Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Unexpected Man-i/Pedi

My awesome mother-in-law is on a noble campaign to sensitize my Munchkin to staying with people other than Mama. Right now he's almost nine months old, and most of the time, for me, he's a perfect baby - calm, cool, collected, funny - but when he realizes Mom's not in the vicinity, watch out. Several times, when she's babysat for us, he starts screaming when he sees me leave, and doesn't stop until either I return, or he passes out from exhaustion. It breaks my heart.

This weekend we've been staying at my in-laws because Daddy is fishing, and out of the blue last night, my sweet MIL said, "Do you want to get your nails done tomorrow?" My hands and feet have been a mess. I haven't had a mani/pedi in over a year, since before I went on 10 weeks of bed rest pre-birth, so I jumped at the chance. She made me an appointment with her regular nail person at 2 today, perfectly timed for just after Munchkin's afternoon nap.

All seemed well - I snuck out as Nana changed Munchkin's diaper; he had just awakened from a 2 1/2 hour snooze and was smiling and laughing - awesome. I made my getaway, and he was none the wiser.

At the nail salon, my stylist and I chatted about the new baby - my MIL has been going to the same woman for about 10 years, so she knew all about us. She paid extra attention to my aching new-mommy hands and feet, pointing out a gigantic bruise on my shin that I can't at all explain - I hadn't seen it before and have no idea how or why it came to be there. My best guess is that I must have slammed 25 pounds of baby-and-car-seat into my leg at some point and didn't even notice.

My shoes were problematic - as, of course, this was an "unexpected" mani/pedi, I wasn't wearing sandals - just the clunky, closed-toed comfort shoes that are my Mama uniform. Not to worry - they supplied me with funky orange foam sandals that earned me funny looks when I went next door to the supermarket to pick up chicken for my MIL on my way back.

Armed with the poultry and my shiny new hands and feet (still in the funky orange footwear), I made my way back to the homestead. I was greeted at the door by a smiling MIL and contented baby, who instantly dissolved into tears the moment he saw me and realized I'd been away. My husband calls this reaction the, "I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A *MOM* OPTION!?!"

Big, fat tears rolled down his cheeks, and he screamed until I was finished washing my hands, but stopped the instant I held him in my arms. Such power. Such responsibility. (Thanks, Spiderman.) I took him upstairs with me, then finally got to use the bathroom myself... of course, he wanted to nurse the second I sat down, so I complied... and as I sat there, within two minutes, his eyelids fluttered, and he fell asleep. Except, I was still on the toilet. And he was still nursing. Dilemma.

There should be an Olympic event of this kind for nursing moms: while holding - and not waking - a lanky, 16-pound sleeping-and-latched-on-nursing infant in one arm, get yourself off the pot, doing all the necessary cleansing with your non-dominant hand; pull up your pants (jeans! it's harder!) one-handed, then wash said hand; then get out of the room and down the hall and get you both into a comfortable configuration in bed, all without rousing - or unlatching - the babe. If you don't have kids, try this holding a weighted sock monkey you've taped to your nipple. Almost every mom reading this has attempted an event of this kind at one time or another. I am certain I got at least a bronze.

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