Darling Small Child of Mine,
Sweet Angel. You lovable, huggable, silly little being whom I love more than life, and maybe even a little more than I love your brother, but don’t tell him I said that. I say this with all the love a mother could possibly draw from her warm, maternal heart: Why the f do you make it so hard for me to change your diaper?
First of all, you know it wasn’t always this way. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, that you went from a giggly, cooing little potato head exalting in having his tushie exposed to the Gods to a shrieking maniac intent on sending me to an early grave every time I change you. One day you were totally cute about it, and then the next day things got weird. Was it something I did? Did I rub you the wrong way (literally)?
Why do you try to fling yourself out of my arms, or sometimes try to scramble to the top of my head, as we approach your changing table for a diaper change? You make it seem like I’m about to feed you to the lions, which I think is a little theatrical, don’t you? I mean, the screaming like I am flaying you alive as soon as I lay you down? I am simply trying to provide you with a fresh, clean surface in which to defecate. Stop being such a drama queen.
A request: Could you please not twist like the corkscrew I use every night to open my Pinot when I attach the sticky tabs to your diaper? When you do that, it results in the dreaded Lopsided Diaper which not only looks like I don’t give a you-know-what about your comfort, but dude, it has to feel pretty awkward for you, too.
Ditto doing The Twist when I’m wiping the poo off your bum. Because you run the risk of smearing poo onto either your pajamas or worse – the clean changing table cover I lovingly wrestled onto your changing pad this morning because your father somehow didn’t see the poop stains when he changed you last night even though I don’t believe him for a second (but that’s just between us, OK? I don’t want to start a fight).
Can you please explain how it is possible that the same child who needs “uppy” every time he wants to get in or out of a chair suddenly possesses Herculean strength as soon as he’s lying prone on the changing table? How is it that when you push your stubby little legs into my chest you have the force to send me flying across the room? Sometimes it takes two to three people to hold you down to change your diaper and since I am frequently alone with you this is why I so often avoid changing you. Sorry. Or you’re welcome?
And on the rare occasion that you require a diaper change when you’re in the deepest of sleep, you can literally be snoring and you’ll STILL get pissed at me for changing you.
It is hard for me not to take this personally − the fact that you insist on taking your morning poo in an already soggy-from-the-night diaper. And then running away screaming from me when I try to change it, so that hours after my first attempt, your diaper has gotten so weighed down that it is hanging around your ankles underneath your onesie pajama like a little Heffalump beneath your pant leg.
Also, could you please stop insisting on carrying your lovey to said changing table and flinging it towards your dirty bottom in the midst of your toddler rage? I hate having to wash Doggie Lovey twice a day, sometimes three for good measure because you’re a sneaky son-of-a-gun and I don’t always catch you in the act of soiling your lovey but I have to assume you did so I play it safe.
Why do you touch your butt when I’m just about to put your diaper on? I mean, yeah, I wiped it with unscented, organic wipes but you probably still have fecal matter on you. And then you take that same finger and pause from your complaining to stick your finger IN MY EYE as you say “Eyes!” because you’re thrilled you know that word and that you’ve made the connection between it and a body part of mine. And I wonder why Pink Eye is so rampant in our house.
So listen. I’ve been elbow deep in your poop since day one and I have to say, I’m pretty over it. Would you consider learning to poop on the toilet all the time, not just when the spirit moves you – which tends to be STRICTLY when your older brother legitimately is using it to poop? And when I mean legitimately I mean in contrast to what you do when your brother finally relinquishes the potty to you – which is to kick at your stool so that it collapses and I have to fix it over and over, or to ask me to sing you Twinkle Twinkle sixty times but cut me off after the first verse to clap and say “Yaaaay!!” and then request I start all over again. Please let me get to “how I wonder what you are.” Just once.
I hope you take all of the above into consideration the next time we find ourselves here, together, by your changing table. Or even better, maybe pretty soon we can skip this whole act altogether and go straight to the potty. If we both work on this, I think we can meet somewhere in the middle.
Just preferably not on my nice hardwood floors, OK?
Photography by Jonica Moore for Well Rounded NY.