Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear In-Laws (LONGer than I intended when starting out):

You are on the verge of being banned from watching your granddaugther unsupervised.

We've been thru this before. Remember? We've had numerous conversations about how FireGirl's diaper needs to be changed the minute you think it might be wet. You are well aware of the issues she has had with severe diaper rashes, staph infections, and fused labia. You should know by now that this is not a matter of convenience, it is a matter of your granddaughter's health.

And you've been on change-her-diaper-every-two-hours-regardless, or if you see it's wet, instructions for the past few months. So when you watched her for two days straight last week, including the overnight, I actually felt confident that she would be okay.

Then came Friday night. You had told me she didn't want you to wash "down there", so before her bath, I took off her diaper (my first diaper change since picking her up), and examined her. I was... stunned? disgusted? amazed? furious?... to find that my daughter's private area had apparently not been cleaned in two days. Her entire diaper area was bright red with a new diaper rash, her butt crack was incredibly red, and visibly painful, and then there's her labial area: so red it appeared raw, and with feces still lodged in there. Feces. Poop. For God-knows how long.

I was ready to kill. This is my baby, and you have been told. Over. And over. Are you that selfish? or that lazy? or that selfish?

After struggling to get her in the bath, struggling to get her diaper on (with "magic-feel-good cream" {neosporin + pain relief}), and seeing my baby in so much pain, I am ready to fight.

Then I remember that you had all boys. So maybe, just maybe, you honestly don't know any better, even though I'm pretty sure we've been over this a zillion times.

I call FireMan. He calls you. You tell him that you're not "comfortable" cleaning her labial area. He explains that it's not an option. You agree, and apologize. Seem genuinely sorry that you've caused her so much "discomfort" (ie. pain).

So we decide you can still take her to the singing at your church on Sunday. We pick her up last night. She's outside playing with her uncle. Of course, I check her diaper the minute we're finished hugging hello. She's wet. But not too wet. And she's been outside playing, so I think nothing of it.

Until we get inside & I ask you where her diaper bag is, and you say "does she need changing? I thought she might need one a while back". Instead of blowing up in front of our entire extended family at my nephew's birthday party, I grit my teeth & change her diaper.

I'd really like to know how long "a while" is. Ten minutes? Twenty? Sixty? How long is acceptable to knowingly keep your granddaughter sitting in her own urine? Especially considering her health issues? Especially considering you've been told a hundred times, and we literally just had this talk the day before?

How long?

I've been thinking about this all night, and day. And I've come to a decision that I hope FireMan will support me on, even though you are his parents:

if there is one more occurrence of you not changing FireGirl's diaper reasonably, or of not cleaning her properly, you will be suspended from unsupervised visits with your granddaugther

It's not personal to you, it's personal for my daughter. It's her health that's at stake, and I think I've been patient enough.

Please don't make me go there. Please.

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