Tuesday, June 8, 2010
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he’s old he will not depart from it” –Proverbs 22:6
You know, there’s just no way around it. Diapers are gross. But babies are wonderful. And as I discuss diapers in this article, it’s bound to get a little stinky. But hang in there with the smell just like you hang in there with your teenager. Though diaper management isn’t the best part of parenting, it’s necessary. We’re willing to put up with it all because we love our kids.
In Amarillo last week with my 6 week old grand daughter Reese, diapers were being changed left and right. Did you know that the average baby goes through 3,000 diapers a year? But these were the newborn diapers. Like I reminded mommy Elizabeth, “Enjoy these diapers because the… ‘special’ one’s will be here in a few months when the solid food begins.” I noticed a new contraption in their nursery. It was a diaper pail that automatically injects the dirty diaper and seals it in a chamber. Our old one from years ago was basically a trash can, but this device supposedly keeps the stink away. But we’ll see how well it works when it attempts to handle the serious “poopy” diapers.
Unfortunately, parenting can be stinky too. A lot of teenager issues are just hard, but necessary. Issues like sexuality, being healthy, and dating are all a part of growing up. But they can be difficult areas to establish dialogue with our teens. You may not like some of the uncomfortable discussions, but they’re all a part of diaper maintenance.
I remember when Elizabeth was a baby, we were struggling to make ends meet, so we decided we’d try cloth diapers to save on having to buy Huggies. Hat’s off to those of you that use cloth diapers, but for us, the experiment was difficult. It might have worked in the early months, but when we got to solid food stage, the cloth didn't work too well. It was less costly, but not nearly as effective as the disposable diapers. Good, honest, open communication about difficult areas comes with a cost. Instant messaging and emailing your thoughts to your teen are no substitute for the face-to-face talk over a cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper at Sonic.
And here’s the light at the end of the diaper tunnel: one day your baby (teenager) won't need to wear diapers anymore! Being potty trained is a wonderful thing for lots of reasons. My favorite reason was the money we saved! As a teen, we teach them and dialogue with them and reason with them and they begin to think and reason on their own. That’s a good thing. You don't want your child wearing diapers when he is 10 years old.
So, stay the course with your teen and take advantage of these less busy summer months to grow the relationship with your son or daughter. You take the initiative in some of the stinky topics. It’s okay if you’re both uncomfortable. Let there be some tension. But share your heart and better yet, let your teen share his heart.
Make the conversations happen. Be intentional.
One day, the diaper stage will be over and you’ll be putting that diaper pail away. They’ll be “going” on their own. That’s a good thing. But in the meantime, change that diaper with gusto and let your precious child (teenager) know you love them.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©