Written by Joe Janes
261 of 365
Baby Milosh, two months
(In the dark we hear a baby crying.)
It’s you turn.
It’s your turn.
I have to get up in two hours. (Pause) Fine.
(We hear shuffling and a lamp is turned on onstage. We see Kevin, in a bathrobe, looking haggard, and standing near a crib. )
Shhh, shhh, hey, there little guy. Hey, there. Everyone in the world is trying to sleep except for you. (He picks up Milosh, who continues to cry.) I have to work in the morning. Which it already is. Morning. I need too get up and get ready in two hours. What’s the matter, baby? Work with me, here. If Daddy doesn’t get any zzzz’s, he’ll fall asleep at his desk, again. (Pause) You hungry? Need a little snack to get you through the night? Mmmm, look what I’ve got. (He pulls a small bottle of formula out of his robe pocket.) It’s pizza. Okay, it’s not pizza. Sorry, I lied to you. But I promise, some day, you will eat pizza. You will eat pizza at night, during the day; you will even eat it for breakfast. It is quite possible that after a rough night, you will awaken to find you have transformed the pizza you were eating into a pillow. And it will not bother you. It is nature’s most perfect food. You don’t want your ba-ba? No ba-ba? (Milosh is still crying) What is up, dude? You’re not wet or smelly…Okay, okay. Let’s go for a stroll. This side of the room is lovely this time of night. Do you like the baby sheep? Me, neither. Looks like cotton balls with googlie eyes. Mommy painted them. I’m not sure why she wanted to adorn your walls with stinky farm animals. No wonder you can’t sleep. Don’t worry. Someday, you will eat them. Probably out of spite. Probably on pizza. (Milosh is still crying) Not enjoying your midnight stroll? Let’s see. (He looks in to the crib.) You want your rattle? (He holds it up) No? Okay, how about your pacifier? It’s like a nipple toy. No? (He looks at the nipple and puts it in his own mouth. He gives it a try.) Daddy kind of digs this. (He puts it back in the crib. Milosh is still crying) Let’s have a seat. (He sits and starts to sing to the softly crying Milosh.) “Hush, little Milosh, don’t you cry/ Daddy’s gonna sing you a lullaby? And if that lullaby don’t work/ Mommy’s gonna think you’re a great big jerk” (Milosh still cries.) Don’t you hunger desperately for my approval? No? I need to expand my lullaby repertoire. What are you looking at, baby boy? What are you looking at? …What are your looking at? (Kevin looks around, making sure they’re alone.) Well, okay. Let’s see if that works. (He opens his robe and puts Milosh up to his bare breast. Milosh stops crying and contently noshes on Kevin’s boob.) You like that. It tickles. But it also feels pretty good. Mommy’s been holding out. Let’s see if the other one works. (He switches Milosh to his other breast.) Ew, boy, you’re slobbering all over my boobs.
Like father, like son.
(She flicks on an overhead light revealing she is standing in the doorway. Claire is also in a bathrobe.)
KEVIN (standing, whispering)
Honey, it’s not what it looks like.
You are a very sick man.
I was just trying to keep him from crying. Look, it’s working.
(Claire considers this.)
(She turns the overhead light off.)
Hey, take over for me. I have to work.
CLAIRE (walking off)
Looks like you don’t need me. Goodnight.
(Kevin sits back down. Milosh has gone to sleep.)
Oh, hey, look who’s gone off to sleepy land. Yeah. Daddy can go back to sleep. (He puts Milosh back in the crib) Ew. (He picks a chest hair off of Milosh’s face. Blackout.)