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Parades, Planes and Road Trips: Awkward Diaper Changes

By Charlene O'Hanlon

Being the parent of a toddler and a teenager, I have had my shareof awkward parenting experiences - a diaper change in the middle of asomewhat formal dinner; a whole baggie of cereal thrown into an indoorfountain "to feed the ducks"; my youngest taking the hand of astranger's child and deciding she was coming home with us to play ... thelist goes on.

But perhaps the most awkward situations, especially as a newparent, were the diaper-changing sessions that were, shall we say, lessthan ideal. Whether it was location, equipment or just plain lack ofplanning, some of my past diaper changes make me cringe today (or laughout loud, depending on my mood).

Without further ado, here are a few of my most memorable awkward diaper changes:

On a cross-country flight: While most, if not all,airplanes have diaper-changing facilities in the restrooms, thedrop-down table seems flimsy and, frankly, not very safe to change acalm baby, let alone a fussy or active one. So in the interest ofsafety, I decided to do the diaper change at our seats in the maincabin. However, this was one particularly messy, stinky diaper, and thesecond it came off, the entire plane knew what I was up to. Needless tosay, I made no friends on that flight.

During the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City: Myfamily and I march each year in the St. Patrick's Day Parade up FifthAvenue. We normally "step off" with our group at 1:30 or so, which justso happened to coincide with nap time for the youngest. However, thelittle guy wouldn't nod off as usual, and the culprit was a wet diaper.So, mere minutes before we were to step off, my husband held the littleguy under the arms, while I stripped him down, did a vertical diaperchange and re-dressed him. The entire process was accomplished in lessthan two minutes - a personal record, I believe. And we gave our groupsomething to chuckle about. (By the way, the little guy fell asleepalmost as soon as we started marching and slept the entire walk.)

During a Sunday drive: It was a lovely day for adrive, until the car was filled with a noxious odor. Finding a safeplace to pull over, we parked at a roadside picnic area and unbuckledthe little guy to do a diaper change. I laid him down in the back of theSUV, pulled off his dirty diaper, opened the diaper bag and ... had noclean diapers. I had forgotten to replenish the diaper bag from our lasttrip. Luckily, we had one (one!) diaper wipe in a baggie we could useto get him somewhat clean. Little man went commando until we could findthe nearest store - a convenience store attached to a gas station thatcharged $20 for a pack of five diapers. I swallowed my pride, bought thediapers, put one of them on the little guy and went home. Never againdid I forget to repack the diaper bag.

All parents, at one time or another, will do whatever we need todo to make sure our babies are healthy and well cared for, even if it'sembarrassing. But we do it because we care, and eventually, thesemoments become will become laugh-out-loud memories.

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