Change a Diaper, Learn a Fun Fact

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“Mildly Inappropriate Mommy” presents a diaper-changing solution for the daydream-prone…

When it comes to changing a diaper, if your little one behaves — and doesn’t, say, regularly attempt to dive off the changing table — you should consider yourself lucky.

Nonetheless, even the luckiest diaper-changers would agree that the process is a tedious one, devoid of any intellectual stimulation whatsoever. And so, taking off my objective journalist cap for a moment, I am proposing a solution: Diaper makers should follow the lead of cereal companies and enhance their products with word finds, riddles and trivia questions such as, “What is the average length of a dwarf mongoose tail?” printed on the inside of a diaper.

To add to the fun — and possibly increase consumption of their products — the Huggies and Pampers of the world could sprinkle the answers to said questions in other diapers. (“I don’t have the slightest idea what the average length of a dwarf mongoose tail is but I’m hoping that if little Susie poops two more times this afternoon, I’ll find out!”)

Pity the parent who only remembers to check for answers  after the diaper has been used. (“Was it three inches or eight inches? If only Susie had pooped a little to the right, I’d know!”)

Instead, parents are treated to cheery renderings of Disney characters or, if you’re buying bargain-brand diapers, cheery generic renderings of cartoon animals who only wish they’d been able to charm themselves onto the vaunted Disney roster. I imagine there’s not a day that goes by that no-name orange dog doesn’t wonder to himself, “What’s Goofy got that I don’t got?”

Full disclosure: Disney is the parent company of ABC News but the company has in no way urged me to endorse them or the diapers their characters appear on. I do, however, have a special place in my heart for whoever at Disney realized that A. A. Milne’s Pooh Bear was the perfect anthropomorphic creature to adorn diapers. (Think about it.)

Really, who are these characters for? They’re not for the babies’ benefit unless there are parents out there who like to wave colorful diapers in front of their children’s faces. I suppose especially creative parents could treat the diapers as one-scene storybooks: “Susie, meet nameless orange dog. Sure, he’s smiling here but on the inside he’s sad because he doesn’t have a lucrative licensing deal. The end.”

In any case, the cartoons did little to enliven the diaper-changing process for me. I found myself daydreaming about things like that high school picture someone posted on Facebook, which included some long-forgotten friends like Joey What’s-his-name who used to be quite attractive but whose cheeks had since, as a quick scan of his online profile showed, puffed up as if he were having an allergic reaction to seafood.

Speaking of cheeks, inevitably my subconscious would insert something into the daydream that would jerk me back to the task at hand, which was a very good thing because sometimes what was at hand was the business end of my little guy’s little guy. As any parent of a baby boy will tell you, dilly dally for too long during a diaper change and you, your clothes, your walls, your floors, your furniture, that lovely picture of Nanna, etc.,  are likely to get squirted.

The jury’s still out on whether my diaper trivia fantasy will ever come true. Representatives for Kimberly Clark, the maker of Huggies, and Procter & Gamble, of Pampers and Luvs’ fame, told me that while they didn’t have any sort of trivia or riddle-emblazoned diapers in the works, they wouldn’t rule it out.

Tricia Higgins, of Procter & Gamble, said she’s heard the diaper boredom complaint come up before. “It’s definitely something we’re thinking about.”

For now though, it seems both companies hope parents get excited about diaper designs — Huggies recently relaunched its denim-inspired diaper designs while Pampers has limited edition diapers with flower patterns for girls and cars for boys.

I know there are plenty of fashionable mommies out there who will appreciate it this. As for me, I guess I’ll just have to make my peace will Pooh.

Want more “Mildly Inappropriate Mommy”? Check back next Monday at the ABC News Parenting Blog!

For more than you ever thought to ask about diapers, check out Nightline’s visit to Pampers’ research and development center, below.


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