I knew that becoming parents meant a sacrifice to cleanliness. New parents are always ranting about finding time for basic household chores and personal hygiene. I was prepared for both of these. Resolving to live a life of dirty, stacked dishes, dust bunnies, and dressing from the clothes lying at the foot of the bed is, embarrassingly enough, not a huge life change. Leaving the house without showering is also something I have been comfortable with long before Ezra was born. What I was not prepared for and have found surprising is how difficult it has been trying to keep Ezra shiny, clean, and retaining his “new baby” smell.
The first major stink occurred at the most unfortunate time. We were at his first official (now with a baby) pediatrician appointment. She was already grumpy that she was seeing Ezra for the first time and he was already 10 days old. We were not in a rush to take our healthy baby to her office during a flu outbreak and had received postnatal check-ups from our midwife. Ezra was already receiving plenty of good care, yet her disapproving tone was making us feel like bad parents. This feeling was amplified when we undressed him, in front of the doctor, and discovered what had been making Amanda and I repeat “what is that smell?” the previous night.
To avoid embarrassing Ezra with the details, I will just say Ezra had a really messy afternoon the day before. Though I bathed him (twice!) since the incident - including the morning of the doctor’s appointment - I failed to notice that a little something had made its way from his diaper into his armpit. Amanda, noticing it before the doctor, quickly and aggressively removed it with a wipe cloth.
That seems like something that could happen to any new parent, but we are not just any new parents so we decided to top that incident by dying his face purple.
This one was actually slightly more intentional. Amanda had contracted a yeast infection (thrush) in her nipple and treated it with gentian violet. Gentian violet is an effective, yet messy, way of dealing with thrush. Oddly enough, this is not the first time someone in our household has accidentally dyed their face purple. The first time involved [this person] scrubbing purple hair dye off her face with lava soap which is like a bar of sudsy sandpaper. Learning from our own life experiences, we let the purple fade on its own this time.
We then decided that purple lips alone were not punk enough, and decided to add a scar to Ezra’s cheek. We do not know who was to blame for this: Garry (the zipper on his jacket) or Ezra (he has crazy sharp fingernails).