Posts Tagged ‘Pampers’

Baby pee, poop and puke

October 15, 2010

Andrew Hicks

NOTE: Today’s post, while baby-related, is all about bodily functions, a subject with which every parent is very familiar. If this disgusts you, go watch a PG13-rated Mike Myers movie.

ParentingĀ is known to toss an array of bodily fluids at the nostrils, hands and clothing of moms and dads. There’s the expected and the unexpected. Poor Silas threw up all over himself a couple hours ago. That’s unusual for him, as he generally throws up all over whatever clean shirt I just put on.

Baby accidents happen, but I’ve gotten pretty lucky. Only once with each child have I had the diaper off for that crucial, “I’m still not done peeing,” burst of yellow liquid. Sarah’s was a kind of slow, pooling eruption, while Silas had the loose, haphazard spray of a spastic, one-armed-clown lawn sprinkler. Each equally messy in different ways.

Then there’s the poop. Sarah’s getting close to the potty-training stage, which will be completely foreign to me. I’m going to have to take notes from the Elmo Goes to the Potty* DVD my mom bought my toddler. “What’s that, Elmo? You sit on the toilet and then you go potty? Slow down, dude. You’re going too fast! Rewind!”

Sarah reached a personal landmark achievement a few months back. She had her first poop that was so big, it clogged the toilet. I swear, I see more and more of myself in that little princess every day.

Yeah, her poop is usually a nice, healthy turd-ball. Sometimes, Sarah grunts and makes the poop face while she’s wrestling it out of her body. Other times, she just walks up to me, my nose wrinkles, and I check her back-pocket area for that telltale lump. We’ve been doing this since her lump was the size of a chicken nugget. Now, more often, it’s that one mutant chicken finger that looks more like a chicken fist**.

We’re brand-loyal to Pampers for both babies. Diabolically enough, when Sarah’s in the store, the Pampers draw her attention because there’s a little cartoon Elmo on the bottom corner of each side of the box. It’s about a half-inch tall, like a quarter the size of the UPC, and I never would’ve noticed it on my own.

They are super-absorbent, though. Many mornings, when I’m changing Sarah out of the overnight diaper, that thing’s sagging at a bowed-down angle like a tightrope with three fat dudes in the middle. I’ve tossed some five-pound pee diapers in the trash.

A collander

I saw a five-minute report on “Nightline” about which generic equivalents of name-brand items are just as good and which are inferior. If you’ve ever had generic Ruffles***, you know what I mean. The TV report didn’t mention diapers, but I’m here to tell you, spring for the name brand. Generic diapers are like collanders. They leak from every possible angle. You’d swear you wrapped a thin layer of cheesecloth around your baby’s privates.

Now Silas, he’s on a strict diet of formula. He’s still a few weeks away from the varietal switch-up of rice cereal and, if he’s a really good little boy, oatmeal cereal. So his poop has that look of soupy guacamole that’s been exposed to a little too much air. Tiffany breastfed the first month or so, and Silas’s poop almost smelled like roses. (Well, you know, plastic roses.) Switch to formula, and that poop smell goes way downhill. Today’s batch of stale, tableside diaper guac was twice as rank as usual. Either he had an upset stomach, or it’s time to start feeding him name-brand formula. Which was also not mentioned in the “Nightline” report.

This post isn’t going to win me any Pulitzer prizes, so I might as well close with a poop story of my own. Last month, when I was in the hospital and the nurses were tossing stool softeners**** in my paper pill cups, I asked them how much warning I’d have when the SSs did their trick. Because, you know, I was bed-bound with no crutches and no bedpan. They laughed.

An upside-down Douglas fir

“Oh no, you won’t poop for days. This is just to make it softer when you actually do.” They were right. I was checked into the hospital late Saturday night. Nature didn’t finally answer the call of the stool softener until Friday. Now, normally when pass a tough bowel movement, I compare it to pooping out a pine cone. This was like pooping out an upside-down Douglas fir.

Okay, thanks for reading. You are hereby dismissed. Hope you get your appetite back before Thanksgiving.

*I don’t think that’s the actual name of the DVD. That name sounds like it could be misinterpreted by the less than pure among us. Such as, say, me for suggesting it.

**If a chicken could make a fist. It’s Friday night, my evocative, poetic imagery is spent for the week. Besides, I’m writing about crap here.

