RR loves to laugh. She really takes laughing to another level entirely. D and I laugh a lot. We joke, there are puns, some of us are flat out silly. This, fortunately, helps keep the rest of us who are far too serious in line.
It starts early in the morning. RR starts giggling as she grabs the rail of her crib and starts jumping like she’s auditioning for cirque du soleil. She ratchets up to a cackle when you snatch her mid leap to get her dressed for the day, rolling up into a tiny snickering ball. Breakfast involves several imitations, most recently she holds up random numbers of blueberries and shouts ONE AH AH AH AH! And then she finishes out with some blueberry fractions as we gape at her.
On the way to school she laughs in surprise at several different songs. She seems to have favorite lyrics since she laughs in the same place every time. When she sees me check my mirror she squirms with laughter, guffawing at me as I check my hair or gloss my lips. She thinks it’s outrageous when D looks behind her to check the blind spot which involves catching RR just so. I swear there’s a constant game of peek-a-boo going on over there by the eruptions of hysteria.
There’s an interlude of laughter, of course, as we negotiate the often tricky territory of school drop off. RR has a secret list of permissible personnel and no one is entirely sure who’s on it. I’m not even on it some days. Suffice to say, it’s a very, very SHORT list and so drop off is more like a tightrope walk over a canyon filled with ravenously hungry piranhas and less like rainbows and kittens.
But then! We pick her up, stash her in the car, and head for home. And that’s when she pulls out all the stops. She likes to practice laughing which, in turn, makes all of us laugh harder. I think we have a 15 minute ride home, maybe a bit longer. Certainly longer when it rains or when we’re driving like the rest of town, which is to say, not particularly fast. And we laugh.
Sometimes we start laughing before we leave the parking lot and don’t stop until we get inside our house, out of breath. Even the forced laughter is funny, which perpetuates more laughter. She loves to laugh louder and louder (which is, of course, funnier and funnier). She loves to see us try to keep a straight face and then give in happily. She laughs even harder when she thinking there might be a lull in laughing. I’m pretty sure that’s why she has abs of steel. She laughs so hard and so long that her core has actually transformed into titanium.
So sure, there are rough moments like the 27 times each week we have to haul each other out of the piranha canyon, but the laughing makes it all worth it.