Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Diaper Stage

"I'll be so glad when the diaper stage of my life is over."

I was mixing formula over the sink the other evening as Jonathan walked behind me cradling his baby girl. I could hear the smile in his voice as he muttered something to her about doing nothing but changing diapers all day long. In response, I caught myself thinking the above statement.

I literally shook my head as if to get the thought as far away as possible and thanked my lucky stars I didn't say it out loud (it totally works that way, right?). With the addition of Baby Nora and the fact that potty training is still on the horizon for Bigger Baby Owen, I change a lot of diapers. The Diaper Genie is emptied twice a week and the collection of Pampers boxes stacked in the nursery closet is impressive.

I still cheer every time Nora poops (healthy poop, healthy baby!), but I swear we change her once an hour. Although Owen's needs are less frequent, lugging that 40-pounder onto the pale pink changing table is a chore.

Today I had them standing in line when the answer to the "Who stinks?" question was a two-parter.

Still, thinking about the end to diaper duty is odd. I obviously have a while to go, seeing as how Nora June has only been filling diapers for four weeks, but in about five more blinks, it'll be done. Knowing that the diaper stacker is fully stocked is just another example of how much my little ones depend on me. That they need my help for their most basic of functions.

However, I know from the six-year-old who has been out of diapers for a while that it doesn't last long.

I'm not just talking poop, either. Soon my little birds will start hopping toward the edge of the nest. They will act on the desire to learn and grow and fly and I'll be right behind them. Nora will hold her own bottle, Owen will eat whole grapes, and Nathan will pick his high school electives (Oy. Somebody stop me).

That pink changing table in Nora's room has seen an abundance of diapers over the past four weeks, but I don't mind. Before long my middle child, whose legs dangle from the edge, will no longer laugh at me from this position. The same position from which I saw him smile for the first time.

Then there's the tiny body who seems lost when taking a turn after her brother. Lying there, her body is free and happy. She kicks her legs and waves her arms and turns her head with ease. Her eyes scan the room as I scramble to close her small diaper. Yes, this one will be here for a few years, but I know how fast those years will fly.

I don't often think about life past diapers because it's such a routine part of my everyday life. It may not be the prettiest part, but it's a reminder of just how precious these little lives are. I want to remember it in every stinky detail because it will be gone far too soon.

This stage of my life may be gross, but it is all right with me.

{All that being said, however, you better believe that the potty train is pulling into the station soon! Have an awesome Tuesday.}

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