Sometimes life seems more manageable if I imagine the Benny Hill theme as the soundtrack. Embrace the comedy.
Last week my mama friends and I discussed letting our wee ones roam free, bare bottomed. Not in the elimination toilet training way (total respect, admiration, and bewilderment to parents who are giving that a shot), but for short naked excursions. It’s healthy for them, we’re told; a good sensory experience that helps them develop their motor skills, and gives the skin some much needed breathing time. Since I fancy myself a bit of a hippie eco-mama, naked time was naturally another one of those things I was definitely going to do, back when parenting was but a beautiful, earnest fantasy. In reality, I hadn’t tried it, as, frankly, there are enough messes in the day to clean up (my hippie self and my neurotic self often find themselves at odds with each other and do battle in my head – since that’s Neurotic’s home turf, it usually wins). Feeling inspired by a sister-mama whose philosophy is that it’s just a little more pee and poo, and who proclaimed, “they just love being naked, right?” I resolved to go for it, potential mess be damned.
The Bean awoke just before 6 a.m today. As our morning routine starts with stop at the change pad, I was still bleary-eyed when she pulled the classic baby move of peeing with abandon during a change. Aha! I thought, perfect opportunity for some naked time; she’s just emptied the tank. I left her pjs on at the arms (it’s a bit chilly in the mornings) but left the legs dangling behind her and set her free. And free she was; the Bean is on the MOVE these days, scootching (not quite a crawl, but close enough to count) at a mad rate towards the cat bowl, the cookbooks, the recycling bin; anything that’s specifically not baby friendly. Away she went towards the records while I put the kettle on. Within the time it took to start the coffee, prep a bottle to pump, and quickly check my email (more on the tech addiction that is iParenting in a future post), there was a puddle on the floor, and a baby about to crawl through it. I scooped her up, reminded myself that it’s just pee, and went about cleaning it up. Okay little dude, I thought, you’ve got to be empty now; NOW we’re safe, right?
Baby and floor freshly wiped and dry, I set her back on the floor, aimed her in the direction of her toys, and set about pumping. A few minutes later she wriggled her way past me on the way to the kitchen in the opposite direction at break-neck baby speed, trailing a wet path behind her. I must have missed some? I thought sleepily, and grabbed the cloth again, trying to spy the leftovers while I followed her along the floor, swiping behind her. Still waking up, I realized that this would be an easier task if I picked her up before wiping up, and in doing so found the source: the dragging right leg of her pjs had sopped up yet another rogue pee and was marking her territory as she squirmed across the kitchen. I wrestled the pjs off the moving creature (the Bean does NOT stop to be dressed or undressed these days – ah, those recent halcyon days of immobility!) and went to the sink to rinse the cloth. This was, of course, the perfect opportunity for my sweet little one to change direction and charge toward the unattended breast pump; more alert now, I reached her just in time for her to knock the bottle over, spilling out most of it’s contents.
I do not cry over spilt milk (or urine), but I do know when iI’ve been defeated. I got her dressed and resolved to try another day. Maybe. Just another example of a parenting moment that sounds lovely in theory, but in reality more closely resembles an episode of Fawlty Towers, if Fawlty Towers had more babies. And urine.
(And if you relate to that, you’ll probably like It’s Like They Know Us’s take on parenting.)
Really, the Benny Hill theme. Try it.