Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bad Idea

So in the midst of changing Ashlinn's diaper this morning, I went to her closet to see if I could find an outfit that would actually fit her (still in size newborn), and then came across a handprint/footprint kit I'd received at her Billings baby shower. I loved the gift with its cute engravable picture frame and pink, baby-safe ink. I decided to hold off on the diaper and wrap her in a towel so I could dip her hand and foot in ink and then give her a bath to wash everything off. I was actually excited at that moment at the thought of recording memories we could physically look back on and compare for years to come, and thought my biggest issue would be, "where can I hang these frames in the nursery?". Wrong.

I decided I would nurse her to keep her content and then do the deed. I got her foot done with no issues. Then came the hand. I was stumped on the proper procedure to do her hand as she always has it curled up in a fist. I decided to be an informed adult and refer to the directions. "Press hand and foot firmly on ink pad, then press firmly on designated paper. Wait for ink to dry and place in picture frames. Hang, and enjoy!" Sounds so easy, if only. I kept trying to pry her fingers apart and as I was successful with one digit, the prior would snap closed. I tried this little song and dance for about 5 minutes when Ashlinn decided she was done playing along and began to fuss. As if to reason with a 6-week old, I cried out, "But I have to record how tiny your hands were at this age. Don't you want to be able to look back and see how precious you were?!". She responded by wailing.

Luckily for me, or so I thought, her arms were now outstretched in anger, fingers included, and I knew I had to seize the opportunity. I quickly pressed her hand in the ink pad, waited for her to spread her fingers again, and went to press it, firmly as the directions suggested, onto the piece of paper. I'd forgotten about a few millennia of reflexes baby have at this age whereby the instant pressure is applied to the palm of their hand, they curl their fingers into a tight fist. I'd read somewhere that this is a useless reflex leftover from our days as apes where, if a baby ape fell from his mother's back or arms up high in a tree, a branch would eventually trigger his reflex and he'd be able to hold on for dear life until Mommy came to the rescue. Creationists, fret not - I have not decided where I stand on the whole humans are decedents of apes theory. Anyway, instead of this looking like baby's first handprint, it looks more like baby's first finger painting lesson. Smears of pink ink cover the paper, and by now, Ashlinn is fuming.

She's ripped the towel away from under her, I now realize as a part of her master plan. She proceeds to relieve herself on my pant leg, and just as she finishes with number 1, she decides to go for number 2 in the same spot. In all of the excitement, Ashlinn reminds me of her age-old philosophy in that, in the absence of burping, what goes down must come up. I'm quickly reminded as I'm trying to clean my pant leg and her off, and Ashlinn projectile vomits all over my shirt.

Still screaming, I rush her to the bath I'd drawn before the whole mess started and start to hose her off under the faucet because I do not want her bathing in a bathtub full of body fluids. I forgot that our water temperature likes to change dramatically downstairs and upset this already screaming baby by holding her under a stream of ice cold water. I finally get her in the tub, try my best to bathe her, and then wrap her up in her towel and blanket and try to soothe her. I nurse her a few minutes later and the entire time she is staring at me, with a horrible looking scowl on her face. Mothers love to record moments of firsts like the baby's first smile, first steps, first words, etc., and I realized then that, had Ashlinn had a cellphone or even a computer to use, she would have texted me baby's first "WTF?!".

Another fun memory in the adventures of babyhood.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh!!!! I am so glad that story is recorded. I hope you kept the messed up hand print to go with it! It's perfect! I can picture the whole fiasco - very funny! There is no doubt who is in control these days!