We've been changing diapers for 19 years. That's 19 years straight. Surely that puts us up in some sort of record category. A lot of that time we've had two cute little rumps in diapers. I tried to do the math on it and by my calculations (Warning: I'm a journalist whose last dalliance with math was as a high school sophomore, so any mathematical undertakings are subject to ready suspicion.) we've changed in excess of 60,000 diapers.
I'm going to let that marinate for a minute. Ruminate on it even. Sixty-thousand. Diapers. Probably more.
I work at home so I've changed diapers in a pinch while writing articles on deadline, interviewing sources, even while telling my editor why I might have gotten something wrong in a story I just filed ("Dude, I was changing a diaper. Cut me some slack, eh?"). I'm not sure what size of dumpster 60,000 diapers would fill, but I'm sure it would be an extraordinary sight. In a disgusting sort of way, I reckon. With a 9-month-old and an un-pottytrained 2-year-old in the house, we're still going strong diaper wise. I've got plenty of bad diaper stories. What parent doesn't?
But here's my best `Worst Diaper Story.' We got married at the onset of my senior year of college and lived in this drafty shack, er house, in North Portland. It was a tough neighborhood. A few houses down was a 24-hour pharmacy, or a `drug house' as some people call them. We were in a cloth diaper phase (Hey, we were young, had no money and concerned about the environment. We got over it.) and we stored the diapers on the back porch in a plastic 10-gallon pail with a lid on it. It worked out ok until February, when an Arctic Blast hit Portland. We're talking sub-zero wind chills. Inevitably, we ran out of cloth diapers. I bundled up, trundled out to the porch and grabbed the pail and headed down to the basement to the washer and dryer. The washer was a top-loader and when I went to dump the diapers in the wash, out came a ... frozen solid brick of diapers. "Clunk," it went on the washer.
When the initial shock and horror wore off, several thoughts went through my head. "Do I get a blow dryer and thaw it out?," was my first original one. "Grab a hose?" was another. I was at a loss. This wasn't in my parent handbook. I couldn't Google "brick of diapers" and "how to thaw out" because Al Gore hadn't even invented the Internet yet. Let alone Google. I looked around the basement. Hmmmm. There's a hammer over there. I grabbed the hammer and went to work, taking apart that brick one whack at a time. The worst part about it? The frozen slivers of, well, you can imagine what that went flying. After the first whack or two I was shielding my face with my left arm and swinging away with my right. Needless to say, it wasn't long after that experience that we changed to plastic.