A Man Who Wipes…

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…Butts.

OR:

A Man Who Wipes Bottoms

(for those that find “butt” offensive)

What I am talking about is the awkward “line in the sand” that many the modern man draws in the proverbial kiddy-box. You see them here and there, passing off the wee lad or laddie as if it were a land-mine. What am I talking about? I”m talking about the modern man who declares to his [new] bride (he would never say this on a date with a girlfriend), “I don”t do diapers.”

Really?

Diapers?

Today, modern man finds himself in this really awkward place. He wants to be the man. In fact, he longs to be the man. Yet, he also finds himself in a world where he has been robbed of his farm, his plow, his gun, and has been handed a light beer and told that anything that is male-only is sexist, bigoted and the old world. But, the modern man has been informed, the old world has passed away and behold, .

Which of course complicates things. It is one thing to throw water balloons at a person. Quite another to throw water balloons at a blindfolded person. In this case, I will not grant that the modern man is blindfolded, only that he is playing a three legged race with himself. So, while watching someone douse someone else with a water ballon when blindfolded is bordering on the cruel, watching someone get knocked around with a water ballon when they are dragging around another person is actually quite funny.

That is what I see is the problem. Modern man wants to be the man, but instead of being either, he becomes self-crippled man. In that case, let”s launch away.

(Balloon one) For starters, any man who says he is too good to change a diaper fails to understand the most basic male instinct: utility. I like to think about it this way. Baby is dirty. Baby needs to be cleaned. I clean baby. Case closed. Last time I checked, nobody was wiping the guy”s bottom, so if he thinks he is too good to wipe a butt, I would suggest he go a whole day applying this principle to his rear-end. The manly utilitarian instinct will kick in — I promise — if someone doesn”t call the EPA first.

“I ain”t afraid of no diaper!”

(Balloon two) Secondly, don”t dream for a moment that Pa Ingalls wouldn”t clean up his son or daughter that found his or her britches soiled. I bring up “Pa” because modern man has this strange fascination with “ancient man”. He was so manly, so unlike metrosexual man. He was bursting forth with burly manliness — thresher, overalls and cool hat to boot, and therefore, he never changed a diaper. False. It simply does not follow. Or as us philosophers like to say, there is nothing in the premises to make the conclusion necessary. Okay, let”s break it down:

1. Child is soiled

2. Person A is a man

3. Therefore, person A will leave child soiled

LOGIC FAIL.

1. Child is soiled

2. Person A is a man

3. Therefore, man will clean child

LOGIC WIN!

(Balloon threeReally guys, what could be more attractive to your wife than changing a diaper? Seriously. This goes right up there with washing the shower. This is the stuff that studs are made of. Do I do this stuff with perfection and without fail? No way, I”m terribly human. But, seriously, if you are married and want to earn serious who-needs-fifty-shades-of-anything-when-I”ve-got-this-hunk bucks, change diapers. Now. Which leads me naturally to a discussion regarding the Gospel of Life.

Today, more than ever, we must all carry the torch of life. Life is under attack, if you didn”t know that already. Yet, we can win. And by win, I mean win big time. But, if you know anything at all about war, the collective victories are as important as the Waterloos. Even at our Waterloo moments, every battle is won in some kind of person-to-person combat. In turn, we must all ask ourselves, “What is and where will I find my piece of the action?” For fathers, I think that starts in the home. If we won”t change diapers, an instinct that says, “you are a human being who doesn”t deserve to be stinky nasty”, then what are we saying about life?

So, if you are a man who doesn”t “do” diapers, come off it.

Or rather, pick up your diaper and follow me (as I follow Christ).

Brent Stubbs

Brent Stubbs

is a father of five (+ 1 in heaven), husband of one, convert, and a generally interested person. He has a BA in Theology, studied graduate philosophy, has an MBA, is a writer (or so he tells himself) and prefers his coffee black. His website is Almost Not Catholic. His Twitter handle is @2bcatholic. His favorite color is blue.

