“Dad’s Man Cave” is back! This series appears the second Friday of every month on Reno Moms Blog, sharing parenting perspectives, humor and advice from dads we know and love. Next up: diaper tips from Travis Petty, husband of Reno Moms Blog co-founder Jenny.
Recently, my wife and I welcomed our second child. As I sit here in my second outfit of the day (not because I wanted to change, but because my two-week-old daughter had different plans), I realize that I have pretty much forgotten everything I learned with our first kid (2-1/2-year-old Henry).
You would think that after Henry sprayed me with poop and pee for the first 14 months of his life, I would have committed to memory the basic rules of a diaper change; the most important being that you always treat a gun (a.k.a. The Baby) as if it were loaded. I’ve had to relearn a lot of things in the last two and a half weeks, but nothing has surprised me more than the art of the no-mess, no-fuss diaper change.
Dads, first off, no one ever tells you that for the first six or eight months of your child’s life your main duty is doody. Here’s a list of rules and reminders that every dad should commit to memory before embarking on a diaper change.
1. Be forewarned that anytime that little bundle of joy gets quiet during a change, something is brewing.
2. Always stand to the side, never in front. This is the firing zone, and let me tell you, they have range and uncanny accuracy.
3. Always have a new diaper open and a wipe in hand when that diaper comes off. Many dads attend a baby class prior to their first child, as did I, but I can tell you that they never said anything about a face shield and an apron.
4. Don’t jump the gun. This applies to two different aspects of the diaper change. First, just because you hear the bomb drop, don’t assume that it’s the only round; more than likely, there will be a second dropping. Second, don’t prematurely get his/her clothes back on, because just as you fight that last little sock on, it trips a switch and all hell breaks loose.
Now, I really don’t want this entire post to be about my kids’ bathroom habits, but honestly the first 2.75 years of me being a parent has largely involved these unfortunate events. I think it’s only fair to let others know that, just because you get your kid potty trained, it doesn’t get you out of the danger zone. Looking back on the unfortunate bowel movements of the last few years, all I can do is laugh. Some may find it disgusting, but they’ve obviously never drug a garden hose through their house in order to power spray an Aqua Dump out of their bathtub. Many of you may be saying to yourself, “Aqua Dump?” That is correct: Aqua Dump. Pretty simple translation: Aqua = water, Dump = poop. If they both happen in the bathtub at the same time, their occurrence catapults you into a level of parenthood akin to becoming a Navy SEAL/HAZMAT team member.
If you aren’t laughing, you’re crying, and I don’t know about all you other dads, but I only cried when Nemo’s mom died. In closing, I would like to remind all you parents or soon-to-be parents that, just because you think that it won’t happen to you, I’m pretty sure it will. Remember Murphy’s Law, because when it comes to kids they practically wrote the book.
Travis Petty is dad to Henry and Claire and husband to Reno Moms Blog co-founder Jenny. When he isn’t trying to catch up on sleep, he enjoys the outdoors, home renovation, growing a massive vegetable garden, brainstorming life-changing products and tackling Phil-Dunphy-esque projects.