Have you ever had a sweater that was the Perfect Sweater? As hard as you try you couldn’t find anything wrong with it. You can wear it with everything, blue jeans, sweatpants and a dress. It is precisely the right temperature no matter what it is like outside. You show this sweater a lot of love. Adding to its perfection – it never seems dirty. No matter what has spilled on it, it smells fresh and clean and remains unwrinkled.
And then one day you decide you should wash it. It’s not even dirty you just feel like you should wash it. So you’re really careful. No Woolite, no fancy detergent. Just water for this Perfect Sweater. No dryer, no washing machine. Wash that sucker by hand in the sink.
Then after you wash it it’s just never the same. It is like a kleenex. Little bits just fall right off. It’s a disaster. If someone saw you in your favorite sweater they’d ask you “What did you do to that sweater?”
And if you were say, overtired you might reply “I just fucking WASHED it, okay? I had been wearing it every day for two weeks, I just thought I should wash it. I was trying to do the right thing!!!”
Yeah, that’s what I did to my baby. Lucy is the Perfect Sweater.
Babies have dry skin. Babies have sensitive skin and I know that. And it would not be a problem if it wasn’t that I am psychotic. I’d just lube her up with olive oil and not bathe her again for a week.
But I am psychotic. And I did have The Talk with my boss last Friday. Not “The Talk” because that kind of chatter has no place in the workplace unless you are a Sex Ed teacher, but the one where I said “I think business is too slow to justify me being full time, so I kind of think you should lay me off.” And he said “okay” and by the first of march I will be a stay at home mom. That talk.
The same talk that was slightly less terrifying because of another talk MQD and I had before we bought our house. That one was about how we shouldn’t buy a house while we were pregnant unless we knew we would be okay if we had a baby that needed me full time, a baby that was not perfectly healthy. Because we were dealing with 35 year old eggs after all.
And so now I am stuck in this awful moment in time where the only way to get unscared is to look for the monster under the bed. Which for me is to say it out loud. I am scared that since I quit my job to stay at home Lucy will get sick and it will be all my fault. Breathe. See? It is slightly less scary now since I can see how crazy that sounds.
Intellectually, I know there is no reason to google “infant dry skin symptom of deadly illness.”
So, last Monday I had a job and a baby that had new baby smell with milky white skin and a Perfect Sweater.
This week? I will have no job very shortly, Lucy’s face is rotting off and she smells like old noodles… but I am not ever going to wash this sweater.
Stay tuned for the saga of the stay at home mother and her epic battle against dry skin and what will eventually be a foul milk smelling sweater.
...and the baby, ashamed of her flesh eating disorder.