We're All Damaged

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bathroom Humor

This week, my daughter will be one month old. I think we can all agree: comically speaking, that’s pretty young. However, I’m proud to report that she has already developed a healthy, if not entirely sophisticated, sense of humor.

Her favorite joke, one she performs three to four times a day, is to go to the bathroom on me while I’m changing her diaper. Those of you who don’t have children might doubt whether or not an infant has enough going on cognitively to pull something like that off. In response, allow me to pose a question, one that I believe was posed before me by Shakespeare. If you spent 23 hours and 55 minutes a day sitting on the toilet, how would you spend those five minutes of freedom? Would you spend them going to the bathroom?

I think she knows exactly what she’s doing.

The scene is almost always the same. I place her carefully on one of several changing mats. Sometimes she looks up at me. Sometimes she looks off over my shoulder into whatever space it is that babies stare. Her expression is innocence personified, but behind those eyes she’s scheming. Her father is no genius; she knows this. He’s perpetually tired, and his reflexes have been dulled by 15 years of binge drinking and attending rock concerts.

Things begin smoothly. The diaper comes off, its contents are inspected and discussed in vivid detail, and then it is deposited into a Star Wars-looking robot machine that cost as much as my first car. I lift her up by the ankles like one might a chicken that has escaped and make a few passes at her nether regions with a baby wipe.

This is where things often go tragically wrong.

In the three seconds it takes me to grab a new diaper, she prepares herself—readying the cannons and getting into attack position. When I lift her again to put things back together, she opens fire. Often the number is one. That’s not so bad. Sometimes the number is two. I’ve learned to live with this. But, more often than not, the number is unidentifiable—it’s caught somewhere in the middle, it is its own number entirely. This involves the washing machine—immediately—and then a few moments of gentle, masculine weeping.

You win again, baby. You always do.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. This proves there are two reasons nappies are wonderful:

    1)number one
    and of course
    2)number two

    Better in a diaper than on you, right?