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The Littlest Tomasulo

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Worst Bath Ever

Some few of you may know that there was a time when I kept track of my worst showers. This wasn't hard--it was a list of two, and they were really awful. I can no longer remember what number 1 was, but number 2 was the time at my friend's house in New York when, in separate incidents during the same shower, I fell in the tub and bruised my knees AND broke the faucet--which was not only embarrassing, but resulted in blazing hot water pouring down on me with all the force of (forgive me, Linden) the Minnicks' UBERPRESSURE.

I really wish I could remember what incident kept that as my second worst shower for so long.

Now, though, I can claim the distinction of being able to name my son's Worst Bath Ever. It took place this morning, and it failed not only in planning AND execution, but also in just plain luck. Let me tell you more.

I knew he needed a bath today, and I was planning to give it this afternoon, since we're going out for lunch. But at breakfast, he not only managed to get both fists into his mouth--which was full of pears and rice cereal at the time--but he also sneezed a mouthful of that same combination all over him, me, and everything nearby. After we both had a good laugh over that (well, I laughed over that; I think was laughing at me laughing), it seemed only reasonable to give him a bath now, rather than mop him up halfway and then scrub later.

So, Adam's not a big fan of baths. But my mom came up with a strategy that helps: put him in the bath in his clothes, then take them off in the water. Whatever the reason, it helps a little. Since I'd just gotten him dressed, I didn't want to ruin his outfit, so I put him in the sink in just his diaper. I gave him almost no warning--off with the outfit, plop in the sink--and startlement got me a few minutes of befuddled, slightly anxious calm. I scrubbed his feet and legs and hands and face (solving all the food-slobbering problem). Then I took off his diaper.

Here, things start to go awry. Luck and lack of planning meant that there was a big ball of poo in his diaper. I got it out of the sink and kept it in the diaper (mostly), but then I had to clean his bum. And he started to get antsy.

I'm going to spare you the details of this scene, except to say I mostly managed to pull it off (no pun intended). I did keep my head together enough to clean everything EXCEPT his bum first, and then his bum. That is all the info you really need.

Ah, but our story is not over yet. By this point (still poopy-bummed), he's starting to panic. And because he's Adam, he's not crying--no, he's grabbed my shirt and holding on for dear life, all the while making desperate eye contact. Picture a crazy guy in an old black and white movie grabbing someone's lapels and not letting go as our hero tries to pry him off. This is the grip he had on my shirt.

I had him standing in the sink at this point, since sitting in the water is the part he hates. And this is where I realized....wait for it....

The towel is in the living room.

So, to refresh--we're standing at the sink, desperate baby clinging to my front, not a towel to be found, surrounded by the remnants of a slightly poopy bath (recall: the poop stayed in the diaper. The bath was not corrupted.)

Eventually, I just sucked it up. I blotted him on the towel that lines the sink (the dry part) and let him drip his way across the room to the changing table. Finished cleaning him, dried him with the real towel, diapered, clothed. He never screamed once, and in fact laughed along with me in relief once I had him on the changing table. I put him on the floor and wiped up the drips in the kitchen, scrubbed everything that may have been poopy, and set up a load of laundry. So: baby's clean, clothes are getting washed, all's right with the world.

Is it wonderful or sad that I'm really, really proud of myself?

P.S. To potential future houseguests: all towels that were soiled today are dedicated towels. They serve no purpose but to sit under the baby's bum in the bath. You may shower here with impunity.


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