Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tips For Bathing Baby

We've been receiving a lot of requests for tips as to how to bathe your baby properly, especially since one of the community members shared a comment mentioning the 'All-Over Baby Cleanse' on a post about baby health. So, without further ado, here are some guidelines for giving your child the All-Over Baby Cleanse. Please remember: these are just guidelines, but it's extremely important to follow them very closely or your parenting will suffer and your child's upbringing may be impaired.

Place baby in the bathtub. His or her dumpy little body should sit up to about 2/3 height in warm, soapy water. You can test the temperature with a bath thermometer, available from all good chemists, or by dipping your elbow in the water. But don't fret overly: if the water is too warm, you will in any case be alerted to this by your baby's helpful shrieks. Mother nature thinks of everything!

Take a minute to gaze at your baby, sitting innocently and a little stupidly in the water. Your baby's skin is so soft, upholstering uselessly pudgy limbs that soften and become adorably more impractical in the bathtub. Baby's eyes are shinier in the water, and you may want to take this opportunity to ponder that you, yes, you, may very well have created the first perfect human, whose excellence can still be preserved, you're certain of it, just as long as you don't fuck up from here on in, and protect him or her from all the world's cudgels and skewers forever. Baby gurgles happily in the water, looking back at you, and releases a gorgeous fart that fwollops up to the water's surface and commingles with the bubblebath.

Placing one hand gently but firmly on your baby's unbent and unburdened shoulders, use the other hand to sluice baby's body with warm, soapy liquid, and scrub very lightly with a sponge. Wash down the fat little legs and tickle baby's feet, and along baby's short, stumpy arms to where the only visible dirt has accumulated in baby's miniature fingernails, which are like the fingernails of a silly, silly doll sitting on a lace-lined shelf in a house belonging to your second-favourite great-aunt.

In one firm and smooth gesture, lean baby back into the water in order to slosh around with your sponge among baby's genitalia, which are so soft and useless and silly, and heartbreaking somehow too, as you dreamily muse that your baby has no shame.

Dipping your baby's outsize head softly back into the water, rinse his or her head, and give it a bit of a scrub if you feel like it. Be careful not to get any water in baby's already watery eyes. Using a bit of cotton wool, delicately rinse your baby's face with clean water, being careful to reach behind the ears for any evil pollutants.

Sit baby back up in the tub, because now comes the slightly tricky bit. Don't be scared. It can feel a little tough at first, a little daunting, but your baby's body is very new and pliable, and it's important not to skip this step. Placing both hands on the back of your baby's skull, press gently but firmly until you feel a bit of give on the outside of the cranium. At this point, push right through in one smooth motion, gently popping your baby's head inside out. Repeat this process all down your baby's spine, feeling your way very gently to pushing your baby's whole body inside out, so that the skin is on the inside of the body and flesh and organs are presented on the exterior. Legs and arms will naturally fold down into the newly out-turned body. Your baby's body should now be fully flipped, and you will observe all of the tiny, still functioning organs and inner workings of your spawn, like pert peas sitting perfectly in a pod, or the pipes on Pompidou.

At this point you have a few minutes ahead of you to wash and clean your baby's innards, since baby hasn't a great deal of breathing time available in this new configuration. Lightly slosh water around the newly flayed limbs; these don't require a great deal of cleaning, and you can be fairly brisk. Using a soft little baby toothbrush, scrub along the visible elements of your baby's vertebrae, where impurities may have accumulated, Using a cotton pad, wipe the little beating heart, pumping so charmingly in the nest of your child's perfect ribcage, making sure to get in among the little ventricles, and wipe down the tiny organs such as kidneys and liver etc etc. Baby's brain, nestled inside the soft skull, can similarly be towelled very lightly, and you can remove muck from behind the eyes with a cotton bud. The main thing is to give the organs a bit of a buff, plump them up, and remove any filth - so don't be too concerned with anything finicky. Blow gently on your baby's insides, using a warm blow - not a chilly blow - to dry out everything a little bit before you turn your baby back the right way.

