This is a stick up.
Declan doesn’t say this, exactly, but the implication is clear. His right hand is in his diaper. His eyes are steely.
Don’t make any wrong moves, Dad. Or else.
Or else vaht, Jamaica?
Every morning we do this dance. I take off Declan’s pajamas. I take off his diaper. Hands up, I say. He jerks them up toward his head and smiles. Hands up, he repeats. Two seconds later, the allure becomes too much. He moves the hands down toward the danger zone. “No-no-no,” he chuckles, preempting my words if not my tone. He knows what I want and he doesn’t care. Hands up, I remind him. Like many of my requests for civil behavior, this one is met with laughter.
It’s a wet wipe waltz. Round and round we go. Finally I get the diaper on and he’s off. Off to play with his trains. A diaper his only attire.
He has a way of multi-tasking in the morning. One hand on his train set. And another down his diaper. Why else would there be two hands?
I’m the “fun police” in this scenario, constantly telling him, Show me your hands or Hands up or Hands out of your diaper please. I wouldn’t really care about the self-exploration except for one thing. Well, ok, two things.
First, he adjusts the, um, environment such that the diaper is rendered useless. The pee pee, should it happen, does not go down into the padded abyss of the diaper but rather straight up past his stomach, into the air, and onto the floor.
But, of course, he’s not concerned with positioning. So I have to be the one to reach into the diaper and realign the weaponry.
This is risky.
It has ended badly before.
The other day, Declan had his hand down his diaper and said pee pee so I asked him if he had, in fact, gone pee pee. He said no. So (like an idiot) I stuck my hand down the front of his diaper to check and at that exact moment he let loose.
Of course, if I don’t check, the bomb keeps ticking.
One day I walked out of the room for, like, two seconds and came back to find him diaper-less, a puddle next to him on the floor. He looked proud. Good thing we have a dog. Watson will clean up anything. An-y-thing.
The second reason for the hands up plea is obvious. You don’t want to be that parent. The one with the kid who spends entire social gatherings with one hand on the stickshift. It’s just awkward.
So the gentle encouragement toward more couth behavior will continue. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go burp the alphabet.