A Taxonomy Of Blowouts

Maybe because the previous night I’d flipped through a book about Katrina, yesterday, while changing my son’s diaper, when I noticed that a little squirt had escaped up and out the back, I said “Uh, oh, we got a blowout, but just a category one.” That led to me wondering how to more fully categorize overly-full diapers. The results follow.

Category One

These are like the one I encountered yesterday. Seepage occurs at only one barrier; i.e., only up the back, or down one leg. You can clean it up with no more than two wipes; one to do the majority of the dirty work, another to put a clean finish on the bum. Odor is bad, but gone by the time you turn the handle on the diaper pail. Occasionally, no new clothes are required, but at most, only one garment must be replaced.

Category Two

The major distinction from a Cat One is a breach of at least two containment barriers. This can be either a leg and the back, or both legs, or all three. Cleanup will now require at least three wipes. A quick spray of air freshener will be necessary. At least one garment must be replaced, and if the breach is leg and back, two.

Category Three

Things are getting serious. Again, the breach will be of at least two barriers. For the aroma, you will have to burn some candles, or use potpourri, and might have to do so in rooms other than baby’s. Cleanup requires what amounts to a bath using wipes. In addition to replacing all clothes, the pads and covers on the changing table are headed to the wash.

Category Four

Everything in Cat Three. However, all the wipes can do is get baby reasonably clean prior to a bath. Also, in addition to cleaning the changing table, Mom or Dad will have to clean all the areas baby occupied prior to their discovery of the blowout. That could be as easy as mopping the floor, or as tedious as removing the cover from the car seat and washing it.

Category Five

At this level, you may not even be able to identify the diaper. It’s best to just skip the changing table and begin in the bathtub, or by hosing down the child in the backyard. Hazmat suits would be a good idea. The baby and the changing parent will need a bath after this one.

The major feature of a Cat Five, though, is that you realize just how far children have caused you to sink.  You don’t really feel that way, you just sort of objectively look at what you are doing and realize that this is the kind of thing no one but a parent mom could do. Then you wonder why, exactly, you had children.

There it is. My taxonomy of blowouts. Maybe in the future I’ll do one for baby barf.

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3 Comments on “A Taxonomy Of Blowouts”

  1. Mary Ann Says:

    wheeler, you need to get out more.

  2. wheeler Says:

    actually, i thought of most of it while riding my bike.

  3. Mom Says:

    I clearly remember a very humiliating and embarrasing cat 2 bordering a 3 that took place on the brand new livingroom carpet at 17 St. Lukes Place. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to bring you back there again – fortunately grandmas are very forgiving and overlook quite a lot!


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