Startled, I asked, "What?" This was not only a term I am unfamiliar with, but it didn't seem the appropriate type of conversation starter for my son to blurt out on the busy downtown sidewalk.
"Poop catcher," my 7-year-old son simply repeated (in a voice much louder than I would have preferred) while pointing at a horse and carriage on the street. As I looked more closely at the carriage, I noticed a bag placed neatly and directly beneath the horse in a manner that prevents this beautiful animal from sullying the street.
"I don't believe that is the official name and maybe we can find a better term for it," I responded.
“Well, what does it do?” he asked in the innocent manner that only a child can do, making the simplest questions difficult to answer.
After I eyed the horse and carriage, and thought about his question, my only response was, “Touché.”
"Then what is the 'official' name, Daddy?" he asked in a manner that suggested I should know.
With all the certainty of my many years of working in the equine field, all I could muster up was, "Horse diaper?"
After some quiet reflection on this ridiculous answer, my son thoughtfully responded, "So it's a poop catcher."
"Um ... yes, I guess it is," I responded, defeated.
You see, if there is something that my family is familiar with, it is the old-fashioned “poop catcher,” so aptly described by my son, or more appropriately known as the diaper. At this point in time, we have had someone (for clarity, before anyone starts questioning, when I say "someone" I mean a child) in diapers in our household for seven years and four months, with no end in sight. Yes, we'll easily surpass eight years before we even see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When considering this topic and our family history, I decided I would attempt to calculate the total cost or money invested into these small, but highly valuable and appreciated items. However, after multiplying the expense times seven years, my fingers froze, refusing to hit that equals symbol on the calculator for fear of what the display would show me. Some things are better left unknown.
That being said, despite the growing expense, don't view my comments as a lack of appreciation for those glorious little items. As any of you parents know, all you need is an unprepared moment between a diaper change — a fully exposed "fountain" while bathing a baby, or simply a "blowout," a situation where the diaper being worn simply does not have the capacity to hold the released material — that you fully appreciate the engineering behind a tool that keeps those toxic materials contained.
In fairness, my experience in handling and changing these "poop catchers" is actually a distant second to my wife, who could probably be recognized as a "poop catcher" changer expert ... if anyone would prefer such a title.
So, my son summed it up best — a rose is a rose, a duck is a duck, and a “poop catcher” is ... well, you get the picture.
(Editor’s Note: Matt has a beautiful family: his wife, son, two daughters, Tucker the family dog and nine chickens. They only have one child in diapers at this time. Matt’s column appears every other Wednesday in the Cleveland Daily Banner).