Sunday, October 26, 2008

Maneuvers (younger child edition)

Also on the list of what I'm calling bullshi*t tonight: that old guilt-inducing gem that I should be putting my child to bed "drowsy but awake." There is no way this kid is going to agree to be placed in her crib while still awake and just happily stay there.

Whatever, she's still a baby. I'm not interested in being upset about this little flaw in our perfect parenting. She gets fed and rocked to sleep in the rocking chair, and then transferred to her crib already in slumber. When M puts her to sleep he (obviously) gives her a bottle, but when I have L (like tonight, also known as Night #3 of 4 of Daddy's In Chicago), I nurse her to sleep. And this is when I like to think my genetic assets best come into play. I'm not sure how smaller-chested women transfer their babies. Maybe they're all taller than me.

When she falls asleep against my skin and loosens her suction, I leave her face tucked directly into me. Then, holding her carefully against me, I carry her to crib and as I lower her to her mattress I never pull her skin away from hers. When she feels the mattress underneath her and inevitably murmurs a little or awakens slightly, I make sure she feels that I'm still right next to her, and with that (fake) reassurance, she returns to her deep sleep. Only then do I pull away and reposition my clothing.

Before we began bedtime tonight I gave the girls a bath, and as I watched L's behavior in anticipation of climbing in I was struck by its familiarity. Familiarity, not in the sense that I've watched her do this before every bath (though I have), but in the sense that her posture must be just what I look like when I put her to sleep. She was on her tiptoes, bent in half over the rim of the tub, nosediving for her favorite bathtub toys in the too-slowly-for-her-taste rising waters. Her body was so folded over and teetering on the edge of her toenails that she looked more likely to fall face-first into the water than be able to pull herself back, though pull herself back she did, time and again, with the trophies of new bath toys clutched in each fist.

When I reach on my tippiest toes to extend my form alongside hers right into her crib, I must look just like her. The only difference is that when I upright triumphantly, my trophy is a successfully transferred sleeping child. Too bad she won't stay that way for more than a few hours at a stretch. Pin It

Maneuvers (elder child edition)

The thing about pull-ups is that they're bullsh*t. I'm just speaking the truth. They're diapers. But they cost more money and don't have tabs at the top; they have solid tops like underwear. (The tops are solid when they're new, anyway; they rip open when they're, ahem, filled. Then they're breakaways, ripping at each side. My kid won't have learned the lesson of holding her urine, but she will be better prepared for a life as a stripper. Thanks, Pampers.)

So there's this whole intricate dance of awkwardness and germ avoidance when we're in public and need to anoint that tushie with a new pull-up. E was sitting on the potty in a stall in the Nordstrom lounge. Let me exalt this tushie because its owner declared that she needed to use the potty.

She sat. She didn't use the potty.

But, since we had a pishy pull-up dangling between her knees, I advocated for swapping it out with a fresh one anyway. This is how we do this in public: while she was still sitting on the potty I pulled off her shoes and set them on the floor. I pulled off her pants and tried to hold them without putting them anywhere. I pulled off her underpants - the daily supplements to my laundry loads that have never touched direct flesh, because they're worn over her delightful pull-ups. I tried to hold them with the pants without letting them touch anything. I'm, of course, kneeling in front of E's crotch, trying not to touch anything, trying not to let my knees touch anything, counterbalancing my weight on my toes against the tugs of clothing off of her legs. I rip off the old pull-up but I have to shimmy up the new one. I feed the unders up over her legs, the pants over her legs, and her feet back into her shoes. Once her shoes are back on her feet she jumps from the seat to the ground and from their I raise the pull-up, unders and pants to waist level, like rehoisting the flag at daybreak.

So I was working my little pulley pieces and E was making the task even more complex by twisting her torso around to retrieve her Dora potty seat (the insert that makes an adult toilet fit a child tushie). She reached for Dora so she could fold her up, and the automatic flush sensor engaged. E jumped back, startled, and lost her balance in the tangled half-hoisted purplewear I hadn't completely hoisted. In my concern for not touching anything, I toppled forwards into her arm, and my face got smacked with the potty seat in her hand. It was dripping with the splash from the autoflush. But we were in Nordstrom, so I'm sure it was Evian water that carried the Lysol scent and fecal matter to my face. Pin It

Mise en place

This kid wants to read anything that comes in the mail, even if it comes for me. This kid is potty training.

This is why I'm reading cookbook recipes on the floor of the bathroom to the smell of poop. Pin It