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A Father's Guide to Changing Diapers and Handling Poop
Funny observations about raising kids
I change more diapers than my wife. I'm pretty proud of that fact because it's probably the only place where I can claim some kind of superiority when it comes to parenting. It's also a great defense when my other parenting skills come into question, like letting my son suspend himself from a twelve-foot high playground structure or something like that. If I'm criticized for it, I get to respond with: "Hey, who handles all the poop? Huh?" Yeah, that's right. It's also a pretty good stick when talking to other dads because many dads are wimps when it comes to such things.
I figured since my wife carried Tyler around for nine months and breast fed him for another 18 months, I would do the majority of the diaper changes. It only seemed fair. Unfortunately, this is the sort of area where a dad needs to resign himself the first couple of years. That, and vomit clean-up. Basically, if it comes out of some hole in my son's body, I get to deal with it. Other dads will appreciate this and nod in brotherly bonding. Moms tend to smirk a bit and raise an eyebrow. "Oh, good for you. You're actually participating in raising your own children. Congratulations." Parenting produces lots of dichotomies, but men have to take pride where they can get it.
Also, poop doesn't bother me that much, although I've noticed that I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in changing babies other than the one that's mine. Other baby's poop bothers me. I've actually thought about this because it occurred to me once that we could make some money taking care of other people's kids during the holidays. Then I realized I'd have to change their diapers and I promptly dropped the idea. It's also why we didn't do any play dates prior to Tyler using the potty on his own. I just don't want to look at other kid's junk or smell what comes out of them. And you get used to how your kid's poop smells, much like you get used to your own. Thus, I try to limit my parenting to my own kids unless it's absolutely necessary to parent someone else's kids because they're letting them run into traffic or something or smacking me in the groin.
So, it might be more accurate to say that Tyler's poop doesn't really bother me. I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I'm much messier than my wife, who's a bit of a clean freak and will run screaming if feces touches her in any way. I think there's a direct correlation between my tolerance for dirt and my tolerance for changing diapers. If the poop gets on me, I'm not that happy about it, but I'm not running for the hills either, though I do like to avoid having it get in my mouth. With parenting comes poop and getting poop and pee on oneself.
We've had a lot of good luck with Tyler on a number of fronts. He's only peed on me twice. He's only thrown up once (though it was so voluminous it covered the entire floor of his room and his mother and I just stood there watching until it was over, which was when one of us mentioned that getting a trash can might have been a good idea). He's never had an ear infection. He's never really been sick enough that it kept him from sleeping (though his sleep in general is less than most kids). I suppose I do take his diaper off still and wonder when he's going to launch a poop missile at me.
Unfortunately, no diaper can contain him. Five out of every six mornings he wakes up in a wet bed because his diaper is overflowing. We are considering making his bed one of those plastic kiddie pools.
Oh, diaper companies claim that they make these overnight diapers and somehow they work. Frankly, they don't seem any different from regular diapers. It's just a scam to make you spend more money.
Apparently, they've never met Tyler. Actually, I find it nothing short of ridiculous that our modern society can build a nuclear weapon, but can't produce a diaper that can contain my son's poop and pee for ten hours. But that's typical of our society: the nuclear bomb was created in the 1940's. Rolling luggage? Well into the 1980's before we ever saw it commercially.
By now, we expect to go in Tyler's room and find him in a puddle. Obviously, this also means we have to wash his bed sheets every day. Frankly, if it were up to me, I'd just let them dry and have him sleep in them again until they were too smelly to deal with. I'm pretty sure most men would go this route too, but my wife wouldn't even consider it. There are constant arguments about leaving the sheets if it's just a small spot versus washing them no matter what. If men didn't have women, parenting would be oh so very different.
Poop and Pee and Me
Pee, of course, is one thing. Usually when we go in to his room in the morning, he's also pooped, so the room smells, but it's generally contained. The other morning though, we got him up, thought everything looked good, but when we unzipped his pajamas, it was like he had been eaten by the poop monster. Feces had exploded out of the side of his diaper and gone up his sides. Sadly, I didn't notice it until it had spilled out on his changing table and on the floor. If you are experienced handling poop, this also means that your average wipe is of absolutely no use and you usually find your self hanging out over the toilet trying to figure out how to get this stuff off a fleece jammy, which isn't easy. When they define parenting in the dictionary, this should be the picture. And why don't they make a tarp-sized wipe? You don't need them very often, but when you do, they come in really handy. You should be able to whip one out and just drop your child in it.
Most fathers probably wouldn't admit this, but I'm pretty amused when my poop and Tyler's poop smell the same because we've eaten the same meal the previous night. After my morning coffee, I saunter out of the bathroom kind of proud and happily mention to my wife that the bathroom now smells like Tyler's bedroom. Like father, like son. The odor of manliness!
It's one of those proud moments during parenting nobody ever tells you about.
Who changes the most diapers in your household?
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