While putting Desitin on a tiny tush recently, I was reminded of a childhood experience that I had with diaper rash cream many years ago. It's an example of brotherly wiliness, and why I grew up into the cunning, untrusting adult I am today :-)
My brother Alex is a year older than me, and our sister Emily is five years younger than me. This memory comes from Emily's Desitin days, when Alex and I were probably 6 and 7, something like that, and with a baby in the house, there was diaper rash cream on hand. What you need to know about Desitin, if you don't already, is that it comes in a tube and has consistency not unlike toothpaste.
One evening while my innocent young 6-year-old self was getting ready for bed, Alex helpfully proffers my toothbrush to me, already loaded with a nice sloosh of toothpaste, all ready to go. Of course I should have realized at once that something was amiss. I mean, this is Alex:
Would you accept a toothbrush from that devil's hand? But I was an innocent. I put the toothbrush in my mouth. And you guessed it: it was not toothpaste, that sloosh so helpfully squeezed on. It was Desitin. And I assure you: it's not minty fresh.
Well. I was obviously not going to fall for that one again. No sirree bob. The next night I carefully prepared my own toothbrush. Ha ha! Can't fool me, wily brother! So . . . what do you think happened?
Um. Yeah. I still got a mouthful of diaper rash cream! How??? I'll tell you how. Some time during the day, that evil 7-year-old, knowing full well I wouldn't accept a toothbrush from his hands ever again, had snuck into the bathroom, excavated the top of the toothpaste tube, squeezed in some Desitin, and put the lid back on!
So that's my Desitin memory. And lest you think my brother grew up to be a criminal mastermind, he's living a respectful life in the suburbs of Seattle, raising a teenager and working at one of those mysterious computery jobs. Hm. Come to think of it, I couldn't begin to tell you what he actually does -- isn't that what CIA cover-story jobs are usually like? Some obscure computery or bankery type thing that no one really understands? Maybe Alex is really a spy or an assassin or a professional trickster or something. Maybe?
Anyway. Clementine is sleeping right beside me, swaddled and peaceful and perfectly adorable. Our first two weeks with her have been wonderful. Napping with a newborn is a sweet pleasure one has to experience to understand. Correction: sleeping with one's own newborn. I've never really been into other people's babies. I mean, I can recognize the cuteness and sweetness, but I've never been especially drawn to babies, never known how to hold them, never thought I'd know what to do with one. I was taking it on faith that what everyone says is true: when it's your own baby, it's entirely different. Hormones and crazy love kick in at once and turn you kind of into a different person, at least in that way. It's true. Turns out, it all comes naturally. Thank you, hormone cocktail! The holding and nuzzling and comforting, turns out I DO know what to do! Oh, and changing diapers isn't even gross. Spit up isn't gross. There's nothing at all gross about one's own baby. Other babies? Sure. Grossness galore. But not one's own baby. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Clementine is the cutest, sweetest baby ever created :-)
And if you or anyone you know has a newborn or is expecting one, make sure you/they know about The Happiest Baby on the Block. It's by a Los Angeles pediatrician and it's a baby-soothing manifesto that WORKS. It's a marvel, and those first few days, when Clementine cried, we'd have been lost without it, not knowing what to do. There's a book, but I recommend the DVD; it's easier to figure out what to do. Check it out. It's awesome.