It's a dirty job


I know it's wrong to criticize an invention that has saved the sanity and extended the lives of mothers around the world. An invention that means a quick trip to the trash can instead of hours spent bent over the toilet, but disposable diapers aren't quite perfect yet.

I have some issues about the design. They're small, even knitpicky things, especially when you consider the alternative, but if you're going to take a short cut do it right.

They make diapers with elastic around the legs to prevent leaks and they do a bang up job of that, but a piece of elastic around the backside for the same purpose would certainly be useful. Gravity means nothing when you spend most of the time on your back, constantly lifting your legs in a motion that pushes everything a diaper might contain from the bottom to the top and into the cute Onesie.

The problem when that happens is there is no way to remove a child's clothes without making a bigger mess.

It gets even worse when they get old enough to do the wiggles constantly try to roll over while you're holding their feet trying to keep them in one place.

Then, breathing hard after you finish the struggle (not because it was so physically exerting, but because you were holding your breath the entire time), you discover there's another diaper that needs changing.

Right now, I have two children in diapers a case for either bankruptcy or insanity. Probably both.

I can go to the grocery store and spend $70 before there's a single item of food in my cart.

I'm not always as smart as I think I am. My timing could've been better.

I talked to a man the other night who said his son was potty trained at 18 months. I don't like him near as much as I used to.

I don't think potty training is near on Katie's horizon, although you can tell she's getting frustrated at how much diapers limit her movement mostly her ability to out run me.

And that's another problem I have with the design of diapers. They're not childproof at all. Even 10-month-old Nikki can be out of a diaper in seconds flat.

She's not allowed to be naked anymore. We need that thin layer of clothing over her diaper to prevent easy access.

Don't get me wrong. It's cute as heck when she unfastens one side, rolls over and crawls out, but if that's not a messy process to begin with, it has the potential I don't even want to consider.

Katie in our attempt to show strangers that she is a girl wears a lot of dresses (even that doesn't always work. Just the other night we were asked if our little one, clad in a red, gingham dress, was a girl. My aunt even compared her to a little Charlie Chaplain. Same hair).

Anyway, dresses don't limit her access to her diaper at all, but luckily she hasn't noticed that. She does notice when she gets to run around in nothing but a diaper.

The other night I found her curled up on the floor, sound asleep and buck naked. She was adorable, and even though no parent in their right mind wakes up a sleeping baby, no parent in their right mind would let them sleep all night like that.

I put a diaper on her. She woke up. I paid the price anyway.

She didn't go back to sleep until about midnight.

That's a private display. It's when the displays get more public that you curse the inventors of diapers for using velcro instead of, say, duct tape. Super glue. Aluminum with a heavy duty lock.

Katie has learned to open the screen door. We've already established that she knows how to shuck her diaper. Add those to a distraught mother who just came out of the laundry room and couldn't find her daughter. Take that same distraught mother catching a glimpse of her little naked daughter in the yard, add that to the little naked daughter noticing that her mother noticed her and, being unencumbered by a diaper, shooting off down the sidewalk.

She's fast.

I'm faster.

She did not want to go back.

I didn't give her a choice.

The neighbor said he'd never seen such a good show.

We secretly lock the doors now. Secretly because if she saw us, she'd figure out how to unlock them.

I'm pretty sure the makers of disposable diapers aren't reading this. They should, it's great market research, but I'm realistic enough to know they've got better things to do make commercials with pretty little babies loving their lives and their diapers. They're clean and fresh and not leaking.

Yeah. That's realistic.

I've never seen a commercial where a little one was trying with all his might to work his way out of a diaper or a commercial that tests how much solid waste a diaper can hold.

So much for truth in advertising.

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