I was awake at 3am, more alive than I've ever been in my life. Six years ago today I fell completely and totally in love with the funniest kid in the whole wide world.
Child development specialists explain that babies coo at around four weeks and laugh anywhere between two and six months of age.
That morning, fresh from her mom, after being scrubbed clean and put under a heat lamp, The Littlest Critic not only cooed, but she laughed. I didn't mishear her because The Wife heard it too and she did it more than once. Even a nurse commented. She entered the world with this crazy afro of bright coppery red curls to the astonishment of her two brunette parents and she must have thought it was hilarious to see our astonished faces.
There are some kids that aren't funny, but luckily I didn't get one of those. My life has been so amazing ever since I met this kid. Day for day she has given me more smiles and more laughs than anyone in the history of ever.
She has always been my happy baby, ever since that day. Six years already. Six years of making me laugh, of being attacked by the tickle monster in a game we call Tickle Tack, six years of running and jumping and growing, six years of reading stories (Moby Dick when she wasn't even a year old!), six years of playgrounds and zoos and vacations and wading pools and haircuts and just everything you can pack into life.
Six years old and she's losing her baby teeth and becoming a big girl now.
And she doesn't know it yet, but today she's getting her big girl bicycle. And I think she's going to laugh and love it.
I love you, little monkey of mine. Happy Birthday!