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Dooty, Honor, Country

A Fathers Guide to Changing Diapers
by Doug Powers

As a part of my semi-continuous "Fathers Guide" series, I present to you the job that has caused me the most trauma on a personal level than any other of my fatherly duties combined; the changing of the diaper.

Baby poop is a wonderous and yet horrific thing. It's not something that God has prepared us for. We don't remember manufacturing the vile putty when we were infants, and we spend our adolescent years in a haze of other activities, totally oblivious to what lies ahead. But like the folks in all those asteroid movies that are so popular now, we don't think about it until it's upon us and something must be done. The first baby poop asteroid made a huge crater in my planet about six years ago. Ever since then my life has been a blur of diapers, wipes, hand washing and lightning fast reflexes to save the new tan couch from becoming dark tan.

As the father of 3 and a psychologist's former patient having been treated for PTPP, or Post Traumatic Poop Disorder, I feel that I am now more than qualified to pass on my experiences. My on the job training combined with what I've learned from my shrink (including the fecal 12-step program and intensive study of Maslow's Hierarchy of Dooty) makes me a master at my craft! I sincerely hope all you fathers out there will read this and gain something of value. At the very least, be assured that reading my columns will make you more virile, sexy and may actually increase your penis size! (your mileage may vary)

The first thing to cover is the ongoing debate between disposable and cloth diapers. With my first child we thought we would give cloth a shot. I hated it. The babies shape is totally at odds with anything I could fold. I'd sit for hours like a mentally challenged oriental performing origami on a hunk of cotton in front of a naked baby. After a while, when I thought I'd made something resembling a diaper, I'd put it on the baby. What usually resulted looked sort of like Ghandi in a potato sack. Cloth diapers are way too large to hope for any level of comfort, and as soon as you get them on, the baby wets and the diaper must be changed again. And just taking it off, wringing it out and putting it back on isn't enough, fellas, so don't even go there! Your wife will spot a wrung out diaper in a second!

After several days and weeks of sitting there and attempting to fold cloth diapers like I was in the Color Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, I grew increasingly despondant. Something had to be done or I'd be risking what was left of my sanity (this was back when I still had a LITTLE of it left). We decided to switch to disposable diapers. I realize there's a raging debate out there about disposable diapers filling up landfills, but I'm taking my chances! I think the non-disposable cloth diapers are more harmful to the environment anyway. All the water wasted to wash the things, the electricity to run those washing machines, and the rusty 1977 diaper service Panzer Tank that must have gotten 3 miles to the gallon.

The disposable diaper is an easier thing to work with. It's pre-shaped and comes with built in fasteners and elastic so nothing leaks out. I was in heaven! The only thing missing on these diapers for me were cup holders! I praised modern technology every chance I got. I would encourage new fathers to at least START OUT with cloth diapers, then switch a couple of months later to disposable. At first you're swinging two bats in the on-deck circle, but then when you get up to the plate you feel free and easy....ready to swing for the feces! .....er....I mean FENCES. Sorry.

Okay, enough of my personal history, now for the instructional portion of the lesson that you've all come for. Step 1 is to get yourself a baby. If you don't have one, what the hell are you reading this for? Have you nothing better to do than to read a diaper changing instruction manual? Get a life pal!

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Copyright © 1998 Doug Powers.
All rights reserved.

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