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The Great Diaper Debate September 8, 2013

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Food for Thought.
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8 comments

diaper_pie_playing_in_the_rain_by_hourglass_sands-d66xxwpCopious Readers, I have never changed a diaper.

Is that weird?

I had a very, shall we say, impassioned discussion of this topic with a friend of mine whom we shall call ‘Trent’. (Every blogger–nay, every writer–knows that the best part of writing is making up pseudonyms.)

Fate chose for Trent to walk the married-with-children path. Result: a seven-year-old son and a sixteen-year-old daughter and lots and lots of diaper-changing experience. Fine. (Smelly, but fine.)

The argument (I’m upgrading it from ‘impassioned discussion’) happened while I was talking to Trent on the phone–he was at a beach house with some friends. (Strike one against him.)  Also present in the house, according to Trent, were one male friend with two small girls and another male friend—hmm, how about ‘Derek’!–who had no children. Trent told me that Derek was good with the little girls but that he wouldn’t really be the best person to watch them alone, because he’d never even changed a diaper. Trent told me this and laughed, as if it were a funny and surprising fact.

“But I’ve never changed a diaper,” I said.

“Are you serious?” he said.

I won’t recreate the dialog here because it went pretty much along those lines, with a couple interesting twists. He said that diaper-changing was a right of passage. He said 95 percent of Americans do it. He said, didn’t I ever babysit? (No, not since I had to chase that naked four-year-old around the house with a toothbrush and pajamas.) He said diaper changing was a way to show love, to overcome the grittiness of life for a greater purpose. (I’m saying it better than he did.) He equated it to never having travelled outside the U.S.  With nearly every sentence, he intimated that I had missed out, and that I was a lesser person for it.

I tried to argue back, but I argue best on paper (or on pixels, I guess) so most of my words came out “but. . but. . .I. . uh.. no. . .”   So sure was he of the order of things, that he didn’t even realize he was making me nuts. He laughed harder and harder, while at the end of the conversation I was practically screaming into the phone, near tears and feeling frustrated and offended.Copious Readers, what would you have done? What would you have said? Below is a slightly edited version of the email I wrote to him once I calmed down (sorry for any bad formatting juju):

Dear Trent, (more…)