I can do this. I keep telling myself. I’ve done it before. Did it two hours ago. But I’m weary, battle weary. And I’m tired. I know what I’m up against and I’m losing steam. Its been another long day. He’s growing stronger and more determined. I have to keep up. I can’t let him see my weakness. I know what I have to do, I can smell it, and the time has come to do it. His diaper needs to be changed and I’m the chick for the job.
I study my opponent. He’s in his toy corner. Weighing in at 16.5 lbs. He’s little, not even on the charts little, but he fights like a 20 pounder. He’s wiry and squirmy. He’s fast and his size works to his advantage. He’s got my number, but I have to get the upper-hand back. He sees the look in my eye. He knows it’s time. We face-off. Stare each other down.
He starts talking trash.
” A-ga, a-ga. A-da, da, da, da. A- thhpppppppt!!!!”
Standard intimidation tactics. I let it roll off my back. Give it right back to him.
” Who has a poopy diaper? Who is the stinky boy? Is it you? Is it you? ”
Humiliation. It hasn’t worked in the past, but I thought I’d give it a try. I grab him, flip him on his back, and it begins.
I want to finish this quickly, so I try to negotiate. I hand him my cell-phone. This is a major concession. He grabs it, gums it a few times, and throws it aside. Oh man, he’s playing to win. I try distraction, pointing out the lights on the Christmas tree. He’s not going for it. I’ll have to do it by force, he gives me no choice.
He’s rolled onto to his belly, I roll him back. I wriggle his little pants off. Damn. A onesie! Another layer to breach. Who invented onesies? What the hell are they for again? He rolls again, I roll him back. He’s getting mad. Stay the course, I tell myself, stay the course. I use one hand to undo the onesie snaps, and he almost gets away. I can see the whole diaper now, this is the critical stage. I have to gain control. I cross his little ankles and hold them in one hand, with the other I unfasten the diaper. Whoa, this one is full. Halfway up his back. He twists hard to the right, then to the left. I lift him upward, to keep him from smearing the rug. He’s twisting and bucking. Oh no, I forgot to get my wipes out of the box. Why do I always forget to get the wipes ready first?! I reach behind myself, still holding his ankles in the air, grab the wipes container, fumble with it, I can’t get it open! He’s squirming one foot almost out of my grasp. Aha! It opens. I move fast. Three wipes at once, I go to work. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Making good progress. I lay the last dirty wipe in the pile with the others and the used diaper, and look to my side for the new one. Tactical error! He grabs the poopy pile, and starts slinging it around. Damn you, Heather! You know better. You know better. He taunts me.
” A-da! A- DAAAAA!”
Poopy wipes are flying. I take one on the shoulder. He’s on his fours now, starting to crawl away. This is getting heated. I grab him by the ankles, drag him back to me. He giggles. Nice try, but it won’t work. On his back again, I push the clean diaper under his bottom, almost done. Then the pee stream hits me mid-chest. ACK! Against the rules! He’s playing dirty. What’ll he do next, bite my ear off? I block the stream with my palm, pushing it downward. It sprinkles all over him. I grab another wipe, clean him up and with one arm across his little chest, I use my free hand to tape up the diaper. I pull him onto my lap and try to put his pants back on. His legs are bicycling wildly. It’s like trying to dress someone while rolling down a hill. Whew! Finished. I wipe the sweat from my brow. Oh, gross! That was the pee-shield hand!
I’m exhausted, but victorious. Then comes a retching noise behind me. Its my husband. He’s been watching in horror. I chase him around the room with the dirty diaper, laughing maniacally. Poor guy. He’s new to this. Green behind the ears. I”ll have to toughen him up. It’s hell here in the trenches. Hell, I tell ya. We can’t have a weak link. The baby will eat us alive if we do.
He’s back in his corner, surrounded by toys, chewing away happily on an empty water bottle. I keep my game face on. I have to let him know who’s in charge; never let my guard down.
” Who is the sweetie pie? Who needs a kiss? Who needs a kiss on his belly? Is it you? Is it you?”
Damn it! He suckers me in and pulls out a last minute victory. He’s a worthy adversary, I’ll give him that. And he’s cute. Deadly cute.
But, I’ll be baaaahhk.