I'll admit, I'm a total wussy when it comes to blood and guts and gore, so much so that I'll read the Parents Guide on IMDb before I see any R-rated movie (even if it's a romantic comedy), just to be sure no one gets shot in the head. My husband, on the other hand, loves all that nasty stuff. This is the guy who yells out, "Aaaaa-wesome!" when they're chopping off zombie heads on Walking Dead. This is the guy who put I Spit on Your Grave on our Netflix queue two weeks ago, and every day, taunts me about its impending arrival. This is the guy who watches violent mobster movies with zeal and excitement and plays video games that allow him to live out his mafioso fantasies.
But last night, during our first infant care class, I realized that despite my husband's love of all things gory, a nasty poopy diaper might just put him over the edge.
Sure, we learned a lot last night about swaddling, diapering, bottle-feeding, and changing. And while it was very informative and helpful and all that, I think the biggest takeaway I had was that men are like a bunch of squeamish little girls around mysterious baby goop. It all became clear as we watched a simple video (straight from the '80s, likely VHS) on bathing and diapering your babies.
As we watched the mother in the video sponge-bathing her newborn, we got a glimpse of the black, clipped umbilical cord stump. There were a few audible gasps in low baritones coming from the strapping dads-to-be, and I even heard one man ask, "Ew, what is that?" I reached out to take my husband's hand, only to find that it was over his mouth, barely masking the "uch" expression that had taken over the rest of his face.
A few minutes later, the video was teaching us how to clean a newly-circumcised baby penis ... in close-up. Well, the men really couldn't hold back then. As the nurse applied ointment and new gauze to the baby's raw little unit, I swear, it was like a chorus of, "Eeesh, oh God, ouch, geez, the poor little guy." Again, my husband was right there with them, even though earlier in the class, as they were explaining when the actual circumcision would be done, my husband, ever the preteen, passed me a note that said we should remember to pack a carrot peel in our hospital bag. Yeah, that same guy was now squirming in his seat!
But I think the real test of all of our mettle came when they started showing us various examples of "normal" baby stool, including seedy, mustard-yellow breast milk poop and that black, sticky, alien-looking meconium. I mean, it was like half of the room (including my husband) broke out into dry heaves, like one of those comedy sketches where one person throws up and then everyone does. Luckily, no one lost their dinner, but from the noises people were making, I think it might have been a close call. Once again, the women seemed to be handling it a lot better than the guys.
Still, I know, without a doubt, that my husband will be a doting, hands-on, devoted father, and I'm sure he will be there to sponge bathe our babies and clean their newly-circumcised winkies and all that. And yes, I'm about 95 percent positive that when push comes to shove, he will be right there with me changing nasty, stinky, "oh no, what is that?!" diapers too. But I may need to keep a barf bag handy.
Does your partner seem to fear the poopy diapers? Or, if he's already a Dad, has he gotten over it?
Image via monkeybunns/Flickr