A Pig Pen in the Play Pen

Baby had his first play date the other day. Play might be a bit of an exaggeration. More like lie-on-a-Boppy-next-to-another-baby date. But it was fun, mostly because it was a chance for the moms to get out of the house, eat some spinach dip with pita chips, and vent.

But as the four of us moms snapped pics, laughed about how the kids looked like their dads, I had an awful realization: My kid is the dirty kid.


Mr. Un-clean

I guess I should have considered changing his outfit before the photo shoot rather than after. I didn’t realize it was so obviously bad.

Baby has always been a spitter-upper. My mom (and pretty much any other mom-like woman over the age of 60) is convinced he spits up because I give him a bottle cold. Like right-out-of-the-fridge cold. The pediatrician looked at me like I had 10 heads when I asked her if this was true. But even without doctor’s confirmation that it was indeed a motherhood myth, I knew cold milk was the unlikely root since he would spit up after nursing, too.

For whatever the reason, I can count on baby to make at least three wardrobe changes in a day because of spit up. (Diaper blow outs are another animal altogether.)

But as a mom, I have pretty much stopped noticing how nasty spitting up is. In my head, I know it’s gross, but it’s so expected now that I don’t even sweat it. I just make sure I have at least two cloths within arm’s reach at any time for mop up. And when I say cloths, I mean those flannel receiving blankets most people use to wrap up their kids; plain old burp cloths can’t really handle this kid’s volume.

My husband reminds me occasionally of how nasty it is by gagging like Vince Vaughn in the scene from the 2008 classic Four Christmases when a baby vomits on Reese Witherspoon. (As an aside, I highly recommend it for people like us who have divorced families; you’ll likely appreciate the humor more than those with unbroken families.) Here’s the clip, in case you haven’t seen it:

But it’s not until you see a picture of your kid like the one above that it really hits home. Now I worry that he’s going to evolve from the dirty baby at the play date to the dirty kid in school. God, I hope not.

But this baby is a magnet for dirt. Despite daily baths and constant trimming, it’s always a battle to keep his nails clean, for example. I mean, really, how do infants get dirt under their toenails? What’s it going to be like when he’s crawling? Do people start giving their kids multiple baths a day? That seems a little excessive.

But the one comfort I take is that he’s a boy. I don’t think many people really expect boys to stay clean very long, so maybe mine won’t look as exceptionally stained as he does today.


Filed under babies, bathing, bottle feeding, boys, daily life, hygiene, infants, newbie parents, parenting, spit up

6 responses to “A Pig Pen in the Play Pen

  1. I have the same fear of Mateo turning out to be the dirty kid! When out and about, I constantly scan the state of other babies to see how we compare. So far, it seems like we’re keeping up, dried baby food on his face aside. But with his crazy hair, Mateo just looks disheveled all the time. So I figured, why fight it? I think it’s cute anyway.

  2. Yeah, I was feeling like we were keeping up right up until recently. If it wasn’t the play date that made me wonder it was the trip to the gym to reinstate my membership. Aleksi not only threw up on himself and me but also the membership director’s desk. Yum. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

  3. Oh Sarah..been there, still there! It is so hard to keep them clean! At least he still looks cute, no matter what state his outfit is in! Just wait until he can rub food in his hair…

  4. Lol. I’m imagining food in the hair now. This could be a difficult clean up given the mop he’s got. 🙂

  5. Jen

    Babies are gross, it’s plain and simple. I feel like it’s a constant battle to keep Noelle free of bodily fluids. Although she’s not a constant spitter-upper, I can always count on her to upchuck her entire nursing session’s worth of milk when we’re out and about…or when someone else is holding her. I feel like I should wrap her in plastic and carry around a beach towel to combat the gallons of milk that come spilling out without warning.

    Speaking of containing bodily fluids…we’ve struggled and struggled with massive diaper blowouts with her. Entire outfit changes and a bath everytime. To the point that I was scared to leave the house for fear of seeing poop dripping out her pant leg at Target. Then someone told me about “thirsties duo wraps”. They’re covers for cloth diapers, but work perfectly over any kind of diaper to hold in the goo that loves to ooze out. I got mine at amazon.com, but I know you can find them a number of different places. I just ordered more because they work wonders.

    • Diaper blowouts are the worst. We had one the other day that went right down to the mattress. Good thing it’s covered in plastic. I’ll have to check out those diaper covers. Thanks for the tip!

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