I’m no longer unnerved by poop. While Elissa was pregnant I was scared out of my mind about the prospect of changing the poopy diapers. My first diaper experience didn’t come until Ethan was a day old, so I had no familiarity with any sort of diapers, wet or messy and certainly not the exploding up the back ones I have come to despise. But after ten months with two babies, I am more or less unfazed by anything I may find in there. I imagine I’m a bit similar to a sanitation worker; the first few weeks on the job must be absolutely unbearable. But after a few months, you are just going through the motions – work is work and poop is poop.
I’ve changed diapers without breaking stride all over the place. I just changed one on the floor at LA Fitness (in the Kids Klub area) and it was a gross one, too! I’ve changed them at the mall with a child strapped down to the Koala Kare Changing Station while singing “Old Mac Donald” to calm the other and smile/nodding off glances from confused men on their way to the urinal. The tailgate of my car is an old standard by now. But we are trying to sell it, so I’ve got to be extra careful there.
Having said that, what I feel has truly taken me to the level of “Savant Daddy Care Taker” is my ability to regulate the children by carefully monitoring their diet and by extension, their digestive responses. First, I had to learn about BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Apples & Toast) – these are your binders, they are the key to everything. Those four little letters were especially important in the beginning for little Ruthie. We wanted to avoid these at all costs; the poor little girls head would look like it was going to pop off when it was time for #2.
That’s when I discovered fruit, oh blessed fruit, those mangos, kiwis, peaches, pears and the crème de la crème of the Plant Kingdom – The Plum. That most wonderful bowel-loosening gift from G-d, her sister Prune Juice can make a crying, frantic four-month old turn her frown upside down in less than an hour. Granted, the next six hours are quite unpleasant for the diaper changer. But that adorable toothless smile makes it all worth it.
Maybe there is something very very wrong with me, but it has gotten to the point that I take great pride in hearing that grunting, aggravated noise from my babies with no crying or whimpering and I know that I’ve gotten the balance just right - quite a far cry from where I was just last June 21st.