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.
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