We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed

Yesterday I was thinking about fatherhood and the relationship that’s developing
between me and Baby Happy. One thing
I found funny about him in his first two weeks of life was that he hated having
a
messy
diaper, but he hated diaper changes even more. He would fuss in a matter-of-fact
sort of way to complain about the fact that he was wallowing in his own filth,
but then he would wail and flail and do his best to make the mess even worse
when I removed the nasty diaper and cleaned him off. I, of course, had to work
through
the unpleasantness, immobilizing his legs and feet so that I could wipe away
the nastiness and
install a clean new diaper. I never meant to make him unhappy, but I wasn’t
about to leave him in a wet or poopy condition just so he wouldn’t cry.

He sometimes felt miserable in his condition. He had to be changed, but the
change was more troubling than the problem itself. However, he
always calmed down afterward, perhaps realizing
that things had gotten better.

I don’t know if he has come to understand the purpose of diaper changes or
if he’s just mellowed out, but he accepts them with more patience now. Or he
just trusts me more.

There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere.

6 thoughts on “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed

  1. Well, sir, this one’s for you:

    // Changing Diapers \

    How intelligent he looks!
    on his back
    both feet caught in my one hand
    his glance set sideways,
    on a giant poster of Geronimo
    with a Sharp’s repeating rifle by his knee.

    I open, wipe, he doesn’t even notice
    nor do I.
    Baby legs and knees
    toes like little peas
    little wrinkles, good-to-eat,
    eyes bright, shiny ears
    chest swelling drawing air,

    No trouble, friend,
    you and me and Geronimo
    are men.

    - Gary Snyder, ‘Axe Handles’

  2. Matt,
    I’ve never heard of Adrian Plass, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not quoting him. I did quote the apostle Paul, however, in I Corinthians 15:51: “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.”

  3. There was a bit missing “Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass” was the name of the original and most famous book. I linked to Amazon which stripped out that as well!

    I’ll stop spamming now…

  4. He sometimes felt miserable in his condition. He had to be changed, but the change was more troubling than the problem itself.

    I was going to say “out of the mouths of babes….” but that’s not quite right. Suffice to say, even Tater’s diaper holds a profound lesson for people of any age. The passage above can apply to so many aspects of my own life. Well said.