Our human pet: instructions

This one’s nothing to do with dogs, apologies. But if you’re contemplating having kids, read this first and you’ll thank me.

They’re my instructions to the baby-sitter (well, his Godfather) of my fifteen months old kid. That’s just for 8 hours of ‘quality time’!

Every 3 hours

Or whenever nappy feels full/heavy or when smelly: change his nappy.

To do that:

  • disinfect your hands with gel and wait til they’re dry
  • stick the kid flat on his back on a changing cushion or other surface that has a towel on it, and something waterproof under it (in case he decides he’s not finished). He can be a wriggly little **** when he puts his mind to it. So you might need Wilhemijn’s help to ‘pin him down’. Generally, with 1x changer and 1x entertainer, he’s happy enough. With me, he’s all over the room (again, Thijs doesn’t have the problem ‘cos he’s way firmer than me. He kind of pins him down with one hand and that’s it, no argument. I don’t have the strength to hold him in place even with two hands so I’ve become very skilled at changing him in all positions – standing up, on all fours, sitting down, etc. …)
  • fold the nappy so his bum isn’t swimming in whatever, but rather resting against the outside of the nappy
  • wipe his proverbial til it’s clean as a whistle. Yep that means also the dreaded “centre piece”. I hate it, Thijs seems to manage better than me…
  • dab it dry (he’s a little sensitive there, so no major scraping movements or anything. Anyway, he won’t let you. My experience is that he’ll scratch your eyes out before letting you be too rough down there) with a hydrophile cloth
  • put on some mico… whatever cream (thickness: just enough that you can see it glisten. area: to about 2cm over the edge of the red bit. If he’s not red anymore, dont’ bother with that cream.
  • put on some of that cream in the pot (no idea what it’s called). It’s a brown transparent glass pot with white cream in it. It’s zink-based cream or something. (thickness: just enough that you can see it white where you’ve put it on. Area: to about 2cm over the edge of the red bit. If he’s not red anymore, then I guess kind of 5cm around the ‘centre piece’.
  • get rid of the used nappy (just somewhere out of his reach while he’s still on the table). Obviously don’t go and put it in the bin when he’s still on the table
  • replace it with a new one. Place the sticky side labels thingies towards the back of the kid, if you know what I mean. The little action figure (I think it’s a baby’s head on these, or Winnie, or whatever) should be towards his belly. Close the nappy. Dress him again.
  • put the kid down somewhere he can’t kill himself
  • disinfect your hands with gel

In that whole process, if you’re doing it on a table or other high surface, don’t take your eye and hand off him even one sec. He is so incredibly quick and agile he’ll drop before you can blink. Thijs is way easier than me about that. He kind of goes to the supermarket and comes back type thing. Am very very very paranoid on that one myself. So it’s a judgement call but of course, my wrath will know no bound if he falls off your changing table after that thick warning!


biscuit or other light snack. If you give him a banana, he’ll love you forever (but stay close as he’s a hog and he’ll eat it whole and choke if you don’t watch him) + some water (just fill his baby bottle and see how much he manages)

Then bed. If you’re lucky, til 12pm. If you’re me, til 10.30am… Not kidding.

– Change him in his PJs
– Put him in his sleeping bag
– Be chilled and relaxed (he sees EVERYTHING as an invitation to be wide awake and play. Don’t even really speak to him. Honest, he’ll just chat and chat otherwise), sit down, sit him down on one of your folder arms, his head resting on your shoulder. Try not to let him torture you (pull your hair/ears/bite you/hit you in the face/etc.). Aside from the fact that it’s bloody painful, it keeps him awake. Keep him in your arms for about 3 minutes. Then…
– … give him one of his comfort boys (stick it on his face as you dump him in bed). No fuss.
he’ll whine for a while (5 minutes). If he gets hysterical, try the whole 3 minute thing again (maybe a little longer this time). If he keeps whining for 10 minutes or so, try again also. It’s a judgement call. If he sounds like he’s calming down and about to drop off, leave him be. He could quite happily stay chatting on his own in his bed for 2 hours. If he does, just leave him and enjoy the peace.


Milk and a slice of bread with whatever savoury stuff you have home (cheese, whatever).

– milk: 5 spoons in 150ml water (make that 160ml. Err on the side of less concentrated)
– slice of bread: He can eat it whole, so no need to fuss and cut it in tiny pieces. Just give him the slice of bread and see what he does. Cheese is less messy, but it’s your home so, whatever you want is good. You have the added advantage that the dog isn’t there (he keeps trying to give – throw – food to the dog)


biscuit or other light snack, and water. Same routine as 10am.

Then bed. If you’re lucky, til 4pm. If you’re me, he won’t sleep at all. Seriously, that kid has some serious mommy issues.

To go to bed, same routine as above


Evening dinner. Pap then yoghurt. But am sure we’ll be back by then.


In case we die or something. His bedtime is at 7pm.

But if we’re still alive, we’ll come pick him up around 4.30pm and hang out/have dinner with you kids.

Activities: am sure he’ll show you what he likes (like destroying your house and traumatising your cat), but if it’s not too crappy outside, you could take him out for a bit to the playground or something.

Am I forgetting something?

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One Comment

  1. Posted 15 January 2011 at 20:48 | Permalink

    Thom’s godfather and his girlfriend survived a whole day of Thom unscathed, and his father and I are now the proud owners of a “first aid responder for children” certificate after a hard day’s workshop. The only small problem is… I don’t think their cat liked Thom very much.

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