Instructions Would be Helpful

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Tonight, Budge and I had the privilege to keep the nine-month-old youngest baby boy of some of our friends from our church community group. The parents were going to see Oldest Daughter perform as Comet the Reindeer in the school’s Winter Holiday Christmas program and Middle Daughter would be accompanying the parentals.

However, Baby Boy likes to go to bed at 6:30 to 7:00 in the evening and, even though he is a wonderfully easy baby 99% of the time, he does NOT like being up past his bedtime. With that in mind, Dad gave me a call and asked if we’d get Junior off to bed so He and Mom could enjoy the show.

Since we are childless but adore children, we jumped at the chance!

Now as I said, Junior is an awesome baby. He’s ALMOST got the mechanics of crawling down. He’s got the arm strength built up to hold up his torso and he’s got the rocking motion down, but he just hasn’t quite put all the pieces together to create forward movement.

Mom explained the bedtime routine, told us where the Chicken Enchilada Bake for supper was warming up, and thanked us profusely before heading out the door to the school. Junior played hard for the next 90 minutes. He loves his little soft ball, but he has a hard time keeping it where he wants it and he since he can’t move to get it yet, he gets a little aggravated when it rolls away. So he and I had a great time playing with the ball and the little thing you push down on and it spins. He was having a great time, but all good things wear out and right around 6:35, the little fella started wearing out.

Budge asked me to do the diaper change and put him in his “sleep sack” while she ate supper then she’d take him up and rock him a bit so he’d go to sleep. No problem. Diaper changes don’t bother me at all. When Budge and I kept nursery at our former church, we had a family who sent three children through the nursery and I have no idea what those little ones ate, but they had the WORST diapers imaginable. I won’t gross you out with the hideously gory details, but suffice it to say the diaper, and sometimes even the clothes, didn’t always contain the spillage.

Little Junior’s diaper was a piece o’ cake compared to the Samples’ kids. I got him into the dry and put him in his sleep sack, zipped it up and figured he was ready for the night. Now I’ll admit I was a bit confused about the design of the sleep sack. It looked warm enough aplenty for his tummy to his feet, but his arms and chest were exposed and since I was under the impression the sleep sack replaced blankets in the crib, I was worried that his little upper body was going to get chilled. Still, this was the garment Mom had left for him to sleep in and Mom knows best, so I got him snuggled in the sleep sack, picked up his footie pjs to put in the hamper and went to make the handoff to Budge.

Those of you who know and understand the workings of sleep sacks already realize the problem. I would have loved a call from any one of you about four hours ago.

As soon as Budge saw me holding Junior, she laughed a little. When I queried her about what was so humorous, she informed me THEN that the sleep sack goes on OVER the pjs. Well, that does make sense, but since I like a minimum of cover when I sleep, I projected that onto the baby and figured the sack was all he needed, despite my misgivings about the arms and chest exposure.

Okay, I felt a little aggravated at the fact everyone in the world seemed to know how to dress a babe in a glorified sleeping bag except me, but I got over it quickly in the spirit of getting Junior off to the Land of Nod. So I sat him down and prepared to rectify the mistaken clothing situation.

It was there my troubles began.

See, Junior was an angel for the first undressing and redressing, HOWEVER, it became immediately obvious that he also was not one to suffer fools gladly. I had taken my ONE chance at dressing him properly while he was compliant and calm and I had blown it. Now, I would have to pay for that folly.

Since the sleep sack had just the one zipper, I had him skinned out of it relatively quickly, but then the footie pjs had to go back on. Whoever dreamed up footie pjs should be taken out, stood against the wall, and shot. Then shot again. With the eponymous “footies” on the bottoms of the pj legs, it is impossible to reach up through the leg, take firm hold of the wiggling foot and pull said foot back through the leg. You instead have to do “the point and push” where you start a foot into a pj leg and hope Junior extends his leg. He did . . . after six tries.

Then it was time to get the arms in the sleeves. I could have put socks on a millipede in the time it took me to get Junior’s arms corralled and into their proper resting places. Did you know a baby boy who is pissed off at you because you are too stupid to get him dressed correctly the first time can A) scream louder than the flight deck of a nuclear aircraft carrier during launch and recovery AND B) bend his arm into contortions that would make Houdini proud? By diligent effort, though, I managed to redress the lad in his pjs and wrangle him back into the sleep sack. Of course the zipper stuck a time or two and Budge was making everything soooo very much easier by giving helpful advice like, “Don’t catch his skin in the zipper!”

I really wanted to say, “Hon, I’m a guy. I’m used to ‘not catching things in zippers’ okay?” But I didn’t so I lived to write this entry. When I finally got the zipper zipped and the little tag thingy at the top of the collar buttoned, I threw both hands in the air rodeo style so the judges would know I had finished the hog-tying event. Budge just looked at me with barely disguised laughter of derision and scooped Junior up and took him off to bed.

Hey, all you Gerber and Carter and Oshkosh people? How about some directions printed on the sleep sack? Too much to ask?

In any event, love all of y’all and keep your feet “sleep sack” warm, dry, and clean!

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