My son has reached that age when he's realized what hands are for and how they're attached to his body. He has further learned to crane his neck, twist his torso, kick his feet, and flap his arms.
In short, he has begun to squirm. I think he's looking to go pro.
Changing his diaper is now an exercise in mixed martial arts, mind games, and reflexology. Fortunately, I'm a dear friend of Jason Bourne's and he taught me some of his tricks, but even with that in my arsenal, it's a daily diaper doozie.
I am always thankful that the only people who witness the embarrassments that now come along with these encounters are people I have birthed. And they're too young to know that I look like a complete idiot several times a day for five minutes a pop.
But, if Candid Camera decided that breaking and entering would be good for business, this is what they'd see.
Scene One: Son Throws Mother Off The Scent
In this opening scene, son is perched contentedly on mother's hip. Sunlight is streaming through the new Home Depot blinds, and there's a soft breeze coming through the open window. Chickens can be heard banging their beaks against the window of their chicken coop. The creak of a swing set. The purr of a leaf blower.
Son has thumb firmly wedged in mouth, his other hand twirling mother's hair. His eyes are peaceful, his movements calm.
Scene Two: The Approach
Son senses the changing table coming nearer. He frees his thumb from his mouth and his hand from mother's hair, and proceeds to flap his arms like a bird learning to fly or a woman noticing the sign says 60% off. He pitches his torso forward at a precarious 45 degree angle, as if dive-bombing for the changing pad. Mother grips son's upper thighs in a death clutch, similar to a move you may have seen on Ultimate Fighter.
Scene Three: The Descent
Because the laws of physics leave her no other choice, mother guides son in a slow "fall" into the changing pad. The process is reminiscent of a country fair event in which young children try to move a watermelon greased with Crisco from the bed of a pick-up truck to a wheelbarrow without dropping the watermelon.
Son lands somewhere on his side, and brings in an elbow out of nowhere to prop himself up. This gives him a decided advantage over any wall art, which is now well within reach due to some poor planning and limited foresight on the part of his parents. A large, wooden painting flaps in the breeze of son's harsh movements and exploring fingers. Mother freezes.
Scene Four: The Removal
Son tires of destroying artwork and looks for other items on the changing table with which to tempt child safety laws and mother's heart rate. He first seizes on (1) a bottle of Infant's Advil; (2) a package of wipes; (3) nail clippers; and (4) a bottle of lotion.
Mother must do split-second cost-benefit analysis. Clippers aren't opened, but lotion looks ready to spurt. Remove lotion first, clippers second. Bottle of Advil has child-resistant top, but reputation counts here, and babies should not be encouraged to play with medicine. That leads to high-school dropouts and meth labs. Remove Advil bottle.
Allow son to feel some level of 9-month-old person satisfaction and give him the pleasure of playing with a package of wipes. Encourage him to really crinkle that plastic. Pretend not to notice as he repeatedly swings the package in the direction of mother's face. Hold back the stinging tears that result when the corner of the package nicks mother in the eye.
The point is, son is now at least lying on his back, with only the upper part of his body is in motion. Time to capitalize.
In a one-handed maneuver worthy of Sports Center top plays, remove pants, unsnap onesie, and remove diaper. The ultimate triple play.
Scene Five: Working Against The Clock
Mother is now confronted by a pants-less, diaper-less time bomb. Knowing that if she doesn't move quickly she, too, will require a change, she moves fast. Left arm becomes safety restraint, lying across torso of son, who has already tired of the package of wipes and is now scavenging for nunchucks or lighter fluid. Finding none within reach, he begins to squawk.
Mother now has squawking, squirming creature underneath her tired left arm. Diapers are further out of reach than she remembered, and must be retrieved with big toe of her pointed left foot.
Having ballerinaed a diaper to within right hand's reach, mother opens diaper with right hand, unsticks tape from the two tabs to close diaper, and goes in for her first attempt at affixing clean diaper.
Tape from diaper tabs sticks to underside of son's onesie. In her frustration, mother's left hand slackens. Smelling opportunity, son makes a go for it and flips like some kind of Olympic turtle onto his stomach. Diaper is now lying vertically across son's torso and seems to be a willing participant in the plot to confound mother.
Mother must resort to calling in the big guns. Daughter trots down the hall. Daughter begins singing and waving her arms in a tribalistic fashion that causes son to laugh.
Mother pounces. Flips son to back. Unsticks clean diaper from onesie. Places clean diaper in the appropriate anatomical region. Fastens onesie. Searches for pants.
Pants have fallen behind changing table and are wedged between table and wall in a pile of dust. Mother extends left hand, Superman style, and plunges right hand into the dark recesses of behind-the-changing-table. Right hand flings about wildly hoping to feel cotton. Right hand locates cotton, pulls up pants, shakes pants to remove at least some dust, and coaxes them back onto son's body just as daughter is finishing final stanza of song and preparing to take her bow.
Scene Six: The Recovery
Son is sitting on floor of his room. Thumb is in mouth. Eyes are placidly looking up. Unmistakable "WHAT????" expression spreads across son's face.
Mother is sprawled in rocking chair. Hair is extending directly away from her ears, creating a horizon line of horror away from her face. Mascara is streaked and shirt has slight tear in left armpit region.
Daughter is singing a new song.
It's time to change the diaper again.
Mother purchases bath tub of goldfish and trains from 8-10PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the art of bagging goldfish barehanded.
After six weeks of practice and a highly unenjoyable low carb diet, mother is able to improve upon the diaper-changing process by finding discarded pants with pointer finger only.