This morning, Angie went off to work for the first time in Bangkok. This meant it was my first official day as a stay-at-home dad. Things got off to a great start, with Angie feeding Dorian before she left the apartment. I hung out with Dorian for a bit until he was ready for a nap. We have had a difficult time getting him to nap in his crib. I’m sure some part of it is transitional (new place, new crib, time zone, etc.), though the bottom line is he could probably use more sleep. I was a bit concerned about placing him in his crib for his first morning nap. As I laid him down, he looked at me with his “I’m about to get fussy” look. I ignored the look and gently played with him. I made strange noises and random vocalizations to get his attention. He smiled, and I found some relief in the possibility that we just might make it through this episode without a fight. Side note: The last thing Angie heard last night was Dorian screaming into my armpit as I rocked him in our rocking chair. I continued making random sounds as I slowly walked away. I expected him to start crying once I was out of sight, as he has done so many times before. To my surprise, he was totally fine. Then I thought, surely he will start crying by the time I go downstairs and turn on his baby monitor. Again, I was surprised to see him (we have a video monitor) content and soothing himself by sucking on his hand. He slept well with minimal fussing as it got close to his next feed. Good boy, Dorian!
I had an errand to run and figured it would be a great way to get Dorian out of the house after his next feed. We had just purchased a mosquito net for Dorian’s car seat, so I was excited to use it for the first time. Instead of buying a car, we decided to rent a golf cart for the school year, as many people do here. It provides us with easy transportation around the community and can even get us to a nearby 7-story shopping center! We had the rental company help us with a custom installation for Dorian’s car seat base. The open-air ride of a golf cart leaves him vulnerable to mosquitoes, hence the mosquito net. I got Dorian ready to go: fresh diaper change, put him in his car seat, grabbed the diaper bag, and out the door we went. I got to our golf cart and put Dorian into the seat base. “Click, click!” and I knew he was secure. As I was turning to walk around to the driver’s seat, I noticed something moving. It was a slow, lava-like flow of fresh baby poo. I didn’t even hear it, which is untypical for Dorian. I got a bit frazzled as I got a better look at the damage. His poo was leaking everywhere. I didn’t even know how to handle it at first. I immediately removed the car seat and took him back in the apartment.
I took him out of the car seat and just laid him down on the floor of the shower. He was smiling and talking to me, as I surveyed him and the empty car seat that was now full of poo. Belt straps, buckles, headrest (?!) were all laced with poo. Then I noticed that poo had leaked into the holes where the straps lead under/behind the carseat itself. I said to myself, “Okay, okay…baby first, baby first, baby first.” I made sure Dorian was safe for the moment (thank goodness he’s not mobile yet). I ran and got our diaper changing kit. I stripped him down and went for the baby wipes. Then I realized it was a futile attempt and went to plan B. Since he had poo everywhere, I just turned on the shower and sprayed him off and washed him like a little puppy. He was still calm and gave me an occasional smile. I set up a towel on the floor just outside the shower where I dried him off and put a fresh diaper on. I explained to him that I needed to take care of the car seat now, so he doesn’t ride around sporting poo-stains everywhere.
I grabbed our laundry detergent and laundry brush (which we just bought two days ago!). I went to work, scrubbing and scrubbing away. I was dripping with sweat, as our bathroom doesn’t have any windows. Dorian and I were involved in some call-and-response conversations as I worked in the shower. Seat belts are a bit tough to get poo out of. I think it may have to do with the weave of the material, as it allows a lot of pockets and grooves for the poo to sit in. I was thinking that this was an awesome way to be welcomed into the world of stay-at-home parenting, or parenthood in general, really. I had to strip the car seat liner off from the body and realized that car seats are basically huge bicycle helmets; a bunch of plastic and hard foam. After I scrubbed and rinsed everything best I could, I turned to check on Dorian. He was out cold. Okay, so what was I going to do about his nap? I decided to leave him be since he was sleeping peacefully. I didn’t want to disrupt him in the event that he woke up and had a hard time falling asleep again. I carefully stepped over him to exit the bathroom. I needed some water and fresh air. When I looked back into the bathroom, I had to laugh at the disaster that had just happened. “This is only day one,” I thought, and likely not the only time I’ll be breaking down the car seat to give it a scrub.
Timing is everything. Thank goodness we had our washer delivered today. I happened to be carrying Dorian when the delivery team arrived. He fell asleep in my arms as I hashed out communication with the two kind gentlemen who spoke very little English. After they installed the washer, I got to test it out right away with the aftermath of Dorian’s explosion. I ended up putting Dorian in his swing for the remainder of his nap, as I was confident that I had a better chance of keeping him asleep with the motion rather than attempting to place him into his crib mid-nap. In an odd twist of things, Dorian actually got better sleep today than most days since we’ve arrived in Bangkok.
In the afternoon, Angie called to say she was finished with work. I offered to pick her up in our golf cart. She had no idea of the day Dorian and I had. I told her that I just needed to change Dorian’s diaper and I would leave. Well, that took longer than expected because mid-change, Dorian peed all over my shorts, his changing pad (towel), a clean diaper, and the parquet floor. The only way to end my first shift, I suppose. Angie tells me that our shipment from Tunisia will be delivered tomorrow. Should be another crazy day, followed by more crazy days trying to organize all of our belongings to the new living space. Not a big problem in the grand scheme of things. Life is good, poo and all.
5 thoughts on “Stay-at-home Dad, Day 01: Crappy”
Oh man, I’m sorry you had such a tough day but it sure made for some hilarious reading! Dorian sounds like an absolute cutie pie (or cutie poo?) and despite the mishaps, it sounds as if you did a fantastic job at your new role, Corbet! Well done. And hang in there, papa bear, it’ll get better!
Dorian is both a cutie pie and a cutie poo, for sure! Thank you for reading and for the words of encouragement. I imagine both Dorian and I will have many more challenges to overcome during our time together at home. I am proud of our car seat now, which shows no signs of the disaster that happened. It helped my confidence in knowing that I can scrub poo properly. I am totally a stay-at-home dad now!
Well, here you are, Corbet, on day 2! So glad you survived day one as Executive Child Care Engineer! I recall being very thankful for a bathtub, as there were many times when EVERYTHING that was soiled (including baby), just had to begin recovery in the tub. Today, John and I were remembering the times we had to call a plumber, because a toddler came along and flushed the poopy cloth diaper, which was soaking in the toilet! It was $25 bucks a diaper! Have you or Angie been bitten by mosquitoes? Thanks for sharing day one with us. It was quite entertaining, as I read it aloud to John….not to mention the hilarious photo! Whoops, I shouldn’t be laughing at your misery. Enjoy day 2!
Thanks for sharing your story of those $25 poopy cloth diapers. Perhaps a bucket would have served better as a place for soaking those dirty diapers. Costs less than $25! Angie and I have been bitten by mosquitos. Dorian hasn’t been bitten yet. We do what we can to minimize risks, while realizing that mosquito bites are going to happen while living in Bangkok.