I have 11-month-old twins. I’ve never taken formal lessons in diaper changing and am by no means claiming to be an expert. However, having twins does present one with ample opportunities to practice this skill. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Take a deep breath – These diapers you’ll be changing nearly always contain aromas that you don’t want to experience. So channel your inner David Blaine and refuse to breathe for 2-7 minutes. And if you have tiny lungs like myself, you may want to think about keeping a handkerchief handy. Simply tie it around your face like those people who used to rob trains with six-shooters. *note* this can be frightening to some children.
- Ask God to make you fast and accurate – When Benjamin Martin was taking out redcoats with his wooden rifles, he prayed this very same prayer. And you know what? It worked. He killed all those guys. It’s likely you’ll need the same type of divine intervention to accomplish your task without getting bodily fluids on your favorite collared shirt. Be quick, but not in a hurry. Accuracy is valuable to babies. Put one diaper on backwards and they lose every ounce of respect they had for you as a father.
- Treat wipes as if they were made of gold – Changing diapers can get pretty expensive. It’s just a fact of life. And while we can’t conserve diapers by leaving our kids sitting in their own filth for longer periods of time, there is an aspect of diaper changing that we can control. The wipes. These giant moist towelettes made of gold cost about as much as a gallon of regular unleaded. For each one. For this reason it’s important to take advantage of every inch of surface area. There’s a front and back for a reason – you’ll thank me later.
- Urine stings when it gets in your eyes – Remember that little wash station in the corner of the room in Chemistry class? The one no one ever used because nothing bad ever happened in Chemistry class? It may be wise to invest in one of those. If God happens to deny your request for speed and accuracy, it’s possible that certain liquids may end up in or around your eyes. Specifically urine. And the thing about urine (blog name change possibly?) is it stings like pepper spray. If you can’t find one of these wash stations on Craigslist, I’d invest in some goggles. There’s no shame in being the Horace Grant of diaper changing.
- The first one is the worst thing ever – I had never changed a diaper before being presented with two babies at the same time in the hospital 11 months ago. I assumed that out of respect for me, they would each wait until their mother woke up from anesthesia before leaving me any presents. I was wrong. So I feel I have this duty (no pun intended) to prepare you for what awaits at the hospital. A diaper full of black tar. Don’t worry, your baby is not an alien. Apparently every tiny person begins life with a load of tar that you may be responsible for cleaning up. Follow steps 1-4 and remember, it only gets more disgusting better.
Anyone have any other ideas? I’m literally changing a diaper right now…