Old Fears Die Hard
Once, many years ago, while in college, I was babysitting my niece and nephews while my sister and brother-in-law had a (much needed, I now realize) night out. Babysitting was not a new thing to me. By that time I’d logged hundreds of hours keeping guard over the offspring of neighbors, teachers, friends of friends and of course my family.
My older niece and nephew were snug in their beds upstairs. The house was still and ready to be quiet for the night. But my younger nephew (maybe four months old? I really can’t remember exactly) was being uncharacteristically fussy. I tried everything I could think of. I fed him. I burped him. I danced him around to music. I paced. I sat. I sang.
Finally. Finally. I changed him. And naturally, that did the trick. But oh the guilt at spacing out on his diaper for more than an hour while he wailed in frustration and discomfort!
So fast forward to my own months of gestating my first born. There were the usual mommy-fears both rational and irrational. But underlying all of those was that particular night with my nephew. The night I forgot to change the baby’s diaper. It haunted me.
It haunts me still.
The other night I dreamed that I had picked Gus up from day care and forgotten to change his diaper for over 24 hours. When I finally did, in the dream, the pee was literally streaming out of the poor over-used diaper. That dream has unearthed my latent diaper-forgetting fears. I might be a second time mom here, but I’m finding that old fears die hard.
Now, one might think that having such a fear would keep me overly vigilant. That I would change my baby’s diaper every hour on the hour because I was so paranoid. But that wasn’t the case with Gus. Granted there was only one time, but there was ONE TIME when Gus was two months old that he was suuuper fussy and I couldn’t figure it out and my family was around giving all sorts of “advice” and I was totally flustered. And not only did I completely not think to change him, it turned out that my mother had done the last change and had fastened the diaper WAY too tight over his little belly which probably caused more of the fuss than the lack of clean dipe. But STILL. had I checked, I would have fixed it!
What if I forget to change my baby’s diaper?!?!?!