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I’ve had a lot of things happen since I’ve become a dad; good things, bad things, and the usual things that happen when you have a two year old daughter.
When we take her with us to the shops, she sings at the top of her lungs. She has a very powerful voice, and knows how to use it. This isn’t embarrassing, but full-on tantrums are, and when she doesn’t get her way she knows very well how to throw one of these; complete with jerking and kicking and very passionate screaming. There have been many times where we’ve had to physically subdue her and remove her from the shop and go to the car. This of course doesn’t end the tantrum but it does take it out of the public eye. There’s nothing worse than other people staring at you when your child misbehaves. You can almost hear what they are thinking. They don’t say it in words, but nasty looks speak volumes, as I’m sure any parent can attest to. Ironically, it’s always people who look like they’ve ‘been there and done that’, who give you the funny looks, yet I ask, with sarcastic tears in my eyes, where the fuck is your empathy, then? We live in a world where spanking is frowned upon, whether right or wrong, and therefore, in a public environment you have no option but to speak nicely to your disobedient toddler.
There is also the wonderful topic of changing nappies; my favourite thing in the world, and my experience so far has not been uneventful. My wife would always joke with me, before our daughter was born, about how I would also have to change nappies. I laughed it off, and thought ‘whatever, I can handle it’. I changed a few pee-pee only nappies and thought I was doing okay, after figuring out how to put nappies on properly as well. But one day, the universe ganged up on me; my wife had German lessons and I was alone with my daughter, and she pointed to her bum, indicating there was something inside her nappy. Naturally, I thought it couldn’t be anything I couldn’t handle. I had the wet wipes, the nappies and a place to change her nappy so I was all set.
I got her to lie down on the mattress, and when I opened the nappy I felt like running to another country; it was not a normal, everyday turd which resided in there. It was a catastrophic mudslide, and the poo was literally climbing out the back and front of her nappy. I hate getting my hands dirty, and try as I might to not dirty anything, there was shit everywhere; in my nails, all over her, all over the mattress. I had put a blanket underneath her, and that too was covered in shit. Her granddad was around, and the two of us both had expressions of ‘what the fuck do I do now?’ on our faces, before my wife came in and saved the day.
Another time, we let her roam around without a nappy as she had a bit of a rash. I noticed that she was letting out little whimpers from her little bum, and immediately said to my wife: “That bum’s talking; I think it needs a nappy.” Well, I tried to put one on, and she ran away so I left it. A discussion ensued in the lounge, and a couple of minutes later I saw my daughter standing in the doorway of her room, assuming a sort of power stance. I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing, as the arm of the couch was blocking my view of her waist downwards. I sat up, and took a look. There she stood, with a giant grenade-like object in her hands. I doubled back and looked again; yep, it was a monster shit. I freaked, my wife freaked, my mom freaked and then my little girl ran off, frightened by our reaction, and dropped the mass of human excrement on the floor.
I chased after her, calmed her down, and elected to put her in a bath immediately. I ran the water, dunked her in, and went to clean the shit-stain off the floor. When I came back, she’d made another one, in the bath, and had a big smile on her face, as if to say: “Here you go, Dad, just for you...”
Note: I use the word 'nappy' in reference to diapers; we use the term 'nappies' in South Africa, where I live
Also, please excuse the profanity; sometimes there aren't polite enough words to describe something. I hope you don't mind.