Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Quick Demonstration: How to Clean Your Toddler

As mentioned yesterday, I'm still working out a few kinks in this little adventure called Motherhood.  One thing I have down to a science, however, is cleaning Jack up post-meal.  It's not always pretty, but within a few minutes, I have a child clean enough to be allowed near upholstered furniture.  I thought a little tutorial might be of use for any future parents out there (and also for John, who still hasn't mastered the process).


Here we have Exhibit A.  Jack is covered in a lovely combination of mango-spinach puree and almond butter with roasted flax seeds, which I'd smeared on a whole wheat toaster waffle. Somehow the puree has made it into his eyebrows, and the almond butter (which is filled with little flecks of what I can only assume is almond skin) has somehow made its way into every crevice on Jack's arms and hands.

I call this a three-paper towel meal, because, as you might have guessed from the name, it requires three paper towels to adequately handle the aftermath.  The three towels, which should be separated from each other, are thoroughly doused with warm water and then wrung out.  Don't worry if they stick together - one good shake and they'll separate.  Whenever I ask John to procure the paper towels, he takes one towel, folds it twice, gets it soaking wet in the middle, and then hands it to me.  That is an example of how NOT to do things.  (No offense, honey.)

Next, take the first paper towel and grab hold of the nearest baby appendage (in this case, Jack's left hand).  Clean it thoroughly with the towel, making sure to get into all the aforementioned baby crevices.  As soon as you have cleaned this hand, quickly remove the tray with your other hand, before the child has a chance to re-slime the clean hand, and the bib, which is also covered in filth at this point.  In one deft move, grab a hold of the remaining dirty hand, and repeat with the second paper towel.  Finally, use the third towel on the child's face (assuming you can find it under all the slime).


And here we have Exhibit B.  Jack is clean and happy, reading the new puppy book I bought him this morning after he got a hold of one of my "grown up" books about greyhounds.

Footnotes: It's worth noting that I have a clear plastic "splat mat" under Jack's highchair to protect John's Afghan rug (affectionately known in our house as "Neck of the Sheep" because - you guessed it! - it's made from wool from the neck of the sheep; we have a real knack for naming things, eh?).  I also keep Jack's tray shoved up against his ever-growing belly, so it's harder for him to drop things onto the seat.  The tray, along with the sippy cup and the bib, goes straight to the sink for a thorough washing.

Happy baby cleaning!


kerry2642 said...

Mara.. I wish I had these instructions when I was "cleaning up" Patty.. You have it down to a science.. now John on the other hand needs lesson #1 on the art of "paper-wetting/folding.. lol..Another wonderful blog!!! hugs "AK"

Sarah said...

Ha ha this was a good one :)