Erin has been sick this weekend, which leaves me in charge. I don’t mind being in charge, of course, because I love my kids and I’d rather they didn’t die for want of a competent adult. Also, Erin works hard and deserves a break. I suppose she thinks so too and could be feigning illness to achieve said break, but I’d rather believe the scented bubble baths and long, middle-of-the-day naps are for recuperative purposes than some other treacherous reason.
My mom tells me Dad never changed a diaper once. Four boys, not one diaper. On the one hand, that sounds like pleasantly scented heaven. On the other, that’s kind of messed up. Changing diapers is an awful task. Just look at any character in a movie ever who changes a diaper. It’s always presented as the very worst thing a person could be asked to do. It reduces high-powered professionals into all-thumbs morons (see: The Family Man, Jersey Girl, countless others I’m sure).
The truth is changing diapers really isn’t that big a deal. Very few things you do hundreds of times are. Where’s the movie where the parent undresses the kid halfway, removes the old smelly diaper, wipes her clean, applies the new diaper and puts the clothes back on without missing a step on the way up the Lincoln Monument to defuse the bomb? Because that’s how it goes down in my house. More or less.
So, I’ve changed a lot of diapers this weekend. Honestly, besides the foul odor and (forgive me for this) the sludge, I see it as a privilege. There’s very few things in my kids’ lives I can just fix with ease and confidence. Sometimes, they cry and I don’t know why. Cami, my middle daughter with special needs, has a host of problems I don’t know anything about and she has no way to tell me. But her diaper? Yeah, I can fix that. Every time. My success rate? 100%.
It’s only going to get worse as they get older. Crud, with my oldest daughter (long out of diapers), it already has. Every day she has a problem at school or with the new emotions that go along with growing up that I just can’t do a thing about. I’m there for her, I listen to her, but my ability to correct the negative situations in her life is diminishing.
It’s been a good weekend. I like spending time with my girls. Cami isn’t feeling too great either so there’s probably been a bit more movie watching than should be allowed, but that’s okay. Movies make her happy and calm. They’re like a more entertaining version of a clean diaper. I’ll put on a genuine smile and give my kids clean diapers all day long if I have to, for as long as I can.