Prior to the birth of my son in 2003, I had changed exactly one diaper. That was during a visit by my sister with her daughter. That was only because of a leaky diaper emergency. As my sister was about to leave my house to catch a flight home, she picked up her napping daughter only to find out the diaper was leaking (mostly onto my sister's skirt). She handed the baby to me and ran from the room to wash off her skirt.
She left me, as it were, holding the bag. Only the bag was my niece. And no amount of holding was going to keep that diaper from leaking, now onto my couch and carpeting. That's where fireplace mats come in handy.
Oh, I changed the diaper. It even stayed on when I picked her back up. Only minor corrections were required when my sister returned. The miracle of disposable diapers. Thank goodness no clothing changes were required.
The limits of my knowledge of all things baby came to light when I made my first attempt to change my son in the hospital. As he was born by C-Section, Mrs. Pol was limited in her ability to help me at that exact moment. No worries, Super Dad can handle anything. Well, perhaps most anything. Okay, maybe exactly NOTHING that needed handling at that specific moment. That's okay. That's what nurses are for. They are experts at taking pictures of a new dad trying to change a baby for the first time. And then stepping in to provide some much needed guidance.
Given the ineptitude of that first attempt at changing our baby, it is amazing how both of my children now react. When we arrive anywhere in our car, cries of "Daddy do it" can be heard emanating from the back seat. That is my son requesting (okay, demanding) that only daddy can let him out of his car seat. When it is time for bed, the call of "Daddy do it" reaches my ears, letting me know that mom isn't allowed to put B-Boy down for the evening.
And in the middle of the night, when bad dreams or a wet diaper have awoken him, the plaintive wail of "Daddy" lets me know that I am needed.
Of course, when daddy is nowhere to be found, mommy is the only acceptable substitute and she must handle any and all needs. And if the kids can be convinced that daddy is otherwise tied up, sick, dead, or missing, she can take care of them, as well.
This morning, as I headed from the nursery (where I answered a "Daddy do it") to take a shower, I was intercepted by Monster Girl. She has started to adopt some of B-Boy's more endearing qualities. Namely, she's a daddy's girl. The melt down that resulted from her being unable to join me in the shower was heart rending.
It's good to know my children love me. I know that in time they will become more distant and I will yearn for "the good old days." And "Daddy do it" is something they will always seek. But sometimes, just sometimes, I await the time I hear "Mommy do it."