Posts Tagged ‘change’

Save tomorrow, today.

October 6, 2011

I remember some years ago, I was working a PR campaign for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Because of some unimaginably high adult drowning statistic, we were tasked with trying to come up ways to get more people to wear life jackets. At some point, during these meetings, we concluded that we would just give up trying to teach adults a common sense lesson that could save their lives, despite the stats.

So, we stopped counting beans, and we started planting seeds.

We went into schools, and took our message to the kids. In turn, the kids took the message home – and in years that followed, the drowning numbers dropped. Moreover, these children will carry that message with them throughout their whole lives.

Today, as adults – for all of us seeking change – I suggest we forget trying to enlighten Congress. Let’s give up on imploring Wall Street. Instead, let’s take our message home, to our kids, and teach them what it means to be an honest, compassionate, generous and kind citizen. And let’s teach them that it’s good to plant shade trees, even under which we know we’ll never sit.

Change your ways, change a diaper

January 10, 2010

I changed our two-year old son’s diaper Saturday.

No sweat. Piece of cake.

Easiest thing I’ve ever done.

OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but really, as I┬ámarveled at the ease of it all, I had a flashback of how nearly impossible the same task was with our older son when he was that age.

And although the boys are as different as night and day, I think the biggest change the second time around is in me.

With the first son, everything – whether eating, changing diapers, going to bed – everything ended up being a battle of wills and patience.

A battle I rarely, if ever, won.

When he needed his diaper changed, he’d protest. So began the routine: I’d chase him around the house, get him, and hold him down with one hand while trying to to unfurl a baby wipe with the other. All the while, he’d kick and laugh or cry and scream and make a mess.

I’d yell and eventually we’d both end up pretty sour over the whole ordeal.

It was this way with every diaper.

I, like so many first-time dads, began to loath the thought of changing him. Each time I’d see him with that, “I’m-gonna-have-a-big-one-here-in-a-minute.” face, I’d feel my back muscles tighten with stress.

Thankfully, no storm lasts forever, and eventually he grew out of diapers.

The thing I’ve learned with our second child, that I wished I knew with our first, is that kids are, well, more easily tricked than forced and a little distraction does what no amount of force can. It gets the job done easily.

Now, more than two years later, moments before changing the little brother’s diaper, rather than preparing for a wrestling match, I’m thinking, “Let’s see … what do I have laying around here that will distract him long enough for me to get him into a fresh set of Huggies?”

Saturday morning, it was as simple as a plastic case from a camcorder cassette tape on a nearby shelf. I got his attention, opened and closed the plastic case a few times to show him what it does, and walked over and handed it to him in the living room.

He started to examine it like a lab technician.

As he did, I laid him down slowly and without a struggle, I had his diaper changed before he even knew what happened.

Getting the cassette case back … well that’s a different story.