You've all heard about how terrible it is changing a nappy, right?
Wrong; you've only heard the adult version. To get the full picture you need to have the baby's viewpoint as well, right? Right; so, for the first time in history here is the definitive description of why nappy changing is so bad for children, as seen through the eyes of a nine-month-old baby.
As any baby will tell you - if only you'd listen - having a nappy changed is one of the most difficult parts of daily routine. I suppose it's ok when you're little; what I mean is, you can't do anything except lie there so it's merely an unpleasant experience to be endured. It's different when you can start moving around, that's when it progresses from being unpleasant to being downright repressive.
Consider the facts. There I am happily crawling around looking for things to chew or bump my head on when suddenly, without warning, Daddy swoops down, grabs me and dumps me on the changing mat. Then he gets out all the nappy-changing paraphernalia. Now that's ok because nappy stuff is great fun. Only the other day Mummy left the box they keep it in too close to my cot and, while they were out of the room, I swiftly managed to extract four nappies and several bags to play with. Then Daddy came in and took it off me.
You see, they never give me any of this stuff to entertain me. They wave toys in my face and say things like, "Would oo like one of dese den?" (why do adults always talk like that? - it isn't normal) but I never get what I really want.
"I'd like the Sudocrem, please," I say politely. "You can leave the top off, if you like." My older brother boasts that he once managed to get his hand in the Sudocrem pot and I'd love to give it a go but they never let me near it.
"Here you go," Daddy says, "Have Bob The Builder."
I get a bit annoyed. "I don't want Bob The Builder," I remark testily, "I requested Sudocrem. Why does my nappy need changing anyway? The old one was working perfectly well. If it ain't broke don't fix it."
"Lie still," Daddy says, taking a firmer grip on my legs.
"I will not lie still!" I reply. "I find your attitude unjust and authoritarian. All I wanted was to be left in peace. Consider, I am but young in the world and everything is new. I wish to explore and to do so I must remain free from all unnecessary interruptions. I was just about to chew the fireguard when you came in and now I'll have to wait."
"Quit wriggling," he says.
"I am not wriggling," I cry indignantly. "I am merely attempting to exert my individual right to speech and freedom. I don't mind," I say reasonably, "if you want to pick me up when there are strangers in the room or when I want to have my dinner but it should be strictly on an 'as-requested' basis. I did not request this."
I execute a sudden clever clockwise barrel-roll off the mat. He hauls me back. I flip into an anti-clockwise barrel-roll. He hauls me back and, despite all protestations, completes the nappy change. Then he abruptly releases me and, rejoicing in my freedom, I immediately hurry over to my chest of drawers. I really enjoy opening the drawers and taking out the contents but they never seem to give me any opportunity to do it. So much for letting children of today 'make their own entertainment'.
Daddy hauls me back. "No, no," he says, "you'll get your fingers trapped. Now, we must put your trousers on."
Then I get mad. "I don't want my trousers on," I shout, kicking lustily. "I just want to be left alone to crawl around and carefully examine any objects that I encounter. It is essential to my personal education. Trousers are not essential unless it is cold and I am quite warm, thank you."
"Stop that, please"
An inglorious battle ensues in which, despite my best efforts, I always come out on the losing side.
There is one consolation. Once the trousers are back on they let me roam around the lounge and hallway without any further interruptions. Until the next nappy-change, that is, when I shall once again feel obliged to lodge a protest. As a well-known baby (whose name temporarily escapes me) once said: 'Adults, you may wield the wet wipes but you cannot stop us screaming!'