Does anyone else out give their baby an imaginary train of thought, especially when you're in the middle of an otherwise mundane task? Well, I do. My partner and I are constantly attributing dialogue to our son that he’s definitely not saying out loud. Is this fair? Mmm, that’s debatable. But is it entertaining? Yes, yes it is. Recently, I've been imagining what a baby thinks during a diaper change, and using my son's (probable?) internal dialogue to quell my curiosity.
You’d assume that, two years in, I’d be smoother at swapping out my kid's pee pants, but as he gets more mobile I get more clumsy. It’s probably a good his speaking skills reflect his age (two years old) because if he was better at articulating his thoughts, he’d surely put me in my place. I mean, he hasn’t figured out eye rolls yet, but he’s already given his dad a few masterful side eyes at my expense, which makes me both proud and afraid.
To be fair, all of this is speculation and I’m not trying to put words in my son’s mouth. I very much look forward to the day that he can articulate his own thoughts, so he can start owning his emotions and body and sense of self. But, until that day, I can only imagine how tired he is after years of diaper changes, and what that frustration must sound like in his head.
So, let's just imagine for a moment that we’re in our baby’s shoes, and take a dive in the rabbit hole of what is going through their mind during a change:
“Please Hurry. I’m A Ticking Time Bomb.”
Of course a gentle baby would never threaten to make a mess during a diaper change on purpose. Of course he wouldn't. I mean, not my perfect pudgy babe, right? I mean, whenever it does happen (and it definitely does happen) he just looks at me with a pseudo confused look on his face like, "who, me?"
This one is completely understandable and I'm sure my son thinks this on the regular. We wear pants for a multitude of reasons, including warmth (and even though pants can be the worst). I promise, son, I'm hurrying.
Trust me, there are like fifty thousand things I'd rather be doing right now, too. You can give me these 90 seconds so that you don't continually smell like a garbage can full of last night's dinner.
"Can You Hand Me, Like, A Book Or A Toy Or Something?"
Sure, yes, here you go please stay calm and stop kicking and squirming. Here is a book! And a toy! And more books! More toys! Confetti shower everywhere! Please just stay still!
"No, Seriously, It's Really Cold"
Oh, right yes, we already covered this. But we can't put your pants back on yet, so, sorry?
"Please Consider Investing In A Wipe Warmer"
Noted. Thanks for saying "please."
"I Don't Like The Snaps, Either. You'd Think We'd Have Something Different By Now. They Can Put A Man On The Moon, But They Can't Make Those Easier? It Makes No Sense."
Well, since we've already established your future as a physicist/astronaut/doctor/entrepreneur/rock star (no pressure, I love you, I just want you to be happy), I know you or the teams of people you employ will be all over this someday. But, for now, yes; unsnapping and snapping seventeen thousand little snaps to change your diaper is a necessity. Trust me, dear one, it bugs the you-know-what out of me, too.
"My Toes Are In The Same Place They’ve Always Been, Why Do You Keep Asking?
Because it's super cute to see you point them out. Just go with it, please. This opportunity isn't going to stick around forever.
"I Don’t Know Why You’re So Excited About My Tummy. It’s Just A Tummy. I Show It To You All The Time."
Because there has never been a cuter tummy in the history of tummies, okay? I don't ask for much.
"YES PLEASE I LOVE YOUR SINGING MOM KEEP SINGING ALL THE TIME FOREVER"
Ask and you shall receive.
"MORE SINGING NOW. SING FOR ME, LADY."
As hard as it is to carry a tune while dealing with these straps, I will do it for you, son.
If You Don’t Hurry, I’m Going To Roll Over And Grab My Dirty Diaper, Just For Kicks"
Challenge accepted. Mom just needs ten more seconds, please. Oh god, please don't actually roll over. Oh, my carpet. Yep, it's ruined. So ruined.
"Watch Me Jump Off The Changing Table And Pretend This Wipe Is A Parachute!"
This was not and never will be part of the deal. Get it together, kid.
"The Time It's Taking You To Change Me Has Given Me A Chance To Consider Some Of The Great Ethical Quandaries Of Our Time. What Is Life? What Is Love? What Is My Purpose On This Planet? How Do I Find My Talents And My Voice And Use Them For Good? I Suppose Wearing Pants With An Elephant Face On The Bottom Is A Good Start."
Right, yes, okay. Let's come back to that one during your next diaper change, shall we? I mean, I'm going to need some time to think.