Recently, my son’s weapons grade bowels struck again and gave me a newfound appreciation for the wonder of diapers. Obviously something has to be done to keep little ones from literally soiling everything everywhere with a dedication rivaling the postal service. But, after nearly two years of diapers, I’ve found myself genuinely appreciating them as a vital tool in a parent’s fight for sanity (Sanitary?).
Diapers are one of those constantly improving products, yet I’ve never heard of anyone who actually works in diaper development. Who are these secret refiners of the disposable shit-catcher? Do they work underground? Is there a bunker somewhere filled with diarrhea plagued toddlers and a haggard group of lab-coated scientists? Seal teams are publicity whores by comparison.
No matter who is busy improving the diaper, experience has brought me to great appreciation for their craft. Anything that can hold my son’s waste at bay and be thrown away like Kleenex is probably made with some kind of witchcraft.
Now there seems to be a growing revival of the reusable diaper, and I simply can’t make that compute. I’m not reusing toilet paper. And considering some of the things I’ve seen in a diaper, keeping it around for any reason is madness. I realize children and parents survive without disposables, but find some indigenous parent with a crap covered child and I’m certain they’d horde a box of pampers like it was the holy grail.
Even my son is aware of the wonder of his diaper. I’m not claiming he fully understands the concept, but he knows when things aren’t right in diaper-dom. Recently he was sitting happily on the floor watching Elmo-Einstein-Train, or something, and decided it was time to get up and come see what all the big people were doing. I happened to see him take two steps, pause and reach down between his legs to adjust his diaper. What followed was a few steps of the best John Wayne impersonation I have ever seen. The mini-duke swaggering across our kitchen.
I headed over to him and quickly saw the problem. He was leaving a trail of gooey heinous breadcrumbs from an over-worked disposable crap-catcher. He didn’t know what was happening, but he could feel that something was very wrong. My wife cleaned up the boy. I cleaned up the trail.
And I marveled anew that the human body can make things which defy categories. I thought only puke was able to occupy that bizarre space between solid and liquid, slick and sticky. I was wrong. This substance also possessed these impossible to classify traits. When faced with such a problem, any thoughts for the environment or concerns about consumption go straight out the window while you run for the cost-co tub of paper towels.
Of course I could have used a washable rag. But honestly, if we sat down to make a list of things which most belong in a landfill I’m certain most of us would say “things with shit on them.” And so, thanks to the diaper-design ninjas of the world we are more likely to see a John Wayne impersonation than a stain on the rug.
Thank you, strange hidden Pamper warriors. This is some serious shit.