Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In the line of fire

Having a baby boy is a risky business, as some of you may know. Every day is wrought with peril, as we parents brave the "underworld" known as the diaper change. A baby boy is a locked and loaded weapon, ready to fire... and fire he will... when his target is in range, armed with nothing more than an unscented wipe.

We were warned, of course - in fact, the image on the left is from a card sent to us before Kyle was born. Friends, family members, doctors, parents, food delivery guys - practically everyone told us to take caution when changing a diaper to avoid being squirted. Our friends Sarah and Alex, proud parents of a young boy, recommended that we use a cloth as a shield whenever we change a diaper, while my cousins Kris and Craig, proud parents of TWIN boys (God bless them), urged us to go to Target and buy lots and lots of washcloths. We took all this advice, cleared out Target's linen department, and armed ourselves for battle.

For us, changing a diaper is a lot like that opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. One of us holds the washcloth with one hand while using the other hand to undo the diaper, carefully unsticking the tabs as to not trigger any booby-traps. Then, almost instantaneously, the diaper is pulled off and -WHAM!- the cloth is thrown down. After cleanup, we make another attempt at the same tricky operation, this time to remove the cloth and slap on a new diaper. If all goes according to plan, everything stays calm, we are not bombarded with projectiles or boulders, and Kyle's sinister plans have to wait until next time.

(Above: Kyle plotting to strike)

The washcloth shield has been a savior. Many times Jennifer and I would change Kyle and then realize that the towel was soaked. Beads of sweat would roll down our brow as we look at each other, knowing full well that we were the intended target. Those times we consider ourselves lucky, since the washcloth cannot protect all of the time. Kyle's grandmother was an unfortunate victim when she simply checked to see if a diaper needed changing. Many onesies also have been sacrificed.

(Above: Mortally-wounded onesies)

If you look at the odds, it's amazing that we're not hit more often. The inexperienced may believe that a diaper needs to be changed once or twice a day. Not so. Kyle's bowels are timed to our thoughts and actions, so whenever we plan to eat, take a nap, sit down or breathe, they spring into action. We change diapers 15 to 20 thousand times a day. Sometimes twice or three times in once session.

And then there are the surprises, and I leave you with the worst one of all. It happened Saturday morning, and NOBODY prepared us for it. I will spare the details for those of you who like to eat while reading my blog. Let's just say that on Saturday we learned that everything - EVERYTHING - is projectile... and that a dirty diaper doesn't necessarily mean the eruption is over. Most importantly, we also learned that your bed can never be far enough away from the changing table.

Dry cleaning is going to make us broke.