Sad moment for Andover toddler will be lasting memory in print

Abbey Thornock obviously was not going to let her then 1-year-old nephew Aiden Ferrell play with the ax she was using to chop wood while at a vacation home near Aitkin last June with her sister’s family.

Aiden Ferrell, then 1, cried because he could not understand why his aunt would not let him play with an ax. This Andover toddler is one of approximately 150 kids from all over the world featured in a book called “Reasons My Kid is Crying.”

Aiden Ferrell, then 1, cried because he could not understand why his aunt would not let him play with an ax. This Andover toddler is one of approximately 150 kids from all over the world featured in a book called “Reasons My Kid is Crying.”

But Aiden could not understand why he was being told no, so he cried. AnnaMarie Ferrell thought it was an adorable picture of her son and posted it to her Tumblr profile on the social networking website.

Some time later, she received a message from a Rochester, New York author named Greg Pembroke who had started the website www.reasonsmysoniscrying.com, which was named one of the Most Viral Tumblr Blogs of 2013. He was creating a book called “Reasons My Kid is Crying” and wanted to use Aiden’s picture.

The book contains about 150 pictures of young children upset over almost anything, such as a parent asking what they wanted for dinner, a sister wanting to give her a kiss or being splashed.

Pembroke said when you take a minute to laugh at the inevitable meltdown that could be something as simple as what color cup you poured their milk in, you are not mocking them, but rather creating a positive memory of your child at an age and during a situation that can feel very trying.

“I think it’s important for parents to take a step back and just laugh at this crazy time in our lives,” Pembroke said. “I grew up in a household full of humor, and passing that value along to my kids is one of my main objectives as a father.”

Pembroke did not envision becoming a book author when he first started posting pictures of his sons William and Charlie, who are now 4 and 2 years old, and then shared photos of other crying infants that parents had posted to his website.

“Publishers and literary agents immediately recognized that because of the visual nature of the website, it would translate into a book very easily,” Pembroke said.

Pembroke looked through thousands of submissions from families all over the world and started reaching out to parents in July 2013 to see if their child’s picture could be featured in the book.

Published by Three Rivers Press, the book went on sale April 1. Pembroke was a guest on NBC’s Today Show that same day. You can order a copy of the book by visiting www.reasonsmysoniscrying.com.

For AnnaMarie, who received an autographed copy of the book, social networking “breaks up the tedium and you can see other parents are going through some of the same things as you.” She and her husband of 10 years—Tyler—have two daughters named Katie, 6, and Jane, 4. Aiden and his twin brother Jack celebrated their 2nd birthday in March.

“There are a lot of funny moments with kids,” AnnaMarie said. “It’s cool to have one of them memorialized.”

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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