Who stole my sweet, mild-mannered little boy and replaced him with a wriggling, screaming, diaper change-hating child-beast? Overnight, it seems, he made up his mind that he would prefer to marinate in his own toxic waste for as long as possible, and he’s taking this as a good opportunity to make it clear to us, his parents, that he is the new head of the household. Diaper Battle has commenced. Ding! To your corners, everyone!
When I walk him to his changing table, he starts arching his back and kicking his legs before I even lay him down. Nine times out of ten he manages to find a way to kick or fling his dirty diaper on to the ground, kick off the clean one before I can get the tabs open, and flip over on to his hands and knees and attempt a BASE jump to the floor. Whereas changing his nappies was no big deal a month ago, I now dread the task, and have to give myself a pep talk and take a deep, cleansing breath before I even attempt it. Using this as an opportunity to teach him the meaning of “no” has been fruitless. Last week, as I lowered my voice and said it as sternly as possible, he broke into a sunny, toothless smile and laughed at me. Then he stuck his heel in the dirty diaper that I had just removed.
But it’s not just the act of changing him that has become a battle for dominance, he’s also finding other ways to wear us down at the changing table. After my husband volunteered to take diaper duty one morning, Soren took advantage of his daddy’s more leisurely pace and tinkled into his own sock drawer. Blatant defiance. To add insult to injury, if you launder 7 matched pairs of baby socks, all you get when you’re finished is 1 green sock and one red striped one, and the rest are never to be seen again.
Although I dread looking at mommy forums (spelling, grammar, stupidity, judgment…you all know what I am talking about) I took to the internet to see what other moms do about Diaper Battle. Overwhelmingly, they just give in and attempt a fast diaper change while the child is standing, or move the whole operation on to the floor to avoid falls. I found, however, that if I turn on the ceiling fan in his bedroom and give him the fan’s remote control, he concentrates more on jamming it in his mouth and turning the fan on and off with his only two teeth. For now, it works. Next month, who knows?