The One Where I Finally Discuss My Daughter’s Bowel Movements AKA: The Blog Post that Sends Maren to Therapy

Internet, Maren has a GNARLY diaper rash. And I’ve seen some bad rashes before– rashes that make you want to cry for the kid but you don’t because you’re afraid that the slightest splash of salty tears on their behind might cause them to go into convulsions. Maren’s is not quite to that stage yet. It’s at the place where everytime you change her diaper, you swear you hear something strange, so you lean in closer and realize– what the hell? Can this be happening?– that her ass is LAUGHING AT YOU. MOCKING your soothing attempts, with a very distinct “Up MINE? Oh no, dear lady– Up YOURS” attitude.

You may recall that we started out putting Maren in cloth diapers. For an entire year, we lived in the blissful ignorance that comes with cloth diapers, because Maren never had a single diaper rash. Not a one. There was one time– ONE time– when her skin got slightly red. All I had to do was think about applying aquaphor and the rash was gone. I swear, cloth diapers were MAGICAL.

But for a variety of reasons, they just weren’t cost effective anymore, so right around when she turned one we switched to disposables.

Friends. There has never been a louder *headdesk* in this house. Because probably ten minutes after we decided to do this, Maren had double-ear infection, respiratory infection, and staph infection(s) ALLLL in one weekend. So her doctor put her on two– TWO– antibiotics that we have to give her three times a day. Any non-parents around? Anyone thinking about getting pregnant? Then you may not know that antibiotics=diarrhea. And not just “Oh, poor baby” diarrhea. The screaming-yellow-shits diarrhea. SCREAMING.

So this Rash has taken up residence on Maren’s behind. And Maren’s a trooper, man. I’ve never met a happier kid. But even she has started to complain about the constant owie-ness that is now accompanying her every day life.

So I made Mitch call the doctor on Friday, and this is what we were told:

-Mix Aquaphor and Maalox, and apply that with every other diaper change.

-On the opposite diaper change, apply Lotrimin (LOTRIMIN. USED FOR ATHLETE’S FOOT)

-Give her a bath once a day with baking soda in it

-Use your hair dryer on a low setting to be sure to get her good and dry

-Do not use wipes. Use wash cloths instead.

Seriously. Sometimes I think doctors say things just to see if we’ll do it.

And also, good fellows, do you know what? Maalox, aquaphor, and lotrimin do not actually just arrive at your doorstep volunteering to help out. Nay, you have to go to a store and purchase them. And they’re not cheap. I can very confidently say that my daughter has the most well-tended ass in the country right now.

So we’ve been following this regimen for two days with no change. Tonight I commented that I think that all of this craziness is really just keeping it from getting any worse, but not really doing anything to make it better.

So tonight I pulled out one of those Mom-tricks: you know, the things that no one has ever actually told you to do, but that for some reason you just think is going to work. I took Maren’s pants off and let her go commando for about an hour. At first I had her locked in the kitchen, but she peed almost immediately so I figured it was safe to let her loose in the apartment for another thirty minutes or so.

We were playing in the living room awhile later, reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear  for the millionth time, arguing about which character is the best one. I like the red bird, but Maren is pretty partial to the blue horse. Suddenly, Maren stood up and ran into the kitchen, turned around and said something in her THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT voice, and pointed at her lady bits.

I laughed and commented to Mitch, “I think she’s telling me she has to go potty.” He chuckled– because, after all, Maren is 13 months old. Kids that age don’t even know what potty is. They don’t even know they have something going on down there, other than toes that alternatively taste good or smell bad, and you never know which it will be, so you better check ALL THE TIME.

“Maren,” I said, dripping with irony, “If you’re going to go potty, go in there on the linoleum.”

And guys, guess what.

She totally squatted right there, and WENT.

While I was still working on rolling my jaw back to its hinge, she calmly stood back up, did a little wiggle, and came back into the living room. Mitch and I scrambled– he cleaned her up while I cleaned up the dook– and insanity ruled for a few moments in my brain. This was her FIRST POTTY TRAINING EXPERIENCE. AND I LAUGHED AT HER! <— Was the first thought

GASP! I TOLD her to GO in the Kitchen! How am I ever going to get her to NOT go in the kitchen? <— Was the second, and perhaps more pressing, thought.

So there you go, Internet. Over here in the Adult Onset Reality House, we like to keep things really natural and organic. We’re okay if Maren remains unpotty trained for awhile longer… we just may need to add a litter box.

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