 3:26 PM on November 23, 2013

It's not just dogs!
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:27 PM on November 23, 2013

Dogs laughing at babies wouldn't be as much fun.
posted by discopolo at 3:35 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

About 13 years ago, I was walking around the back yard holding my first baby son who had, up till that point, made no noises of any kind apart from the wailing and crying kind.

Our two dogs decided to engage in one of their endless rumbles... jumping and growling at each other. My son immediately burst into hysterical laughter. It went on for a good half hour... the dogs rumbling and growling at each other, my son laughing. It was all rather strange.
posted by greenhornet at 3:47 PM on November 23, 2013

I didn't find this that funny but somehow youtube led me down the path to watch the best of Curb ...seasons 1-8. Now those are funny.
posted by bquarters at 4:28 PM on November 23, 2013

It was all rather strange

And that's the thing, really. You think know your kid, they cry, they laugh, nothing spectacular. Then one day out of the blue they get a not-ending laughing fit.

My daughter found her old pacifier back in the depths of a cupboard when she was about a year old. She had used this pacifier for exactly a week, her first, to be precise, and not seen it since. So one would believe that she had no real memories of it, it dropped out of her mouth as well as of her mind.
So there she is, retreating from the insides of the cupboard holding this silly yellow thingy in her grubby fist and shaking, absolutely shaking with laughter, inconsolable...
Nobody knows why.
posted by Namlit at 4:55 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

To be fair, I also laugh when I am around dogs.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:16 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Once again, I read the comments and realized there are people who really (don't) need to see babies laughing at dogs.

Some of those kidlets are totes cutez.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:26 PM on November 23, 2013

I'm not super comfortable with these compilation videos that basically steal people's family videos and slap ads on them.
posted by empath at 5:49 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

So any thoughts on why the heck these dogs are so funny to these babies?

I think people just look at a lot of these and think, oh of course the baby is laughing, dogs are funny. But while I do agree with that, in a lot of these instances the dogs aren't doing anything particularly goofy -- and even then, how would the baby know? What the heck is going on in the baby brain when they're laughing at a dog just doing some doggy stuff? Is there scientific research out there on baby laughter?
posted by chortly at 8:07 PM on November 23, 2013

It's funny how much commonality there is among baby laughter. There's that rising squeal you hear at the beginning of the second clip, that moment when the stimulus seems to have worn thin but the baby is still in "do it again" mode and forces a half-hearted laugh at the moment when she expects to laugh, and then either winds down or gets triggered again and unleashes another of those full-body chortles that babies do when something pushes their buttons just right. And then there's the kind of out-of-breath panting laugh.
posted by straight at 8:55 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet… might some of this insane laughter be a fear response?
posted by readyfreddy at 3:50 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Totally hear the fear too. My theory (sorry) is that the hysteria is tinged with fear, and the babies are learning to control their fear through socialization with the dogs. That's why the laughing seems both faked and controlled at certain points -- they are trying on being brave even though the proximity and unpredictability of the dog is kinda scary.

Also, I've had babies and am a lifelong dog owner, and some of those filming parents are two steps too far away ... again, all dogs are unpredictable.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:19 AM on November 24, 2013

But while I do agree with that, in a lot of these instances the dogs aren't doing anything particularly goofy -- and even then, how would the baby know? What the heck is going on in the baby brain when they're laughing at a dog just doing some doggy stuff?

It may not be that the dog is doing anything particular funny, just something that is a tiny bit unusual. I've heard that there's some point at which a baby will just see something random that cracks its shit up like crazy, and what I've noticed is that when something unexpected happens to something, or someone does something unexpected, in that particular moment. It could be a noise or a movement - just so long as it's something that at that moment the baby wasn't expecting.

I'm not explaining this well - lemme use my niece as an example. When she was about 9 months old, she and my brother were building towers of blocks. And at some point my brother accidentally nudged one with his foot - and it fell over. And my niece cracked up. Another example - there was a baby on the subway staring at me once, and I made a slightly goofy face at it - and it cracked up. I've seen another clip of a baby cracking up at the beep of a car horn, and once saw a toddler crack up when she saw a dog suddenly start scratching its ear.

I get the sense that's what's going on in the heads of those babies is stuff like "oh my god blocks usually don't fall down but those totally did HAHAHAHAHAHA!" Or "oh my god people usually don't have their tongues sticking out but suddenly that lady did HAHAHAHAHA!" It's kind of like the floor corn - there's nothing particularly science-of-comedy-theory funny about those things, but they're out of the ordinary, or at least outside of what you experience as ordinary, and that can catch you funny sometimes.

Babies are just more susceptible to that kind of situation because they have such a rudimentary sense of what "normal" is, and dogs are kind of susceptible to provoking that because they're always doing stuff which a baby may not have ever seen before.

....My theory, anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:24 AM on November 24, 2013 [5 favorites]

I agree that that surprise is a common or necessary condition, but it can't be sufficient, since especially from a baby's point of view, unexpected things are happening 1000 times a day. What's striking about all those examples is that, in addition to the surprise, there's a social or emotional violation too: the unfortunate collapse, the improper face, someone scratching their ear with their foot, etc. Babies don't usually laugh when they first see a tree fall in a forest, or someone scrunch their face in genuine anger, or a cat sleeping on a shelf, or the first use of a comb or a remote control or a million other things. Somehow even at these really young ages they know enough about social mores that when a violation of them is combined with surprise, sometimes that's funny. And I do think there's something of fear in it too, as thinkpiece suggests, particularly in these really raucous laughs; the violation is right on the edge of being too scary when it is funniest. It's weird that I don't see more on this in a quick google of the research literature, though I'm sure it must be out there...
posted by chortly at 12:07 PM on November 24, 2013

Early on, yeah, it sees things that it thinks are unusual all the time. I've noticed the suddenly laughing at something random happens at about 8 or 9 months, and my admittedly uneducated guess is that that's how long it takes for a baby to even develop a sense that there even is a thing AS constancy. Before that point, things happening are just random shit that is constantly happening, but at about 9 months they've started to get a vague sense that "okay, yeah, every once in awhile I go in this big water-filled thing and mom wipes me down and maybe I can splash water and then after a while I get out, and that's the routine. Got it." Or, "okay, the weird long things with short legs wander around and sometimes make a barky noise or lick things, and that 's their deal." And then you have a moment happen like the baby and dachshund clip I linked, and that's probably about "holy shit I usually don't see the long things jump like that and IT's HAPPENING WHEN I'M IN THE WATER THING THIS IS AWESOME!"

If that happened earlier, I have hunch a baby would still be in that sorting-things-out stage, and so it would be thinking something more like "...okay, maybe the long things jump sometimes? So I guess this is a thing?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on November 25, 2013

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