The 5 stages of wrestling a squirming child into a nappy 1 year ago

The 5 stages of wrestling a squirming child into a nappy

There's plenty of questionable parenting I engage in from time to time.

Nothing serious, just things I'd prefer other people didn't witness, like giving chips to my son in restaurants in exchange for precisely 13 minutes of peace in which to consume my own meal (before I inevitably have to share it with him).

The main parental activity that I hate doing in front of an audience is changing The Child's nappy. Not because it can be disgusting (though it usually is) but because this is the activity that exposes all my shortcomings as a parent. From wees in the face to the child breaking free and seeing a poo covered bum fleeing the nappy changing scene, despite nearly two years of parenthood I still haven't really mastered the nappy thing. For me, the nappy-change is an emotional roller coaster but I've noticed there are definitely five distinct emotional stages of wrestling with a squirming toddler.

The 5 stages of wrestling a squirming child into a nappy

First things, first...



Stage 1: Optimism



I have located the changing facilities. I have assembled an arsenal of distractions ranging from toy cars and rice cakes to more improvised items like a discarded bottle cap and my house keys. I am at peak physical condition to pin and successfully change my toddler who has been capable of thwarting my nappy-changing efforts since day 2. I can do this...


Stage 2: Mortification


The screaming has hit a pitch so loud that the queue of people waiting outside the cubicle is debating whether to call social services. Inside the cubicle, I am deeply embarrassed, and the shit is literally hitting the fan. The arsenal of distractions have been flung to the floor, and there is now excrement on my house keys. The Child is "helping" by wiping his own bum with a rice cake. It's time for reinforcements.


Stage 3: A cry for help



Locate a nearby human, anyone who has the use of their limbs will do and enlist their help to restrain the child. If you are completely alone (and preferably in the privacy of your own home for this manoeuvre) you can actually use your legs as a blockade to keep the child's "help" at bay.


Stage 4: Grim determination


This is the point at which all niceties; the cooing, the singing of songs and proffering of distractions go out the window in a bid to end this thing. Get the head down and get that nappy on at all costs because any minute now...


Stage 5: A sense of accomplishment tinged with regret


... Yep there it is, The Face Wee. Somehow I never get the nappy closed in time. At the age he's at now he's practically taking aim with the thing. Finally, the nappy's on, the battle has been won at least for now, but the feeling of accomplishment always comes with a sense of regret: Why does it have to be so hard? "I'm trying to help you," I say to his retreating back as he toddles off on another great adventure while I'm left covered in wee, nursing my wounds.