Babies have a way of surprising you at inopportune times, as new mom APRIL DREW is discovering – be it with smiles at four in the morning, or an unexpected delivery at an Easter dinner party.
I’m having one of those days. You know, the kind of day where you wake up in the morning (by morning I mean 4 a.m., which in my baby-free life was considered the middle of the night) to a teething baby who spends the rest of day out of sorts and needing his mommy’s full attention.
Up to recently Colum Mooney – five months on April 29 – had been sleeping just like the textbooks had predicted, 7 p.m. to 6 or 7 a.m. with a night feed (the dream feed we like to call it) at 10:30 p.m., but the past few nights have been somewhat challenging.
It’s his teeth, the poor fella. It’s not that he wakes up crying, quite the contrary actually. He just baby talks really loud, manages to twist his little body around the crib until he gets stuck in a corner and he finally becomes frustrated.
Both my husband, John, and I take turns getting up to tuck him back into his blankets, rub some Bonjela (imported via Mom from Ireland) into his gums and soothe him back to sleep, but this morning Colum was awake at 4 a.m., and fun was top of his agenda.
It’s sometimes hard that early in the morning to muster up enough energy to give him what he wants, but he has wised up to what makes us tick. One little smile and we’re putty in his hands -- yes, even that early.
And smiles he brought this morning, lots of them, making it possible for his sleep deprived mommy and daddy to come to terms with the early hours. So up we got, and there began our day.
My brother, Gavin, and his girlfriend, Carol, are visiting from Ireland. As every second with them is precious, a family day in the city was planned.
However, as 9 a.m. fast approached and Colum still hadn’t gone down for a nap, even after two feeds, I knew I didn’t have the energy or interest in making the big journey into the city, a journey I've completed several times alone and, let me tell you, it’s one hell of a challenging trek with a stroller. (There are 42 steps at my Metro North stop and no elevator).
But what really confirmed my decision not to go was Colum’s little “accidents” in the space of a few minutes this morning.
Let me rewind to yesterday. We had a lovely Easter Sunday dinner with our neighbors – thanks Geraldine Gleeson for having us -- and just before we left the party my little dude decided to mortify his mommy.
Just as I sat myself down to feed Colum on a spanking new over-sized beige couch the noises started. You know the noise I’m talking about. It was accompanied by a very red face and several loud grunts. This only meant one thing!
Because the afternoon was very warm I had stripped him down to his vest and diaper. Bad idea, because midway through his grunts John came in and said, “Oh God April, look at your jeans.”
Being a joker at the best of times, I assumed my husband was pulling my leg but something in his face told me that maybe I should look down, and just as well I did.
Colum had pooped out the side of his diaper, all down his legs and onto my new expensive pair of jeans. He just missed the new beige couch.
I swooped him up and made a quick exit to our own apartment to give him a bath. This was the first time I had been pooped on. Peed on yes, several times, but this was a first so it was fair to think I’d drawn the short end of the stick on Sunday.
Little did I know then what the universe had in store for me on Monday.
So back to this morning. I summoned up whatever bit of energy I had left to change Colum from his night clothes into new summer ones that his Nana Liz had sent over from Ireland.
Because Gavin and Carol are staying in Colum’s room he has been sleeping in his crib in our room and all the necessary baby accessories are there too, making it way too cluttered but that’s beside the point. I needed to leave the room for a second to get his clothing so I placed him on the bed, naked.
Lesson number one -- never leave a naked baby, especially a boy, on an expensive plush pillow-top bed that you plan to have for eternity.
When I returned to the room I could see from the corner of my eye Colum eating his right foot, but what I didn’t notice until I got closer was pee trickling down the other side. At that point it looked like he was finishing so instead of risking the chance of getting myself showered in baby pee I decided to let him be.
When the coast was clear I removed his little foot from his mouth, picked him up so I could clean up the mess and get him dressed.
Peeing on the bed wasn’t enough. He made one of those half coughs-half chocking sounds and up came his whole bottle.
It slid, all eight ounces of it, down his belly, onto his chunky thighs and formed a white pool around his bum. He was destroyed, and so was all my bed linen. More laundry and it’s only 9 a.m. (Side bar -- John flooded the bathroom this morning and I was out in the laundry room at 6:30 a.m. washing towels and bath mats.)