Always remember your kid’s name. Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers… for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.—Amy Poehler
Yeah, that was total naiveté at its worst. Not only was there not sufficient warning as to the extreme amounts of excrement this child would produce, I did not have the experience in greased pig wrangling that one needs to adequately diaper any child more than one-month-old. Sure, we had heard horror stories, but we never thought that our darling little boy would ever produce such a challenge. We watched what we fed him, we monitored what Mom ate while he was nursing, and we even carefully measured the amounts and types of liquid in his bottles. We really thought we had a handle on things. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Our little guy was about four months old when disaster struck. It was a bright, sunny, Saturday morning. We had dropped off Mommy and were on our way back home when I heard a noise from the back seat that caused me to shudder. By the time we arrived at home, the fragrance was enough to tell me that we had not encountered anything quite like this. I knew that this wasn’t going to be the average diaper change, but when I opened the car door and realized that his entire car seat was covered in poop, I momentarily stepped back and questioned where I might borrow a hazmat suit. EVERYTHING in the back seat of the car had to be cleaned. Who knew one little boy’s bottom could be so very explosive.
Unfortunately, public diaper changing stations are frequently ill-positioned to actually treat the worst diaper encounters. Whomever thought it was a good idea to put a diaper changing station inside a bathroom stall was an absolute idiot. If a parent is desperate enough to use a public changing station, they need access to a sink and warm water, not a toilet. We also need access to paper towels; not because we’re going to use them on the baby, but we’re going to want to coat that plastic changing station in as many paper towels as possible before putting down a changing pad, and then we may even want to coat the pad as a precaution. Changing a baby on a public diaper station just has way too many challenges.
I’m glad my boys have long left the days of diapers behind. I don’t wish to ever be in that position again, and am happy to walk right past most diaper changing stations. There is one diaper changing station we all need to frequent, though, and that’s the voting booth. As Mark Twain famously said, babies and politicians need to be changed for the same reason. Consider the voting booth your political diaper changing station and don’t be afraid to use it. Baby wipes optional.