Aspen Princess: Babe’s assault on my senses | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Princess: Babe’s assault on my senses

Alison Berkley Margo
Aspen Princess

So the other day I'm out in front of Whole Foods loading groceries into my car when I realized I'd somehow locked the baby and the pug inside, the keys visible on the front seat.

So yeah, that happened.

It took the police less then no time to get the door unlocked with that thingamajigie that they slide through the window. Luckily, I'd had the window open a crack because the pug was in there. Duh, of course, I'm super responsible with the dog.

"Wow, that was fast," I said to the cop as he tucked the Baby Saver under his arm. "I bet people do this all the time."

"Yeah, most people don't leave a baby in the car," he replied, shaking his head.

Needless to say, I wasn't going to win any Mother of the Year awards for that one.

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So we get home from the Whole Foods parking lot debacle only to find the babe has had a massive blowout.

I swore when I had a baby I would never talk about the contents of his diaper because I always thought my friends sounded completely insane when they did that.

Well, now I know.

They say that being a parent is humbling, and now I know why: At some point, no matter how careful you are, you are inevitably going to find yourself covered in poop.

And don't give me this, "you don't mind it when it's your own kid," because I so totally mind.

So there I am, with a gas mask, salad tongs and rubber gloves, trying to carefully extricate this super soiled diaper (that weighs like, more than the baby does) only to discover that the contents of said diaper has splattered all over his back, arms and legs. Of course he's squirming around like a crazed puppy and wants to flip over onto his stomach and grab whatever shiny object happens to be sitting within his reach, as I'm blocking his flailing, poop-covered limbs like a samurai.

The first thing that happens is his kicking feet land right in the mess, socks and all. I get a nice schmear across my forearm as I try to remove the socks and then get to work on the 800 snaps that are between me and my sanity. I don't know who designs baby clothes and why they thought it would be helpful to mothers everywhere to put these tiny, impossible little snaps all over everything, but they should seriously be shot.

At some point, my hair inadvertently falls in my face and I have to swipe it away. I am concentrating so hard on the 800 snaps and keeping the squirming babe in place that I don't realize the poop on my forearm is now on my face.

Then, as if on cue, the babe decides to projectile spit up, which is really no longer spit up because he's eating solid foods. No, it's actually full on baby puke.

The regurgitated formula mixed with pureed sweet potato dribbles down my forearm and in between my fingers. I try to flick it off, not caring that it lands on the dining room table, because now I'm in survival mode.

I somehow manage to get the whole mess cleaned up, bathe myself and the baby and get us both into clean, fresh-smelling clothes before my husband gets home from work.

But before I can pat myself on the back, the babe lets out a glass-shattering scream.

Not because he's mad, or upset or scared, but because he has discovered the sound of his own voice and he loves it. The louder and more high-pitched the better.

This has become his new hobby. He especially loves to scream at the top of his lungs when we are in public places like restaurants, grocery stores and airplanes. On our flight to Costa Rica we were in the bulkhead row and the first-class flight attendant whipped open the little fabric screen thing and with some aplomb said, "Is there a problem back here?"

We both just shook our heads and nodded at the same time and then shrugged.

"No?" I replied, not sure exactly what it was the guy wanted (or in this case, didn't want) to hear.

The other day he shrieked so loud he set off a car alarm in the parking lot at Ace Hardware.

We've tried everything. We've turned our backs to try and shut down the attention-seeking. We tried being stern with him before we quickly realized you can't reason with a 10-month-old. We tried putting our hands over our ears and saying things like, "It hurts mommy's ears when you scream like that," and whispering and saying, "Let's use our indoor voices."

We've tried screaming back, but that's the most fun game of all.

"Got any ideas?" I asked my friend who is a child psychologist.

She shook her head slowly, averted my gaze and bit her lip as if she were going to say something and then decided against it.

Of course there are the rewards, the smiles and the giggles and the cuddles. There's the softness of his fine hair, blond as corn silk, and the sweet smell of his velvety chubby cheeks, and the way my heart aches when he clutches me with his little hands and buries his head in my chest like we are still one, like we used to be.

And he's starting to crawl and to pull himself up to standing. He says "yeah" all the time now, which is hilarious because he says it really clearly like he knows what he's saying.

Then the other day he says "ma ma" a few times, only I'm pretty sure it's babble.

So I asked him, "Babe, when you said 'ma ma' did you know you were talking about me?"

And he looked at me, smiled and said, "Yeah."

The Princess is so wishing she could go to noon yoga today. Email your love to alisonmargo@gmail.com.