The other day Shell and I went into the department of health to get on WIC. As part of the process we had to have a physical done for the boys. All over the WIC office there were signs posted saying that children’s diapers needed to be dry before going into the lab. So Shell and I decided to split the difference and take care of one child each. I went to take oldest to the bathroom to change his diaper. First of all it was really difficult to find the men’s bathroom. when I finally find it (halfway across the building) there is no changing table. This has become one of my pet peeves. It seems that in all the places that there should be facilities for childcare in Men’s rooms there never are. In Salt Lake City, there are places like the Airport and apparently the health department
I started out being upset at the health department and was going to write a huge rant about them. I thought about it for a while and realized that my anger was misplaced. I should be upset at us fathers. There are facilities in women’s bathrooms because more women have asked for them. It seems men are more likely to let their wives take care of the children’s needs when they are out than to request that facilities be made more available for men. I think that is a shame.
It my seem silly that I am making a big deal about this, but I think it is a big deal. What’s in a dirty diaper (besides poop)? There is a bond formed between a mother and child that is amazing. I believe that there is more to that bond than breast feeding. If you have been involved with your children like I have been you may have been the first person your child saw in their life. I personally believe the bond between mother and child is one that can be formed between father and child as well. Breastfeeding gives women an advantage in forming that bond, but dirty diapers can be a father’s in. That bond I believe is created through meeting a child’s needs. When a child is hungry we feed it, when they are dirty, we clean it, when it is hurt we care for it, etc… In these circumstances, as a father, how often do you help with these needs, and how often does your child’s mother take care of them. You may play with your child and have fun, but when their needs arise, who is the one to resolve those needs? If you aren’t sharing the need resolution for the child 50/50 with the child’s mother you may want to change your fathering practices because children know who to turn to in their time of need and I believe that is how that bond is created between mother and child… I also believe that a father can share in that bond, and it may be as simple a changing a dirty whenever and where ever your child needs it. So next time you go into a men’s room in a public place and there are no facilities to allow you to take care of your child, say something to the management, fill out a card, do something. Don’t let them take away opportunities to build your father-child relationship