Dry humor

Just as we speak for the cat, we also speak for the baby. Pretty much if you can’t speak for yourself in this house, someone will say what you should be saying, even if you’re the car, you don’t exist, or it’s a future version of you that you haven’t become yet.

The baby dislikes having his diaper changed. Those are precious seconds he’ll never get back where he could be playing with something, dumping out the things we’ve carefully put away, or screaming at the five year old. Instead, for no reason he can discern, I put him flat on his back and change his diaper.

A while ago, we started speaking for him: I don’t know why this happens, Momma, but my diaper got wet. If you’re not a parent, just know that babies aren’t born with a sense that they’re urinating. It’s all reflexive to them, and they’re just not aware that it happens.

Later, the diaper-change-time-talking evolved into, Momma, I do not like these diapers. They keep getting wet. I need better diapers. And then one day, this:

Me, singing “If I had a million dollars.”

Kiddo#1, as the baby: “Momma, I could have a million dollars.”

Me: “What would you buy with a million dollars?”

Kiddo#1, in a squeaky voice: “I would buy a diaper that does not get wet.”

This conversation will go on for some time because diaper changes simply aren’t that exciting. Momma, if you give me a dipe that does not get wet, it will be a wonderful thing. You will never have to change me again. I could wear the same dipe all the time!

Last weekend, we went visiting, and because I love my friends and relations, I opted against dragging along a big plastic bag full of smelly wet cloth diapers. We bought our first package of disposables in…gee, since we moved…and Saturday morning, I put the baby into the first of many disposable diapers.

He did fine over the weekend (note: cheap generic diapers? Work just as well.) and then on Monday, I put him back into cloth.

Which he promptly hated. He squirmed. He complained. He cranked at me. He followed me around the house tugging at the diaper wrap and looking distressed.

After a few minutes of this, I realized: disposable diapers don’t feel wet.

They’re so absorbent that they just get fat, but they lock the moisture away from the baby. Whereas cloth, being cloth, gets wet and feels wet.

My baby had found what he’d asked for (well, what we’d said he was asking for) for months: a diaper that did not get wet.


  1. wallydraigle

    We do this, too, with our baby. Only she usually has a rather gruff voice and sometimes a (badly done) Mexican accent. We do not know why. It just fits. We also do it with the cat.

    People look at us like we’re nuts. It’s good to know at least one other family does this!

  2. cricketB

    We found the cheap generics smelled like cat pee, right out of the bag. You must have a better generic than we do.

    Many say cloth-diapered kids toilet train faster. I think not, given the anecdotes about 4-year-old relatives in the 1940s.