Warning: Gross descriptions ahead.
Natalie has been doing great at eating solid foods in the past few days. Feeding her with a spoon was a struggle, with her grabbing for the spoon and then not opening her mouth, so I have mostly been offering her finger foods. At first, she could barely hang on to the foods, let alone bring them to her mouth and then release, but as her dexterity improves, she enjoys feeding herself much more. Her faves? Strawberries and peaches. I give her whole srawberries to gnaw at and slices of peach. She usually sucks off all of the fruit and then spits the peel back out.
This morning, after a strawberry and 3 slices of peach, she was ready to get cleaned up. Most mornings, she takes a shower with me. This started when she was just a couple of months old because she would cry when I left her alone. She has a baby bath that I put at the far side of the tub and so I rinse her off and then put her in the tub to splash around while I clean myself. The last thing that comes off before stepping into the shower is Natalie's diaper because if she is free for very long, she like to pee on me. So, I pulled off her diaper and it had a little poop smudge on it. No big deal- I didn't bother wiping her, figuring an extra thorough rinse in the shower would be sufficient.
So I let the shower spray her bottom for a while. Figuring she was mostly clean, I reach for her bottom to brush off any remaining specks. My hand meets a baby bum still caked with crap. "Aw, how sweet! She has just made her first semi-solid poo!" -thinks the sentimental side of me. Meanwhile, the practical side of me is taken aback in disgust and thinks merely, "Ew."
Aside on the development of baby poop:
Baby's poop begins as totally runny, mucous-like mush. It remains more or less liquid, developing small, soft lumps (curdled milk) as long as the baby is exclusively breaskfed. As solid food is introduced, poop goes from runny to mushy to pastey, with the occasional soft chunk no larger than a pea.
As I brushed the poop from her bottom, two chunks, each about an inch across, detached from the surrounding pastey wastey and fell to the tub floor where it got caught by the drain. Disgusted and semi-horrified, I did what any sensible human being would to: Squished it with my toe, trying to get it to wash down the drain. It took a disturbing amount of squishing and I promised myself never to touch the drain again for the 10 more days we will be staying here and to wash my toe 5 times.
Once the poo was finally gone and Natalie's bottom clear, I set her down in her bath and began furiously scrubbing my hands and feet. As I rinsed for the third time, Natalie sneezed a mighty sneeze and as she lifted her face towards me, I noticed a gross something hanging out of her nose. It was dark and papery and hideous. I reached down, grasped it between my fingers and pulled, revealing... a.... great....big... (is the suspense killing you?) peach peel! Whew. I was afraid to imagine what it was. I guess that explained the wierd face she was making as she ate this morning.
The adventures did not end there.
Inspired by the London Olympics, especially the women's gymnastics, Natalie has recently been trying out some new tricks, including the vertical-kneel and the hunched-over-supported-stand. As I moved on to washing my hair, Natalie began grasping the side of her bath tub and standing up. She immediately reached for the most child-friendly object in the whole bathroom: my razor. I snatched it away and put it on the sink just outide the shower. She then began reaching outide her baby bath toward the side of the shower. I could too easily imagine her legs giving way and her head slamming straight into the side of the ceramic tub. So, I picked her up out of her bath and sat her on the floor of the shower, hurrying to finsh rinsing my conditioner so that we could get out of the shower. But Natalie was now free to scoot anywhere in the shower. So, of course, she went straight to the front and leaned over to put her mouth on the drain. Yuck.
This is a small chronicle highlighting just a portion of the morning, not touching upon Natalie trying to pull down the floor lamp while I was changing or her vomitting on me as soon as I put my shirt on/ If you want to know what a full morning is like with Natalie... I rent her out starting at $10.95/hr.