Bathing a newborn is a harder fought victory than brokering peace between the Naboo and the Gungans. So far, Elisabeth and I have successfully bathed our wailing banshee of a baby three times, with each successive attempt an improvement on the last.
With slightly warmer water, Lorelei wasn’t nearly as nervous or prone to fits of cries as she’d been on the first few attempts. Everything that evening was going swimmingly well, so when the bath ended, Elisabeth settled down with a clean, naked baby for some skin-to-skin contact. Mere minutes out of the water, and with a nappy nowhere in sight, Lorelei pooped, covering Elisabeth and a good patch of our bed too.
The day had begun well, but before we realised what was happening, Elisabeth and I were arguing with one another. Nothing major, just snide remarks or little digs. The sleepless nights were finally catching up with us. We realised simultaneously and laughed together. This was before discovering our boiler was on the fritz and that we’d be without heating or hot water for the better part of that day.
The pooping incident kickstarted a chain of events that evening which saw me running up and down three floors, quickly cleaning and remaking the bed, while Elisabeth mopped up the baby as best she could. Ten minutes (and one change of clothes) later, and Lorelei had thrown up all over her mum. Yes, it was cascading out of both ends. No amount of scatological gags in The Phantom Menace could have prepared us for this.
It’s easy to give into anger, as Master Yoda cations Luke. It’s far harder to rise above it and strive for the peaceful solution. So far as we know, Yoda never had a screaming, pooping, puking baby to contend with. If he had, perhaps his enlightened demeanor might have had a few more cracks.
In any case, it was easy for me to be annoyed and make a fuss of cleaning up as I did last night. And, I’m ashamed to say, I was all huffing and puffing and nasty remarks. After coming to my senses and realising how stupid and short-sighted it was being angry at Elisabeth or holding a grudge for a baby being, well, a baby, I apologised and got the ripe-smelling sheets into the washing machine.
As the soiled clothes and our good intentions were washed clean, I sat and finished reading Delilah S. Dawson’s Phasma. One of the key plot threads within regards the conception, birth and preservation of a baby in an environment where young ones are scarce. It made me realise how thankful and blessed I am, both for Elisabeth’s love and company, but also for our beautiful (and messy) baby.
I knew I’d been foolish and quick to anger and promised myself that I’d strive to be better. Neither of us expected raising a baby to be easy, and so every little smile or quizzical look of our kid needs to be taken with a soiled sheet and ruined bath. No doubt, there’s plenty more of both to come.