Monday, August 24, 2009

Desitin Memories

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.



tanita✿davis said...

Okay, it's very wrong for me to have spit tea laughing at your Desitin story. Very wrong.


Don't tell that one to Cutie Pie if you're going to give her a sib. It's too good not to repeat. I'm just sayin'

tone almhjell said...

Hahaha, your brother is very resourceful. I'm pretty sure he doesn't really do computer stuff. Not really.

As for the baby love: I'm taking your word for it. I've always been just like you: how do I hold this thing, exactly? It's cute, sure, but what do I do with it? Give me a six-year-old and we can play like there's no tomorrow, but babies?

So crazy love sounds encouraging! Hormone cocktails are wonderful. False contractions: not so wonderful.

Anonymous said...

actually my baby is the cutest, sweetest baby ever created* :)

but I'm sure Clementine is darling, too

(*we all believe that about our own, naturally)


Sarah said...

Another hearty recommendation for The Happiest Baby on the Block. We read the book, but I can imagine that the DVD would be super helpful by actually showing you how to do the steps.

My little man is six months old (already?), and just recently he has refused to be swaddled (boo...swaddled babies are so darling), but he's still OBSESSED with his swing. I just wish they made one in my size.

Kiersten White said...

Anya, I'm going to disagree with you. While my babies were certainly beautiful (almost freakishly beautiful, really), they were NOT sweet.

At all.

Thus the need to be very beautiful. It was a survival mechanism.

And Laini, I am just so glad that I am not the only person in the world to have brushed my teeth with Desitin!

Megsie said...

One question about the desitin....wouldn't the SMELL give it away? Really, I can smell it just by reading about it. Of course, one doesn't usually smell toothpaste before use.

I am so glad that you are having such a joyous time with that sweet, sweet baby of yours.

Heather said...

I wish one of mine was still a newborn. Well, if any of them had slept like Clementine, I do. I miss newborn smell.

Amber Lough said...

Oooh, Desitin is yucky in the mouth. I've forgotten to wash my fingers after applying it and hours later put my finger in my mouth somehow and it was STILL there. (Ok, usually I wash my hands more frequently!)

We didn't read Happiest Baby on the Block, but I wish we had. Neither of my kids would accept swaddling. Or sleeping, for that matter. (But you've heard me complain of this before...)

I'm not much of a baby person, either, but it's ALL different when it's your own kids, isn't it?

Cynthia Valero said...

My son is 11 weeks old, and we never would have known what to do without Happiest Baby. Thank goodness! So glad you knew about it too.

Clementine was born on my birthday, and, of course, we August 9 Leos are the most fabulous! :-)

We're making our first restaurant outing today. Kudos to you for already making yours!

Congratulations to you!


Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Desitin is foul, foul stuff. I switched over to Weleda's diaper care because it smells so heavnly (though still no good for brushing teeth with).

Also, a favor: From now on, every mention of Clementime should come with accompanying photographs.

I'm SO glad you're having a restful 2 weeks...such a rarity with a newborn.

Anonymous said...

Desitin is really not all that great for babies. You should try something more natural. Seriously.

holly cupala said...

Some Happiest Baby tricks: vacuum, radio static, air purifier, baby monitor receiver...poof! Baby asleep!

I ascribe to the "whatever it takes to get enough sleep" model of parenting!

Anonymous said...

Alex is a modern genius Fatty. I wish I had thought of that! I am deeply,deeply impressed!

jaecy bells said...

Luckily I am the oldest child in my family, so I get to play pranks on my 3 younger siblings. That's a new one, though...gotta remember that...

Jaime Temairik said...

I love this story. I still love that gypsy/market/machete story. Thank you madam!

Amanda said...

This reminds me of a story that involved collecting rabbit poo and an emptied box of sunmaid raisins. The cousin who enacted this evil plot grew up to be a physicist.
Clementine is a beautiful name.

Annie Jeffries said...

My first was a dream. I got lots of sleep from day one with him. My second - just the opposite. Even the grocery store cashiers ducked when they saw us coming. This book will be a lifesaver to many but I'm here to tell you that with lots of love and feeding the kiddies steady doses of self-reliance, they DO grow up into fabulous human beings. There is no fear though - Clementine will have all that and more.

And your brother seems to have turned out well too. LOL

Rosalind R. Oliver said...

Hi Laini,

I love love love your blog and read it all the time, but as a newbie writer of a middle grade novel, I never have felt worthy of even leaving a comment.

But now I do for several fun reasons! One reason is Dr. Harvey Karp was my son's Dr. when we lived in Santa Monica before he wrote his book and became a bagillionaire! We LOVED him and when our son was having a hard time sleeping he wrapped him up like a little chimichanga and blew in his ear the most ear-splitting vacuum simulation noise and Will (our son) immediately calmed down and we were sold on the whole 4 S's thing. We had an ocean wave machine that we blasted 24/7, it was a huge joke among our mostly kidless friends that our house sounded like it was about to be blown over by a tsunami!

OK, one other reason I felt I could leave you a note. I LOVE THE NAME CLEMENTINE!!! It has been my "girl" name for as long as I have been alive, and wouldn't you know it, I had 3 sons!!! It is SO BEAUTIFUL AND MELLIFULOUS (Sp?) sounding. I just love it, and I think it works at all stages of life and is very versatile- allowing her to be whatever she wants to be!!!

Last but not least, my favorite diaper cream was this very pleasant smelling cream called, "Boudreaux's Butt Paste". I love the name, the tube is very attractive and fun and it is a beige color- something you would never mistake for toothpaste!!! I don't think you ever said you were *unhappy* with desitin, but just in case you are looking to end the cycle of crazy diaper cream jokes in your home!!

Thank you for your endless encouraging blog posts, I can't tell you how much I love them all (and Not for Robots too).

Bless you and your new family.

Tina said...

I must second the request for a photo every time Clementine is mentioned. She's freaking adorable.

My sweet boy is 7 and I can't bear to throw out the last tube of Weleda diaper cream. Don't tell anybody but I sniff it whenever I'm feeling a tad nostalgic.

I'm with you on the grossness. There wasn't a single thing about my infant I disliked. Not missing sleep, not changing diapers, not the laundry, nothing. It's pure bliss.

Erin said...

Holy wow! One of my readers linked this post to me, because of one I made here:

I loved your Desitin story, but I especially love your paragraph about how in love with Clementine you are, even though you didn't much like babies previously. I'm at a crossroads - 39 and thinking about having a baby, despite not really liking them previously.

Thanks for sharing your experience. :) I"m subscribing to your feed and looking forward to reading more!