Jay Mohr on Diaper Duty

diapersI was recently chatting with a friend about my toddler son’s reluctance to use the potty, and how frustrating it is. She told me that I must look up this article by comic Jay Mohr. You’ll remember him as Tom Cruise’s nemesis in Jerry Maguire. At least, that’s what I think of when I hear his name.

-MCM Staffer Ashley


When my son, Jackie, first came home from the hospital, I was promptly sent out to buy diapers. So off I went. I quickly realized that I didn’t have a clue where to find them or how they were sold. Did they come bound up like firewood? Should I check the frozen area? I was astonished to find that our local supermarket has an entire diaper aisle. Not a row or a shelf. Aisle 3 is all diapers! There were way too many choices for me: Huggies Snug & Dry, Huggies Little Snugglers, Huggies Little Movers, Huggies Overnights. 

A few times I came home with the wrong ones because I thought the baby on the package had to match the baby I had at home, like Garanimals. I would walk back and forth and mutter, “Hey, all these kids are Asian or black. Aren’t there any white-baby diapers?” 

I now know that babies come in different sizes and shapes and that companies put out every conceivable type of diaper to accommodate them all. I once saw a bag of diapers that read, “Holds up to 50 pounds.” Holy Moley! If your son goes to the bathroom and unloads 50 pounds, he doesn’t need a diaper; he needs a job. Maybe some manual labor down at the docks is more suitable for your monster baby. 

Jackie wore diapers until he was 3, and potty-training him was a huge trial. I was concerned because he wore Huggies number 6 at the time, and I couldn’t find a higher number on the store shelves. What was my next choice if I didn’t get him to use the toilet in time? Hefty bags?

Adult diapers are mixed in with the baby diapers at most stores. Many times I’ve stopped and stared at them and thought to myself, “It’s not a bad idea.” We’ve all been stuck in traffic on the way to work after eating a bran muffin and having that extra cup of coffee. Halfway through your commute your belly starts rumbling, and you just gotta go. Forget car-pool lanes. There should be an “I’m about to poop my pants!” lane. No one would have road rage anymore. If you got cut off by some woman wedging her way into the “I’m about to poop my pants!” lane, you’d think to yourself, “Aww, poor gal, I’ll let her in. She has cloth seats.” 

I’ve driven from Los Angeles to Las Vegas at least 100 times. About 15 percent of the time I get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the desert and think, in all sincerity, that I should have worn a diaper. With adult diapers, we’d all drive to work carefree. Like little kids, we’d just let loose when it was time. Hopefully our parents would be at work waiting to change and powder us. Either them or a very understanding colleague. 

One night when Jackie was visiting his grandparents, my wife, Nik, and I started musing about why kids are so averse to using the potty. From a very young age, they want to be exactly like us. They try to dress and speak like us. They copy our mannerisms while we talk on the phone. But they can’t seem to give up peeing and pooping in their pants. We wanted to know why. 

“Is it because it feels good?” Nik wondered. “It can’t feel good to stand there in your own pee. Don’t get me wrong: It would be awfully convenient not to have to pull the car over or leave a work meeting to pee.” 

We started making a list of things that would run more smoothly if grown-ups wore diapers. Factories would double their output because employees could stay seated at their station all day. College students would never have to leave lecture halls. And sleep! Imagine how much more uninterrupted rest we’d all get if we wore diapers under our pajamas. 

Eventually our diaper discussion led to this: My bride asked if I’d ever worn an adult diaper. I told her I hadn’t. She said she hadn’t, either. At that exact moment we knew what would happen next: We had to make a run to the grocery store, buy some diapers, race home, and try them out. 

We got dressed, wearing our secret underneath. Now it was a waiting game. In hindsight, we should have drunk more water beforehand. Neither one of us had to pee right away, so we just walked around the house giggling. Eventually I said to Nik, “The funniest part is that we’re laughing hysterically and it’s only a joke for two people.” 

She walked toward me slowly and replied, “No, the funniest part is that you … don’t … know … that … I … am … peeing … right … now!” 

She was right. 

The laughing reached dangerous levels — the kind where you have to walk out of the room because you feel like if you don’t stop, you will die. 

Suddenly I was jealous. Nik had peed in a diaper and I hadn’t. I leaned against the wall, trying to will out a stream. When I was finally successful, it was euphoric. No wonder Jackie had given us such a hard time about being potty trained. Peeing in a diaper is a freaking awesome experience! To my surprise, it wasn’t wet and disgusting. The diapers were amazingly absorbent, and whatever pee came out of me magically vanished into the lining. 

I’ll be honest (heck, I’ve gone this far): I could easily wear an adult diaper every day. I want to wear one on plane rides and every time I drive to Vegas. 

Nik and I learned a lot that night. We found out what it was like to be 3 years old. We learned that Jackie was hesitant to ditch his diapers because they were so convenient. Thanks to our stupid, laughter-filled experiment, we understood our child better. 

I’m not suggesting you wear an adult diaper to help you relate to your kid. However, I do recommend putting one on so you’ll know how great it feels to pee in your car. If you decide to try it, don’t tell anybody. After all, I just told you, and now you think I’m a freak. 

(From No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales From a Stand-Up Dad, by Jay Mohr) 

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