Wednesday, May 21, 2008

He Said - The Diaper Years

I love my kids. They’re great. And not just because they’re nice to have around when I need another cup of coffee and don’t feel like going to the kitchen myself, or when it would really be nice for somebody to hand me the remote control because I already sat down, or on those occasions when I just feel like ordering someone around for no other reason than because I feel like it.

No surprise to me that some people call these the “wonder years.” I would agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, children do not come into this world directly into the “wonder years”. Prior to that is a much darker period of time known as the “diaper years”, and it is a time perhaps not quite filled so much with wonder as it is with something else altogether.

I learned many things during the diaper years. I learned that I had badly underestimated how expensive diapers are, not to mention how many are required for the daily care of a baby. I learned that there is no such thing as a “leak proof” diaper. I learned that the Diaper Genie we purchased to dispose of dirty diapers was a complete waste of money because the kitchen trash was much easier to use and would fill up so fast that you had to empty it every 4 hours anyway.

And, in one very memorable rookie mistake, I learned that you should never stick your finger inside of a baby’s diaper to see if it needs to be changed.

Because sometimes it does.

But the biggest thing I learned during these years is that I did not want to change a diaper AT ALL if I could possibly avoid it, and being a quick study, I did find a few ways to get out of it. Gentlemen, the information that follows is priceless knowledge that was gleaned from my own personal trials of slogging through many a diaper year. It is yours to use as you see fit. All that I would ask in return is that when you speak of me, speak well.

* Over-powder. Nothing will rankle your wife more than to have a cloud of baby powder shoot out of your baby’s diaper every time she picks them up or sets them down. It won’t be long before she starts saying those 5 blessed little words that you love to hear: “Just let me do it.” After that, it’s all football & Fritos, baby.

* Claim complete ignorance of the female anatomy. Only works for baby girls, obviously. The basis for this excuse is that you might possible hurt the baby and/or not clean them properly because, well, you’re completely ignorant of the female anatomy. The best part about this excuse is that you don’t have to lie to pull it off. (Note: To help illustrate your ignorance, take the time to earnestly question your wife about how it was again that she became pregnant in the first place.)

* Install Diapers Very Loosely. There’s nothing like a good poopy dribbling down your baby’s leg and onto her dress while she’s breastfeeding to get your wife’s attention. Also very cool when - much to her horror - Grandma or Grandpa pick the baby up and the diaper falls off completely. If asked, you put the diapers on loosely because you don’t want them to constrict the baby and cause them pain. Your wife won’t argue that point, but she will feel compelled to attempt to show you the right way to put the diaper on. Stick to your guns no matter how many times she does this and continue to tell her in your most adamant voice, “that’s exactly what I did!”. Eventually she’ll give up, but you may take a few shots before she does.

* Pretend That You’re “Right in the Middle of Something.” Tell your wife that you are at a “critical juncture” of a project and you can’t stop right at the moment because “you just mixed the epoxy”, and then run out of the room. Women don’t know what epoxy is or what it’s for, but that’s exactly why they won’t call your bluff. If the “project” in question is something on the “Honey-Do” list, so much the better, because they’re the ones that wanted it done in the first place. WARNING: Do not attempt this excuse if you’ve been sitting on the couch watching TV. She won’t buy it.

* Barter. Let’s face it, no new father wants to fold laundry, clean up the dishes, make the bed, or buy his wife that trip to Paris that she’s been begging for, but if you can’t fake your way out of diaper duty, there’s nothing dishonorable about buying your way out. Many a man has done it, and if my guess is correct, this is probably how the whole concept of “trade” was invented in the first place.

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