When I arrived at the daycare, my daughter was sleeping soundly. She woke up as soon as I opened the door to the room where she was sleeping. Grumpy, wrinkled, and hungry. She half-wimpered, half-growled in my shoulder as I carried her to the car. There she did one of her stiff-as-a-board-so-you-can't-put-me-in-that-car-seat-thing. She usually saves those for a rare occasion, like when we're driving guests somewhere or if we think that we are really late going somewhere. But I had already decided what to do. First, I subjected her to my singing. That usually catches her offguard, as it did today.
I sang all the way to the pizza joint across the river. There, I ordered a large slice of chicken/broccoli/tomatos/bacon/onions/ranch dressing accident. Next, I fed her the toppings. She was starving. She had already finished everything I sent with her to the daycare: The double ration of banana-oatmeal, the eggs, the boiled carrots, the orange, the milk/half&half, and a good chunk of the wheat-cheerios-like-thingys. And that was after the breakfast of 6 oz of milk/half&half, banana, puffed wheat, and apricots.
After we jointly destroyed the humongous pizza slice, and I had stopped singing at her, she was already in a better mood. Then we danced around in front of the pizza place, in the rain, and that even brought out a little smile. So then, there was only one thing to do: The Drive-Around Top Ten!
For those of you that are unfamiliar with how this goes, listen carefully: You put one kid in car-seat. Put yourself behind the wheel. Find a winding country road, preferably surrounded on all sides with lots of things to gawk at, like trees, and bulls, and barns, and bikers, and more trees, and babbling brooks, and more trees, and dogs. Did I mention trees? While this is happening, you set your iPod on random. And look for songs that bring forth more smiles. And skip passed those that cause the kid to cry (see later).
I always thought the iPod was meant for me. I mean, my wife had an inscription put on the back: "for the dad..." Turns out that was all wrong. This widget was meant for bringing out smiles on my daughter's face. And boy, does she have a mostly solid, if somewhat unusual taste in music! For a one-year old at least, I think.
So without further adieu, here is the current Drive-Around Top Ten List:
- Music Non Stop - Kraftwerk (Album: The Mix)
- Mbube - Miriam Makeba (Album: Africa)
- Enter Sandman - Metallica
- It Had To Be You - Frank Sinatra
- Brazil Samba - Michael Kamen (Album: Brazil Soundtrack)
- Wishin' And Hopin' - Dionne Warwick
- On The Street Where You Live - Quincy Jones (Album: Big Band Bossa Nova)
- Sonata in C, K.545 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Born Blind - Sonny Boy Williamson
- Summer In The Country - Roger Whittaker (Album: The Last Farewell)
We made a few stops on the way: On a really interesting parking lot in front of an old supermarket, where my daughter wanted to crawl around, and in a field of brown cattle, where we ate a lot of flowers. By the time we were back home, the smile had reached her eyes, and there was no more grumpiness to be seen.
So this is my advice to girls that say they are feeling grumpy today: Go out in a field and eat some flowers, have a sloppy pizza too, and find your favorite music. I guarantee it will drive that grumpiness away.