If the kid is laughing, it must be an ice day

The morning starts at 2:17 a.m., when your baby’s loud shrieks fill the cold house. “This is going to be a good day,” you mutter as you get up and help your wife attempt to soothe her — assistance that is part parental obligation, part spousal guilt.

After an hour, you go back to bed. The next crying wake-up call doesn’t arrive until 6, which is perfectly fine. Sleeping longer than three hours in a row is way overrated.

You’re watching baby by yourself today, so you’ve got your hands full. After going to war with the world’s most disgusting diaper, it’s playtime. Once again, she crawls past the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Toy Piano ($55), ignores the Peek-A-Blocks Playset ($64.99) and heads straight for the Tupperware ($1.34).

A few hours later, it’s time to read.

She picks out “Duck in the Truck.” Again. Boring quickly with it, she begins to cry. You can relate. You loved the book “Into Thin Air,” but if you read it in its entirety four times a day every day for three months straight, you might tire of it too.

So to calm her, you carry her to the bathroom, where you flip the light switch on and off repeatedly. She likes that. She also likes reaching for a large decorative glass globe nearby, which she grabs, and drops, shattering glass all over. She’s OK, but a shard of glass is lodged in your finger, and you’re dripping blood like it’s a horror movie.

Baby is screaming, you’re bleeding and the plumber will be here soon to fix the water line to your kitchen sink that broke during the recent freeze.

It’s a good day.

After deciding that you really shouldn’t start drinking beer at 10:30 a.m., you set baby down on the floor and look for Band-Aids.

Naturally you are out, so you wrap a paper towel around your finger and secure it with a rubber band, like you just left a redneck ER or something.

The plumber comes back with his estimate: $321. Sure. Makes sense. After all, it’s 3 feet of copper and 20 minutes of labor. You momentarily think of sending him on his way, but then you’d have to explain this to the wife. And she’s gotten sort of used to the idea of having running water.

On the bright side, the bleeding has stopped. On the downside, you have the only baby in the history of human existence who doesn’t nap. So you spend the next several hours exhausting the entire entertainment value one can possibly derive from a Tupperware set. Then you read “Duck In The Truck.” Again. You know, just in case there happens to be a major plot twist or surprise ending this time.

Eventually it’s time to pick up your wife from work, so you warm up the car and plop baby down into the rear-facing car seat. Using your non-bloody hand to clear the windows, you accidentally break the handle off the ice scraper. This is when you pause and look around for cameras, making sure the day’s events are not part of some sort of sick, elaborate prank.

Back to scraping ice. You stop when you hear an odd noise.

It’s your baby.

She’s laughing. For some reason, watching you scrape the rear window is the funniest thing in the history of the universe to her. So you scrape again.

More laughter. And if there is a sweeter sound in this world, you haven’t heard it.

You continue to scrape, even when the windshield is clear. Just to hear that laugh. The neighbors probably think you’re deranged.

You are.

After all, it’s 9 degrees, and you’re scraping a dry window. You’re cold, and tired. You have bills to pay, a house that keeps getting smaller, a car older than you’d like, and your reality has yet to catch up with your dreams.

But you have your health, your freedom, a spouse who loves you, and a beautiful 10-month-old girl in a pink parka beaming a smile at you through the rear window.

It’s a good day.

 


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