Sunday, January 6, 2008

There’s a Superfund Site in my Daughters Diaper

Zoe has moved almost completely to a real food diet, and we are living the consequences. The first is a glut of breast milk. It’s beginning to fill our freezer and refrigerator. Okay, maybe fill is an exaggeration but I wish breast milk tasted good on ice cream. I would not go wanting. The other is in her bedroom, used only for diaper changing these days (her crib is used only when I need her in a safe place for a few minutes—she screams like we’re breaking toes if she is left in there for more than ten minutes). Alison has suggested we make a mobile from air fresheners. I won’t go into the composition of her diapers contents, but I will say that I’ve learned to breath entirely through my mouth. In the past, in situations when excluding my nose from the breathing process would have been advantageous, I’ve always taken a little sniff, my curiosity always overpowering my better interest. During Alison’s cesarean the surgeon performing the procedure suggested I breath through my mouth (which did not help allay my anxiety.) I couldn’t help but to surreptitiously sniff a little—stopping short of a full nasal inhale—and was fortunate not to smell anything that would have provoked that legendary father-passing-out-in-the –operating-room-during-childbirth event. But Zoe’s diapers have transcended bad. We have crossed into another dimension. Trust me, it’s bad.

As I write this I’ve been watching Zoe play. For a few minutes she was content to take her plastic nesting boxes and repeatedly bash it into her wooden puzzle of farm animals. I can understand the pleasure she must derive from such an action. Often I wish I could smash with abandon without suffering any consequences. She then moved over to the pile of books (those cardboard ones that withstand multiple chewing’s) and actually flipped one open and turned a couple of pages. “Look, Honey, she’s reading!” She’s at an awkward stage where she’s curious about everything but does not have the coordination to do much about it. She can’t open boxes or operate her monkey-in-a-box or nest her nesting boxes. But she’s very good at pulling things off the coffee table and finding small, chokeable sized items that we overlooked on the floor. Speaking of choking, yesterday I took a First Aid and CPR for All Ages class. It was either that or clean and childproof the house. The instructor, a retired fireman (overweight, diabetic and leaning on a crutch) spent a third of the class instructing, a third telling ‘example of situation’ stories from his years in the fire department, and a third of the class raining doom down upon us in the form of doorstops, toilets, electrical wire, perverts, car seats, house plants, germs, cordless phones, and unscrupulous retailers intent on selling us parents useful albeit deadly accessories. Although I now feel a little more comfortable knowing that I have at least some inkling of what to do if Zoe gets eats my iPod Nano, I have decided that it would be a good idea just to move into an empty, padded (but not too padded) shipping container until Zoe is older.

See photos of Zoe at

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