***Ruffies, right? Or are those trash bags?

****I accidentally typed “stool samples” first. Which, gross.


Sarah's hesitant look means it's time for Daddy to stop talking about yucky things.

Up all night, sleep all day

September 29, 2010

Andrew Hicks

I can’t expect him to articulate a response, but I bet if Baby Silas could tell me his favorite song by hair metal band Slaughter, it would be “Up All Night.” This kid is sleeping the hours of a rock star lately, and it’s probably my fault. The parenting books and magazines tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. Great advice, if you disregard the fact that, in the first few months of their lives, babies sleep up to sixteen hours a day.

I’ve had body-clock problems that have left me on the Slaughter sleep cycle myself. I think Little Guy is just following my lead. My wife Tiffany said, “That’s an easy one. Just force yourself to stay awake all day so you can sleep at night.” Great advice, if you disregard the fact that I have a broken ankle and live in the bed. I can’t always resist the temptation to get unconscious. It’s like telling a polar bear to stay out of the snow.

I thought the silver lining of this arrangement would be that I’d be madly productive. No job to go to, no one around really. And I have gotten some good writing in, but I’m with this baby basically 24 hours a day. That actually does require a lot of work. Then, during my downtime, I have a hard time finding a fresh creative angle on, “We drank another bottle. He cried some. Just got the diaper changed.”

Well, okay, this is a semi-interesting diaper story. I had Silas on the bed today, out of his diaper, and realized I had no Pampers handy. I had to sprint-crutch out to the living room, and all I could find was one of Sarah’s Size 4 diapers. It turned out to be surprisingly effective, although when I put that oversize diaper on his infant body, I was reminded of those weight-loss commercial “after” shots where the newly thin person stands in their old fat pants to offer up stark contrast. (The Formula Diet, right?)

Same topic – lack of preparedness leaving you caught literally with your pants down. Minutes after the giant diaper, I sat down to use the bathroom and realized too late that there was no toilet paper. Bad feeling under ordinary circumstances, and ten times worse when on crutches in a largely unfamiliar house. Kleenex to the rescue, thankfully. My only other options would have been the white, downy bath towel with the high thread count and the shower itself. And you know what happens when you get the cast wet.

Slept all day, took care of Little Guy, encountered the above difficulties, then wrote about it extensively on Facebook. This brings us to dinnertime. My mom went on an epic grocery shopping trip before I got here for my five-day stay that’s now mid-Week 2. She hasn’t been grocery shopping since. The best groceries are long gone, the mediocre groceries are just about gone, and the Caffeine-Free Diet Schnucks Super Cola two-liter is bound to be cracked open any second now. After that? *shudder* Water.

My dead-of-night meal is assembled purely from scavenger-hunted odds and ends. For example: 1 can Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup + 4 ounces diced deli turkey + 1 can Rotel + 1 diced tomato + 2 Taco Bell mild sauce packets + shredded cheese + 12 crushed Saltines + cracked black pepperĀ  = not half bad.

My mom, ever the MVP, has twice allowed me to spring on her at the last minute that I’m going out for a couple hours and need her to watch the baby. Terrific old friends I barely get to see have driven to my mom’s house and helped my temporarily disabled ass into their cars. Then, well aware of the ticking clock, we went somewhere close and quiet and found a dark corner where I could prop up the cast leg. And the laughter, fellowship and beer flowed – ever briefly – like it was 2002 again.

The first night, I grabbed an NTN trivia box, logged on as user Goiter, and butted heads with a trio of middle-aged men who were playing under a total of four screen names. Each had customized NTN avatars and brought their own reference material. My companions performed better than I did, but it was a fun time. I alone knew that Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald’s adult-contemporary duet “On My Own” came out in 1986.

I stayed out a little late the first time, but I was at home promptly at 10 pm the second time. It’s like being a kid again in a few respects. I can’t see the girl I love when I want to, for starters. She was texting me a couple nights ago about how she wanted me to watch the new “Dancing With the Stars” with her. She’s lonely watching TV, I’m a hundred miles away caring for a screaming baby. Both of us are longing for mundane normalcy. Tell me that doesn’t sound like a montage from “Teen Mom” with a tender Taylor Swift song playing in the background. All that’s missing is me having to do my geometry homework or something.


Sarah, Silas and Grandma Hicks