Diaper Danger (part 2)

The mother of very young children may sometimes find herself in a busy restaurant or on an airplane, with a baby or toddler in urgent need of a diaper change. She may feel a moment of panic when she sees the limited and paltry options for changing: (1) a closet-like bathroom of dubious hygiene with no counter or other horizontal surface, or (2) right there, at the table or airplane seat. That’s it. Even the best-equipped diaper bags can’t rectify this situation.

As she considers the crowded scene before her, a mother can be forgiven for thinking no one will notice if she sneaks in a quick diaper change, right there, at her seat. But they will. There are always people grumpy to see babies and small children in restaurants and on airplanes, no matter how quiet and angelic. A visible public diaper change just might send one of these people over the edge, turn the stomach of an otherwise child-loving observer, or even violate health codes.

And, so, despite the indignity and frustration, the well-mannered mother must swallow hard, grab her diaper bag and make it work. In a restaurant, she could consider escaping to her car, if she drove. Or try using a reclined stroller as a “changing table” if she can find a discreet place for it. However she manages, she keeps the diaper change private. She may be thinking, “this is not what I signed up for!” as she cradles her baby’s head and shoulders with one arm, grabs the wipes and changes the diaper with the other arm, all while limiting contact with the paper towels and changing pad on the bathroom floor. She may even break into a sweat. But she will know that she has made her own heroic contribution towards keeping the world civilized, even if the perpetually grumpy people sitting next to her don’t have the slightest clue what she has spared them.


Mary said...

Had to change one in first class once.....luckily the guy next to me was a sweetheart. Foget why there wasn't another option but my seat became the table. I'm sure it was obvious my husband had given me the upgraded seat (xoxo hun!) but so glad my neighbor was one of the nicer flight companions I've had.

Anonymous said...

I've never been on a flight that didn't have a small changing "table" (I'll use that word loosely) that folds down over the toilet. Is it flimsy? Yes it is, but it's better than changing a poopy baby in my lap!

Elizabeth Hammond Pyle said...

Ahhh, yes, how could I forget about those? Its been a little while since I had a baby small enough to fit. Just remembered I somehow managed to get it done in that teeny space.

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