I hate to uphold the stereotype that men won’t change poopy diapers, but it’s not so much that I won’t and more that I’d really rather do just about anything. Before having kids, I would hear about people’s kids having “poop explosions,” and I thought really, how often can that actually happen?. In our house with two almost-4-month-olds, it’s happens almost every day. Who knew that poop could be expelled with such force that it goes all the way up the back or comes up the front and into the belly button? I mean really, do you poop out of the wrong hole or what? If there existed a diaper that could contain such poop explosions, I would be all over it like a fly on…well, you know.
I don’t mind changing normal poopy diapers – the ones that aren’t exploding out the sides, front, or back – the kind the girls had for the first three months or so of life. But now they are only pooping once per day so for that once daily event, you’re almost guaranteed some kind of leakage. I would rather do almost anything than change one of those so for your reading pleasure, at the risk of Molly learning my deepest strategies, I’ll describe my art of poopy diaper negotiation:
- Confirm poopy diaper presence – This may sound stupid, but before you start negotiations, it’s important to make sure there is, in fact, a poopy diaper situation. It’s amazing how loud and smelly simple gas can be. There have been times when I heard and felt the bubbling on my lap and began to open my mouth to start negotiating, but then decided to check first…no poop! It would be a bummer to work out a great trade, only to find you still have to uphold your end in exchange for nothing. If it hasn’t yet exploded out the back or front, I recommend pulling on one of the external parts of the leg holes to check for the presence of poop – too many times I’ve gotten poop on my finger because I lifted the inside part of the leg band to check.
- Think about what you would rather do – What are the things you don’t mind doing? Certain house chores? Lawn/yard work? Be sure to offer to do something you don’t mind doing, or else you kind of lose either way, and that’s not the point. The point is to trade your poopy diaper for something better.
- Think about what your partner would not like to do – Negotiations may be more successful if you can think of things your partner doesn’t want to do. Do they hate doing the dishes? Taking out the trash? Grocery shopping? Or, it could be something your partner needs but is maybe short on time. Do they need gas in their car? An oil change?
- Formulate a reasonable match of 2. and 3. above – Ideally, whatever you offer in exchange for you poopy diaper will be something you don’t mind doing and your partner doesn’t want to do. Then, not only will they be more willing to trade you for your poopy diaper, whatever you have to do in exchange won’t be so bad (to you). It is reasonable to expect a one-to-one relationship between the smelliness/grossness of your poopy diaper and the time commitment of whatever you offer to trade.
- Propose negotiation – Depending on the match made above, you may need to spin your argument one way or the other. If you’re offering something you don’t mind doing, but your partner doesn’t mind doing it either, then be prepared to do some more convincing in negotiating the trade – in this case, it may work if your poopy diaper is only a minor side leak, not the explosive up-the-front-in-the-bellybutton kind. Alternatively, you may need to offer to trade for something you both don’t like to do if its an on-the-shoulder type of explosion. Or, you may need to ask what it is worth to your partner and let them come up with something to trade for. Yes, you may be oversold in this case, but it may just get you out of changing that poopy diaper…is it worth it? Also, this is a great way to get insight into what your partner thinks is worthy of the exchange – take note of your partner’s suggestions to use as future negotiation points. NOTE: In all negotiations, it’s really not fair to see the poop leaking up the back, then lie about it and say it’s just a small one until the negotiation is settled.
- Carry out duties – Because the poop situation should really be taken care of immediately, it’s in your best interest to carry out your end of the deal immediately as well, if possible, otherwise you may have additional duties “tacked on” to your end of the bargain. For example, if you traded taking out the recycling for a poopy diaper, but you waited a few hours to take it out, your partner may ask Hey, while you’re at it, will you take out the trash, too?, fully claiming they forgot it was part of a pre-negotiated deal. Then you’re stuck with recycling and the trash that contains that stinky, explosive poopy diaper when that could have been a completely different future negotiating point!
The most commonly traded things in our house are dishes, washing bottles, feeding the animals, and cat litter. And this is all before they start solid food, which they won’t do for at least another two months. Once the solid food poopy diapers begin, I’m sure the negotiation stakes will reach all new levels…