Vocabulary Vixen

March 3, 2015

Ah, Parenting.

Filed under: Diapers,humor,Parenting,Reflections — VocabularyV @ 11:44 PM
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Parenting is a wonderful journey. At times it is mind-numbingly infuriating, but overall it’s pretty great. It’s a learning process, this parenthood business. While the child is learning how to live and function, the parent is also learning along with the child. What works for one week may completely backfire the next week. It is an ever-evolving process. We must be quick on our feet, for the instant we think that we have fallen into any sort of ‘routine’, the little one will be happy to throw a gigantic monkey wrench into it. My child LOVED to have her diaper changed in the beginning. She COULD NOT STAND even one drop of pee on her diaper and was incredibly vocal about it. I thought: “How wonderful! Potty training will be a breeze with this one!” She was great until about 11 months old.

One day, my daughter decided that she didn’t like getting her diaper changed anymore, and woe to the person who thought that they could change her diaper with ease. She cried, twisted, and writhed during her diaper changes. This once mundane, easy, routine task became a dreaded chore, and quickly. I would grit my teeth and get ready to hold her down with one leg while I quickly changed her diaper. Or tried to. More than once, she would escape and leave a gross little poop trail in her wake, or kick her leg into the poopy diaper before I could get it out of the danger zone. This has led to much anger and frustration on my part, as all I want to do is prevent her from sitting in her own mess and getting a gnarly diaper rash. Yes, this happened too. She has refused to mention that her diaper was poopy until it had worn into the skin and caused an awful rash.

In the aftermath of a few aforementioned horrible rashes, I had to step my game up as a parent. I had to evolve with my child. What used to work wonderfully now made her cross. What used to make her cross still made her cross. I was at a crossroads, and I, too was incredibly cross by all of this. By the end of any given day, I was tired, frustrated, and just plain wanted a drink once I got her to bed. While an occasional drink is great, feeling this way every single day is about the easiest way to begin the descent into alcoholism. This isn’t something that I wanted to do. I was exhausted, and something had to change. I considered calling her pediatrician to see if this was within the realm of normal infant behavior, or something worth exploring further (like an ear infection). A quick Google search later, I realized that this was a phase and that I would need to adjust my approach to her (and now my) vehement distaste for diaper changes.

I started with the basic suggestions to give her a toy to play with while changing her diaper (that worked for approximately one second), doing silly voices (two seconds), putting the diaper on my head first (it was a suggestion, and I was desperate. It distracted her for two and a half seconds), etc. My success was pretty spotty at best, but it was something. For over a month, I endured DiaperGate 2015. What eventually worked was a combination of things. It really depends on the day. No, not the day, the moment. Sometimes, she’s completely chill during the diaper removal, then totally spazzes out when I put the new diaper on. Others, it’s the opposite.

I came to realize a few things:

First and foremost, the most effective approach to this situation is to stay calm. At the time of the Google search, I realized that I needed to chill the heck out – my frustration only escalated her frustration.

I quickly learned that I needed to be proactive about her diaper status. Gone were the easy, lazy days of my daughter telling me that her diaper was wet or dirty. I had to step up my game in a serious way. I had to learn to stay keen and vigilant and activate my DDD (Dirty Diaper Detector – my nose).

I realized that in a way, she was still communicating with me about her diaper, just doing it differently. I noticed that she had started grabbing her diaper when it was wet, and if she had stopped what she was doing to grunt for a little bit, that usually meant that she had pooped. I started asking her if she needed her diaper changed before I checked her. This seemed to help the situation.

After checking her diaper status and finding that it did indeed need changing, I started telling her that it was time to change her diaper, then grabbed a diaper and the zinc ointment. (I used to use coconut oil for her sensitive skin, but since DiaperGate 2015, I’ve had to up my game.) Then I’d lay her down while talking to her, and start.

Overall, instead of getting frustrated with her and mourning the loss of my easy-diaper baby, I adapted and accepted the fact that parenthood is an ever-changing process. Our babies grow, and we grow along with them. Whether it’s learning patience, or learning which foods to feed, it’s constantly evolving and as infuriating as it can be at times, I love it. This week, my daughter is one year and one week old. The thing that I noticed? She’s suddenly not minding her diaper changes NEARLY as much as she was a week and a half ago.

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