No, don’t get ahead of me on this one. I’m not implying that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich looks like a dirty diaper, in any way. Good guess, though.
This past weekend I changed one of your dirty diapers. Oddly enough, it’s been a while. Somehow with the timing of things, it’s rarely me that has that privilege.
Instead, it’s either one of your teachers at daycare, or Mommy, or a teacher in your class at church, but rarely me.
It’s not that I’m avoiding your dirty diapers.
After all, I of all people, a Generation Y daddy blogger, am very aware of the classic stereotype that dads are grossed out by changing their kid’s dirty diaper.
The thing is, I don’t mind changing your diapers. It’s my job and responsibility, and I take pride in it. Honestly, for any ad or commercial to portray a dad making a slight dramatic fuss over it is a tad offensive to me. I’m your dad, not a joke targeted at women to help sell diapers, dinner, or laundry detergent.
Sure, I admit that changing a dirty diaper isn’t necessarily fun. But my least favorite part of it isn’t actually the smell.
To be more candid than I should be, I’m used to the smell… aside from you.
The annoying thing about changing a dirty diaper is the process; which is the same reason making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is a chore.
There are so many steps involved…
Get a clean diaper, predict the number of Wet Wipes it will take, get them out of the container in advance, find a good spot to change your diaper, give you a toy to distract you while I change your diaper, don’t get the mess on me or the floor or your clean diaper, put dirty diaper in a plastic disposable bag, throw away the dirty diaper outside, wash my hands…
Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is nearly just as bad:
Get out the bread, peanut butter, jelly, a butter knife, and a napkin to the place the sandwich on top of; then spread on the peanut butter, then wash the knife, then the jelly, then place the two sides together and clean the knife again.
It’s a very lengthy ordeal!
In fact, now that I think of it, I’m starting to wonder which really is worse: Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or changing a dirty diaper.
Well, at the least with the sandwich, I get to eat it afterwards. So yes, changing a dirty diaper is worse, but only slightly.
Top photo: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich open faced on a blue plate, Shutterstock.
Early this morning I was getting ready to leave the house to take my son Jack to his doctor at Vanderbilt when I explained to him:
“Wait, son. I need to go pee-pee first.”
I left the bathroom door open so I could make sure he didn’t charge towards the potentially dangerous staircase, which he never does. Instead, he walked up to me, standing just far enough away from the toilet to be in the safe zone.
Jack watched the “waterfall” go into the potty in amazement and wonder. I felt he needed a sophisticated commentary.
“See, son. Pee-pee is coming out of Dada’s… hose.”
That’s the best I could come up with, given the lack of sleep I received because of him waking up at 3:30 AM due to his fever.
But hey, I was just trying to relate it to something he could appreciate. And knowing that Jack loves playing with the water hose, it made the most sense in that split-second, unplanned moment.
I saw the yearning in his eyes: I could tell that my son totally wants to “spray his hose” into the potty.
To seal the deal properly, as I flushed the toilet I waved goodbye to the potty water as I emphatically proclaimed, “Bye bye, pee-pee! Bye bye!”
(Because Jack says “bye-bye” to everyone and everything, I knew he would appreciate this.)
My wife and I are in no hurry to potty train our child. I just want to plant that seed in his mind, though. I want to him to know that when he’s a little bit older, he will have the privilege of getting to do what Dada does.
I want him to believe that he’s missing out. And after seeing his reactions to my recent habit of glorifying going pee-pee in the potty, I think my plan is working.
Here lately Jack is indeed growing more aware of “pee-pee” anyway. He has this new thing he will do at the house where he will announce to me:
He’s literally letting me know that it’s time for me to change his diaper.
But because of his inability to make all the vowel sounds so far, “poo-poo” is pronounced the same as “pee-pee.”
Either way, I’m impressed by his new trick. My toddler actually tells me when it’s time to change his diaper.
The days of me mindlessly changing his diapers and him being unaware of why I’m doing it are over. Now he knows why!
I think he deserves a trendy Pee-Pee Awareness ribbon just for that alone.
It all started when my wife Jill made up a bedtime song for Jack, which featured that famous furry red monster on Jack’s diaper.
From there, Jack started asking for Elmo by name; though his pronounced version sounded more like “M’elmo.”
Jack has a plush alien toy that he halfway assumed was Elmo (featured above), but I wasn’t able to put that off very long. Once that proved to be a bust, Jack started falling asleep in his crib while holding an Elmo diaper; the kind featured below.
Plus, whenever he saw a pictures of frogs in a book, though he knew the actual word frog, he started citing them, “Elmo?”
We decided it was time to buy him a small, simple, licensed Elmo doll. But actually finding one proved to be as about as difficult as finding a Tickle Me Elmo during the Christmas of 1996.
You would think finding a simply plush Elmo doll under 10 bucks would be pretty easy. Nope.
Last Sunday afternoon we travelled to Walmart, Babies “R” Us, and Target. While they did have the 9 inch tall Grover as well as some yellow mohawked version of Telly for $7.99, none of the stores had Elmo!
