Dad figures out how to make baby laugh, internet judges him for it

Sep 7, 2016 at 2:05 p.m. ET
Image: Jacqueline Foss/Flickr/Getty Images

Of all of life's mysteries, here's one we've never been able to figure out: What compels dads to chuck their kids into the air? Sure, we all engage in a little airplane pretend play once in a while, but it takes a special kind of parent to escalate that into getting a kid actually airborne. The answer's probably the simplest one: Whatever it is that also compels kids to beg their dads to chuck them up into the air.

At least one dad in Texas had a legitimate reason for tossing his child skyward. How else would they have retrieved the balloon that had escaped his toddler's grasp and retreated to the ceiling? Not that his reason matters to the concern trolls who have called the video he took of that balloon retrieval "dangerous" and "scary."

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To be fair, baby-tossing is kind of scary. It's probably why kids like it so much. It's not unlike riding a stupid-fast roller coaster, where the terror is superseded by the fun. Of course, not all of us like roller coasters. And not all of us can keep both of our eyes open or refrain from doing that gaspy-oh-my-gosh thing when someone tosses our little bundle of joy a few feet in the air.

If you're the second type of person, you may not want to watch this rad little kid snatch his balloon off the ceiling after his bodybuilding dad, Vaden Wennick, obliged his request to "Superman" him up to there.


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The video was posted a few years ago, but after making the rounds on a few websites, it's getting attention again, and not all of that attention is virtual high-fives. Some people really object to this video despite the fact that no one's been hurt and the stunt is admittedly pretty impressive.

Sure, this method of "fun" might not be for you, but by the time a kid is that age, they can tell you if they hate being tossed around like a beach ball. Also, while they're more likely to get bumps, bruises and scrapes on what will sometimes seem like every square inch of their bodies, it's more likely that they'll get those from tripping over their own feet and hitting the coffee table at maximum velocity.

Honestly, while we're not huge fans of baby shot put, it's just hard to agree that Wennick's kid was in serious danger.

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We know a lot more about baby and child safety now than we did a few years ago. It's why kids no longer sit up front on the bench seat in the family Buick or get the whiskey teething treatment. Stuff like that is common sense.

But stuff like this? Give it a rest. People have been lobbing their preschoolers heavenward since as far back as we can remember. It's never been a grave cause for concern before and shouldn't be now. Once we start slapping that danger label on physical play between kids and their parents, it won't be long until we have to walk it all the way back — no more bear hugs, no more Ring A-Ring o' Rosies, and definitely no more sitting on shoulders to get a better view of the fireworks.

There are people out there who really do put their kids in real danger out of malice or apathy. We just don't buy that Wennick is one of them.