Turn your baby outside-in using exactly the method you adopted before: the flesh and joints will naturally click back into position. Baby may be a little perturbed at this point, as he or she will have been gazing in at the inside of his or her head. Give baby a quick cuddle, splash with one last round of water, then remove from the bath and towel-dry your baby, who will now be cooing quite happily, and will doubtless want to play a quick game of peekaboo under the towel's warm folds.

Brush baby's teeth with a little brush and a pea of minty cleansing putty, making sure to reach back to your child's hilariously unfunctioning molars for any scraps of grub left over from lunch, or another meal. Dress baby in some clothing of your choice.

Voila! Your baby is clean in every way - hopeful, fresh-smelling, innocent, gleaming, creamy, true and kind. Repeat once a week until your baby is able to talk, at which point his or her cries of complaint may induce you to cease the operation altogether.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

No It Won't

Could anything be more brazen and mendacious than the Tory party, in their annual conference, parroting Sam Cooke's Civil Rights anthem 'A Change Is Gonna Come'? Theresa May employed the phrase six times in her speech today, making it more than a mere coincidence. Is a change going to come? Well, in a year that has seen political lies, manipulation and distortion reach a truly gut-quaking nadir, this has to count as one of the biggest daddies of all.

When Sam Cooke recorded 'A Change Is Gonnna Come' in 1964, it was as a direct result of personal injustices he had undergone, being turned away from a hotel with his wife because of the colour of his skin. He saw the racial injustice all around him, and was inspired by Bob Dylan's Blowing In The Wind to write a protest song of his own. Cooke's song is personal from the get-go: "I" is the very first word you hear. This "I" relates specific experiences: an unhallowed birth, being chased away from movies and downtown, and dealings with a "brother" (read: the man) who knocks him down to his knees over and over again. Although Cooke's song has had a sort of popular universality bestowed upon it since, its agenda is actually precise, and its voice goes against the current. Cooke makes very clear that his experience is that of a marginalised person - destitute at the beginning, then running, displaced, and brought down to the ground in the final verse. His story takes place not in parallel with a mainstream, dominant culture, but in opposition to it, in a seemingly perpetual struggle with it.

Does the Tory party speak for the rejected, the turned away, the displaced? It's not just that the Tory party doesn't do that, but the extent to which they do the exact opposite could take your breath away when juxtaposed with this song. If you listened to the lyric "just like the river, I've been running ever since" and were to seek a political parallel, I wonder if you might not alight on the refugee crisis, rather than the sort of duff meritocracy that Theresa May purports to be selling to the country? Britain's record for welcoming refugees is a disgrace, and Theresa May has even mooted deporting European nationals from Britain. When Cooke sings "Somebody keeps telling me, don't hang around", he is alluding precisely to this experience, of being impoverished, unwanted, and racially discriminated against. Britain isn't the object of the world's injustices, but a proponent of it. Theresa May's ilk aren't Sam Cooke, they're the people who move him along.

Theresa May speaks of wanting to build a meritocracy, but the grammar schools she plans are an objective example, verified by studies, of the sort of social injustice Sam Cooke was calling out, and of the racial discrimination, even, against which he railed. It isn't fucking hard to see that the 11-plus, a test which clearly favours the privileged, isn't going to be doing Britain's ethnic minorities a whopping solid. And sure enough, a study in Buckinghamshire in June of this year found that British Pakistani and Black Caribbean children were half as likely to pass the 11-plus as their white counterparts. Oh go on then Sam, let's hear it: "Then I go to my brother, and I say brother, can you help me please. And he winds up knocking me back down on my knees." Thank you Sam, I think that'll do.

How, how can this government have the gall not only to bring its needless, stupid, unproven measures in so brazenly, but to accompany it with the patronising and unearned language of struggle? How can they speak in racist terms of immigrants while cloaking themselves in the words of a black leader? The use of Cooke's words isn't just a detail, it's a measure of how confident the Tory party now is, that they could do so with such impunity. It's a flaunting of their apparently unassailable position. It's a slap in the face delivered with a smirk.