For those of you who are fellow parents, I hope you will relate to this…oh how I hope so. If not, I may feel like I am a bad mother who abandons her son naked in the cold bathroom with nothing but a toilet for entertainment.
For those of you who aren’t well, this is one of those moments that being a new mom is all about. One of those things that you couldn’t imagine ever happening until it actually does.
As I think I’ve mentioned, we are cloth-diapering Max. Its actually been fairly easy, however, now that Max is older and pigging out on solid food, we’ve had to make a few adjustments. We don’t have a changing table in his room as there isn’t enough space, and he’d likely sommersault off it anyways. When he was really little we just threw a change mat down in the top of the crib. When he started sitting we lowered his crib and usually change him on a mat on the floor. Our beautiful wood floors which have a gorgeous snow-white wool carpet in the nursery (new momma mistake #1).
Lately, changing Max is a trial in patience, a test of endurance and a feat of strength. The minute he is naked he wants to squirm out of my grasp and move that naked and free body as fast as he possibly can down the hallway. He hates being on his back, so we often change him standing, or straddling our knee. If both Rob and I are around we tag team him. One of us pins him to the ground while the other forces the diaper on him. If I’m on my own, Max usually wins, and all I can do is hope that he makes it off the carpet and on to the wood floors before he starts making freedom puddles, or worse.
Rob and I have an unspoken rule whereby whoever has been away the longest from Max (aka the working baby daddy or mommy) and not had their fill of changes during the day gets the nightly honour. Now that I’m at work the nightly changes are momma-bonding time. Tonight was no exception. Holding Max at arms length, Rob said, “he stinks”. Suddenly Max was in my arms, and we were headed for the dreaded change.
You never know how messy its going to be until you’ve actually got the diaper off. And really its impressive that such a little man can make such a big stink. Tonight was no exception. The change started out like any other. I tackled Max, and held him pined to his change mat with arms and legs flailing around me, I desperately tried to keep that dirty bum on the mat and off my carpet. I prepped two wash clothes, and quickly learned that it wasn’t nearly enough. So we headed for changing station number 2. The bathroom. I swung Max under my arm, strategically keeping the dirty bum away from me and anything else that it might threaten, headed for the bathroom. I plopped him in the sink and we finished our business. I scrapped the chunky stuff off the diaper and into the toilet (a joy of cloth diapering). Only then, I realized that I’d left Max’s diaper in his bedroom. I assessed the situation. I would be gone for only a few seconds. He wouldn’t have time to make it to the stairs without me noticing, and other than the cold, hard bathroom floor there were limited baby-hazards in the room. He was also transfixed by his ducky which would buy me an additional 3 seconds….or so I thought. I made the decision to leave him, alone, in the bathroom. I made one fatal error.
I sprinted to Max’s room – about 3 feet away from door to door, and returned triumphantly with diaper. I was gone 5 seconds tops. And there was my son. My curious, inquisitive, playful, creative son. He’d pulled himself to standing and had his naked – and very clean – bum toward me. He was engrossed in whatever it was he was doing. As I approached, I saw with horror that he was leaning over, actually, to be more specific, into the toilet bowl, splashing his hands, and twirling around the chunk of poo that I had flicked off into the water (and not yet flushed thinking I could conserve the water until the next “go”). When he realized that I’d come back, he turned around with a beaming “aren’t you proud of me mommy” smile.
Momma Lesson Learned: Always always always, close the toilet bowl lid.
Max is 8 months and 1 week and already learning to drive.