Sunday, February 28, 2010

A post for parents of girls who are considering more children (who just might turn out to be boys)

Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit.
--Edward R. Murrow

It's an age-old question and one for which I've finally been afforded the opportunity to develop a personal viewpoint. I've had cause to offer my perspective on the debate twice in the past two days (once solicited, once not) and now I feel called to share my views with you.  It's controversial, I know, but since I'm feeling particularly devoid of descriptive boundaries this week and emboldened by the civic discourse of the two conversations I've just had on the matter, I'm going to declare a public stance and debunk a dangerous myth.

Lean in, listen carefully, and be enlightened:

Diapering baby boys is not easier than diapering baby girls.

The fallacy lies in the folds. The argument as I've always heard it and accepted it was that girls have, ahem, further depths that must be plumbed. With boys, diapering is much more a WYSIWYG landscape.


Once you learn your daughter's anatomy, you know where you'll need to work. Nothing changes and there are no surprises. It's like knowing your own backyard.

The boy anatomy, though, will evade familiarity. Except for his birthmark, there is no constant. It's like the dunes of the Sahara. It changes by the second.

There are two parts to the boy landscape: first, what his bigger sister refers to as his peanuts. (P-e-n-i-s.)  The peanuts is unpredictable. Sometimes it's up. Sometimes it's down. Sometimes it lolls around. But it's not even the real problem. Think a little lower. Think, how shall I say this, walnuts.  The walnuts can hide all sorts of hidden treasure. But the treasure can find new crevices with each diaper change because these crevices are transient. They come and go with the breezes and the whims of the peanuts.

And girls don't have any apparati like walnuts that need to be lifted up and checked under for any secret stash. With the boy, you have to wipe around and around - it's like twirling a swizzle stick.

Gently, of course.

Maybe it's like anything else that by design everyone forgets: the pain of delivering a baby, the difficulty of extended sleep deprivation associated with caring for a newborn. Maybe they forgot just what diapering a boy is like -- but I was deceived. Because it isn't easier at all. But now you, dear Internet, don't have to harbor these delusions any longer, and I can comfort myself with the knowledge that my difficult journey to enlightenment was not in vain.


I am capable of thinking about other things. To cleanse your mental palate, go read The True Story of Hickory Dickory Dock at Simple Kids or about a tragic household loss at DC Metro Moms. But do come back here tomorrow, because you never know just how long I can go on writing about body parts. Pin It