September 30, 3:30 am
Me: I’m up. I’m coming, Joy. Hey, girl, you realize it’s three thirty in the am, right?
Joy’s diaper is puffed up like a balloon. Somehow she has gone potty three times since 10 pm.
“Okay, baby. Fresh diaper for you. And a ba-ba.”
In the dark, I change Joy’s diaper. We have a small bottle. Joy goes back to sleep in about ten minutes.
I’m mostly asleep, but I can sense Mary (or is it Deb) placing Baby Joy next to me in bed. Joy coos for a minute or two. Then she rolls to her tummy, pushes up on her arms, and gives me a smile. She giggles.
“Good morning, Joy.”
I can hear Deb starting the car. She will be gone for the next two hours as she takes Mary and Amanda to school.
We do another diaper change. We rock in the rocking chair. Hugs and kisses. Quiet time. Four more ounces of Similac. Burrpp!
Joy goes into the swing while Daddy makes coffee and raisin toast.
Back to bed. Joy lies on her back and plays with her toes. She tries to put her toes in Daddy’s face. Ouch. That was my eye. She grabs my teeth again. (“I tink you ant to bee a dentitt,” I say. We do this every morning.)
I play “Stayin Alive” on my iPhone. Joy crawls to the phone and touches the screen. The music stops. She holds the phone in both hands and sucks on the corner with the speaker. “Africa” by Toto begins playing in Joy’s mouth. And Joy decides to change more of my settings. Ooops. No more autoplay.
Today she does something new. She holds out her left hand, palm up, as if she is grasping a ball or a wood block. She rotates the invisible object as if inspecting all sides. And she begins babbling at the invisible thing.
“Ahh doo daahh. Spleh. Eeeh thwuh. Aw Eh! Ooooh.”
And I think: Is she doing some kind of pretend play? That would be new.
Is she rehearsing a scene from Hamlet?
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.”
“Yorick, Joy? Really? I’m the one who has borne you a thousand times. Remember Brentwood Days? You loved being in the baby carrier. We danced in the mud. I only walked about three miles that night.”