Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poop Smeared Up My Arm Again

This is one of those posts that Claire is going to hate me for when she's older. I don't care. We'll be even.

Last week I told you that she had an ear infection, right? My kids don't do ear infections the usual way. The only clear symptom that a cold has settled in their ears is that they scream like we're killing them when we try to change their diapers. The best I can figure, they feel like they're falling. It's kind of nice, because at least they're not screaming in excruciating pain, but it sucks for one thing.

Diaper changes.

Claire has finished her Z-pack, so I'm about out of patience for these shenanigans. Here's how it goes. I smell her need for a diaper change. I dread and avoid for a good 5 minutes, until the "I'm a horrible mommies" start to set in. Then, if BJ's not around for me to trick into changing it, ("Claire wants you...") I make peace with the inevitable.

She starts crying before we even get to the changing area (in the laundry room). The changing pad may as well be made of lava, with the way she screams when any part of her body touches it. Finally I manage to wrestle her into the supine position with a combination of ju jitsu, WWF moves, and grit. She prefers an aural attack at this point. Neighbors are dialing 9 and 1 at this point, and they have their fingers hovering over the second 1.

Claire will relax long enough for me to think that the fight is over, but, and this gets me every. single. time... as soon as I get the diaper off and make a preliminary swipe at the (now well mashed) contents, Claire pulls a ninja move called the flip and tuck. She rotates her entire body, against all the strength in my upper left arm, and tucks her knees under her, so that she's sunny side up.

This is not the preferred position for diaper changing.

This is also one of those things that no one covered in the parenting classes.

Anyway, at this point we're both yelling - Claire, still, because she's got a bad case of the bed spins, and me, because I have poo smeared up my right arm.

Oh, I wish I were exaggerating.

I wipe away what I can from this angle, lulling her into a false sense of security. Then, when I have no choice but to flip her over and clean her undercarriage, she pulls a yoga move I like to call The Hysterical Starfish. Without ceasing to scream, she sticks her arms and legs out as stiffly and immovably as possible.

At this point, I'm truly concerned that I'm going to drop her. She's 21 pounds of screaming, wriggling, filthy fury, and did I mention that I still have poop on my arm? So, I put her back in the prone position, and lift her legs. She's so stiff with fury that I am able to clean her the rest of the way, make a decent attempt at getting the diaper in the right place, and get her pants back on.

Then she screams at me for 10 more minutes and we have to nurse about it. But at least at this point I can ignore her until I've washed my arms.


Honig said...

Oh, Sweet Jesus...I very narrowly escaped snorting hummus out my nose when I read the words "hysterical starfish"

gads, I'm sniggering here at my desk just TYPING the words hysterical starfish, b/c I can envision it perfectly as Marcus does the same thing. Not for ear infections, but in general when he wants to protest anything (his highchair, the end of bathtime, etc.)

sorry about the poo, tho. no fun. I hope claire gets better soon! think of all the energy you're burning, though, wrestling with her! (searching for the silver lining for you here..)

1001 Petals said...

lol -- I can relate.

morganna said...

Two suggestions: 1. have you tried doing diaper changes standing up? I haven't perfected it, but my MIL swears by it for changing really wriggly children who can walk.

2. My daughter is really squirmy, too. I find that if I lay my non-wiping arm over her torso, and hold both arms and both legs (by wrists and ankles), she can't flip over (no leverage).

But it's no fun. I hope the infection gets better soon.

RobMonroe said...

Maybe Abby has the same issue, then, because she'll go as far as walking all the way to the bed (our changing area) before breaking down. She knows where we're going, even gets herself there. But after that, it's your story.

Hope that everyone gets better soon.