The philosopher George Santayana said, ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ Sam Avery is now pretty sure he knows what that means.
Something happened today that I’ll never forget. And it was all my fault.
I can’t believe I did it. I honestly never thought I’d be so stupid as to let this happen. But it happened. Oh boy, did it happen.
It was avoidable, so completely escapable. I need to try to look forward, it’s in the past now. But that’s impossible – it’s embedded on my brain like a cheap tattoo. I promise you, I’ll never be the same again.
Most parents will remember the first time their child flashed them a smile, or babbled their first proper word.
I’m sure I’ll remember those things in time but right now I cannot forget the day when I didn’t pull the flaps out of the nappy properly.
How could I have been so stupid? I’ve changed loads of nappies at this point and despite still being more hapless than Captain Hook in a tiddlywinks tournament I’ve at least avoided any liquid-based catastrophes.
But not today. My God. What a mess.
I got a warning sign the other night when I managed to remember at the last minute that I hadn’t pulled the flaps out of Ben’s nappy after I’d put him down in his basket. I was on the verge of drifting off to sleep when the thought hit me like a Frisbee in the ear and I bolted upright in bed. My wife asked me what was wrong, probably suspecting I’d had an accident myself.
‘FLAPS!’ I calmly declared as I went over to the Moses baskets. It was my Eureka moment.
But today I wasn’t so lucky. And I’ll never un-see what I’ve saw.
I changed both nappies in record time for me – 8 minutes, 34 seconds. A small wave of unnecessary smugness washed over me for the next few hours until I noticed that Ben was starting to smell like a sweet shop bin. I picked him up and he started to cry. So I felt the back of his legs and they were wetter than Wet Wet Wet on a log flume.
That’s when I started to replay the previous nappy change in my head, piecing events together. I started to hope it was just the sheer force of his movement that had caused the leak – this would absolve me of blame. But I couldn’t remember the details of the last change and I feared I’d absent mindedly cut corners which would leave me completely culpable.
I opened his nappy like a nervous teenager getting their GCSE results. It turns out I’ll be re-sitting all of them.
My son had turned into a slurry truck with legs. Even his tiny face that’s still finding it’s way in the world managed to flash me a look that said, You did this, you stupid man. I promise you this – do it just one more time and I’ll have you in a nursing home before you’re 50.
The philosopher George Santayana said, ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ Scholars have endlessly debated over whether he was referring to political hierarchical maneuverings or merely commentating on the increasingly obsolete religious structures of the day.
I’m pretty sure he was talking about an open flap shit leak in his son’s nappy.
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This article originally appeared on The 4.am Feed.
Photo credit: Getty Images