Word Count: 627
The day that Carly and Erika were discharged from the hospital, a person working in the nursery said that she'd had this job for nearly a decade, yet was certain that this baby had the loudest cry of any that had been under her care. She had opined that Erika would probably grow up to be an opera singer.
At the time, Jack and Carly were too exhausted to consider the implications of this, and simply thought it was cute. Now, the charm had worn off. Erika wasn't colicky or anything like that...just really, really loud.
“Jack...” Carly sleepily said as the two of them were being serenaded by crying in the middle of the night, “It's your turn.”
“Jack...don't try me.”
Normally, the nurse, who shared a room with Erika, would take care of this. She was paid a very generous salary for this service. However, she got the weekends off, and today happened to be a Saturday. No wait...by now it was Sunday.
By now, Jack had realized that it was, in fact, his turn, and he was getting out of bed.
“I don't remember her being this loud,” he griped.
“That's because you've been traveling for most of her life. Now get in there,” Carly demanded.
Most of the time, she was deeply in love with Jack. Tonight was one of the few times she wasn't. Well, she supposed it was still there somewhere, but currently it was being overruled by a powerful urge to strangle him.
She tried to steal a bit more sleep, only to be jolted back to consciousness when Jack yelled her name.
“She needs her diaper changed. And it's not just wet.”
“Well, then do it. You know how.”
“But...but I...that's not my job!”
Carly ignored him, and soon she heard him fumbling for the proper supplies and muttering a stream of curses in both Japanese and English. She thought about ordering him to watch his language in front of the baby, but decided that as long as he wasn't cursing directly at Erika and/or being loud enough to scare her, there wasn't much of a point.
After a few minutes, Jack walked to the bathroom and washed his hands. Carly had assumed that he would return to the master bedroom after that, but he didn't. Ten minutes passed...then fifteen, then twenty. Finally, she decided to get up and see what was going on.
She found Jack in the rocking chair, holding Erika. Both were fast asleep. Carly's heart melted. Well...maybe she was still in love with him after all. She considered just leaving them there, but concluded that there would be too much of a risk of him dropping the baby.
She gently shook Jack's shoulder, so as not to disturb Erika. He dazedly blinked up at her.
All Carly could think to say was, “You didn't leave her on the changing table when you were washing your hands, right?”
“Of course not!” Jack seemed scandalized that she would even suggest such a thing, but well, you could never quite tell what he'd be able to remember.
“Good. You know, you two are really a lot alike.”
Before Jack could answer, however, Erika woke up...and immediately picked up where she had left off. They had to suspend their conversation to work on calming her down again.
When she was finally in her crib and quiet, Carly remarked, “I think that nurse was right about the opera thing. Think about it...she has the volume, and her crying already sounds more in-tune than your singing voice.”
Jack very nonchalantly gave her the finger.