A young baby bursts into tears every time his straight-faced father laughs – after only hearing the noise for the first time at five-months-old.
Mitch Simmons, 24, who is renowned for being tough to get a giggle out of, was watching his five-month-old son Matthew Simmons pull funny faces earlier this month when he burst out laughing.
But Matthew’s response came as a massive shock to Mitch and his fiancée Sheridon Fletcher, 23 – as their little boy started to cry.
At first the tot’s sobbing incited panic for the first-time parents, of Wolverhampton, West Mids, until they noticed he stopped as soon as Mitch finished chuckling.
Since then Mitch, a civil engineer, and Sheridon, a business advisor, have noticed that Matthew cries every time his dad chortles – and it has sparked a vicious cycle of laughter and tears.
Sheridon said: “Mitch is so serious. It is impossible to get a laugh out of him. It says it all that Matthew is five months old and the other day was the first time he’d heard his dad laugh.
“Matthew has just started learning lots of different faces and he was pulling them at his dad but when Mitch laughed, Matthew just burst into tears.
“At first we thought something was wrong and panicked but as soon as Mitch stopped laughing, Matthew just looked at me and smiled.
“Now every single time Mitch laughs, Matthew’s little lip drops and he starts to cry. It is so weird.
“And it is a vicious circle because when his dad comes home, all Matthew wants to do is pull faces at him which without fail makes Mitch laugh.
“It is so cute that the only thing that can make such a serious person laugh is his little boy. They’re best friends.
“But then Matthew cries and Mitch wants to laugh even more. It might seem a bit wicked to laugh at him crying but it is just so funny. Mitch has had to run to the kitchen and hide his face.”
And it is only Mitch’s laugh that makes Matthew weep as when his mum Sheridon laughs the tot is happy to giggle along too.
In fact Sheridon says Matthew is generally a very happy baby, who sleeps well, eats well and hardly ever cries – until now.
But the parents are not worried after Sheridon filmed Matthew’s unusual reaction and shared it with others mums in baby group.
Sheridon said: “Everyone who has seen the video has just found it really funny or said how cute it is.
“And we’ve had loads of reassurance from other parents who told us weird things their babies cry at.
“One mum said her baby used to cry every time she had wet hair so I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
“It’s just one of his quirks and otherwise Matthew is such a happy baby. He’s great – he sleeps through the night, he loves milk.
“He laughs at his dad all the time when Mitch is being serious. I think he is just more used to hearing that.”
For dad Mitch, his son’s topsy turvy behaviour has inspired him to lighten up a bit so Matthew gets used to the sound of his laugh.
Mitch said: “It was really strange at first and I did panic a bit. Now I’m a bit scared to laugh around him.
“It is the opposite of what you want really and it’s so heart-breaking to see him crying – especially when I’m laughing.
“Maybe he thinks I’m making fun of him? Either way I think he’ll grow out of it.
“And I’m definitely going to have to try to laugh more so he gets used to the sound.”
Mitch and Sheridon, who met in their local pub five years ago, are planning to get married once Matthew can walk down the aisle.
The young couple, who are loving being parents, also plan to have another baby once they’re hitched.
But mum Sheridon says Mitch might need to laugh at her baby bump next time so the little one doesn’t take after his brother.
Sheridon said: “This isn’t something we expected to have to deal with but we are so happy.
“We are absolutely loving being new parents. It is the best thing in the world.
“At the moment the plan is to have Matthew walk down the aisle with us and then have one more baby.
“Knowing my luck I’ll start properly planning the wedding and end up with another one on the way.
“Next time I think Mitch will have to laugh at my tummy so we don’t end up in this situation again.”