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18 Dec 2008: This Time It Will Be Different

A picture

Kai, Look - More Grandparents!

When Aki's mother visited for a week, there was one day when Aki and Mom went out shopping in Bromley. Joel was left behind to spend some quality time with Kai.

Aki and Mom returned later to see Joel rocking baby quietly on his shoulder. Peaceful and serene. Everything looked cool. And then I said to Aki: "Disaster."

It had started so well. I put Kai through a full workout on the playmat. Made him do some standing exercises. Bicycle pumped his legs. Smiled at appropriate moments.

Then Kai demonstrated a little distress. His eyebrows bunched up like caterpillars trying wriggle across his forehead. His eyes went a little glazed, urgency and terror all wrapped into one.

And then: pfllllllup. Oh Kai! You did poop! That stinks!

And then: pfllllllup. Ok Kai! Not again! We're going have to clean that nappy now! Please let that be the end of it.


Anxious, I marched him into the nursery and laid him out on the changing altar. I took off his clothes and broke the seventh seal - and revealed THE NAPPY OF THE APOCALYPSE. Aki had experienced a couple of these before, once with my help, once without. I had never done one of these alone.

I was so scared I closed the nappy again quickly and tried to pretend I never saw it. 'Hey, Kai, nice day, huh?'

Kai was happy to be semi-naked, an attitude I hope he tempers in fifteen years' time, and started violently kicking the air with his feet, thus spreading the brown slick around his legs. 'No, no, please, Kai! Stay calm. Please, for the both of us. For the love of God in heaven!'

There was only one thing for it. A bath. I was not prepared. Kai had to be resealed and placed into a secure holding cell while I sorted out the bath, but we worked through it, he and I.

I gave him a good old clean but it was only at the end I realised I'd made a mistake. Kai was lounging around in the bath, comfortable and content in the warm water. But I had no towel. Oh my God. The nearest towel I could remember was two rooms away. I couldn't just leave Kai in the bath. And I couldn't just leave him lying out naked.

So the poor guy went from being happy and naked in the bath to freezing cold against my jumper as I ran from room to room searching desperately for towel. He cried almost immediately.

Fortunately I found a towel pretty quickly and saved the situation. Kai calmed down again. He liked the towel and the attention. That's it Dad. You dry my butt real good.

The experience had been draining and suddenly I had immense problems putting on his clothes. Nothing seemed to fit. It was like Kai had changed shape. Oh my God, why don't your arms fit in here. What's with these buttons?

Kai had been forgiving and patient with me, but eventually he caved. He could take it no longer and blamed me for everything that had happened up to that point, including the collapse of Bradford & Bingley, bursting into tears. J'accuse! J'accuse!

When Aki returned home, he was quiet and comfortable on my arm. But I told her: "Disaster."