Monday, October 5, 2009

The Problem With Naked Playtime

Thank god toddler piss doesn't stain no-wax floors.

We've evolved this little ritual called naked playtime, which would be a lot more fun if it just involved two consenting adults. But, no, it's for the Brooklyn Baby Baby so she doesn't get diaper rash. Every night for about 30 to 45 minutes she runs around sans diaper, starkers, going hither and yon, having a great time. More or less.

But recently, however, it's turned into a bit of a minefield, for reasons that are probably all too obvious. Today, for example, I got home from work, and greeted Randi, and saw the little girl, naked, as it was naked playtime. She smiled at me and then ran away, which is about how things seem to work around here. Never, under any circumstances will she snuggle. But a smile and some laughter works for me, so I wasn't disappointed.

Randi was getting ready to participate in The Moth storytelling show, or to try and participate, so I took over kid watching patrol. I followed her to the guitar, on its stand, and saw her hit it over and over again. Getting the hint I was glad to oblige my number one fan, and started to play something fun, I'd hoped, yes, I remember now. It was "Deal" by the Grateful Dead, a jumpy upbeat tune, if you can believe a band named the Grateful Dead have any jumpy upbeat tunes. Stella kind of danced around for two seconds and then went between our coffee table and couch and began to make crying sounds. After a while I put the guitar down and looked to see what was going on.

I found -- much to my irritation, but not to my surprise -- that she had just let loose a big stream of pee, and was sitting in it on the floor.

"Oh god!" I sighed/shouted, and picked her up. Randi was still doing her thing so I grabbed a mop and cleaned it up. The acidic powers of urine made the floors sparkly clean, although I worry that it will strip off the polyurethane finish eventually.

Then I returned the mop, and Stella made a beeline for where she had just so gracefully voided her bladder. The floor was still a little damp so she took this opportunity to slip in it, going ass over tea kettle, and bonking her little head. If I didn't before now I surely felt like Dad Of The Year: my daughter hits her head, because she stepped barefoot into her own pee, and it got away from her.

"That's it!" I said, irritated, "no more naked playtime." I just didn't see how it could be worth it.

Randi then took off for the show, I was upset by recent events so my wife got a distracted "break a leg" from me. (I called later to wish it with more oomph.) Then I picked up the guitar once she was out, to entertain the now wailing Stella. I started to play "April, Come She Will" by Simon and Garfunkle and she got a big smile across her face and started to dance, although the song is so slow that the only dance you could do to it would be the waltz. And not a fast waltz.

Then, still smiling, she walked over to the TV and stood before it. Then she squatted and squeezed out two perfect little turds right on the floor.

"Oh my god, not again," I said, scooping her up and placing her on her potty, which was only TWO FEET from where she had just so gracefully pooped. Putting her on her potty proved very upsetting to the girl, and she screamed and wailed while I held her by her armpit, hoping that she would keep pooping in the receptacle designed for just such occasions. No such luck, instead she just complained a lot. Okay, you win this time, Golden Child.

The rest of the night proceeded with further incident, but I do have to admit this naked playtime thing is simply starting to make less and less sense to yours truly.

Yesterday we were having naked playtime and disaster struck in a different way. I had taken off my pants in order to put some Ben-Gay on my knee. (I had been at the Tot Lot with the child when I pulled a slightly athletic maneuver and felt something rip inside the knee. It still hurts, by the way.) So, in my underwear I was once again trying to soothe the savage toddler with music. This might sound vain to you guys, but I swear to you I only play this much because she likes it!

This time she showed her appreciation by walking over to me, sitting on my lap and then peeing all over my leg. Although I'm leaving out a crucial detail: first she smiled.

Horrified I got up, and ran to the bathroom to clean off. Randi was inside putting on makeup. "Ugh," I said, "she just, she just peed all over me!" Randi looked at me, and then kept on doing what she was doing, although a few minutes later she said was really sorry that Stella had just gone to the bathroom on my leg.

Except she doesn't actually GO to the bathroom, she goes to dad. I am a Port-a-daddy, a receptacle. It's getting kind of old. I know she likes running around naked, and I know that diaper rash is a terrible thing, and I am concerned about her tender tushie skin, but something has simply got to give. I am running out of clean pants.


Thomas said...

Such a great story - and so comforting - I am not the only Dad stuggling with every day effectiveness -

Jakob's Dad (=Thomas - but who cares for my name)

David Serchuk said...

Hi Thomas,
Thanks for the kind comments and, yes, you are not alone!


Anne Stesney said...

Ha! Naked playtime is so cute but so messy. Just about everytime I let Walt run around naked I end up cleaning the floors.