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Lesson Learned: Check Before You Wipe

I readily admit that I’m not great at changing poopy diapers. I tend to use quite a few wipes because the thought of poop touching my hands makes my skin crawl.

Last Friday Casey and Addie went to the grocery store and I was left home alone with Vivi. I had just gotten off work and Casey had left dinner for the two of us.

One of the first things we learned about Vivi after she switched from formula to real food, is that she poops 15 to 20 minutes after eating with very few exceptions. Because of the predictability of Vivi’s poop schedule, I should have been a bit more prepared than I was.

As the baby aimlessly wandered in circles after dinner, I couldn’t help but catch a whiff of a little something extra hanging out in her diaper. It was like a bubble of smell that encircled and followed her everywhere. I’ve always pictured that smelly circle as the dust that surrounds the character Pig Pen from Peanuts. Or as an invisible circular force-field that encircles the baby creating an impenetrable bubble of smell.

I ran Vivi up to her changing table and proceeded to start the process of changing her. We have always tried to stick with Huggies wipes because they are thick and easy to get out of the little wipe dispenser. Two features that are essential for someone with my repulsion to poop. Occasionally, however, we end up with different types of wipes that aren’t nearly as effective as Huggies wipes.

That was the case on Friday night, only I didn’t know that before I unfastened Vivi’s diaper. I opened the diaper dispenser only to find a small package of travel wipes that my wife planned on using before breaking out the new Huggies package. Boy, do I wish I had known those little dinky wipes were waiting for me to clean that baby before I unfastened her diaper.

I grabbed a corner of the first wipe and tried to separate it from the rest of the wipes. No luck. As I pulled away a string of baby wipes remained attached to that first wipe.  It was like a defective toilet paper roll that hadn’t been pre-cut into individual squares. I ended up with a long string of about twenty wipes strung from the dispenser to my hand.  Frantically, I whipped that first wipe detaching it from the rest of the wipes, which also sent the remaining wipes bouncing across the floor.

I kept one hand tightly gripped around Vivi’s two ankles as I quickly reached back with my right foot and slid the wipes on the floor back towards the changing table.  As quickly as I could I reached down and picked up the wipes.

These wipes were terrible.  They were so thin and flimsy it seemed like I was actually wiping the poo with my hands. I don’t do well when I think my hands are touching poo, and so I started using more and more wipes trying everything I could to get the poo off that baby while keeping all the poo off me. Because it was taking so long, the baby decided to make a game out of the whole situation and proceeded to kick her feet out and down in unison. This resulted in her two baby legs covered in poo from her heels all the way up to her back. “Could this changing experience get any worse?” I thought.

There was no salvaging the situation. No amount of those dinky little wipes was going to get poop off that baby. Nope. This baby was going to need a bath.

I sat Vivi up and took off the onsie she had been wearing. Then, I grabbed her under her armpits, held her out as far away from me as I possibly could, and walked her into the bathroom where I discovered old bathwater still sitting in the tub. I reached down and pulled the plug in the bathtub and leaned the baby up against the side of the tub.  That’s where we stayed for the next 20 minutes as we waited for the old tub water to drain and the tub to fill with new water.

I learned a couple things that day.  Naked babies covered in poo smell awful, and always check to make sure you have the right kind of wipes ready to go before changing a poopy diaper.

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