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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene has become a fight.  Ever since that second week of Noelle's life when Dwayne went back to work, it's been a struggle to figure out just when and how to take a shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, do my hair, and (may the gods smile upon me) put on make-up.

When Noelle was just four months old we went to Canada to visit Dwayne's parents. While there, I met Nalisa, a good friend of Dwayne's and a mom of three. She strolled into the house with her three children (under 5) buzzing around her. She was fully dressed, hair done, with make-up.

"How do you do it?" I asked in awe. 

"Oh you haven't seen my uniform," she laughed. I thought she was going to tell me that she wore the same pair of jeans and t-shirt everyday. But she didn't. "My pajamas! Sometimes, 4:30 rolls around and I realize that I still haven't gotten dressed."

Getting ready has especially become a challenge for me since going back to work.  Because while my freshman may show up to class in their pajamas, teaching in my pajamas with no make-up is unfortunately not an option.

The only way I can get ready is if I rush a shower in right after Dwayne is done with his, and before he has to leave for work.  I have a 20 minute window.  If I miss this window, then Lord help me!  The clouds roll in, the tantrums collect, and all of baby-wrath lets loose.  

Yesterday was that day.  Dwayne had to leave early and so I had to shower on my own.  I set Noelle up with her toys in the nursery, blocked off the top of the stairs, and closed the door to the bathroom.  What I heard while I showered, was my little girl screaming and crying at the top of her lungs, banging her head on the bathroom door.  This didn't stop once, not for the duration of my shower.  

As you can imagine, I got out of the shower a sopping wet rattle of nerves. 

"Why don't you just take her into the shower with you?" I hear you ask.  Well, I've done it before, but to be honest, my shower is just one of my boundaries.  When I'm not naked, wet, and trying to get clean, I will give my baby all of my attention.  But I just have to believe that it's okay for me to take a shower on my own.  The thought of having her in the shower with me makes me feel a tad bit suffocated.  

There are other daily hygiene's that I'm willing to do with Noelle.  This morning, I found myself brushing my teeth, bent over the sink, balancing on one foot, while I held the bathroom door shut with my other foot.  I was trying to keep Noelle from escaping and falling down the stairs that are just outside our bathroom door.  It was one of those out-of-body moments, where I suddenly saw myself as a cartoon.  My hair a tangled mess, the baby running around in mad circles, and toothpaste dripping down my shirt.

Next time you see a mom in public with her kids, if her hair is even slightly combed, her clothes matching and for heavens sakes, if she's got on make-up, please stop and pay her a compliment.  Tell her she looks nice.  Pat her on the back.  Give her a high-five.  Buy her a candy bar.  She has just won five major battles that morning, all before stepping out of the door.


4 Comments:

Anonymous Natalie said...

Well spoken. I have been known to announce, "IT is a good day. I have taken a shower." And some of my kids best one liners have come when they've come rushing through the closed bathroom door while I TRY to get my 2 minute shower. Such is life with three boys under 5. Thanks!

8:26 PM  
Blogger Dave Ward said...

We have long used videos as a shower long babysitter. I know all the mags say you aren't supposed to substitute that way. But what do they know anyway? :) Have you tried Benadryl? Chloroform? Duct tape? ;)

4:54 AM  
Blogger Christin said...

Ha! Dave, you are a man after my own strategies. Shortly after writing this post, I discovered that Sesame Street comes on at 8am. The perfect shower time.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Ashleigh said...

I turn on Playhouse Disney for my older two and wait until the youngest is napping to accomplish my showers. :)

6:39 PM  

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