Like most dads, changing diapers was the last thing I wanted any part of when I was welcomed into fatherhood, and I did whatever I could to get out of changing them. One time, I actually contemplated smashing my hand with a rubber mallet so that I would physically be unable to change a diaper. Trust me, if there ever was a way or an excuse to be made to get out of the dreaded diaper change, I came up with it.
Bartering became my strong suite. I figured if I did something nice for my wife, she would gladly trade me duties, or just do it because of my "random" act of kindness.
Some of my best barters or bribes included:
Babe, if you change this diaper, I'll buy you a bottle of wine.
Babe, if you change this diaper, I'll do all the grocery shopping.
Babe, if you change this diaper, I'll cook dinner.
Babe, if you change this diaper, I'll do the dishes.
Babe, if you change this diaper, I'll give you a massage.
Babe, if you change this diaper...
...and so on and so on. Bartering always worked the best for me -- I had a very high success rate with it. Sometimes it became pretty costly, but in my opinion, bartering is definitely the way to go. At some point, though, my wife started figuring out my scam, and even though she was the one benefiting from it, she shut it down.
So now what's left? Excuses, and excuses in my opinion are the trickiest to pull off. Why? Because you have to think on the fly, you have to be quick and nimble and think on your feet in a moment's notice. You must lie, lie and lie some more. So whenever it looked or smelled like it was time for a diaper change, I would immediately make a bee line to the nearest exit.
Sometimes, though, I wasn't quick enough and would get caught, and I would hear those dreaded words creep out of my wife's mouth:
Babe, It's your turn to change the baby.
This is when I would usually try some of my excuses, most of which I had previously tested in the bathroom mirror (while hiding from the kids, of course). Some of the excuses worked, and some didn't, but after a while it really didn't matter. She caught on, or just got sick of me trying to constantly get out of changing diapers and that's when things got a bit more tricky, and I had to turn things up a notch.
So when things reached their darkest hour and it finally looked as if I was going to be stuck changing a diaper, and especially if it was one of the STINKY variety, this is the way I would approach it:
First, I come out of the bathroom in my official diaper-changing gear.
Me: Okay. Fine. Get me a towel.
My wife (chuckling): Why do you need a towel?
Me: Because I'm not that good at changing diapers, and I'm just gonna end up using an entire box of wipes and getting it all over the sheets and the bed, so I'm putting the towel down so I don't make a bigger mess than the one that's coming.
Then I slowly start laying out my work station, which includes:
- 1 bath towel
- 1 roll of paper towels
- Clorox bleach spray (Now, I've never actually used this, but it freaked my wife out that I had it in my work station and sometimes this alone, made her pull the plug and she would end up changing the diaper for me.)
- Lemon Juice
- 1 scented candle
- 1 can of Lysol
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 diaper
- 1 box of baby wipes
- I've added in that I PLAN to WASTE a whole box of baby wipes.
- I've suggested that I would more than likely get the contents of the diaper all over the bed and her clean sheets.
- I'm taking my time, and the slower I go, hopefully the more frustrated she becomes until she just gives in and does it herself.
Sometimes I'll use these:
Oh, lord -- YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS!
WOW! I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS!
I HOPE YOU DON'T GET TOO MAD!
BABE, THIS IS GOING TO BE REALLY BAD, PLEASE GET ME A LAUNDRY BASKET AND HAVE THE WASHER ON STAND-BY!
I'M GONNA NEED ANOTHER BOX OF WIPES!
OH NO, IT'S GETTING ALL OVER THE SHEETS!
SHE'S PEEING ALL OVER THE PLACE!
GET A SHOWER READY!
Now, Each of these will get different responses, but I promise you if she thinks you are destroying the room, or creating a bigger mess that she will end up having to clean up, she will happily take over at some point.
*Disclaimer: She will at this point be pretty pissed off so find a safe place to hide.
It was so easy to get out of changing diapers when me and my wife were both home all day. I would just disappear in the office or outside whenever it was time for a change. However when my wife went back to work and I became the stay-at-home dad, I was stuck. I had no one to bribe and I had no one to make excuses too. I was trapped.
So, I had to start changing diapers, up to 12 a day, with both of the girls. When my oldest daughter finally became potty-trained, things did get a bit easier, but not by much. But now, I have diaper changing down to a science. I even have a chart I use for different types of situations:
Different types of poop:
The Green Mile: this was when the poop is extremely runny and green. This eventually stopped and doesn't really happen too much anymore (unless they eat a lot of green beans for dinner), but at one time, this was the worst.
Pebble Rock: This is when they poop little pebbles and when you open the diaper, they roll onto the floor.
The Fountain: This is when right when you start changing the diaper, they started to poop, and it shoots up like a geyser. Pretty cool to watch, but disgusting. Have your rubber gloves on the ready.
The Puddle: This is when you open the diaper and there is a puddle of poop, that's totally liquified with chunks of debris floating in it. Have the hose ready for this one.
The Log: Well, its a nice log.
Yellow fever: It's runny and yellow. It has a different kind of smell and keeps things interesting.
And that pretty much covers the poop, the pee is easy UNLESS they start to pee while you are changing them, and then you better have your umbrella ready.
However now that I'm the stay-at-home dad, I now change 90% of all the diapers in our house and I really don't mind it anymore. I do wish I would have helped my wife out a bit more when she was always stuck doing it, because there are times when I wish I had some help.
So to any of the dads out there who absolutely refuse to help change a diaper, you really should consider jumping in and helping your wife out. She will appreciate it, and it's really not that bad, and one day the tables could easily be turned and you might be the one needing a helping hand.