I've always been prone to what can best be referred to as the Church Giggles - when you start giggling at an inappropriate time, and then you can't stop because it's so inappropriate. Also, the annoying pre-laughing at the punchline giggles, where sometimes I'm trying to tell a joke and I start giggling uncontrollably so that by the time I get to the end, I can barely speak (annoying!). Tonight while I was singing Nico's bedtime songs, Indy wandered past the open doorway, and it reminded me of an incident earlier in the evening.
Nico and I had walked over to the playground down the block for a bit, and left Indy in the yard while we were gone. When we got back, Indy was so thrilled to see us that he started leaping around and, before I could stop him, jumped up to pinball off of Nico. Except Indy weighs 55 pounds and Nico weighs 27 pounds, so he pretty much utterly bulldozed Nico. Nico went down in the grass, Indy bounded off with me shouting "No!" after him, and then Nico - bless his heart - got up laughing and chased Indy down the sidewalk. And I know it's not really funny, I should be thinking Oh, what a close call! and wringing my hands or something...but, dude. I thought about Indy wiping Nico out and because he didn't get hurt, it was funny, in that horrible-but-funny way that videos of little kids getting wiped out by animals are always funny, where you laugh and you think I shouldn't laugh because he could've been hurt, but I can't stop laughing.
So when I saw Indy walk by the door, the comedic qualities of the moment in the yard hit me, and I had a brief Church Giggle fit. I think I would've made it through, but Nico saw me struggling not to grin, and he started grinning at me. That set me off again, and then he started giggling, and we ended up in this Church Giggle Feedback Loop. It started with me probably being a bit of an asshole mom, laughing at my poor toddler getting flattened by his own dog, but it morphed into this incredibly sweet moment. At rest and in his frequent moments of serious consideration Nico looks just like his father, but in motion, his expressive face is a mirror of mine. His crinkled eyes, his wide grin, the dimple in his cheek -- seeing it reflected back at me along with his infectious toddler giggles was pretty great. I thought to myself, "This right here, this is reason enough to have a kid."
Reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Playing: The King is Dead by the Decemberists