Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dads Dirty Duty

This is the essay I wrote for my composition class. I thought i would share my knowledge :0)

Even as a young boy, I dreamt of being a dad. I envisioned myself having tea parties with my little girl, playing football in the yard with my young son, and having them pounce on me in the mornings because they are excited to see me. However, one aspect of parenting was never part of those thoughts – diapering. Changing a baby’s diaper can be a challenge for most dads because it does not come as naturally for us as it does for moms; however, with instruction, practice, and patience, diapering your child can be an easy process. From a dad’s point of view the three major steps to changing a diaper are gathering the supplies, rounding up the child, and the actual process itself.

Knowing the supplies required is an important part of the diaper changing experience. Without these tools, you will not be able to adequately perform the task at hand. The first and most obvious item to find is a clean diaper. Although all diapers may seem alike, there are certain brands of diapers that do not do the job effectively, causing messy leaks. Luckily, most moms will have already decided the brand for you; therefore, all you need to do is find a clean diaper to use. Secondly, you will need to have a large supply of diaper wipes. There is one very important thing that you need to understand when it comes to diaper wipes – do not follow Mom’s guidance on the quantity of diaper wipes to use. Most moms that I know will use one or two wipes per diaper change. This does not work for Dad. You will need to pull ten or twelve clean wipes out of the box to do this job correctly. Lastly, you will need to ensure that you have diaper rash cream to use in case of a sore baby bottom. Once all of these tools are gathered, you will be ready to go to step number two.

The second step to changing a baby’s diaper is sometimes the hardest. It seems, with some children, that they sense that a diaper change is about to take place and they somehow vanish into thin air. I have found that there are three types of children when it comes to diaper changing: the runners, the screamers, and the fighters. When dealing with the runners, there are two important things you need to do. First and most importantly, make sure that you know where your child’s favorite hiding spots are. This will help you cut down the time it takes to find them. Next, make sure you put on your best pair of running shoes to assist you in catching a child who is somehow faster than you. From my experience, the screamers are an easier group to deal with. The only thing that you will need to do to prepare for dealing with this type of child is find yourself a good set of earplugs to keep your ears safe from the noise. The fighters are normally the hardest group of children to deal with. The hardest part about this type of child is fending off the swinging legs and arms. One suggestion that I could offer for this type of child is the investment of a protective cup, just in case. The last piece of advice I can give to help with this process is this: once you have the child in your control, do not let them out of your grasp until the task is complete. If you do, you will have to repeat this entire process.

Now that you have the supplies gathered and the child in your control, it is time to change the dirty diaper. The first step is to remove the soiled diaper. This may sound easy, but it can be tricky, especially if you have a fighter. An important part of this process is to not take the diaper completely off of the child. Keep it under the baby’s bottom to avoid a mess on the floor. Next you will need to clean up the child. This is the part that most dads dread the most. However, if you took my advice and have a large quantity of wipes available, this process should be fairly easy. The best advice I can give you on this is to be careful not to get the mess all over the place. The method I use, which is unlike most moms, is what I like to call the “wipe and waste” method. I make one swipe across the baby’s bottom and then get a new one out. This method will waste more wipes, but it will also help you to not make a mess. Now that this is done, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The child is now clean and the danger of making a mess is gone. All you have to do now is place the clean diaper on the baby. The hardest part of this process is figuring out how tight to fasten the tabs on the diaper. If you fasten them too tight, your baby will not be able to breathe, causing obvious problems. If you do not fasten them tight enough, the diaper will fall off the baby. This usually happens after the diaper is dirty again which could end up a disaster. If mom is close, ask her to evaluate if they are fastened correctly or not. Once she has given her approval of a job well done you can relax; you have successfully changed your baby’s diaper!

Breaking a diaper change up into these three easy steps will make the dirty duty of a dad a more pleasant experience. For us, it is not as natural as it is for moms, so it takes more practice. However, with time, patience, and lots of energy, I am confident that a dad can be just as good, if not better. However, one last bit of caution to those of you who become experts in this task – watch your back; next time your baby needs a diaper change you may see mom walking towards you with a clean diaper in her hand and an evil smile on her face!

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