As fathers, we experience some truly wonderful things.
You know what I’m talking about. Playing catch in the backyard for the first time. Catching your first fish together. Or the first time you kiss a boo-boo all better and your kid looks at you in awe, truly believing daddy has superpowers. Defining moments. Perfect snapshots. These are the times we wear our Dad stripes with pride, puff our chests out and revel in our fathering abilities.
But the tale I’m about to tell is the antithesis of those moments.
Will has had a RAGING rash for two weeks. At first we thought it was a heat rash but after putting the usual creams and powders on him, we knew we were dealing with some other demon altogether. The rash had spread from his butt to his taint. In fact it was a raised, red horseshoe that included both sides of his inner thighs with a concentration underneath the poor kid’s coin purse. Treating it just seemed to make it angrier, so we took him to the doctor’s office and they prescribed him some specialized ointment.
Unfortunately he wasn’t the only one experiencing some discomfort “down there.”
I’m not sure if it’s from the heat or my recent attempts at riding a bike, but it seemed I had the makings of a rash that was a mirror image to my son’s. Now if you know me, you know I never tell anyone when anything is wrong with me because I’d sooner clean up a Tiger Woods hooker orgy with my tongue than go to the doctor’s office. But my incessant scratching soon caught the attention of my vigilant wife, who quickly asked me what was wrong.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Then why are you digging around down there like your balls are on fire?” she said, ever-so-lovingly.
“It’s nothing. I just…I just have…don’t worry about it!”
“Drop your drawers. Now!” she commanded.
Usually that’d be a turn-on but under these circumstances? Not so much. I could tell from the look on her face there was no getting out of this. Will was already laying pantsless on the bed ready to be lathered up with ointment, and MJ told me to lay down next to him. I started to object but then she utilized what I can only refer to as “the Wife Face” (I’m sure all of you know what I mean) and I complied. Like a beaten down dog.
Glumly, I de-pantsed and laid down on the bed next to Will. “Spread ’em,” said MJ, wielding a Mag-Lite as she began searching for signs of chub rub.
When you become a parent there are many situations for which you are unprepared. And laying down next to your 2-year-old getting treated for simultaneous diaper rashes is surely one of them. He gave me a confused look and said “Dada?” I couldn’t look him in the eye, I was too ashamed. “DADA?!!?” he said with more force. I finally mustered up the courage to look him in the face.
“Hey buddy,” I said, doing my best to pretend this was in no way out of the ordinary.
“Dada get diaper?”
And with those three words my pride was pierced, cut in half and stomped on. My son thought MJ was putting a diaper on me. I quickly turned away in shame, while MJ laughed openly. I guess I don’t blame her. If an outside observer had walked in the room to see father and son laying side by side, pants off while MJ lathered us both up with matching diaper cream I probably would’ve cracked up laughing too.
So that begs the question: Why in hell are you writing about this?
Truthfully I wasn’t going to. This happened almost a week ago. But MJ reminded me that if the tables had been turned and it was her on that bed, you can bet your ass I’d be writing about it. And for someone who prides himself on transparency and openness, I’d be derelict in my duties as a dad blogger if I didn’t sack up and chronicle my humiliation.
And thanks to the treatment, at least that sack isn’t inflamed!