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7 thoughts on “A Man Who Wipes…”

  1. Avatar
    Perinatal Loss Nurse

    How dear that you bring up “PA” from the “Little House” show…our grandson (cutest human ever) has taken to calling my husband (grumpy warrior man) PA just like on in the show.

    My husbands grumpy warrior nature leaves him hating almost everything and everybody except his kids and singular grandchild. He happily changed diapers and poop doesn’t bother him one bit. He was learning his parenting skills when our sons were little so by the time our daughter was born (16 years ago) he was so ready for her. Little things he did in parenting her have forever endeared him to me despite aforementioned grumpiness.

    Walking alongside his son and teaching fatherhood skills (son is a stay-at-home-dad, long story) has been a welcome do-over that has helped heal (emotional) wounds of the past that were inflicted when husband long ago found himself needing parenting patience that hadnt developed in him yet.

    My husband never picked out table runners, his contribution to our wedding china choice was “no flowers” and our bedroom has been painted some shade of green or brown (chosen from the colors of USMC forest camoflage uniforms and Im not kidding)for over 20 years but he has never shied away from graciously wiping the poopiest of bottoms.

  2. Avatar

    Wow! Wow, again! I am amazed that anyone has to write such a post to remind men of their humanity. I care for my 26 year old son 24/7 who is totally incapacitated, double incontinent, non-verbal, non-ambulatory, etc…for the past 14 years. This is not out of virtue, obligation, belief in higher powers, etc. Simply, I clean up pee and crap to preserve his dignity as only a parent can. I am not virtuous nor exceptional, as I blog with many men (and women ) of severely disabled kids/adults who do the same.
    A guy who will not change a diaper has forfeited fatherhood, manhood. person-hood and is literally that which is found in a soiled diaper. I am judgmental about a few things this is one!

  3. Avatar

    “A guy who will not change a diaper has forfeited fatherhood, manhood. person-hood and is literally that which is found in a soiled diaper.”

    Well, don’t sugar coat it Phil. 😀

    I can’t understand even a little what it’s like to be in your shoes, but it is inspiring to see such sacrifice, love and devotion. He’s lucky to have such a great dad. Does he have a name (if you’re willing to share it online)?

  4. Avatar

    I’ve got two boys, and keeping them clean was the start of bonding and trust. Boys toilet train later than girls. Yep, we men just can’t get with the program as fast as the girls. My wife expected that once toilet trained at age three that perfection was achieved. Can’t tell you how many accidents happened in the years to come. She got unglued. Out came the detergent, latex gloves and enough yelling and shame to reverse any progress. Really, she could not handle it. One day she found thirteen pairs of soiled underwear from the elder guy hidden under the bed. I wish she understood that this represented thirteen times he was ashamed to come to mom with a fault.

    I could just handle it better. I became the butt wiping confidant. The boys would whisper in my ears, “I had an accident”, and off we would go to clean ‘em up, hand wash away the evidence, and start a load of laundry. It was the start of bonding, trust and the ability to discuss faults without shame. There were some really dirty days. Sometimes even after a general cleaning, we both had to get naked and jump in the shower for a thorough hose down. Lots of fun!

    The elder is thirteen, and his brother three years quickly to follow. Soon it will be “Dad, I wrecked the car”. I hope and pray that they will always feel confident to tell me the bad news. Gents, we will get nostalgic for those days of “Daddy, I did poopy”.

  5. Avatar
    Perinatal Loss Nurse

    Daniel…you are so wise to remain calm, steady, & wise when your wife lost herself in perfectionism. I was the calm steady parent for years and it worked well in most situations with one recent exception.

    My 23 year old woke me up to ask me what to do about the finger he just crushed in a car door (he forgot I have a terrible weakness with finger injuries) and I fainted….I was not fully unconscious, just horizontal & nauseous on the floor sweating from every pore. I used my last energy to wave my husband over to help son.

    Husband was so frightened that something really bad might have happened to the baby…he was relieved it was just a finger and a weak wife.

    I was so embarassed but I told my friend who is my Perinatal Loss counterpart at one of the most respected Health Systems in the world…she said when her daughter amputated the end of her finger she fainted too. (We know our strengths and weaknesses I guess).

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