As a baby grows into a toddler, the relationship with the diaper changes. Every time things get a little easier, they also get a little harder. But I guess if we had the same diaper problems from year 0 to potty trained, we would feel bored so “yay for variety?”.
In the first stage we use the cute tiny little newborn diapers. Only we are scared we are going to break the baby anytime we change the diaper. We become Museum Mommy taking care to manage, clean, and handle our precious art and artifacts with the uttermost care and precision. Oh so slowly and delicately do we remove the diaper. This happens an average of 8-14 times/day. So that means that 8-14 times per/day, we are focusing on perfectionistic diaper changing. This becomes old fast. Eventually, even the cuteness of the little diapers is not able to compete with the stress and monotony of the perfect diaper change at a rate of ever 2-4 hours.
At some point around the umbilical cord coming off, the next stage of diaper changing occurs. We are now fully aware, especially in boys, we want to avoid the yellow shower. We cannot afford to be slow, delicate diaper changers. Museum Mommy retreats, and we transform into Ninja Mommy. Now a professional diaper changer, Ninja Mommy has acquired and honed her skills. We have become quick, stealthy, and we are on a mission. As one diaper comes off, the other is already in place to catch the yellow shower that has been activated by the cold air. Every catch is a victory. As we master this, we relish in delight as those around try to escape the yellow shower and fail. Hahaha. Really one of the few times in life it’s okay to laugh when our loved ones get doused in pee.
The next stage of diaper changing involves readiness for the Thunder Butt. Although Ninja Mommy’s services may still be needed, we morph into FEMA Mommy, ready to clean up natural disasters. We never know when Thunder Butt will hit. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, and it can easily be multiple times in one day. We are always equipped with a back-up supply of what may or may not be needed as FEMA Mommy: multiple onesies, extra outfits, extra diapers and wipes, diaper rash cream, and lots of hand sanitizer. Despite the disaster, we are truly in awe of the capability (like how far up the back it can reach) and explosion caused by Thunder Butt.
As our babies grow, they become mobile, bringing us to the next stage. Now that they can turn over, pull themselves around, and crawl, they are not interested in lying still while you change them. Introducing, Ranchhand Mommy. Before you can change them, “ya gotta catch’em”. Only that’s not enough. You’ve also got to keep them lassoed in. Those legs and hands need to be tied together securely (in case this isn’t obvious, I do not actually endorse tying your child’s hands and feet together). The delicacy of Museum Mommy is long gone. Time to jump in full force, rough’n and tough’n it, because every diaper change is now a struggle. And their transition from being a quadruped to a biped makes no difference for us as Ranchhand Mommy. Our babies actually become less cooperative because freedom of mobility is so sweet that the exasperated, angry “hold still!” cry is meaningless.
Next, we enter into the stage where we become Police Mommy. We have a unique area of crime to fight though: the nudists. You never know when your nudist will jump out at you. It’s often a surprise. Once your little one knows how to take that diaper off, it’s fun. It’s an accomplishment, and it’s an exhilarating game where our little one gets chased around and re-diapered, just to take that diaper off again. As a Police Mommy stopping this crime isn’t easy since our little ones get a rush from re-committing their nude antics. We can only hope a new crime becomes more fun to commit.
The next stage, is the most disgusting stage. This is where our dear, sweet little ones become innocently curious…and stick their hand down their poopy diapers. Cue in HazMat Mommy. Sanitizing becomes a skill. If we don’t catch the little one in the act (which is rare), we must re-trace the origin of the incident to fully clean and sanitize. Walls, floors, clothes, none of it is safe. In true HazMat Mommy form, we push through and complete what needs to be done while feeling absolutely disgusted the entire time.
Things get better. As toddler baby becomes real toddler, we get someone who tells us when they need to be changed. Maybe they bring us a diaper, maybe they just tell us because they can talk. This is where we become Oil Change Mommy. Our toddlers willingly bring it in, patiently wait for their change, and are happy to be sent on their way. Oil Change Mommy is a good place to be in during the stages of diaper changing. It’s a good sign that diapers will soon be out and using the potty will be in.
One important thing to remember is that it’s possible to be in more than one stage at the same time, and sometimes our little ones may regress at times. It’s okay. It’s normal. And by the end we’ve got so many skills from being Museum, Ninja, Ranchhand, FEMA, Police, HazMat, and Oil Change Mommies that we can handle anything. We are true diaper-changing champs. Bring it!