The thing that you need to understand about me is that I have systems. I have systems for most things I do around here.
Every morning after I give T his wake up feed, I bring him to the kitchen and he sits in his high chair while I make my coffee, then I slide the highchair over to the computer and pile it up with toys to play with while I check my emails, Facebook, blog. Morning system.
When I take T out of the car seat, I always tuck the buckles into the side of the support cushions so the next time I put him in there I don’t have to dig the buckles out from under his butt. Car seat system.
In the shower, I tilt the shower head slightly to the right, away from the door so the water doesn’t splash out when a little person (usually K) will inevitably come and open the door and ask me a random question, or sing a stupid song. No privacy even in the shower. I like to lean against the shower wall so the water hits my chest for a bit and then I turn around and stand on one leg ‘stork style’ while the water blasts my back. Then I wash. Shower system.
Before I get T his breakfast I get out a bib and a face washer for the day. The bib can last three meals because he doesn’t make that much mess. He mainly gets his finger food all over his hands and floor and not so much on the bib. The face washer I wet and wipe his face and hands with. After each meal I rinse it out so it is ready for the next. After dinner they go in the washing. Meal time system.
Sometimes my systems don’t go to plan. An example of one such time would be yesterday morning. I had just received a call to do an half day teaching so was feeling all hot and flustered. It was as if the air in my house suddenly became thin making it hard to catch my breath and think. Mild panic attack perhaps? Still finding it hard to deal with going to work and leaving T Bear.
I had done a load of washing the night before and all the face washers were on the line. Rather than going to grab one for breakfast, I just wiped T’s face with a tissue. If only I stuck the the system everything would have been fine. You see, part of my ‘mother-in-law babysits T’ system is that I have everything all ready and laid out that she will need. Bottles are made up, lunch is ready, clothes are hung over the side of the cot, day nappies on the left and night nappies on the right, bib and face washer on the highchair. Dudes, it’s how I maintain control. It is hard for me to deal with the loss of control.
Fast forward to much later – I had finished work, come home and mother-in-law had left. It was early evening. I had just given T a feed and was on the way to the kitchen when I passed the dining room table. I noticed a blue dish cloth on the high chair. I stared intently at it for some time. Instantly I knew it was not one of the face washers and I realised that I forgot to leave one out in the morning. But there was something about that dish cloth that bothered me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t the dish cloth from the kitchen because that was green. Maybe she found a new one under the sink?
Anyway, I collected the mysterious blue cloth and binned it as it was quite manky and I went on my merry way.
Fast forward to bath time. I take off my watch, sit on the stool next to the bath and reach out to grab the plug from the soap dish. Bath time system. Suddenly all the air in the room is sucked out again. I am horrified. Massive panic attack. I realise where the blue cloth of mystery came from. The cloth that was obviously used to wipe T’s face. The cloth that would have come in contact with his mouth. Quite possibly, his mouth was OPEN and the cloth wiped INSIDE.
In the soap dish, next to where I keep the plug, I keep an old blue cloth. I use that cloth to clean the bath. That blue cloth dries all crusty with soap scum. It’s fucking disgusting. I use that cloth to wipe down the bath support wedge thing that T farts and shits on.
And that thing went on my baby’s mouth? I could die. Seriously, lay down and die. And then you could bury my body with a thousand crusty blue wash cloths and toss me into land fill where flies would crawl in my ears and lay eggs and then maggots would eat my brain.
I can’t really blame my mother-in-law. I guess she went looking for a face washer. Where would you usually find one? In the bathroom. Why oh why doesn’t she know my system??? They’re in the draw next to the freaking bibs of course! But really, wouldn’t you use a tissue or something if all you could find elsewhere was a petrified, skanky, old dish cloth? I vomit a little every time I think of that going into T’s mouth. Maybe he even licked it a bit.
I am working tomorrow. I have already gotten the bib and face washer ready on the high chair for breakfast. T’s lunch is in the fridge. Frozen bag of breastmilk has been transferred to the fridge for defrost. Post-its with extra notes about systems have been placed in T’s day book for my mother-in-law. Never again will T suffer from my deviation of system. Never again will T have to lick his own poo cloth.