After Rhea (our baby) was born, Rekha and I fight over newer issues. Earlier we used to fight over who would watch the the television, whose family was better, the girl names I would mention by mistake, who looked fatter and not to mention Madhuri Dixit.
But Rhea`s arrival has changed everything. Now, we have graduated to bigger issues like – who will change the diaper, who will warm water for the baby`s bath, who will fetch the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder from the cupboard etc.
The other day I was baby sitting when alone in the house and was forced to change the diaper. Believe me, it is a very easy exercise if your wife is around…but if she is away, it only makes sense to delay it as much as possible.
I did manage to delay it by 10 minutes, but babies seem to lack the patience grown up adults` like you and me exhibit. I would have held on further…but when two neighbors rang the bell to enquire why the baby was crying, I had to swing into action.
The seasoned internet campaigner that I am, I Googled for ‘how to change the diaper`, and took a print out of the page. I then took a fresh, clean diaper from the pack and spread it on the cot.
The baby was still crying when I decided to remove the dirty diaper. If you have never changed a diaper before, let me tell you that used diaper is heavy. This is new in a man`s world…a used beer bottle is lighter, a used cigarette pack is lighter, a used Printer cartridge is lighter, a used deo spray can is lighter…but a used diaper is heavier.
If you have never got a chance to look at a used diaper, you are lucky. If you have had a chance…I have a question for you: “Which continent did you spot on the diaper – I could spot Africa and a bit of Australiasia?”
I held my baby`s legs up, and slid the dirty diaper from under her bums…somehow…a bit of the what-do-you-call-that stuck to her bums. If I had let go, the only Bombay Dyeing bed sheet we had at home would have turned yellow…so still holding her legs in the air, I reached our for a sheet of paper lying around.
Once the dirty diaper was wrapped in a newspaper (one with a Geetanjali Nagpal photo – poor girl..from fashion to drugs to a shitty diaper), I threw it in a dustbin nearby.
As luck would have it, the sheet of paper I had reached out to for cleaning my daughter`s bums…was the one with “how to change a diaper” instructions.
With no instructions at hand, I didn`t know how to fix the diaper around the baby`s waist. I tried using Fevicol…but all those promises of Fevicol ka mazbooth jod proved to be lies. I then searched for a cellotape and pasted the diaper around my daughter`s waist.
As luck would have it, my wife was home sooner than later and the first thing she saw was her baby sprawled on the bed, with a new diaper taped around her waist.
“What have you done?” She shouted at me.
“What do you mean? The baby is fine…why you shouting at me?” I raised my voice. A man, especially somebody who had proved himself by fathering a child, can never take anything lying down.
“You have used cellotape for the diaper? Didn`t you know that diapers are self-sufficient?” She was even louder.
The neighbours who had come when the baby had cried, were back. Just that this time, they didn`t ring the bell…they stood at the door witnessing the fight.
“Rekha, how am I to know that? The print out I had taken had to be used in wiping some extras from your daughter`s bums.” I was being loud, and I was sure.
By now, Rekha had deftly removed the cellotape and set the diaper right. With the confidence that comes from handling a husband for more than three years, she turned towards me and said: “A man with your IQ should have a low voice!”
Being a chaste man who didn`t take anything lying down (especially milk & water), I retorted: “Tell me everything you know about rearing babies…I have the time….anyway you will take only fifteen seconds.”
I gave my victorious smile – the one which involves taking my upper lip over my Bugs Bunny teeth. Just when I thought I had won the battle of wits…my wife said: “I refuse to enter a battle of wits with you. I am not used to hurting unarmed people.”
I didn`t say a word.
Moral of the story: Always take two print outs.