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Sometimes it’s hard to feel anything but great frustration when you are carrying around a screaming child that doesn’t want to go to sleep even as she struggles with complete exhaustion.  You know that she doesn’t understand, and you know that your carefully reasoned argument to her about the merits of siestas for babies is falling on small, non-comprehending ears, but you still feel yourself getting more and more irritated that she won’t settle down for long enough to go make yourself lunch.

Then, after she finally gets some sleep, you get her things together to go out to the local orchard for what was advertised as a thrilling hayride to a secluded pumpkin patch where you would pick your own gourd and feel the crisp freshness of the season.  Instead, when you get there, there are hordes – sheer, teeming hordes – of rednecks and their shouting, redneck children already there.  Unattended 5-year-olds are throwing corncobs at each other while their parents stand in circles, smoking and discussing the best place to get camouflage baseball hats.  You see the hayride, and it is a 15-foot, 12-second jaunt down to a muddy field that looks about as magical as a toilet seat.

You shouldn't be able to take a picture of your "Z" key with your laptop's built-in webcam. It is a sign that everything is wrong.

When you get home, you go to check your email on your new laptop, and the “Z” key falls off.

And you lose it.

You scream, throw things, and storm into the basement, where you will be heard to utter more than a few profoundly shocking statements about what you plan on doing to the owners of the computer company that thought to build their keyboards out of balsa wood.

When you have settled down for a few moments, you survey the damage.

The “Z” key isn’t really that important.  Really, how often do you describe dozing zebras hazing zealots dizzily?  The computer is under warranty.  You will get a new keyboard eventually.

You probably should have gone on the pumpkin ride just for the experience.  It would have been worth a laugh or two, and your wife could have taken her coveted “baby-in-toque-on-pumpkin” picture.

And your baby cries.  So what?  She’s tiny and cute and she smiles every time that she sees you.  She laughs when you tickle her, and she just learned how to stay sitting up on her own.

Sometimes babies cry.  Sometimes rides are lame.  Sometimes computers break.

Log off for the day, hop on the hayride, and kiss your baby.  It’s a damn good life overall.

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