Monday, January 01, 2007

Standing up for change

Originally posted at CrankMama as part of the Blog Exchange; a post at BlondeMomBlog inspired the topic.

I really hate those ostensibly humorous articles in parenting magazines that purport to list all the ways your life changes when you become a mom. You know the ones: Your purse/car/ass gets bigger; your libido/ability to sleep/boobs get smaller, ha ha ha. Aside from being totally trite, these pronouncements are quite often not even true. (My ass would beg to differ, but that’s, um, behind the point.)

So I’m not going to talk about the ways that motherhood has changed me. I’m going to talk about the changes we experience over and over and over for the first, oh, three to four years of our children’s lives (have more than one kid and you can get quite a lengthy streak going). What changes are these? The diapery ones.

Remember how you started? Oh so gently and nervously lifting that tiny baby’s tiny bum, fearing she’d break at the slightest touch, never knowing quite what you might find inside that eensy-weensy Huggie? Were you amazed at the sounds and the stuff that could emanate from the rear end, when the front end was so angelic?

Those newborn days were the easy part, though. If the blowout was bad enough, I’d just toss the whole kit and caboodle. Not the baby, but the diaper, the 27 wipes, and the onesie coated in poop up to the neckline. At less than $2 a pop, why even try to wash it? (Environmentalists, come beat me now.) But at least we were dealing with a complacent victim—screaming excepted, they couldn’t do much to escape our ministrations.

These days, I’m changing a fully mobile toddler, which means I’m a master at the one-handed vertical diaper replacement.

Step 1. Gather supplies, preferably on the sly so as not to alert child to upcoming indignity.

Step 2. Lure him into position: facing armchair, with array of enticing books displayed on the seat; at windowsill, with the promise that a big truck will definitely be passing by soon; on kitchen chair, with sumptuous buffet of Veggie Booty, Craisins and pretzels on table; or on top of dryer, the better to view backyard neighbors’ garish holiday lights through laundry room window. (Not recommended: In front of sister’s dollhouse, lest the dining room rug meet an unfortunate end.)

Step 3. Wrap one arm firmly around baby’s chest to keep him in position. Use other hand to unsnap onesie. Tuck dangly end of onesie over back of shirt collar to secure—or in a pinch, use your teeth.

Step 4. Now go! Remove old diaper, place far out of child’s reach. Quickly clean him up. Replace with clean diaper. If necessary, let fidgeting child scamper about in unsnapped onesie and bare legs for a few minutes while you dispose of old diaper.

Step 5. Dream wistfully of potty-training.

Actually, don’t. I’d rather change two dozen poopy diapers a day than deal with the seemingly endless process that is “toilet learning.” Drop everything when that little voice pipes up with “I needa go potty”? Constantly carry 3 pairs of Buzz Lightyear underpants and a plastic bag in my purse? Clean up after a little boy who can’t aim? Please, pass the Pampers.

No comments: