There is an empty spot in the corner of the house where the Diaper Genie used to be. Walking past this now vacant spot never fails to evoke a small cheer from me. I hated that freaking Diaper Genie.
The Genie may have been designed for ease, but it quickly became a dirty, stinky symbol of one of the worst parts of early parenting. There isn’t a single person alive who likes changing diapers, mother or father. But unlike my own father, who had the great fortune of being a parent in the 70’s where dads were held to a different social standard and therefore has never changed a diaper in his life, my wife and I were equal partners in this parenting thing. Meaning, we both had to deal with a lot of shit.
In addition to diaper changes, it was my job to replace the bag inside the Genie. Somehow, like my kids, it seemed in constant need of changing. I couldn’t take my diaper-fueled aggression out on my children, so I channeled it towards the Genie. Over the years I grew to loathe it. Yet there it sat in the corner of my house, mocking me.
I wanted to destroy it, Office Space style. Or have Andrew W.K. blow it up in some spectacular fashion. But I didn’t have access to explosives and I thought it might have freaked out the kids to see their daddy bashing it in the backyard with a baseball bat. I was close to being rid of the damn thing too. But Sprout, like in every other phase in her life, was steadfast in her stubbornness and refused to poop on the potty.
The day finally arrived not with a bang, but with the polite urging of my wife to finally be rid of it. Even though we had agreed that the Genie’s services were no longer required, there it sat. My wife grew tired of waiting for me to devise a clever plan to demolish the thing and hinted that it might disappear on it’s own. But this was my funeral to give. So I opted for a simple and unceremonial burial in the trash bin. On trash day, I gleefully wheeled it out to the curb and waited for the green truck to arrive.
Usually the kids run to the window to gaze upon the garbage truck as it collects our refuse, like a couple of cats staring down a squirrel on the tree in the yard. However, that day when the truck came to collect I stood along side them, watching and happily waving goodbye to the Genie forever.