How Dancing Kittens Became My Undoing: Public Diaper Changing

Posted: November 24, 2012 in Pregnant Wife Stories
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The restroom with the romantically lit changing table, nestled in the dark corner of the handicap stall was more attractive than practical to me. I should have known. It would, however, become the infamous locale of my first public diaper change. Like Chernobyl, Mount Vesuvius in Pompey, Mount St Helens, Omaha Beach, and so many other explosive landmarks related to less than happy occurrences in humanity’s illustrious history, this romantically lit changing table, nestled in the dark corner of the handicap stall would become a place of infamy.
Such an unassuming changing table extended from the rear wall of the roomiest stall, in an elegantly lit bathroom, where candles caused shadows to flicker and creep across the walls marking my movement from the entryway to my pending doom. Darkness came to gather in the corner of the stall and ultimately settled over the innocent looking changing table smothering any existing light and dulling it to an orange glow.
Reaching out my hand and placing the perfectly organized diaper bag on the cozy table, my finger grazed the top of the hard plastic meant to hold a soiled and yet sleeping baby girl. Sleeping for the moment….The resulting cold permeated through my hand resonating outward, inward, and upward following paths forged in the womb decades ago. It should have been the omen I needed to turn away–my impetus to seek refuge elsewhere, but inside the darkened catacombs of my brain, came a reassuring echo. The echoing voice should have been the omen I needed to turn away, because it was the same voice that has failed me repeatedly, relentlessly and reliably. The voice was there at the grocery store and told me to steal that candy and sealed my fate. I heard its words tell me to drink the beers that made me run when the cabbie came. The voice is pleased to meet you, I hope you guessed its name….
My daughter rested in my left arm with her head kind of hanging off of the side like a drunken sailor being carried back to his ship after an all night bender by the shore patrol. She wore a onesie covered in dancing kittens made of the softest fleece Target could import from China. I remembered the steps leading me to this moment, and the looks from the other diners at this fine establishment with an equally fine changing table, nestled in the dark corner of an elegantly lit restroom. My walk was met with the approving eyes of mothers at other tables. Their smiles seemed to say, “Look at you, fine sir, taking an active role in caring for this child…” I nodded at them in recognition of their recognition of my contribution to my child’s rearing. I was proud and knew that, in me getting this changing right, I was showing my wife that we were still normal and could function outside of our home. This moment had to happen, and I had to be successful, because the world hinged upon the outcome; the entire world hinged upon this single instant in my life.
Changing the child is a routine that offers little forgiveness. The child cares not whether she is wearing a diaper and will do her business even if it is not convenient for the individual changing her. I know that this is true because earlier in the day, Whitney had been very kind in explaining to me that my method for changing the child was flawed. I was surprised at the detail with which she was able to describe the flaws in my style; furthermore, I was surprised at the rehearsed nature of her suggestions. Whitney spent quite a bit of her suggestioning on the amount of time I leave the baby without any diaper beneath her when transitioning from old to new diaper. I remember thinking, “What does she know? I am a winner and I am not going to be trifled by suggestions.”
The stage was set; the players were in position, and the show was about to begin. You enter into the changing process happy. You are happy because you are doing something to help your child be more comfortable. I hate sitting in my own urine, and therefore, I do not want my child to sit in her urine–it seems logical that this child would be extremely happy to not be sitting in their own urine. I learned in the elegantly lit stall that a baby girl is just as illogical as a grown one.

All Hell Breaks Loose

My routine is simple: I undo the bottom portion of the onesie and fold it backwards so that it is not directly underneath what I call the blast zone. At this point, I am ready to make the move and remove the diaper. Things are going so well to this moment. I remove the straps from the diaper, grip her feet together and gently lift her little butt off of the soiled diaper to remove it. Again, complete success. Flashback to the cold I described earlier in overly, and unnecessarily verbose hyperbole. That same cold was about to travel through her tiny cheeks paralyzing her body and causing all hell to break loose even with the thin paper changing pad I put down to pad the plastic. The resulting chain of events has changed the course of diaper changing history. Initially, this baby girl was stunned by the cold and relatively silent, but her face contorted into that of an old man, and in the candlelit orange glow, I thought her face was a cherry red hue. To increase the cold factor two times, I forgot to warm the baby wipe with my hands before “prepping the landing zone” for the new diaper. It didn’t seem to increase the old man face, so I continued. In the slowest possible manner, I turned my attention to the new diaper.
Diapers come all folded in a manner conducive to packaging into the smallest container possible, and this in itself is not a huge issue, but the fact that I left the diaper in the bottom of the diaper bag, is. I pulled the diaper out, extended the diaper to the correct proportions for applying, and I looked back to beautiful baby girl. To my surprise, laying quiet and warm, on top of the folded up legs of her onesie, in a pool of her own urine, was my daughter. Urine. The amount of pee was unreal. It was like a urine-soaked crime scene. The folded up onesie had absorbed a great deal of the urine, but there was still excess enough urine to pool off of the sides of the table, making splashing sound as it hit the tile floor, which echoed through the elegantly lit bathroom. I picked up the child and looked onto the carnage from above. There was no doubt about it, my daughter would not leave the elegantly lit restroom in dancing kittens. Her onesie was the first thing to die that day–the second was my pride. Maybe Whitney would think it was normal for a changing to take 20 minutes….Maybe Whitney would not remember that it was dancing kittens, and would accept little monkeys without question. Maybe, if she did recognize these small details, she wouldn’t immediately connect the dots and ask if I waited too long to get the new diaper under the baby….
I cleaned up my mess. I wrung the urine out of the dancing kittens. The torque from my wringing of the fabric had left the dancing kittens looking like a bunch of white people dancing on the club floor. I dressed the baby in the spare onesie with little monkeys and said, “Monkeys look a bit like kittens,” and I walked out from the elegantly lit restroom into the cacophonous conversations of diners chatting on the path towards my table. I could see the look on Whitney’s face from forty feet away. I swear I saw her mouth the word, “monkeys?” inquisitive tone and all. How did this woman see monkeys from that far away. I tried not to make eye contact and just pretended all was normal. Whitney leaned in and smiled at the baby and said in a happy sounding, make your baby smile kinda voice, “daddy didn’t listen to mommy, did he……” I stayed quiet and thought, “stupid dancing kittens…..”

I just want you to know, because I have been holding it in for years……

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Comments
  1. Chris Marvin says:

    I envy you, brother; I wasn’t there for this part of any of my kids’ lives. You know I love all my kids, but I missed out on funny stories like this, and regret it. Please enjoy these pooopy pissy moments! I’m stuck with kids who go to the bathroom on their own and just tell me when they’re hungry.

  2. “She wore a onesie covered in dancing kittens made of the softest fleece Target could import from China.”

    I don’t think we’ve ever had a onesie covered in dancing kittens, but this line killed me!

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