As a mother of two small children, I could tell FTMs (first time mothers) a million little stories about how the second child is not like the first. The first child always has her hair combed, always has a clean face, always wears designer outfits blah-blah-blah.
This is not that story. This story has actual educational value. I wish someone had warned me…
Because, Oh My God, I just shaved 10 years off my life-expectancy.
My first child? Every stinky diaper was reverently placed in the Diaper Genie. For those of you without this creation, the Diaper Genie is a big tube that looks like a nuclear warhead. Considering its toxic content, that’s not a bad image to hold on to.
Anyway, This tube has a latch top and a plastic liner. You drop a dirty diaper in, push gently down the tube, then twist the mechanism on top so that the diaper is encased in plastic. It is kind of like creating a big, poop-filled sausage.
You do all of these things because as an FTM, you can’t imagine anything worse than the smell of someone else’s poop just sitting in a warm room all day. All that plastic and turning and twisting ensures that each diaper is hermetically sealed in its own pocket. The fumes are in no way able to get out and offend. Later, at your convenience, you can pull from the bottom of the Genie a big pearl necklace of stinkless diapers
By the second kid? The smell of room-temperature day-old poop is so far down on your list of annoyances that it barely even registers.
But here is where you need to pay attention and not fall into the serious mistake I did. As time progressed, I started just dropping the diapers into the Diaper Genie and not bothering with the whole twisty-plastic-encasing business. With infant sized diapers, this was easy – the diaper just kind of slid down the hole.
But with the passage of time, the diapers became wetter, stinkier and larger. To the point that instead of just sliding down the open throat of the Diaper Genie, I have to give them a little push to get them down.
I have gotten more and more squeamish as the diapers have gotten more toxic over time. So I am pretty much down to pushing it with one finger, in the area of the balled diaper furthest from the offending … stuff… leaking out of it. And still? No twisting off each individual load.
Until today. Of course, I was palming off a diaper that was so full (early morning diaper) that the plastic on the outside was stretched to bursting – it resembled an overfilled water balloon. And it was warm. Which. Is. So. Gross. I. Can’t. Even. Explain.
So, for these reasons, this diaper was a little bit larger than most. I set it on the top of the open mouth of the Diaper Genie and used my one finger method of pushing it in.
It wouldn’t go in.
I figured maybe the Genie was full to the brim. This happens a lot, naturally. So I proceeded to give it the college try without thinking through the possible consequences. I used my mighty motherly forearms, and jammed that hummer down.
Turns out, the Genie was half-full of diapers that had been stewing for however long they had been there. Not in a sanitized and air-tight depository, but more like floating in an open sewer line.
The diaper went down with an oomph! My hand followed. As I tumbled in to my elbow, I recollect hearing a strange noise as the diaper displaced all the sewer gas that had been fermenting in the hole. To be perfectly frank, just as my head got within range, my Diaper Genie farted in my face.
I am telling you that it was like being at ground zero for a nuclear bomb. Undoubtedly, someone will write and say, “You are very wrong for comparing Diaper Genie mishaps with a terrible nuclear accident.”
But I would have to write back, “that’s your opinion. This smell split my DNA, confused my chromosomes and damaged my liver. I have been peeing neon green and glowing in the dark since this incident.” And I would mostly be telling the truth.
After a few minutes of gagging and moaning, I did manage to take the baby off the changer and rest her on my belly as I lay on the floor in a semi-comatose state. The baby laughed and poked me in the eyeball with her fingers. It was good times.
So, FTMs, please heed the warning of an STK (surviving two kids). Let the second kid wear mismatched socks. Give up the idea that everyone needs his or her hair brushed before leaving the house. Don’t bother with laundry until you are down to your last pair of inside-out underwear. But whatever you do, don’t give up twisting the Diaper Genie.