September 14, 2007

Diaper Dad

On the Things-That-Are-Difficult food chain, changing a diaper falls somewhere between wrestling a bear in Boston and convincing that bear to wear an "I *heart* the Yankees" t-shirt. It's something no man attempts until his wife, in what can only be described as a total lapse in judgment, leaves for the supermarket and puts him in charge. And women should know that men should never (ever) be put in charge.

According to my wife, changing a diaper is easy. It involves five steps that, if followed properly, will take a total of no more than one minute to complete. The steps are as follows:

1. Open diaper
2. Wipe baby parts
3. Remove diaper while simultaneously sliding new diaper under baby
4. Secure new diaper
5. Throw dirty diaper away.

She says that anyone with half a brain can do this and that she's pretty sure I do, in fact, have half a brain. But, after eight-plus weeks of changing Ella's diaper, I think it's safe to say that I've completely and unequivocally proved her wrong.

Just like any man, my brain doesn't operate like that. It's filled with important information, like who won the 1986 World Series and how many times you can wear a t-shirt before it needs to be washed (if you said "less than 12," you'd be wrong). There's no space in there for unimportant knowledge like birthdays, anniversaries, color coordination and diaper-changing instructions. Even if there were, I don't believe in using instructions. No man does. We like to follow gut instinct.

Of course, a typical diaper change under "gut instinct" goes something like this:

1. Open diaper.
2. Baby screams uncontrollably.
3. Panic.
4. Take two shots of Jack.
5. Start to wipe baby parts. Also wipe baby foot after baby dips foot into dirty diaper that you haphazardly left laying wide open.
6. Slide new diaper under baby, though can't figure out how to work the adhesives that hold it together.
7. Wipe own elbow after dipping it in the dirty diaper that's STILL laying wide open.
8. Go to secure diaper, notice hand is all wet. Look up and see a fresh load in new diaper.
9. Repeat steps 1-7.
10. Secure new diaper with duct tape, take two more shots of Jack, call wife and beg her to come home immediately.

Now, for a few unfortunate dads, the fun stops here. Luckily in my household there's a bonus Step 11: Get yelled at by wife for 1) not throwing the dirty diaper away, 2) putting the clean diaper on backwards and 3) not cutting the grass—hey, when she's on a roll …

I'll probably never master the art of a successful diaper change, and I don't expect to. It's not in my blood. If you're looking for someone to squash a bug or paint a deck or win you a fantasy baseball championship, I'm your guy. But if your baby needs a changin', you're better off calling an aunt or grandma or the creepy lady next door who has no kids but owns 17 cats and calls them her "babies." Each is more qualified to fulfill your diaper-changing needs.

And if you ever think about asking me to change a baby, just remember one thing: it'll cost you three times as many diapers and six times as many wipes. But don't worry, it's not all bad— I do come equipped with my own roll of duct tape.

The Life of Dad is updated most Fridays (barring the call of family duties). Thanks for stopping by and following my attempts to be a good dad, husband and co-ed softball player. I hope you visit again. -- Brian


Tom said...

There are a few differences with boys that make it even more fun. The biggest is that they come equipped with their very own firehose that they like to turn on when dad is in the middle of changing them. I could not tell you how often EJ mistook me for a fire.

The really scary part is that I think he knew what he was doing, he always giggled when it happened.

Mommy Bits said...

I am not saying this applies to you, but some of my girlfriends and I actually have a theory that this whole, "I can't change a diaper thing," is actually a plotted conspiracy to get out of diaper duty.

And regarding Tom's comment, more than once did my boys let loose while I was changing their diapers. The key is to place a cloth diaper across their 'region' while you are switching out the diaper. It keeps their 'hose' from getting chilly.

Ok.. TMI. Sorry

Gina said...

The fact that gagging wasn't one of your steps still makes you a better diaper changer than I am, even with the addition of duct tape and biohazard baby feet.

Of course I have no kids and haven't changed a diaper in years, but I'm certain I'd still gag.

Judy W said...

Brian - You crack me up. I thoroughly enjoy reading about your trials and tribulations of being a dad. AND I get to see pics of Ella - she is such a cutie!