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Jody Fuller: Even on an unhappy day, a child can help you put on a happy face
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Jody Fuller: Even on an unhappy day, a child can help you put on a happy face

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Every day with Abby is great. She is such a joy. In fact, the name Abigail actually means “a father’s joy.”

Sunday, Lucy and I took her for a drive and ended up at Mt. Cheaha. We all had the best time! From the farm in Tallapoosa County, it’s only about an hour’s drive, and the entire way is scenic in itself, including the plethora of poultry farms. They start in New Site and keep on going. It was a good day, and my happy face was on full display.

This morning, I didn’t feel very well. My knees were killing me, so I decided to let Abby stay home. That 30-plus-minute one-way drive just didn’t sound too enticing, so we decided to have a daddy-daughter day.

We started off at Floyd’s in Dadeville, one of our favorite places, where we picked up some feed for the horses. I took her in, even though she was still in her pajamas. If I had footy pajamas, I might’ve still been in mine, too. She was playing like she was shy. She does that sometimes.

On the way to the house, she asked, “Where was Elsa?” followed by inquiries about the current locations of Snow White, Moana and Cinderella, so when we got home, we started watching “Cinderella.”

I know it’s not nice to call people ugly, but those two stepsisters would make a train take a dirt road. They are hideous. We’ve watched it over and over the past few weeks. I like it, too, but don’t care one iota about “Cinderella II.” It’s up there with “Grease 2” as far as sequels go.

I sat next to her as she offered me one of her Cheez-Its. “Sharing is caring,” she said. Those sweet words brought out my happy face.

Shortly after that, she stabbed me in the leg with a golf tee. My happy face momentarily went away. It didn’t feel good, but she didn’t mean it. She was just poking me and should have used the other side, which she did the next hundred times.

At some point during the movie, I ran some water to wash a few dishes, but once the bubbles were seen, the sink was quickly commandeered by the 3-year-old. Apparently, her Barbie needed to take a bath, as did her fox and duck, not to mention Minnie Mouse. She, however, had no interest in a bath.

We crawled through the tunnel we made with cardboard boxes a few times. Last night, I crawled under the house to look at some pipes, hence the pain in my knees but training with her recently had me well-prepared for my impromptu plumbing session.

She was almost asleep but then requested a change of clothes. Her pajamas had gotten wet while playing over the sink. I grabbed some Santa Claus footies. I really need to get me a pair.

Eventually, she caved in and agreed to a bath. I picked up some “Bath Buddies” at Target recently, so she had a ball. Literally. She has a ball and a rubber Ric Flair doll.

As I was getting her dressed, I pointed to her right hand and said, “This is your right hand,” followed by, “This is your left hand.” As I was putting on her shoes, I pointed to her right foot and said, “This is your right foot,” followed by, you guessed it, “This is your left foot.”

“Got it?" I asked. “Yes, daddy,” she replied, as I smiled.

She then pointed at my face and said, “And this is your happy face. Got it?”

She most certainly knows how to bring out my happy face, and she is her father’s joy, indeed —no doubt about it.

Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at For more information, please visit


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