Just Under One Hour
What could happen in just one hour? Let me tell you, A LOT of things could happen. Please allow me share a true story, moment-to-moment account of what had just passed in under one hour not so long ago.
Jojo (then one year and 2 weeks old) refused to nap, and instead he chose to crawl around the bedroom and then to the en suite bathroom just a few steps away.
He found his little potty, and started splashing the water in the bowl around. I let him because I knew the potty and the water were both clean. Within minutes, he splashed water all over himself and turned the potty upside down, making a great puddle on the bathroom floor. I sat next to him feeling amused while watching him, and also amazed at how much he’s grown and how his motor skills are getting better every day. Until it was time to clean up after him.
While I used the clothes from the laundry bin to wipe the floor (Note to self: provide a mop at the bathroom at all times), Jojo decided to help wiping the floor, using his bare hands. I put him aside, took off his wet clothes and wiped his hands, legs and feet.
Then I had to wipe the floor the second time to dry it off so Jojo won’t slip while crawling. While I did this, Jojo crawled away to the shower area. He sat there poking the drain on the floor, getting his diaper wet too.
He saw the glass bathroom scale nearby and decided to play with it, with his wet hands. Now I had to put him aside again to clean his hands and the scale. I took off his wet diapers, and he immediately peed on the floor. I got up and took some toilet tissues to clean the floor. In the meantime, Jojo remembered that he helped wiping the floor before, and decided to do it again. So he wiped his pee with his bare hand. And tried to crawl away so he got pee on his knees as well.
Now I had to give him a shower. I put him in his inflatable tub, put some toys inside and he was content to play by himself while I cleaned all the mess in the bathroom. Then I gave him a quick shower inside the tub. As always, Jojo grabbed the shower head and drunk the water. I had to juggle between soaping him and putting my hand in front of his mouth to stop him from drinking the water (tap water isn’t drinkable in Indonesia). After this quick shower, I was partially wet, not to mention exhausted.
I put a towel around him like a blanket and took him to the bedroom to put on some clothes. Once landed on his crib, Jojo quickly wriggled free from his towel and stood up. I put up the safety bar of the crib, went back to the bathroom to put away his tub and bath toys. When I came back, Jojo has already peed through the gap of the bars right onto the floor (Note to self: once on the crib, put on diapers without delay). He was grinning at me and letting out a series of loud winds at the same time. Charming little man!
I went back again to the bathroom to retrieve his wet towel to wipe the bedroom floor (again, note to self: have a mop on standby at all times). I came back just a few seconds later to find that Jojo has already pooped on his crib. I saw poop on the sheet, on the pillow and on the crib bumper (Note to self: ALWAYS take him to potty after a few subsequent winds). And Jojo still hasn’t worn any clothes yet.
I was nearly at my wit’s end. I lowered the bar, made him lay down to clean him up despite his creaming protests, picked up the larger poop bits with tissues then threw it on the trash. Then another trip to the bathroom to wash my hands. I was fuming because I HATE cleaning up poop. Some mothers like to ogle at their babies poop, analyzing it, smelling it, feeling proud at the color or consistency, but for me poop is poop. It’s yucky and it’s gross. I thought, what happens now? What naughtiness will he do next? Why do I have to put up with this? Will motherhood always be like this?
I washed my hands a little longer than necessary while thinking all these things and trying to calm myself down. Then I went back to the bedroom after drawing a huge breath. Jojo was standing up and smiling sweetly at me. But my heart skipped a beat: in my rush to clean up I had forgotten to raise the safety bar. Because I was fuming, I had compromised his safety. He was standing at the edge of the bed, he could have fallen over in an instant. It was quite a height from the crib to the wooden floor, I cringed at how he could have been hurt.
At that second, everything that he had done didn’t matter anymore. I gave him a tight hug, he leaned his head on my chest and made cooing sounds. I was so grateful that he was safe, that he had waited for me without moving, that he hadn’t fallen over the crib and gotten hurt. I picked him up and hugged him again. I buried my nose on his shoulder, smelling the fresh scent of soap and feeling his soft baby skin. Jojo gurgled and smiled at me again.
I put him down again gently on his crib, this time he didn’t protest. I put on his diapers, he automatically reached for the velcro and tried to unfasten it. I took his photo for this post. Still smiling, I put on his diaper again and managed put some clothes on him. Then I gave him to the maid while I changed his sheets and washed everything clean. This time I didn’t grumble when cleaning up his poop.
Only mothers can experience feeling amused, tired, angry, fearful, and happy all just under one hour. And only mothers can forgive as easily as that. Only mothers can smile while cleaning up poop.
All in just under one hour.
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