Thanks to Amazon.com, Jill was able to find Elmo for double the proper price, by the time shipping was thrown in.
I’ll go ahead and say it: We became “those parents” during the three days it to took for Elmo to arrive.
It was the kind of material that would have made for yet another clever episode of the flawless TV show, Up All Night.
Throughout the Elmo anticipation, Jill would text me updates on where Elmo was at that moment:
Jill: “The tracking # shows Elmo is leaving Sarasota today!”
Me: “Wow! That’s great news. Can’t wait to see Jack’s reaction…”
I kept reminding myself of the possible reality that when the “real Elmo” finally arrived, Jack might not be that impressed.
Well, it’s only been a few days since the moment Jack officially met Elmo (featured right) and I think it’s safe to say that we made a solid $15 investment.
After all, Elmo already has a spaghetti sauce stain on his eyes. Jack has to be holding Elmo at all times in the car, during meals, and in his crib.
So, how will Jack and Elmo’s bromantic friendship flourish? Well, just keep an eye on how many pictures in upcoming Dadabase posts feature Elmo somewhere in view.
That’s how we’ll know.
At this point, I don’t believe Jack really understands why he’s supposed to love Elmo so much; but if for no other reason than to appease his hip parents.
At this point in American society, it is basically becoming taboo to stereotype dads and husbands as half-witted goons, as was accepted in recent decades. It used to be that advertisers could target stay-at-home moms by making a caricature of their husbands. But now that dads make up 33% of stay-at-home parents, that model is essentially invalid.
The video clip above very humorously shows several examples of commercials where this sexist approach has still been recently used by Lysol, Hasbro, Cheerios, Benadryl, Febreeze, Naturemade, Stanley Steamer, Glade Sense and Spray, Uno Attack, Walmart, Orville Rendenbacher’s, Ortho, and Yellowbook.
“Doofy Husbands: Target Women” by Sarah Haskins also cleverly points out examples of commercials targeted to men; featuring cool, good-looking guys: Infiniti, Nivea, Heineken, and Miller Lite. Of course, in these advertisements the men are assumed to be single; whereas in the ones where men are goof balls, they are clearly married.
Basically, once you marry the man, it’s like watching the opposite of the evolution of man.
At the time, I subconsciously thought for a half-second: “Wait, it almost sounds like they are making fun of dads; implying that dads are bumbling idiots who barely know how to change a diaper- one of the very ideas that I passionately denounce here on The Dadabase.”
But then I stopped myself with this rebuttal: “No, by putting dads to the ultimate test they mean that dads are tough on messes, like Mr. Clean. Yeah, that’s it… sure.”
So I moved forward with promoting it as a legitimate dad ad; because ultimately, a sponsor was making a point to acknowledge the involvement of dads regarding their product and I recognized (and still recognize) the importance of that.
Now here we are, living two weeks into the future, and a full-time stay-at-home Superdad named Chris Routly has gotten over 1,000 people (as of this minute) to sign a petition against the ad:
“Please, join me in asking them to drop the ‘Ultimate Test: Dad’ element entirely, and instead focus on actually celebrating the wonderfully active dads who use HUGGIES every day with the same competence and care as moms.”
I say this Chris Routly fellow is a smart guy and he makes a valid point.
He’s not being dramatic and asking dads, who currently make up 1/3 of stay-at-home parents, to ban Huggies. Instead, he’s asking Huggies to recognize their mistake and redirect their energy on a different ad that undoubtedly celebrates dads instead of questions their parenting abilities based on gender.
Chris Routly puts it this way, in his petition:
“How are dads a test? As a dad, am I simply too dumb to use them properly?
Why is a dad on diaper duty an appropriate or meaningful test of the product in any way a mom using them is not?
Why reduce dads to being little more than test dummy parents, putting diapers and wipes through a ‘worst-case scenario’ crash course of misuse and abuse?”
I think however this all pans out, it will be a valuable (and expensive) lesson to all advertisers from now on:
Don’t insult dads and husbands. We’re 33% of your buying power as stay-at-home parents.
My expectations of what it will be like for my wife and I to have a real baby are pretty limited. When I try to imagine it, I can only think about a few things: the baby crying, the baby being hungry, feeding the baby, the baby wanting to be held, holding the baby, the baby pooping, changing the baby’s diapers, the baby sleeping, us wishing we could sleep.
And aside from the 80’s sitcom stereotypes, I of course am well aware, thanks to everyone who has ever been a parent and given me any advice: There’s nothing in the world more rewarding than being a parent.
In November I will begin to feel like a real parent (once the kid is born). Until then I won’t really truly be able to understand or fathom this most rewarding thing in the world.
It’s funny to think that eventually we won’t be comparing our baby to the size of a certain fruit. (This week our baby is the size of a naval orange.) Eventually, our baby will be the size of a baby. Interesting thought.