The hospital always gets busier in winter. I’ve barely seen my husband this week, and most days he only sees the kids after bedtime when he sneaks in to kiss their sleeping faces. The current eight day stretch with no days off feels a bit like a mini deployment. The positive difference is that my husband isn’t in any danger. The negative difference is that, despite Carl’s physical absence, his laundry and meals still require attention. Doing 100% of the childcare for baby twins is exhausting, but manageable with some changes. For example, when getting two tired hungry babies fed and into bed with minimal screaming, bathtime doesn’t happen at bedtime. If the kids need a bath, I’ll give them one in the late afternoon.
One of our boy’s nicknames is Puke Master. Creative, I know. And genteel. Jack is an epic and equal-opportunity spewer. He prefers hitting things that are freshly cleaned or expensive – a shirt just out of the wash, his Dad’s shoes, the oriental rugs – but will cheerfully puke on the floor, the furniture, his sheets, our sheets, himself, his sister, visiting guests, toys…really, anything except a burp rag or his bib. From sheer exhaustion I’d been hoping to put off his next bath until Carl had a day off, but my kid was starting to smell.
I bathed Annie first, dried, lotioned, and dressed her, then stripped Jack. After a shampoo, soap, and a scrubbing, he smelled much sweeter. Then, just as a I started to rinse him off, he vomited.
I washed that off, dried him off, and diapered him. He tossed his cookies.
I wiped his chest and neck clean and snapped his onesie on. Then he puked on his onesie.
After that, I pulled on his clean sleeper. He threw up on that.
I put his bib on, and carried him downstairs. He cooed appreciatively, then barfed again, missing his bib but soaking the side of his sleeper and his mother.
He’s a damp, smelly little baby, but he’s my damp smelly little baby….at least until I can throw him into his father’s arms and run out the door.
On a vaguely related note, black skin and hair require different care than white skin and hair. My kids require frequent lotioning to prevent dry/ashy skin, and their hair has to be oiled/conditioned to prevent dryness and breakage. On the suggestion of their (African-American, also a mom) nurse, I tried using olive oil instead of the oil we had been using. Now the twins smell like an Italian dinner. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.