Daily Operation

Diaper Dialect

One of the first decisions that we made as a household in preparation for Ellison’s arrival (after we decided on a nursery theme) was what you call the solid matter in the diaper. I felt it was important to decide on a term that was both audience appropriate, but also had some coolness. It needed to be something that you could say and feel good about while in public. At the same time, you gotta realize that you will eventually find yourself around other families and you wanna make sure that you’re not using word forbidden in their household or you could find yourself with a swift exit to an army of shocked faces and shaking heads. You have to decide, though. If you don’t, it’s bound to rear it’s ugly head. You can’t have a kid growing up knowing that a horse is a horse, a car is a car, an apple is an apple, but the stuff in their diaper is either poop, crap and ca ca.

By the way, I wanted so desperately to move forward with calling it “ca ca,” because I wanted to hear what it sounded like when Ellison asked for permission to go to the bathroom. “Nana, I need to ca ca.”

Once you determine that first term, a language begins to develop around it. It usually happens when you’re opening up a diaper and you begin babbling along with your baby who’s laying nipples up staring at you while you swipe diaps. My chatter began as a nervous reaction to an intense stimulus. I wasn’t used to the fear or anxiety of pulling back a diaper and exposing the horror inside. Still scares me a bit. But how I handled that fear was by just talking through it. I might talk about the diaper. I might ask Ellison about her day. I might talk about how bad this Red Sox team sucks and I’m glad I have Ellison to keep my mind off baseball. I might even talk about politics (usually something like, “You know, those people just never shut up.“) It’s like I’d talk about everything, anything, but the gun barrel directly between my eyes.

In this language, a few terms and phrases have become common dialect of the Wyrick changing table. Here’s a shortstack of those terms and, of course, what they mean. In all fairness to my lovely wife, I’m really the terminology guy around here. My lovely wife prefers the classier route of just changing out the diaper and not talking about it first. I don’t carry myself with the same tactfulness.

black death: Black death is definitely a “you know it when you see it” term. The natural stages of reaction to black death is 1) squinting eyes, 2) some vocalization voicing your displeasure (usually “ew!” or, my favorite, “goodness gracious”), 3) fumbling fingers and 4) calling out to the other room to have the lovely wife check it out. The interesting thing about the black death diaper is it’s sometimes a healthy and normal diaper. When the child’s new to the world, you’re gonna see your share of black death and, as you change her diet over time, you might see a darker discharge. You shouldn’t see it consistently, though. If you’re using the term “black death” daily on the seventh month, you need to get it checked out.

diaper diving: “Diaper diving” is action by which you peek into the diaper/diaper region without removing the diaper to see if the girl needs a change. You gotta be so careful when executing a diaper dive, though, or you’ll come up dirty. It’s bad news when you go in too confident and find yourself with a stinky index finger. I usually peek in the kitchen window (the side check), but this diagram shows the “back patio” examination. I’ve seen too much terror flying up the back to reach in the back door.

Tootsies: As in “Tootsie rolls.” It’s a designation given to the hardness of a poop. Kiddos shouldn’t produce Tootsie rolls. In fact, adults shouldn’t either. Add prune juice if you wanna see Tootsies disappear. It’ll turn ’em to absolute mush.

oopsie-poopsie: The “oopsie poopsie” is one that can stink up the entire room and leave you fearing the worst when you open the diaper, however, when you pull it back, there’s no more than a thimble of poo. We call it the “oopsie” because it looks to have no intent or purpose, almost accidental. I’m not a big fan of the oopsie simply because diapers are expensive. If you’re gonna dirty a diaper, make it worth it which brings me to…

your money’s worth: Because I’m so frugal and cheap, my lovely wife will often say about a full diaper that “daddy got his money’s worth” on this one. I know if I hear those words through the baby monitor, Ellison topped one off which I usually follow with biting my bottom lip and a gentle Kirk Gibson fist pump. A “money’s worth” diaper is worth four or five oopsies.

powder the donut: This term is used to describe administering baby powder or corn starch to the nether regions. It keeps ’em dry and happy.

gravy: One of the nastiest of the terms. Also known as “butt gravy” but I don’t use that word around the kiddo. Gravy is a cuter term for “runs” or “diarrhea.” It’s also the term I give to any loose remnants of a changed diaper that show up on pants, socks, or visible skin. It’s like when you get down and pig out at your favorite restaurant and lose yourself in the dish in some sort of food-induced ecstasy and you’re reminded of it later when someone notices dried drippings on your front side. Gravy, though, is usually the “loose booty” mess that appears when the baby’s not doing so hot. Now that I’ve ruined your lunch and dinner, we’ll move on.

blowout: Pretty self-explanatory. It’s coming out of the front, the sides and the back. Explosion. Not fun. Usually requires well over five wipes to clean up and a haz-mat suit. Approach with caution.

The Creeper: The Creeper is the poo that creeps up the backside of the baby. Usually occurs when the baby poos in an reclined position and the poo takes a detour and instead going directly downward into the diaper, it heads north toward the back belt loop. It’ll have you wondering if your kid took a crap while doing a handstand. The Creeper is the damnedest thing you’ve ever seen. When you first pull back the diaper, you’re thinking, “Hmm, not too bad.” Then, whammy. All the way up the back. The Creeper is just creepy.

It’s Wednesday. Put on your gloves, this could get nasty.


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