Alright folks. I am officially fluent in vowelese. How long has he been here? Six weeks. That's all it takes for vowelese immersion to really stick, and I mean stick. I don't even notice anymore. Never thought I'd say that . . .
Kids are all in school finally. Sent my oldest to highschool my youngest to kindergarten, and now I'm buying car seats, highchairs and stepping stools again. The youngest child in my care is six months old and she's zipping around the floor on her hands and knees and pulling up to standing at everything she can get her fingers into. She's tiny–makes it look very strange. Have another at nighttime, who is seven months, twice the size, and just learning to crawl. Keeps pulling to standing up and gets freaked out because she can't get back down. Dejavu? Yeah. Been here, done all this with six kids. It's interesting though, with other people's kids, how fast they seem to go through these stages, and maybe it's because I'm watching one of every age, so someone is always in one of the stages or just coming out of or into one. Blah blah blah.
I bet you wish I had that delete button, don't you?
This morning at nine I thought, wow, someone really stinks! The first behind I checked was oozing, so down I go with all my paraphernalia and change the kid's diaper. Looks like a bit of a yeast infection starting, and I know she's been on antibiotics, so I break out the Nystatin, then cover it all with zinc oxide, as she's looking pretty red. Wash my hands with a wipe, since now I have an audience of about eight kids at least one other of whom must be stinky too, because this one really didn't smell too bad. I dress the baby, and set her on her knees behind me. She pats at the pool of saliva she's drooling onto the tile and gurgles. Aw, I made you clean and sweet and happy. That does feel good, who's next?
I nab the boy closest to me, and wrestle him down. He thinks it's hilarious to try to escape the process. I hold down his arms with my bare feet. This one reeeeeks. I mean, almost serious man-poop here. We clean him up, no ointments, he must have just gone. Add his diaper to the bag I put the first one in, along with another few wipes on my hands.
"I poopy," the three year old announces. Okay, set it right here. I lay her down, change her behind, which sure enough is contributing to the stink, and apply some Desonide, as her excema has really flared up in bizarre patches.
Three down . . . how many more to go? I check the next kid within reach. Yup, definitely a stink producer. This one calls for A&D ointment, I decide. Mother doesn't like Desitin, and the creases are looking a little pink. Better safe than red and sorry next diaper change.
Number five–just wet. Nothing too drastic. Changer her anyway. A little Desitin in the creases.
Number six. Oh, the stinker of all stinkers. A&D clear almost to her knees. Her little thighs look irritated, but not her behind. I wash my hands for a good long time after that one. Turn off the water, then go back for round two hotter this time, under the nails, up past my wrists. I tie the bag shut.
"D's poopy!" A chorus starts.
No he's not, I tell them, you can just smell these, and I show them the bag. But he's laying down again, next to the shelves of diapers and boxes of wipes. So I check him. Yes he is. By the time I change this one, you might think I'm sick of diapers, but I'm not. Seven little behinds are wandering around, clean and dry and happy, and I have one hefty sack of evidence in my hand. I tie it up and feel like I've actually accomplished something for the day, and it isn't even snacktime yet. I wash my hands again, and in some way most people will never understand, I feel significant in that moment. I have not only cleaned them up, but I have provided them each with a thin pharmaceutical barrier against the next onslaught of caustic refuse that will arrive without warning.
Not bad for a morning's work. And look how happy they are. Awww.