Karina Schink: Life lessons in daddy daycare


Karina Schink

A few weeks ago I was sitting, eating dinner with my dad. We were talking about politics and school, then somehow we got into my dad’s childhood.

An hour later we were talking about my childhood and my future, and I asked my dad what it was like to be a new father, because I knew that when he was a kid, times were different; men were not daddys, to put it lightly.

I had remembered Mr. Geib saying that his father never changed a diaper in his life, but that he, Mr. Geib, changes them all the time.

I asked my dad if it was the same for him, and then he uttered the sentence I never thought I would hear anyone say.

He said, “I liked changing your sister’s and your diapers.”

I stared at him, gaping. I babysit small children, and the idea of me having to change their diapers before their parents come home terrifies me.

I laughed, assuming that my dad was joking around, but he didn’t smile or join in my laughter. He was dead serious.

He told me that he liked changing our diapers because a baby is helpless. Its only signal to its parents is crying, and the mom or dad has to figure out why.

Changing mine or my sister’s diaper meant that my dad could help us. He couldn’t communicate with us, but he could relief our discomfort by providing a soft, new, Huggies diaper.

He said that it was one of the most satisfying things to see your daughter stop crying and giggle or fall asleep because of something you did. As a new father, he had loved being able to help us.

I thought that was the sweetest thing I had ever heard in my life. We then divulged into a conversation about communication and what kind of major that would be like, but that conversation hasn’t left my head since then.

It made me think of things that people do without communication that make our lives so, for lack of a better word, awesome.

I thought of silent movies, and how motions can convey a message. I thought about paintings and how you can see the subject’s pain or happiness without them ever uttering a single word.

Then, somehow, my mind took me to college, most likely just because of the stress of applications, but it still went there.

After my dad told me his little story, I decided that I would try to find the beauty in everything, even if it is changing a stinking diaper.

From there, I tried to find the beauty in college applications; a new beginning. Chicken pox: you’ll never get them again. Writer’s block: it leads to that moment you finally have a breakthrough.

Then, my best friend got his wisdom teeth removed; he found the beauty in it because so many people texted and visited him to see how he was doing. Seeing love was the beauty in that.

So, in short, I owe my positive outlook on life, college, wisdom teeth, and stinking diapers all to my dad’s pure joy of being a new father.

What do you think?