I am nearing the end of rant week here on ChangingDad. I have been exorcising those little niggles that I have developed since becoming a parent and have found that I am not alone with many of them.
Today I want to talk about choice. Now choice is usually seen as a good thing, it gives us a broader experience and increases the likelihood that we can find something that we want. When it comes to young children though choice is not necessarily something that I can embrace.
The best example that helps me to explain what I mean is with nappies. To the untrained eye a nappy must seem to be a relatively mundane object: you put them on your child, they soil them, and you wipe them off again. If only it were that simple. Nappies are probably the single thing that has caused strife when getting the boys dressed or putting them to bed. There is one reason, and one reason alone for this; that no matter which brand you choose it always contains more than one design. This means that, particularly in the evening when everyone is tired, there is a weary conversation to be had about which design of nappy the boys are going to wear.
Both boys have developed a favourite design, both around the age of 3. With Sam it is currently the one with the giraffe on, and definitely not the lion. This is not a problem for the first half of the pack when giraffes can be extracted from the pile, but after that it is becoming increasingly hard to convince him that the lion is also a desirable animal to have on ones bottom.
And that is the other thing, why is the main design at the back when the child cannot see it when they are wearing it. Surely it should be at the front since the main person who is bothered about nappy design is surely the wearer. We frequently have to convince Sam about what he is wearing, often through an imaginative use of mirrors.
I am bracing myself for this to escalate in the next year or so since I remember having endless exasperating conversations with Jake at a similar age about which nappy he was going to wear, which usually went along the lines of:
Me: nappy on Jake?
Jake: want the dog
Me: sorry the dog ones have all gone
Jake: want the DOG
Me: well you cannot have the dog because there aren’t any left
Jake: want THE DOG
Me: (placing all existing clean nappies in a line) look! There aren’t any dogs
Jake: WANT THE DOG!
Me (now extremely exasperated): but there aren’t any dogs, look that’s not a dog, that’s not a dog etc….
Jake: WANT THE DOG!!
Me: look at the funny bunny/ roaring tiger/ cute cat, meow
Jake: WANT THE DOG!!!
You get the idea. If there was only one design in each packet this sort of thing just would not happen. So nappy manufacturers and other purveyors of children’s goods. How about it. Packs with single designs in them. Make us parents lives just that little bit easier, surely it cuts your costs too. And this does not even begin to address the issue of having two children who want the same and there is only one of that particular variety left.