Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Code Brown

Being the bub's mom was a tough job yesterday. As loyal readers are aware, he is now "sleeping" in a toddler bed. The transition has not been easy, but it has also been better than we expected . . . until yesterday. Yesterday when it was time for the bub to nap, he wasn't interested. I offered a few more books, tried to feign sleep on the floor beside him, and was even allowed to rock him for a few minutes (a rare treat, NTB, as usually only daddy and his grandmas are allowed rocking privileges). When nothing worked, I was reduced to leaving him to his own devices to whine, run around, and cry until he fell asleep. Last week, he threw me for a loop by busting through the gate that pens him in his room during these whining sessions. I figured out how to get the gate in there more securely. True, he could not push the gate down. What he could do and did do yesterday was scale the gate and hoist one chubby leg on top of it. If I had not been monitoring the situation from my office, adjacent to his room, he would surely have found a way to get the other leg over and then fallen and injured himself. I stopped him just in time. Again, NTB. He eventually fell asleep yesterday, but his nap was short. It wasn't (entirely) the bub's fault, but I was tired and cranky the remainder of the afternoon and early evening.

And so, it was a special surprise that when in the home stretch--that last forty minutes before daddy gets home--just when I was about to get my bub out of the bathtub . . . just five minutes before he would have been my clean, moisturized, hair-brushed angel in Elmo pajamas . . . just then, I noticed we were in a code brown situation. What's a code brown? It's just like Caddy Day at Bushwood, except with actual doody in the bathwater, not just a Baby Ruth in the swimming pool. Thesse days, we have maybe 2 code browns a month, but there was a time last spring when we averaged 4-5 code browns each week and thus developed a procedure:

1. Supervising parent calls out from bathroom: "We've got a code brown."
2. Bub is removed from the tub, wiped, toweled off, and diapered.
3. Large, obvious hunks are removed and placed into toilet. (Note use of passive tense here to detract attention from the fact that some agent, usually me, has to handle those hunks.)
4. I sanitize the bath toys and rubber bathmat by throwing them into the washing machine or, minus the bath mat, the dishwasher.
5. I scrub and sanitize the bottom of the tub.

The fact that we have the procedure down does not make it any less annoying. An added bonus is that I typically forget about the previous evening's code brown until it is bathtime the next night. Only once the bub is undressed and I go to run the water do I remember that the bath mat and all the toys are in the basement laundry room.

My mom made the excellent suggestion that we purchase a potty seat so that code brown moments might become opportunities to get a head start on potty training. And true, there have been rare occasions when we have caught a code brown in the making and transferred the bub to the potty seat, which is nice. The problem is the presence of the potty seat has also been the impetus for an elaborate pre-bath routine in which the bub sits on the potty, pulls off pieces of toilet paper, and flushes. This can take up to five minutes, which may not sound like a long time but is a long time, especially when you are squatting in front of a toddler who cannot quite balance himself on the potty seat. Then, the bub likes to wash his hands. I appreciate his interest in hygiene, I really do, but the hand-washing also gets old as he needs to be held up in front of the sink for its entirety. He would wash his hands (or at least, turn the water on and off) all night if someone let him.

Point being, the code brown was the chocolate icing on the stale cake that was yesterday's long day. Nap time today was no better than yesterday and I still have bath duty to do tonight. At least I've already retrieved the sanitized toys and bath mat. We're ready to go. NTB.


Anonymous said...

NTB, but I believe I was present to witness the first code brown ever, a year or so ago...
By the way, we had our own situation today at N's dr. appt. "Code Clear" on the floor and examining table as I struggled to get a clean diaper out of my purse after the naked weigh-in, and then "code mustard" all up her back and across Daddy's shorts two minutes later. Don't give too many points to Daddy for being there -- he stopped in on his way home from a dental appt. but it did work out, as O ended up having to get a flu shot, and I needed the manpower.

Hubby (aka T-Baby) said...

This help explains why I feel so loved when I get home from work. Meppie is ready to hand off Bub and Bub realizes that mom is not that fun late in the day.

LAP said...

MEP, I'm very impressed with all you manage "not to brag" about when dealing with code brown.

By the way E, they totally sprung the flu shot on me while we were at the Dr. for N's last ear infection. Because I had no extra manpower, they had to call in an extra nurse to help with the pin down and coddle process. The highlight was walking out of the office while carrying a crying child on each hip. Good times. Good times.

Anonymous said...

Code Brown,fabulous!
Rogan is a veteran of those. The best deal going is being in charge of toy clean up. Take the toys out front, hose and soap just long enough to miss the rest of bathtime and tub cleanup. If I think cleanup goes to quickly then I will hit a few plastic golf balls in front yard before heading back inside.
Great blog......mcp

Actchy said...

Great post, but I sort of wish there had been a warning, because maybe I wouldn't have read it while eating my peanut butter & jelly sandwich?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're still smiling (kind of). Motherhood and all the glam that goes with it! M

Steph said...

This is a very well-written (and funny!) story! I love your use of the passive - and the analogies. Someone would think you were an English major. ;-)

Ela said...

Thanks for writing this.

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