Monday, August 18, 2008

Vintage Lil' Dude

This week the lil' dude is at her grandparents' . . . again . . . so what better way to pass the time than by reminiscing about the days when she was brand new?

When the Dad and I were in childbirth class for a weekend last September (a weekend where he slept with his eyes open and I ate 7 Nutty Bars from the vending machine) we had to fill out a questionnaire without our partner's help. The questions were about pregnancy, looming delivery, and first days at home with the baby bundle. We each answered the questions independently and shared them with each other when finished.
One of the questions was, "who will give your baby its first bath?"
No-brainer: my mom. Baby's Grandma!
The Dad was appalled at my answer. He asked me why I wouldn't be the first person to do it. I tried explaining to him that once I went through 31.5 hours of labor, 10 days past my due date that I wouldn't have the energy or know-how. I would probably be at happy hour or eating bleu cheese in a hot tub somewhere. Grandmas show up just in the nick of time to clean babies the first time, it's a rite of passage.
And true to my answer, my mom arrived on our doorstep the morning after we were discharged.
She asked what I needed, wanted. I said, "my dirty baby needs a bath."

Mom . . . ? Mom, MOM!!! Mom, what is she DOING!!!

So we gathered up the lil' dudes' bath things, steamed up the bathroom, and got down to the business of cleansing. I watched my mom, the expert. It was so hot in the bathroom, I was stripped down to my tank top. 3 days postpartum, that was traumatic too . . .

Stop it stop it STOP IT! I liked being dirty!

I asked my mom how often I would have to repeat this ritual. She looked at me. "Everyday. Babies smell like pee. Make sure you keep the bathroom hot and be careful of her belly button." Well, at least one of us would be clean everyday, I thought.

Ok, I calmed down. I never have to repeat that again, OK?

You have to remember I was sure I was having a boy, so the few things we had bought pre-baby were awfully boyish. Why she has her pants yanked up to her sternum is a good question. Her socks wouldn't stay up on her chicken legs either, so Grandma improvised giving her the late '80s look. I loved it.

During that bath we also took her tags off, deciding we would keep her. We carefully snipped off her wrist and ankle bracelets.
So, when I have another baby, I will still write "Grandma" on the bath question even though I know how to do it. I just think it's their job and entitlement.

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