When the world at large finds out you’re having a baby, brace yourself - the unsolicited advice is about to hit you like a freight train. They’ll tell you how tired you’ll be (indescribably, yet they still try), what you NEED on your registry (that happens to cost $475), what your baby will want to eat (not your nipple), and how to raise them (really, really well).

What they don’t warn you about is the wave that’s about to hit you, completely engulf you, and swallow you whole.

Diaper changes. Endless diaper changes.

Okay, they warn you about it. In grotesque detail. They lecture you on the environmental impact of disposable diapers. They offer to pass down their “lightly used” cloth diapers. In fact, they even warned you that all parents know the taste of their child’s feces.

They didn’t tell you how, though. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

But just like the emotional rollercoaster that is parenthood, the diaper changes aren’t really something anyone can prepare you for. It’s a practiced skill. Sometimes, they happen conveniently before you head out for a couple errands, with no encore until you get back home. Sometimes, you’re faced with a double-dragon blowout that coats their diaper, clothes, car seat, trunk, and your rearview mirror (how??), all while you’re stuck in the left lane in bumper-to-bumper traffic, with no shoulder to pull onto. Deep breathing exercises are not the move here, just so you know.

Some are lucky (err, sorta) enough to have had younger siblings to practice on growing up. Maybe even a baby cousin or two. Others will have to go in completely blind. We don’t know the first thing about how to change a diaper. Take the old one off, right? One or two wet wipes, then you just slap on a clean one. Right? Wait, what’s this butt cream stuff for?

Before you know it, you’ll be diaper wiz - because you don’t have a choice. Those diaper changes start coming and they don’t stop coming. At least until you master potty-training. You’ll also be up to your eyeballs in diaper creams, baby powders, velcro straps, and cartoon animals. Maybe even a tee-pee, for parents of boys. It’s all part of the game.

No matter how many nappies we have to switch out in the night, or how many cloth diapers we’re hosing down a day, we can’t say we’d change all those diaper changes for the world. Our little waste machines are still the light of our lives! They might introduce us to a whole new realm of smells a body can produce, but they’ll also teach us how much love our cold little hearts can hold for another being. And that, my friends, is the beauty of life.

By the way, uh, something smells a little off. You might wanna check that.

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