Posts Tagged ‘ diaper change ’

The Five Most Embarrassing Moments of My Fatherhood

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and serves as  complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons and can be emailed at or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.

I’m not cut out to be a parent. I say that every morning. Rather, I think it as I’m limping out the front door with two reluctant children, a sippy cup, two lunches intricately planned by my wife, and a thermos of coffee, leaking steadily onto the tile floor. Only a few short years ago, I was enjoying the autonomy of a stack of pancakes, not a single parental concern as I mindlessly watched SportsCenter and sipped orange juice without interruption. Of course, life changes drastically when you suddenly have children to raise. I expected that. But what I didn’t expect were the ways in which its intricacies could blindside me without any notice at all.

My two sons, Antonio, 4, and Nate, 2, have taught me more about myself than I actually care to know. For one, they’ve taught me that I’m able to shout much louder than I ever believed I could. They’ve taught me that getting hit in the groin is still intensely painful no matter how underdeveloped the hitter’s muscles are. Mostly they’ve taught me to expect embarrassment. It’s all part of the gig, really.

To fully introduce myself to you, the reader, here are a few of the most memorable embarrassments I’ve faced as a parent.

1.       Can you turn that down a little?

On my way to the grocery store, my shuffled iPod playlist yielded the ferociously aggressive Metallica song, “Master of Puppets.” Stressed out, I cranked the volume and serenaded fellow drivers with the deliberately intense chorus. As I peered into my rear view mirror, I noticed I wasn’t alone; both my sons were in the backseat. And yes, they were absolutely horrified. I’m sure it didn’t help that the lyrics included “Obey your master!”  They’ve been on a healthy diet of yoga music ever since.

2.       The mystery buckle

It was my first time taking care of both my kids solo while my wife, Sonia was out of town. I decided it’d be in my best interest to take them out so they didn’t get bored with me or realize I’d run out of ways to entertain them. Five minutes on the road and I noticed my younger son standing in the back seat. As in, just wandering around on foot. I pulled over into a gas station and was completely perplexed. Was my son that dexterous at 15 months that he could manipulate a car seat buckle? No, he wasn’t. I was just a fool who forgot to buckle him in. I begged my older son not to rat me out to his mother. Naturally, it was the first thing out of his mouth when he saw her.

3.        Spell it out for me

Since neither of our sons have the ability to hear an assortment of letters and make a word out of them, my wife and I occasionally spell things out that we want to keep the boys from understanding. So while having his diaper changed, my son Nate was hiding a little bit more than just a bowel movement in his Huggies. I turned to my wife and asked, “Did you see his B-O-N-E-R?” So, of course, our older son began marching around the house, loudly chanting those letters to the tune and tempo of B-I-N-G-O. So, we added a new word to his vocabulary that day…

4.       Don’t cry for me in public

The first daycare drop-off is a rite of passage for most parents. And it’s excruciating. It means so many things. It means you’re giving up control, that your newborn is no longer a newborn, and that you’re going to cry like Sally Field in Steel Magnolias . It’s simply going to happen. Even for guys. It certainly did for me the first time I had to drop my then 4-month-old son, Antonio off to be cared for by women whose names I’ve already forgotten. Surely, he was too young to know or care that I was leaving him there for the day, but that made little difference to me as I bolted for the exit, probably pushing a toddler out of the way in the process. By the time I got into my car with the door closed, I was a blubbering mess, a true wreck of a man. Tears started to drip from my face onto my khakis as I glanced to the left, noticing a young boy standing outside my window, with a look on his face like he’d just witnessed an alien abduction. His mother yanked him by the arm and muttered, “Don’t stare!” The lesson to be learned here is to remember when you don’t have tinted windows.

5.       Gorilla warfare

This past April, my wife and I hosted my older son’s 4th birthday party. Every minute detail was Jake and the Neverland Pirates-themed, right down to a climactic treasure hunt where the kids would smash a treasure chest piñata and collect candy. But my cousin Brian had an idea to take this idea to another level. For reasons that would likely frighten me to know, he had a gorilla suit stashed in his car. So the two of us hatched what we thought was a brilliant scheme of having him wear it and surprise everyone near the end of the hunt. So, as planned, Brian emerged in the gorilla suit, interrupting my niece mid-swing, stealing the piñata away and raising his arms to wordlessly indicate victory. And the children were absolutely terrified. They screamed, they ran away, it was an epic party foul and failure. Parents had to console their traumatized children while my one aunt pleaded with Brian to abort mission. Ultimately, my wife was much less upset about the scaring of the children, though, than she was with the gorilla suit clashing with the pirate theme.


At the end of the day, though, despite my (generally) isolated failures as a father, I know that simply being present in my kids’ lives is a mark of success. My blog entries will cover everything from annoying baby-naming conventions to the awkwardness of being criticized on your parenting by a complete stranger. I thank Jill Cordes and Sherry Huang for the opportunity to share my stories with you all.

What are your most embarrassing moments as a parent? Feel free to leave them, and any other feedback, in the comments section–which is on facebook!


* Photo of man with bag on head courtesy of


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The Sh-t is (Almost) Hitting the Fan

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Okay, I’ve written about how hyperactive my boy is. But now he’s taking it to a whole new level. The ceiling. Well, not quite.

I lift weights. I lift babies. I do yoga. I have strong arms and sort of a strong core…at least it’s getting there. I’m almost a hundred pounds more than Emmett. And at least three feet taller. So how is it that he is beating me in a race against poop? And why is it only me? Not his babysitter or his dad?

