Maria Rushe shares why parents see messy nappies and big burps as a cause for celebration.
“She had a good nappy.”
My childhood was spent listening to my Beloved Granny saying this line to my Mum or aunties when they came to collect babies or toddlers from her care.
I could never understand how the adjective good could be appropriate.
In fact, the good nappies she was referring to were usually the antithesis of good. Words like rotten, dirty, nasty or horrendous seemed much more appropriate. For me, a good nappy referred to the still dry and clean nappies, folded in the bag.
But now, I completely understand. A good nappy is one that is filled with the most horridly mucky mess. The bigger the mess, the better the nappy.
To a parent of a baby, there is nothing more wonderful than a full nappy. In fact, all of the bodily functions that we are brought up to do in private, and indeed that we are taught to apologize profusely for, are a cause of relief and even celebration.
I remember the first time Mini-Me had gone 4 long days without a poop. We did tummy rubs, massaged her tiny back and carried her in every possible angle to ease her pain. We almost cried ourselves every time she screamed that high pitched scream that only a baby can. And when she finally exploded into not only one, but two, nappies, we danced around the room in delight.
Every burp during feeding is rewarded with “Goooooood girl” or “Thaaaaat’s it pet!” The bigger the belch, the bigger the praise.
We love to hear big burps and big farts and we love to see big poops…even the right-up-the-back-into-the-hair ones. And while these generally require a strong stomach and cutting off vests, before plunging the offending Fudgeebum into an impromptu bath, as parents we generally feel a relief and a contentment.
Why? Because such excretions usually indicate that our little darling is going to be pain or cramp free for the next few days at least! And that is indeed good… for baby and for parent.
And so poops become wonderful. Huge farts are a prize and body deflating belches are joyous.
For a while at least.
Then we suddenly find ourselves telling our toddlers to say “Excuse me” after they burp. We cringe if they pass gas in public and of course the Poopoo becomes one of those hush-hush things.
With a new baby in the house, the good nappies have returned. We have found ourselves back at that stage of getting excited about the basic bodily functions of our child.
We both sighed with relief last night when Princess did a burp that could make the ground shake. Our simultaneous “Gooooood Girl!” was followed by laughter as we realised that we’re once again, excited by gas!
For the foreseeable future, we shall be grateful for the burps. We shall be relieved by the machine-gun farts and we shall indeed celebrate the good nappies.
Because everything is good when there’s a cute little poop machine in the house. ?
I am She-had-a-good-nappy Mum.
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