1) I can’t believe someone used to wipe my ass. Each diaper I change–not so hard once you develop a technique that allows you to avoid getting pissed on–I think, “Someone once did this for me.” Someone once willingly whisked their hand over my baby butt folds with extra attention paid to the junk area because no one wants shitty balls (kind of like schweddy balls, only without Alec Baldwin’s wry peddling). At least, I hope they did.
Of all the elements of fatherhood, diaper changing is the most intimate (It would be different if I could breastfeed, but that’s not biologically possible and would be pretty weird (See #3).), though I prefer to think about wiping Sonny’s butt as paying it forward rather than some kind of father-son moment. Someday, when I’m grey, crotchety and senile, he may have to wipe mine, and I hope I have enough of my wits still to say, “Gotcha,” when he’s wrist deep in my wrinkly, old man nethers.
2) Not all diapers are made equally. I learned this when I felt something wet on my hands and realized Sonny not only pooped through his diaper (In the baby-raising biz, we call this “a blowout,” which has absolutely nothing to do with the guido hairstyle of the same name, other than the fact that both look like shit.), but through his onesie, too, the one with the football embroidered on the bottom, and onto my clothes and hands. We will buy different diapers next time.
3) Before the baby was born, the idea of breastfeeding irked me. My only encounter with it had been at Ikea, in one of the showrooms, a living room that had a couch I wanted to sit on, where I found a woman, boob completely out, feeding her baby on said couch. We made eye contact, not me and the woman, but me and the baby, and then I saw her nipple, felt my deeply engrained Catholicism bubble within me like acid reflux, and decided the couch wasn’t worth my modesty.
I wasn’t disgusted–just uncomfortable with the thought of breasts being used for something other than sex (Who knew?). Not being breastfed as a baby meant I only knew boobs as fun and not food, though now that I see the pure satisfaction on Sonny’s face when he pops off the nipple, full and happy, I get it. I still don’t think anyone should openly breastfeed in an Ikea showroom though. Save it for the food court.