Last night, I decided the baby needed a haircut. He was getting dangerously close to a mini-mullet, which is one of the only specific things I’ve resolved not to allow as a mother. So I got everything prepared.

This will be easy, I thought, as I lined up the buzzer, put all the attachments in order, and generally braced myself for a little toddler warfare. I’m stronger than he is, I have everything in order, and besides – he’s in a fantastic mood right now. I could probably vacuum right now, and he wouldn’t mind. And considering the vacuum is tantamount to 10,000 spiders on this kid’s freak-out-o-meter, I figured I had good chances he would hold still. Or at least not scream his head off.

I stripped off all his clothes, except for the diaper. He giggled while I did this, which was a good sign. I brought him into the bathroom, showed him the buzzer, turned it on and showed him again. He seemed interested. I booped it once against his head. (I deliberately set the thing on the longest setting – it didn’t even clip his hair.) He seemed alright with it. So I went and got the attachment I actually wanted.

He held still… sort of. It’s just that he knew that thing was buzzing… and he wanted to keep it in his sights at all times. Which is hard to do when you’re trying to aim it at the back of his head. And as I tried again and again to get at the back of his head, he became increasingly nervous of this thing I wouldn’t let him see. He began a small squirming climb up my chest. Soon I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, holding him against my stomach, on which he was standing at an odd angle. His head was spinning in slow, suspicious circles to keep the clippers in sight. But the job was done in only a few minutes – the mullet was tamed, and that’s all I wanted in the first place.

So I entered Stage 2: bath time. After turning off the buzzer, I was glad to see John was no longer whining… but he was still very suspicious. He clung to me like crazy. I put him down for a few seconds to turn on the water, and he freaked out. He climbed up my legs when he heard the water turn on.

Now, ordinarily, bath time starts with some freaking out. Then I plunk him in the water, he acts like he’s dying, and I sit calmly on the side of the tub and quack a rubber duck at him. After about half a minute, the hilarity of the duck gets the better of him, and he has to admit the bath was a good idea.

Heaven help us if we ever lose that duck.

So I filled up the bathtub, pried him off my legs, and sat him in my lap on the side of the tub. Oh, yeah. He still had his diaper on. Do you know how hard it is to get a diaper off with only one hand?

Did you know that diapers contain poop?

Somehow, I forgot this entirely. It’s the purpose of the diaper, and I forgot it. Off came the diaper, and lo and behold, my child was covered in poop! And where were the wipes? In the other room, of course. Maybe I can get to the toilet paper. Tossed the diaper on the floor, and poop fell out onto the tile. Great. Stood the baby up on the bath mat, and headed for the toilet paper.

“Oh, no, no, no, don’t sit…”

He sat. Okay, we’ll wash the bath mat today. Then he crawled. Okay, we’ll wash your feet and legs. And the floor. At this point, I abandoned the toilet paper and just plunked him in the tub. And we’ll wash the tub.

Thirty seconds later, the rubber duck had him laughing again. Heaven help us if we ever lose that duck. ♦


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