Because we dealt with a little bout with separation anxiety, the Bread Winner and I are taking some steps towards getting more time for me and Nugget. It’s actually full family time, because clearly, Nugget has decided that Mom is awesome, and that Dad is that strange guy who happens to pick her up every once in awhile.
A little background on the separation anxiety. Apparently, when babies finally realize that they are not actually connected to Mom anymore, it isn’t uncommon for them to cling strongly to one parent. When that parent is also the food provider, it can leave the other parent out in the cold. I mean, true, I expected that eventually Nugget would decide that I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, and that she wouldn’t want me to be around her, but I figured I would have until she started dating before that really became an issue. I think I was just holding on too tightly to the notion of “Daddy’s Little Girl”.
Anyway, part of our attempts to get Nugget to enjoy spending time with Daddy have also been tied to attempts to get her to start on a more normal sleep pattern. I say normal, because, well, babies don’t always have a set schedule. While Nugget does generally have her largest bulk of sleep during the night hours, she’ll usually start that sleep anywhere between 8pm and 2am. This is a fine schedule for me (even if it does cut seriously into my video game time), but this can be tough on the Bread Winner. See, she likes to be in bed right around the time that Jon Stewart brings out his interviewee (we watch a lot of comedy news, and not all of it on CNN). We’ve been doing baby massage, switching her into her pajamas, and just trying to give her one really good feeding so that she can rest.
We’re also incorporating bath time into this ritual. Mind you, Nugget isn’t even crawling yet, so she doesn’t need a bath every day. We really only give her baths when she spits up all over everything (like an Old Faithful of baby puke), or when she’s just been too sloppy of an eater and she’s starting to smell like rancid cheese. Last night was the first time that I was the one who was in charge of giving Nugget her bath. It’s still a two-person job, generally, but that’s just to get everything organized, and it’s way easier to wash her back and butt when the other parent is holding her.
She’s still getting bathed in the sink (although that will have to stop soon, since she’s a freaking Hulk baby). So, our set-up is sink, sink comfort/support thingie (ours is a pink flower, because we apparently fell to gender pressures, or because it’s freaking adorable), extra towel in the thingie to gather the water, washcloth for her tummy (to keep her warm), washcloth for the washing, a towel for drying her, and baby soap. Oh, and water. Can’t forget about the water. Otherwise, it would be the most pointless baby bath ever.
So I’m giving a bath to Nugget, and everything’s going just fine. I even wash her little girly parts, because, gosh darn it, I am a grown-ass man, and I can do that, provided it’s my own child. After we’ve got her most of the way clean, I dry her off a little bit so that I can lift her out of the sink (yes, she needs to be a little dry first. Have you ever picked up a wet baby? It’s like trying to hold on to mercury, except with more cooing). I get her up against my chest, and the Bread Winner performs the final bit of the wash-and-rinse cycle for this baby bath. That done, I wrap up Nugget all nice and tight in her towel, so that she can be dry before we tuck her into her pajamas.
And then we hear a little dripping onto the floor.
Honestly, both of our first thoughts was “Huh, maybe we didn’t get Nugget completely dry, so there’s just a little water dripping off her legs”. That first thought only lasted for about a half-second. It quickly became clear that there was absolutely no way that Nugget was just dripping excess bath water.
She was peeing.
In my arms.
Actually, against my chest.
Peeing like her life depended on it.
I’ve mentioned the baby Tardis bladder before, and she seems to have tapped into that again, at least a little. Clearly, I’ve become a parent, as my reaction wasn’t to try and get the pee machine as far away from me as possible, but to hold her out a little further away from me, so as to hopefully not get pee all over my clothes. My pants thanked me for my quick thinking. My shirts, on the other hand, wish I’d been quicker. But, in my defense, it’s really hard to think that quickly when you’re fighting the urge to laugh hysterically, possibly scaring your child, which will only make them pee even harder.
Through her own laughter, the Bread Winner got everything cleaned up around the sink, while I went to get Nugget all diapered and dressed. This part, at least, went off without a hitch. It wasn’t until after the incident, and Nugget had fallen asleep, that it was pointed out to me that I should have brought a diaper with me before the bath, just in case.
Look, I’m still learning. And you think it’s funny that I’ll wear a bathing suit when Nugget actually starts using the bath tub.