The Baby Boundary

At 30,000 feet, on a flight somewhere over Ontario, I visit the restroom and fold down the baby-changing station. So much room! Way to go, Air Canada.

I used to spend exactly 0% of my time thinking about baby-changing stations. Now that Dubsie is in my life, I kick the tires on them even if I am (as in the case of today) not in actual possession of a child.

I survey the cramped and well-used water closet and experience a wave of wistfulness. Dubsie’s toilet training is coming right along, and the days are numbered where I will have the duty — or shall I say pleasure — of changing her diaper at altitude.

To which a parent should say say hoorah and hallelujah. If I think back, though, to the memorable moments in air travel over the last two years, many occurred in tiny bathrooms like this. I lay Dubsie gently down on the tray, prop her feet against the wall, and move oh so gingerly, trying not to send wipes or the clean diaper or the baby herself tumbling to that dubious floor. Her eyes look trustingly into mine as the aircraft bounces in turbulence.

Back on land, I persist in calling her a baby though the evidence mounts day by day that she no longer is one. The lengthening legs, the hardening abdominals, the constant stream of an ever widening vocabulary.

I call her baby because I can get away with it. “She’ll always be my baby,” parents of grown children are known to say, but the days are shortening when I can say it to Dubsie’s face. Some day soon, emboldened by the little punks at daycare, she’ll come home and declare I’m no baby! On that tragic day this daddy will go underground.


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