When last we left our pint-sized hero, he was–thanks to the addition of an extra 5 hours or so of sleep a day–looking at the world like this.

It’s a far cry from 4 or 5 months ago when he really didn’t do much.

Fun change in general. Not so much fun when it comes to diapers.

Imagine you’re trying to tie your shoe. Only the shoe kicks you every time you grab the laces. And then runs off without your foot.

Or imagine you’re a scientist in a lab. And you are trying to put two drops of liquid in a beaker to test a theory of yours. You have the beaker on a table. You have your notebook ready with calculations. You have a lab assistant standing by. And on the table, next to the beaker, is a wild turkey who thinks you’re the Thanksgiving butcher. How are you doing with those drops?

Or imagine you’re a cat chasing a string. And every time you get your paws near it, your jerk-face owner pulls it away. And yeah, you’ll get your revenge soon enough when you bound through the house at 3 a.m. for no particular reason, jump onto the bed, and “accidentally” land on his/her face. But still.

Such is the plight of a grown man changing a 6-month-old’s diaper. Except, unlike the cat example, there’s no revenge to be had at 3 a.m. Just the opposite.


Declan, in addition to learning basic human survival skills such as how to shriek at 10 times the volume of a Central American howler monkey, how to Hoover a human finger ( or several), and how to shimmy as he pees, has also apparently dabbled in the practice of Tai Chi, in which the following wisdom apparently applies:

If the opponent does not move, I do not move
At the opponent’s slightest move, I move first

What does it mean? It means that Declan is at peace until the exact moment I move into change him.

Step one is taking off the soiled diaper. But as soon as it’s off, he’s off… to the races. Flipping himself over and flailing his legs in an apparent attempt to give himself whiplash. Side benefit? Poo-dipped toes. Step two is putting the new diaper on. This is, by far, the hardest of the two steps. Today, his upper torso was in a twist, roly poly meets Rolls Royce, grabbing the netting on the side of his Pack-and-Play, lodging his head in the crevice between the crib’s edge and the changing pad, babbling at something on the night stand (the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, I assume) and generally having a grand old time…while his lower torso was still facing the ceiling, but was gyrating in a motion akin to an orbital sander if you decide to just take your hands off and see what happens (not that I’ve tried that).

Changing a diaper should really be as easy as 1-2-3. 1) Position said diaper underneath baby’s butt, 2) pull one adhesive strap around the leg, over the belly and attach, 3) repeat on the other side. Voila. Parents of boys might add a 4th step. That is, pointing the male “attachment” in the downward-facing position, rather than the upright, locked-and-loaded fire hose position. Trust me.

But it is not as easy as 1-2-3. Oh no. Because Declan is a Tai Chi master, and he seems to vanish from the very spot I expect him to be. I position the diaper under his butt only to find his butt has moved. I pull the adhesive strap past his leg and toward his belly and suddenly the tape is stuck on his thigh. It’s a humbling experience. I’m a pretty smart guy. At one point in my life, I even did calculus. And yet I’m getting schooled by someone who thinks a plastic snail is mentally stimulating. Like, seriously mentally stimulating.

But it’s fun to chase the little wiggle worm around. And eventually, I win. Not by being bigger. By being smarter.

Imagine you’re a cat, and there’s a string being dangled above your head. The more you lunge for it, the more your jerk-face owner is going to want to pull it away. So you just sit there. Sit there and let him dangle the string. Sit there and ignore the chaos and wait for your opening. Only by not resisting do you overcome resistance, grasshopper.