On Saturday afternoon, I visited an old friend from college who just had her first baby a few weeks ago. We’re the later bloomers of our class – most of our former classmates have kids in grade school or older now – so it was such a joy to spend time with her and chit-chat about poop and spitty messes, the particular nuances of working motherhood when once is well-established in one’s career, and so on. We took baby for a little ride to a row of secondhand shops and did some thrifting. She’s such a tiny, tidy little package I just held her in one arm, cuddled up to my chest, so her mama could shop hands free.
Isn’t she delightfully teeny? I normally don’t get all gushy over babies – even my own, really – but she was so very sweet and belongs to one of the sweetest couples I know who waited so long for her. It made me very happy.
That’s the first quilt I made in a long time (quilting is not my forte, as my mom is uniquely gifted and keeps us all in quilts anyway) and I was so tickled at how it turned out. Nothing fancy, but it did inspire me to try more quilting again in the future – making a quilt is like making a lovely, giant puzzle. Poppy has all these fun features for free-motion embroidery and decorative stitching, so we’ll have to set aside some time to try that out.
When I headed home from my visit, I was suffering from a curious case of baby fever – very unusual for me, as we long ago decided that the twins were our complete family and we would not have any more. But shopping with the other baby just filled me with these peculiar thoughts, about how EASY it would be if we had just one more, how SIMPLE it would be to wear just one baby and get things done, how CHEAP it would be since we have all the stuff already, how PEACEFUL with only one newborn to cuddle…
I was on the verge of asking Dan to reconsider when I got home. There was noise in the nursery – naptime was over and I was there just in time to get the girls up.
OH MY GOD.
A few weeks ago, we took the crib rails off and gave the girls a little freedom, expecting we’d have to do some work to get them to stay in their beds. It was something of a necessity, as they are now big enough to fling themselves ungracefully (and dangerously) over the rails. They had been doing okay with the new situation – Juniper especially, the girl loves her sleep – but Marigold was struggling to keep herself reined in. We’ve pretty much emptied the nursery in preparation to move their room to another part of the house, so we figured she could just bounce off the walls of the empty room and not wreak too much havoc.
Let me repeat. OH MY GOD.
“Mommy, I lotion!” said Marigold proudly, showing me her arms and legs. But it wasn’t lotion, it was caked on her like a paste, gunky like a diaper cream, which would be hell to get off but…
Juniper just shook her head and pointed at her sister. “No no.”
I yanked the tube out of her hands and shrieked. I grabbed her and hauled her to the bathroom, stripped her to her diaper and began scrubbing with a washcloth and hand soap.
When Marigold was a newborn, she was diagnosed with a small labial adhesion. It’s a not-uncommon condition for little girls, especially preemies, and doesn’t require much work to fix. Some people opt to leave it to potentially resolve on its own, but the untreated condition can lead to issues with cleaning, UTIs and other bacterial infections, which are no joke in an infant who can’t tell you what hurts. So we decided to do the treatment – a teeny-tiny dab of a certain cream on the spot every day for a few weeks till the adhesion dissolved.
Marigold was covering herself in concentrated estrogen.
As soon as I got her sufficiently cleaned, I hit Google – could one overdose on this stuff? Should I call poison control? Would she turn into a werewolf? Mostly satisfied that there was no evidence of any bizarre or scary side effects, I began peppering Dan with rhetorical questions.
“How did she get this?”
“Do you know how long it’s been since we even used this?”
“Two and a half years, it’s been YEARS. It was a house ago, why did we even move this?”
“Where was it in the closet? How could she reach anything but the books and toys?”
I wasn’t even really asking him, he just happened to be there – lucky guy.
Marigold had a crazy evening. It might have just been normal toddler crazy, but she was a full-on drama queen: up and down, rage and snuggles, pouts and tears, all-around LOUD. Good lord, I thought, how much of that stuff did she absorb? Should I have used a different soap? A loofah?
“How long was she up before I went in there?” I asked in Dan’s direction, trying to calculate the length of exposure and the approximate area of skin covered, wondering for the dozenth time if I should call the doctor.
Anyway, she’s fine. But it just goes to show you, you can THINK you’ve got things all put away, or thrown away, or locked up, safe and sound – but there can always be something. Be gentle with one another’s mistakes.