The Chosen Diaper: Goodbyes, Mementos, and Daddy’s Potty Training BluesSerge Bielanko
It’s time to say goodbye, I suppose. And that is sort of hard to believe.
It’s sort of hard to believe, and at the same time, much to my own surprise, it’s even a little sad, too.
Three times in the last two days, we’ve had ‘pee-pee in the potty,’ and yeah, she’s probably on the later side of things at three-years-old, but that’s okay because we knew she’d get there on her own, eventually.
But, now this, this bittersweet sayonara, as something that was so very much a part of our lives begins to sail off into the horizon.
Changing Violet’s diapers has been an adventure and an honor for me. Does that sound weird to say? Well, it really has been.
There were times, like on hikes in the dry scrub-brushy Utah foothills, when I had to make sure I didn’t lay her down to change her on a rattlesnake or a black widow.
Then there were the days when it seemed as if she must have drank a melted glacier when I wasn’t looking, when the pees just kept coming, one after another, as if there was a hose hooked up somewhere deep inside her little belly.
And there were the quiet gentle moments, thousands of them it seems in retrospect, when, in the dim outskirts of the night-light’s glow, I could change her diaper without even having to really look anymore; I could just lift and tuck and strap and check with one hand as I ran my other hand along her cheeks and whispered sweet nothings down into her sleepy realm.
It’s so weird, how we get attached to stuff, huh?
I mean, you probably wouldn’t ever think it, but I bet that even every garbage collector, on the day before retires, takes a big deep waft of that old familiar sourness that has been in his life for such a long long time and gets a little choked up. (Okay, I might be way wrong on that one, but I wanna believe that it’s true).
And so, with my one-and-a-half-year-old son, Henry, chooglin’ around in his Huggies Snug & Dry diapers probably for a while yet, the experience of being a diaper wrangling dad isn’t quite over for me completely, but still.
My first born little baby girl is growing up fast now, just like everyone told me she would, and when you read that particular writing on the wall, buddy, you pause in your tracks.
This afternoon, as I continue to ply my daughter with shiny quarters for each time she hits the potty (whatever works, I say), I’ll wander over to her box of Huggies and slip one out into my hand.
I’ll walk over to the closet where I am keeping a big plastic box of mementos from her life and I will pop the lid and slide that diaper in there, with the birthday cards and the daycare arts’n’crafts and all.
And then, just like that, I’ll lock it away for the years to come. The ‘Chosen Diaper,’ I guess we could call it. Something that we can hold in our hands together sometime down the road. Something that we can laugh at together, as I tell her some funny stories of back when she was just me and her mommy’s little baby girl.
The ‘Chosen Diaper.’
Yeah, I like that.
The only diaper I ever held in my hand that would remain ‘snug’ and ‘dry’ forever.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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