Teapot is crying. I look at the video monitor and see that she’s half-awake and fussing. It’s 4 a.m. She’s probably hungry, so I get ready to feed her in her room so she won’t wake up too much. But when I pick her up, her side is wet. Shit. Damned diaper. I lay her on the change table in the near-darkness and strip her sleeper off and throw it on the floor. I take off the massively failed diaper and throw it away. I wipe Teapot’s side with a wet-wipe. If I’m lucky, she’ll just keep whining. I’m not lucky – she starts crying in earnest. Flailing. Whacking my hands as I try to put the new diaper on. I shush her. I tell her milk is coming. I rummage through the dresser for another sleeper. The legs and arms are inside out from the dryer. Damnit. I quickly fix the arms and legs and pick up Teapot so I can lay down the sleeper. Sleeper down, baby down. Arms in, legs in. Snaps done. I sit down on the chair, put the nursing pillow on my lap and put Teapot on the pillow to nurse.

Deep breath.

When she’s done one side, she’s still awake and rooting. I flip her around for the other side. She nurses a bit and then slows down. Success. I find a burp cloth and put Teapot to my shoulder. I pat her back. She burps. And then she spits up. I hear milk hit the floor, feel milk pour down my shirt and pants. Goddamnit. It’s 4:45 a.m.

I touch Teapot’s sleeper. She seems dry. Also, she’s asleep. Sidestepping the puddle of spat-up milk, I go to put Teapot back in her crib. Then I realize the top-sheet has pee on it. With Teapot sleeping on my shoulder, I open the dresser and pull out another top-sheet. With one hand, I strip the crib and tuck in the fresh sheet. Milk is now soaked through my shirt and pants to my skin, but when I put Teapot in her crib, she is still sleeping and that’s all that matters. I toss the soiled sleeper onto the milk that spattered the floor and creep out, leaving a trail of my own milk-soiled clothes in my wake on the way back to the bedroom. Fresh clothes, a sleeping baby, and maybe a little bit more rest.


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