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.
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.