Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The 5 a.m. bath

If you have a baby, and said baby sleeps with you in your bed, do yourself a favor and get a waterproof mattress pad. Just ... do it.

Last night started out like any other. The baby fell asleep and went through his normal cycles of sleeping 2-3 hours at a stretch, then waking up to feed sleepily, then drowsing right back off again. Toward morning he'd started to be a little fitful while feeding -- a sure sign to THIS now-experienced mother that he had what my husband calls a "project in the works." As a precautionary measure, I got up after the 4:15 a.m. feeding and got a small towel to place under our precious son, congratulating myself all the while on this brilliant prophylactic measure.

So it was about 4:35 when the boy started to really fidget in bed. I smiled in the near-dark, proud of myself that I'd done such a GREAT job of avoiding trouble. (I didn't know, of course, that this diaper would be a blow-out -- it had just been a while, and the boy owed us a good one.) I even reached past the angel-baby to tweak the towel up under him for good measure.

Well, the execution of this project was so noisy that it woke up my husband. "Was that *him*?" he exclaimed. "Of course," I replied, silently wondering if my husband was actually implying that it would be anyone else (namely, ME) making such god-awful bathroom noises while in bed. My husband then mumbled something like, "That's my boy," and rolled over to doze off again. I chuckled and waited the necessary 3-5 minutes to ensure that the boy was actually done, then gathered up my son to change that diaper. That's when I felt the wet patch.

Hearing my "uh-oh" for what it was (a dire commentary on the state of our sleeping arrangements), my husband catapulted from deep sleep into an impressively awake state. His first words were NOT "are you ok?" or "is the baby fine?" but "Is it ON THE BED?" (This should give you a sense of how much he loves our mattress.) After switching on the light, we discovered that the baby had managed to contrive a diaper blow-out *exactly* in the spot where the towel hadn't covered the bed. Of course. To paraphrase a somewhat forgettable movie from the 1980s ... the little insect was just waiting for that to happen.

So I plopped the munchkin onto his changing table to deal with the mess, and my husband sprang into "save-the-mattress" mode. While he wrangled wet washcloths, fabric brushes, carpet stain removers and detergent pens, I wrestled with our now-wide-awake and delighted three-month-old, whose toothless grin had all of us laughing within minutes. As Hyper-Diaper chuckled and chortled at me, no doubt enormously proud of his accomplishment, I tried in vain to get his jammies off over his head without smearing his work over the rest of him (though I narrowly avoided getting it in his hair, thank God). I looked at my husband, who surveyed the damage, sighed deeply, and said, "I'll go get his bath ready."

It's yet another sign (as if I needed it) that I married the right guy in that my husband then cheerfully accepted the inevitable and we had a fun (though somewhat shortened) bathtime session with Little Bit -- less than half an hour before my husband's alarm was scheduled to go off to get up for work. Cleaned up, dried off and re-dressed, the boy went peacefully back to sleep, as my husband hopped into the shower for his own ablutions, and I laid in bed, blessed with the knowledge that I'm the luckiest girl I know, despite the vile pile of linens that awaited me in the daylight.

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