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Planning With The Baby by Ray Printer Friendly

When you have a baby, things don't always go according to plan. In fact, they usually don't, so it's important to be able to improvise, change on the go, and be able to accept that sometimes, you're just going to have to give in to defeat.

This is strange for me, because although I've spent most of life waffling between carefully-planned structure and a dangerously stupid level of spontaneity, it has always been up to me when that was going to change.

Now, it's up to a kid that hasn't been around for even a year.

The most recent example of this happened yesterday. His mother was out of town photographing a wedding. She was on the road before the baby and I woke up, and she wasn't scheduled to be home until late evening.

I prepare for days alone with the baby by planning as many activities as possible. We do things ranging from swinging on the porch to going on road trips to walking the aisles of the grocery store. As soon as he got fussy yesterday, we hit the road. This worked out well for both of us, because he got a much-needed nap on the drive, and I was able to make it to McDonald's early enough for a Sausage McMuffin.

We spent the day shopping for groceries and looking at toys, and doing pretty much anything other than sitting in the house. When we did return home, I was able to keep him happily entertained for the couple of hours before The Mom was to return home.

I knew that when she got home, no matter how tired she was, she'd want to hold the baby, and probably dole out a day's worth of snuggles and kisses. My plan, when she arrived, was to have a happily-fed, well-napped baby, wearing a nice, clean outfit.

The baby had other plans, which included pooping his pants shortly before her arrival.

"We have to get you changed, sir," I told him as he jumped merrily around in his play pen. He seemed open to this idea, so I grabbed him up and headed back to the changing table. He smelled exceptionally awful, but since we're feeding him baby food named things like "rice and chicken" and "turkey and gravy," I can't blame him. I don't know if the food actually contains the ingredients it's named after, because it all sort of smells like if you put a wet cat in a trash bag with some chicken broth and then shook it up real good.

Something in his little baby body makes it smell about ten thousand times worse, so the horrid stench wasn't anything new. The wetness on my arms, however, was.

"What's going on, here?" I asked him. He looked at me innocently, just as perplexed as I was.

Occasionally, he gets a little rowdy with his bottle, so picking him up and finding that he's a little damp isn't a surprise. What is a surprise is looking down and finding that your arms are covered in baby feces.

Which was the case.

"Oh...dear," I said.

He giggled, clearly not understanding the direness of the situation.

To be honest, I didn't fully understand at that time, either. Once I stepped from the dark hallway and into his room, it became painfully apparent.

I won't get into too much detail, because gross, but the kid managed to get poo in spots that I didn't even realize he could reach. I wasn't sure how it had happened--the pooping had just finished, so it wasn't like he had a lot of time to plan this caper, and I hadn't left him alone, so I'm not sure what kind of magic he used to cover himself so thoroughly--and I wasn't sure how to deal with it.

My first step was to put him in his crib. I knew he'd be safe in there, and I knew I could wash the sheets afterwards. He was fine with it, so I moved on to the next step, which was scrubbing myself with scalding water and as much soap as I could dump into the palm of my hand. I know that sounds a little bit selfish, but there was no way I could devise a game plan while I was covered up to my elbows in used turkey with gravy.

Once that was accomplished, I marched back down the hall and began trying to clean him up. I knew he was going to need a bath, but I also knew that if I put him in the tub as he was, he wouldn't be coming out any cleaner.

So...baby wipes?

I began wiping, and realized that I was going to need a trash bag--every time I put a used wipe at the end of the crib, he managed to get one of his feet into the pile, and the cleaning process started anew.

As I walked up the stairs to get a bag, I heard the most wonderful sound: the front door being opened. I was pretty sure it was The Mom, but even if it had been a home invasion, I can't say for certain that I wouldn't have welcomed it, at that point.

"Hi," she called, blissfully unaware of what awaited her.

"Thank goodness!" I yelled. "I need you to start a bath, stat!"

"What's going on?"

"The less you know, the better off you are. There's poop, just...just everywhere."

So after spending the entire day on the road and working, she didn't get to come home to her perfect little family waiting to love on her. Instead, she got to come home to a place that smelled like a recently abandoned slaughterhouse, and her family literally covered head to toe in excrement.

She was a trooper, though--she jumped right in on the cleaning duty after starting the bath, and got him dressed and lotioned up after I bathed him.

I guess the moral of the story is don't let the baby make the plans, because babies have a weird idea of what's fun. Also, despite my claims, I am in no way responsible enough to be left alone with someone who doesn't make good choices.



Posted under The Rants on 4/17/16


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