My wife and I have an infant son named Ivan. He is 9 months old. Ivan is very concerned that parents do right by their children (he is especially worried about my parenting skills). Ivan has decided to help out new parents by issuing a regular newsletter.
1. Our 9-month old son just had a wicked case of diarrhea. What should we do? Put on your rain ponchos and your rubber gloves and get used to it.
2. Why do babies get diarrhea? Mostly to get back at their parents for the wrongs and ills that the parents are about to commit through the child’s childhood and teen years.
3. Should we be concerned about our baby’s diarrhea? Yes, unless your idea of fun is giving a baby a bath every ten minutes.
4. No, seriously, should we be concerned? The only real risk from diarrhea is that your baby will get dehydrated. So keep him/her full of fluids. Other than that, the only other risk is that he/she will be shunned by society because of being a nuclear-pooper. Other than that, there’s no major risks.
5. Is there a way to prevent diarrhea? Well, here’s a question — have you tried washing your hands before you handle your child? I’m not even in the same room as you, and I can see the schmutz under your fingernails.
6. Is it possible that the baby picked up the diarrhea/stomach bug in day-care? Does a bear poop in the woods? Daycare is like a wonderful candy store or library of germs where you can go whenever you’d like to pick up or borrow whatever germs you’d like.
7. What treatments are available if our baby has diarrhea? Something bland – like your personality. Or something starch-filled, like your husband’s gut.
8. How can we be sure that the baby has diarrhea and just “loose stool?” Oh, you’ll know. If it looks like a mudslide caused by a tsunami, then that’s a good sign you’re in diarrhea-ville.
9. Do we need special diapers for diarrhea “management?” Nope. Just lots of them. Imagine that you don’t have 1 child but that you have 1 million. That’s how many diapers you should have on hand.
10. How do we know when the bout of diarrhea is over? When the baby looks you in the eye and says, “holy sh*t that was bad. I need a nap.”
Alex Barnett is a comedian-writer based in New York City. He writes News from the Crib, a parenting blog about his experiences as a new father. Barnett has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN.com and NYC-TV, and has performed at clubs, colleges and venues throughout the country. Barnett, a winner of the 12th Annual Gilda’s Club Laugh-Off, is a member Comedians at Law, a group of six comics who all left the law to pursue their dream. Fans can visit him at www.alexbarnettcomic.com, find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.