Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Of Daddies and Diapers

Times have changed.

According to my Mom, my Dad changed fewer than a dozen diapers while they were married. They had three kids. That averages out to four diapers per kid! (Of course, there is the chance that Mom's memory isn't completely accurate. After all, this is the same person who thinks Wendy's sells McNuggets.)

But still, a dozen diapers in his lifetime? Sometimes I'll change that many in a day! And, while it's possible that Mom's recollections are a bit off, I feel pretty confident in saying this: Dad didn't change diapers very often.

As I said, times have changed. Back in my Dad's day, the husband didn't change many diapers. Today, I change a lot of diapers. A whole bunch of diapers. Sooooo many diapers! (Will the diapers ever stop?)

The Wife and I don't have a system for who "gets" to change the diaper. Usually, it's whoever notices that the diaper needs to be changed. Or, it's the person who is less busy at that moment. (That's one of the reasons I get to change so many diapers. My natural laziness means The Wife is usually busier with other things than I am, so I "get" to change a lot of diapers.) (Sooooooo many diapers!!!)

But, I'm not the only man who changes diapers these days. Whereas back in my Dad's day women changed most of the diapers, today the diaper-changing duties are more evenly split. (Note: I didn't say completely evenly split, just more evenly split.)

That's why it's so frustrating when I go out to a restaurant or store and they don't have a diaper changing table in the men's room.

We need diaper changing tables in every men's room. Why? If not, where am I going to change that baby's diaper? On the bathroom floor? In the bathroom sink? Hey, if I have to I'll change that poopy diaper right there on the restaurant table! Is that really what you want?

Diaper changing tables should really be in every restroom. They don't really take up that much room, and the benefits are tremendous. Or, I could just let the smell of my baby's poopy diaper just waft through the entire restaurant. ("Waiter, my soup smells a little funny.")

Sometimes it's amazing how wonderful it can be to see a pull-down table hanging from a wall!
Many establishments put the diaper changing table in the handicap toilet stall. While this is not optimal, it is better than no diaper station at all. Why isn't it optimal? Well, for one thing there is a greater chance of not having access to the diaper station because someone is using the toilet in the stall. There is also the fact that a diaper table in a toilet stall brings you in closer proximity to Poop of Other People (also known as "P.O.O.P." for short.) You never know what you're going to get when you are around P.O.O.P. The toilet could be clogged, or there might be P.O.O.P. smeared all over the toilet seat. (I've got a story about that, but it will have to wait for another day.)

That said, a changing table in a toilet stall is still preferable to no changing table at all.

Especially infuriating are those times when there is a diaper station in the women's restroom, but there isn't one in the men's restroom. Come on, people! This is 2016! Men change diapers today! Having diaper changing tables in women's bathrooms but not in men's bathrooms is basically saying, "Changing diapers is women's work." And while my Dad might have wholeheartedly agreed with that statement, if I were to utter that sentence out loud....? Well, let's just say that it wouldn't go over very well.

I don't like changing diapers, but I am well aware that my wife doesn't like it, either. And, as a husband and father, it is my responsibility to help my wife and children in any way I can, even if it means dealing with P.O.O.P.

Times have changed. Diapers have been changed. (Sooooooooo many diapers!) I know, because I've changed them.

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