Elanor has been struggling with diaper rash this week. The kind that, at its worst, bleeds. We’ve been following advice, laying vaseline on top of the triple paste diaper cream and it has helped, but over the course of a day it seems to get worse.
Today I was bathing Elanor. Her usually smooth skin was covered in angry red sores, several of which were weeping.
A voice popped up in my head, “Naked time can help dry out a diaper rash.”
I nodded in agreement; after all the nurses at my pediatrician’s office were wise and wonderful people and they hadn’t steered me wrong yet.
Naked time=brilliant idea!
The diaper rash will clear up and I will be BEST MOM EVER!!!!
I’m not sure exactly when my connection with reality was severed, or what I thought might happen. Maybe I forgot that my child is not yet potty-trained. Merely buying a potty does not magically transfer the ability to use it or the vocabulary to say “Mommy, I need to use the potty.” Maybe I thought that even if she did poop, it wouldn’t be a big deal–something like when the cat had an accident–a small, hard, formed poop would land on my floor (the only time my child has ever produced this is under extreme constipation and she has not been constipated recently).
My loving spouse was skeptical when he was summoned to take Elanor from the bathroom and I ordered him to NOT diaper the baby, but I insisted it was SOUND ADVICE from a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. He conceded that it was a bad diaper rash, and once I joined them in the living room he left, saying that if she pooped he wasn’t going to be held responsible.
Have I mentioned my husband is a super genius?
I watched E play on the couch with her blocks, and smiled indulgently. My child was having naked time and all was well. Her diaper rash was healing and I was kicking ass at parenting today.
Did I mention I was watching from about 10 feet away? And that it wasn’t until her play brought her within a foot or so of me that a certain RECOGNIZABLE scent wafted through the air.
Oh yeah, she’d pooped.
I looked and saw the poo smeared across her butt cheeks. I gingerly pick her up and dash into the bedroom. I curse as I use towel after towel on her butt, her hip, her thighs, and oh GROSS, her hands. I was handling it okay until I saw the smear of poo at the corner of her mouth, at which point I wailed “RAVI!!!”
I gave him the fast version and explained that I couldn’t handle washing her mouth clean of poo and could he please please please do that while I went on a poo hunt in the living room?
Have I mentioned that he is generous and wonderful under pressure?
There was nothing fun about wandering through our living room looking for poo. Or finding it (raise your hand if you saw this coming from a mile away) the poo smearing our couch and many of the blocks she’d been playing with. I washed all the blocks by hand and they are waiting a trip through the dishwasher for super cleanliness (while I’m totally blase about germs in general, the whole covered in shit thing has me squicked). At least I’m not burning them.
But yeah…I’m sitting her swearing that’s the LAST time I listen to a medical professional. They’re not the ones who had to clean shit off their sofa (thank god for small miracles–we have leather couches so it wasn’t a big deal) or come to the realization that their child just ate some of their own fecal matter.
That Best Mom Ever Award? Went to the mom who turned away for a second and their baby fell off the bed instead. If that was you, take a moment and appreciate that at least your kid didn’t eat their own shit. It’s just one small service I provide–making you feel better about your parenting through my own incompetence.