Ages & Stages - Part 10
After setting up an appointment for tomorrow with Dr. McDade, Karen hung up the phone,relieved that one chore was accomplished. She really didn't look forward to facing the doctor again... more afraid of howshe'd look as a mother who had failed to raise her nearly teen-agedson, than anything that might really be causing all of this regressionin John. Truth be told, she rather enjoyed this renewed attachment to her baby, he just couldn't survive without his mommy!
Over the course of the next couple of hours Karen went abouther usual housework, vacuuming and dusting, and stopping every
little while to check on the baby. John seemed quite content, sitting on the floor in front of some rather babyish TV show.
She caught him smile as the brightly colored cartoon characters dancedabout the screen. She could barely hear him singing along
to the songs, and even saw him clapping happily to the antics taking placeon the show. John was really getting into his role
as the "baby" of the house.
Karen decided to let him be entertained while she went about a new task, that had just occurred to her. She went up to the attic and started rummaging through the boxes marked "Baby Stuff." Much of what she found she had expected, but a few things she'd completely forgotten about, and it was like Christmas!
There was a big box full of crib sheets and baby blankets. The blankets would come in handy, and were something she could use tonight when she would cuddle John on the couch. Another box held a Zip-Lock bag full of pacifiers, sippy cups, and baby bottles. In a Zip-Lock bag at the bottom of that box were nipples. This got her thinking again about his thumb-sucking, and a clean alternative. There were also baby bibs in larger Zip-Lock bag. This box was definitely going to the kitchen!
Karen decided she would come back up here after lunch, which she really needed to start on soon. Karen carried the baby blankets to the laundry room to freshen up with a quick wash. She tossed all but one bib in the wash with the blankets, and started the machine on "HOT" to sanitize everything. The bottles went into the dish washer, along with the pacifiers and nipples into the special wash-basket she had found. She had forgotten about the little wash-basket that her friend Trish had given her hears ago, specially made for baby items such as the nipples and pacifiers.
As all these items were being cleaned, Karen washed out one of the baby dishes and a sippy cup, and then opened a can of Spaghetti-O's and poured the contents into a pan to heat. Once warmed thoroughly, she spooned a generous portion into the baby dish, and filled the sippy cup with milk. Karen called,"Johnny, Honey, I made lunch. One of your favorites: Spaghetti-O's"
Moments later John toddled in and stopped in his tracks. Pointing toward the table he asked, "What's that? Why is there a baby chair at my place?"
"I thought it'd be easier for you to sit up in a high chair," Karen answered, "Do you mind? It would be easier for me to feed you and take care of you."
John thought about it for just a second, this was just another step back toward the simpler life he had missed so much. but he didn't want to appear too excited about it. "Well... if it would be easier for you, Mommy, then it's okay."
With a little help from Karen, John climbed up into the chair, and she slid the tray on, which clicked loudly as she snapped it into place. Karen grabbed the lone bib and tied it around John's neck. "I don't want you making a big mess, you know just how messy Spaghetti-O's can be!" she quipped. Karen grabbed the bowl and the sippy cup and set them upon the tray, then sitting in a chair in front of her big toddler, she positioned herself to go about the task of feeding her baby.
Taking a baby spoon, she scooped up some of the food and said, "Open wide, Baby, he's comes the airplane!" John giggled as Karen made airplane noises as she spoon fed her son. Every few spoonfuls she would "accidentally" miss his mouth and the Spaghetti-O's ran down his chin and dripped onto his bib. Occasionally, some of the food ended up on his cheeks as well. By the time he had finished two bowls of Spaghetti-O's John was as messy as any baby you'd ever seen!
John reached for his sippy cup, and started sucking the milk, when his mommy corrected him, "Two hands, Baby, two hands! I don't want you dropping your milk on the floor." Even the simple act of holding the sippy with both hands acted as a reinforcement to John that he was indeed a baby, and no where near a teenager yet.
With his meal behind him, John was led to his room where Karen removed his sodden diaper and replaced it with a fresh Pampers. As she tucked him in, Karen kissed her boy on the forehead and said, "Now you go night-night for a while, Baby, and Mommy will get you up in about an hour or so." John placed his thumb into his mouth and closed his eyes. As Karen watched him lay there suckling, she thought to herself, "We'll fix this little problem shortly." And off she went, back to the attic, to see what other treasures
it may hold!
Box, after box, of baby items! She found one box marked "Cloth Diapers," and upon opening it she fond both flat and prefold guaze and birdseye diapers, along with baby pants and diaper pins. In several boxes she found baby toys... Lots of baby toys! "Won't little Johnny be surprised when he finds all of these treasures awaiting him after his nap!" Karen mused. Karen made several trips to the living room, arranging the baby toys everywhere. As she set out the Duplo blocks she heard the alarm on the washing machine as it finished. Karen went to the laundry room and pulled the blankets and bibs from the machine and stuffed them into her dryer. A quick flip of the switches and dials and they were tumbling toward a future of use, rather than setting up in a stuffy attic. Karen counted out the cloth diapers as she placed them into the machine. 32 prefold Gerber™ diapers, with the padded center panel, and 21 Curity™ guaze 21 X 40 flat diapers. After arranging them in the bottom of the washer, she set the cycle on "Hot - Sanitize" and hit the start button. As she passed through the kitchen the dishwasher quit, so Karen emptied the contents, arranging the bottles in her lowest cupboard, and placing the nipples in the top drawer below. The pacifiers were then sorted by size, the small ones went back into a clean Zip-Lock bag, while the large toddler ones were placed in various strategic spots through-out the living room and kitchen. Karen slipped one into her apron pocket and went up to check on her baby.
Karen tip-toed over to the bed, where her twelve-year-old baby lay sleeping with his thumb planted firmly between his lips. Ever so gently Karen slid his thumb out of his mouth and replaced it with the clean pacifier. John stirred slightly, then continued sucking on this replacement. Karen couldn't believe her luck, not only did he take to the pacifier, he never woke. Things couldn't be going better. Karen returned to the attic, to search for more appropriate items to use in her regression of John.
The next treasure was the discovery of John's two potty chairs. During his previous potty training she had kept one in the living room and one in the bath. She had often taken the living room potty with her to the kitchen during the first potty training, but since this seemed to be a reverse of that training, it wouldn't be necessary. Karen planned to move Johnny to using the potty chairs for his twice daily BM's, instead of continuing on using the toilet. One thing that she had noticed of late, was that John seemed to "cop a little attitude" immediately after using the toilet for his BM. Karen was convinced that allowing him to use a grown-up's toilet was the root of this attitude. He needed to have ALL connections to any grown-up behavior removed until he was ready to mature. She was sure that using a potty chair for his BM would help reinforce his status as a baby. After placing the first potty in the living room, Karen took the second to the bath. Karen stared at the little chair next to the toilet, and then decided on a change. Perhaps part of the problem is allowing him to poop in the bathroom, perhaps it would be a stronger reinforcement of his status if the potty were moved to the "other" place where his diapers were changed: his bedroom!