Exercises in Banality

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red-bathroom

Banal: Devoid of freshness or originality. 

That’s me. And this is only the first week of blogging. I’m out of ideas. Okay, well, not out of ideas, exactly. More like, “Unhappy with the few ideas I have.” Sadly, this is the essence of creativity. Eventually, an idea will come, and other ideas will compound on the first, and soon the mass of ideas (which came slowly and methodically and without a care for my mental well being) will resemble something creative. That’s how it works. Creativity is simply the melding together of hundreds of not-very-creative ideas. 

Unfortunately, one can never predict when these ideas will transfer successfully from fingertip to keyboard. So we writers compose long monologues on the tortures of creating or the struggles of generating meaningful thoughts simply to waste your time while we think up more important things. But I won’t waste your time. Well, I guess I already did. But I won’t waste anymore. 

Let me tell you a story. 

Once upon a time there was a girl named Smartypants. She was two-years-old, an only child (temporarily), and completely enamored with her potty (Yes, it took some time, but I can proudly use the words potty and poopy and tinkle without fearing for my manhood). When she had to go, she yanked down her Dora the Explorer pull-up diaper and went. It was a wonderful thing. 

Sometime during her mid-twos, she eagerly greeted our new arrival, her baby sister, Smiley. Soon, Smartypants discovered that Smiley didn’t use a potty. Smiley went in her diaper, and oh the attention Smiley received when mommy or daddy changed that diaper. They made faces, they made silly sounds. Oh, how fun it looked. So Smartymants, ever the cleverest devil, decided she wanted to tinkle and poop in her diaper like Smiley. No more potty for her. No way. 

And what did she discover? First, that Mommy and Daddy don’t make the same faces when she stinks. And they don’t spout goofy noises. In fact, she realized getting her diaper changed really wasn’t much fun at all. One might even call it annoying, intrusive, or just plain dull. Still, as long as Smiley’s doing it, Smartypants will do it, too. 

And so it has gone, for nearly a year, with no end in sight. The diapers get heavier. The girl gets bigger. The smell… Well, you know. We try new things, new methods of persuasion. We tried candy or toy rewards, special privileges (like watching movies in bed with mommy and daddy. disney, of course, so this really isn’t much fun for us). We’ve tried instructional books and videos, a potty party with her cousin. She’s simply not interested. And our ideas, to get back on point with this entry, have become excerises in banality. We have nothing left. We’ve given up. Our daughter shall wear diapers until she turns eighteen. At that point, she’ll have to give them up or buy them herself. We won’t continue to support her filthy diaper habit. 

As for me… I survive, I think. I stumble through the day, sleepy with the caffeine shakes, cleaning diapers like some industrial sized manufacturing robot about to malfunction. When it’s not one kid, it’s the other. Thankfully, I have forgotten how to inhale through my nose. Perhaps someday the skill will come back. 

Until then… I smell nothing, and in some insignificant way, that makes me happy. 


This post was originally shared on my at-home parenting blog, The Daily Writer, which has long since vanished. I’ve migrated many of the posts to this site for sentimental reasons.

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