When I go to change his diaper, particularly when it’s poop, I go armed with toys. I get everything I need right next to me and then the boom, the race is on. Or off  I should say… with the diaper.

He starts to scream and move and twist and turn while poop is hanging off of him. At times I find him dangling upside down as I hunch forward holding him by one leg, shouting “Emmett–NO!” He screams like he’s being waterboarded.

At least once a day I get it smeared on me. How’s that for disgusting? If Fia is home, I have her try and hold down his arms while I change him. She joyfully joins in on the “Emmett NO!” chant. She loves nothing more than having the upper hand. Or at least thinking she does–as feces go flying. It’s a race against the shit clock. No shit.

He is 15 months. I swear if I thought he (or I) could handle it, I would potty train him now. But I fear he’d just crap all over the house and himself. With glee.

No parent should want to take Xanax or drink before changing a diaper. It shouldn’t be this hard.


Picture of dirty diaper via Shutterstock

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Diaper Rash War: Miracle Paste?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

My Miracle Paste

Battle lines are drawn–with white creams. Instead of a bulletproof vest, I wear a pee-proof one. Yes, I’m in combat against Emmett’s diaper rash and I’m determined to win.  And I think I am—at least right now. But just like war, I know it can change by the minute/hour. For 3 days we’ve been holding our ground.

All your comments were super helpful. Thank you so much. Now to update  you guys.

Even though I had such angst at the last pediatrician visit, I took his advice and ordered the stomahesive powder and pure zinc oxide from the pharmacist.  I also got a tube of miconazole, which is an antifungal cream for yeast infections.  I had been using Lotrimin (athlete’s foot). The pharmacist told me to switch to the miconazole (and that may be the key to all this, not sure).

I mixed together:

1 part miconazole

4 parts pure zinc oxide

Stomahesive powder until it made a sticky paste (honestly, unless there is something special about the powder I think cornstarch would do the same).

Every diaper change I dab the area where the poop is (I don’t rub) with damp Viva paper towels. Then I put the paste on, followed by a huge dollop of Aquafor.

This is what Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles uses and they swear by it. I think I may too.

I’m using Seventh Generation Diapers so no chemicals.

We’ve been airing him out for about 40 minutes at a time, twice a day.

Here’s the other half of the equation that some of you swore by (@Amanda, @Mariane):

I have cut down quite a bit on my dairy intake. I put rice milk in my cereal and just a small amount of 2% milk in my coffee. A little cheese on my salad. That’s about it from the cow.

I don’t know what is making the difference. Maybe both the concoction and my diet??? But I am happy to report his bum looks so much better.

Consequently, our good friend who is an ER doctor (and helped counsel us on our circumcision decision) has said all along to use pure zinc oxide. People swear by Triple Paste and Desitin, but those are weaker in the zinc amount. And some of this stuff, like Desitin, has a fragrance, which the pediatrician said could make it worse.

I also don’t think Em is pooping as much—which could be attributed to my modified dairy intake. Could also be that he’s 5 weeks old today and his gut is getting more mature. As we all know, it’s such a guessing game with infants, so I’m sticking to what seems to be working.  I’ll plead with my troops to keep up the fight. We will win this war!




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Penis Anger

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

He looks so innocent....don't let him fool you!

The penis is killing me. I will soon need anger management. I have followed the advice of other moms but I am still getting bathed in urine. As are my walls, Emmett’s body–even his face. Today it happened three times in a row. What am I doing wrong?

Here is what one mom wrote to me:

1. Open the front of his diaper for a few seconds to let the air hit his penis; the temperature change is usually what triggers the peeing;

2. Lay the front of the diaper back over him and wait a few seconds to see if he’s going to pee;

3. Proceed with diaper change.

I have not been peed on since I learned this trick over two years ago.


I have tried this trick. The problem is, I pull the diaper back, then wait a few seconds. I proceed with the change. And 8 times out of 10 I still get hit.

Emmett poops a ton. And I am still battling this diaper rash. It turned bacterial. I got prescription ointment. Added an anti-fungal ointment in there as well, by my own accord. It went away. But now it’s back.  I don’t want him to sit in the poop for even a few minutes, as that seems to be what made it come back, despite the 10-inch buffer of creams + aquafor + triple paste.

So he poops, I change. 10 minutes later he poops again. I change. This goes on for about 30-45 minutes and up to five diapers. Somewhere in there, we both get a golden shower. Maybe three.

At about 4 a.m. this morning, we had simultaneous poop-pee-barf. Yes, baptism by fire with a newborn. But with Fia I only really dealt with the barf/reflux. She didn’t poop 5 times in 30 minutes either.

I am going to look into a pee tent, but honestly, he wiggles so much, even a burp cloth doesn’t work. It would have to be a tent that you use in a circus to cover the whole area. Oh, but then I’d be under it and get sprayed anyway. I’m also trying to dry out his bum each time, which adds to the length of time we both become moving targets.

This morning I texted my husband. I told him I was sorry to break the news to him, but I may become a lesbian or a nun as I am beginning to hate the penis. He hasn’t written back. He’s probably too terrified to come home.

Now I’m off to swimming lessons with Fia. Where I won’t get peed on because a) the instructor is in the water with her not me; b) she wears a swim diaper; c) she has a vagina. Thank the lord!

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