Our baby boy is now over 4-months old. The past couple of months have certainly led to some interesting learning experiences. When changing his diaper this morning, I became aware of how nonchalant I have become about the whole process. This made me draw a parallel between changing diapers and using power tools.
My son has peed on my hands a couple of times during diaper changes. He has also hit my shirt, my arms, my pants, and around his changing area, but but not my face, at least not yet. Why? Because I take proper safety precautions.
Everyone who has raised a boy will tell you that there is an inevitability – you will get peed on. It’s only a question of where, and how often.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been peed on. We keep a washcloth near the changing pad for quick blocking, but I mostly don’t need it.
When changing his diaper, I do a quick check. Right before removing the used diaper, I will always check to see if he’s actively peeing, and then I check for signs of recent urination. Sometimes I’m about to let my guard down, but I fight it off. When this happens, I make an internal bet. I keep him covered for another couple of seconds, check again, and sure enough, he’s peeing. I figured that there’s a 9-in-10 chance that if I let my guard down it’ll be fine. But there’s still that 1-in-10 chance that if I get lazy I’ll get peed on.
There’s about a 2-second gap (or less) between when the old diaper is removed and the fresh diaper moved into place. I control the line of sight so that, if he pees during that time – and he has – the stream is blocked and easily captured by one of the diapers. Rarely do I need to reach for the emergency pee-blocking washcloth.
So here’s the thing. I’m quite comfortable changing my son’s diapers now. So comfortable that I almost let my guard down. So comfortably that I almost get lazy. Almost. There might be 20 diaper changes where he doesn’t pee during the short time he’s exposed. But it just takes one time to get peed in the face.
Woodworking tools, other power tools, and even hand tools are the same way. I mention woodworking tools first because table saws and other saws are among the most dangerous tools with great potential for bodily harm. If you use a certain tool or type of tool 5 times, 10 times, 50 times, 500 times, there’s a tendency to get comfortable with it. The same goes for experience. If you’ve been using the same type of tool for 5, 10, or 20 or more years, you’re probably quite seasoned and comfortable with it.
Experienced woodworkers, professionals, and tool users sometimes let their guard down, which could lead to potential injury. It doesn’t always lead to injury, but it just takes one instance of kickback, one time when you don’t use a push block, one time when you don’t clamp something down, or one time when you don’t wear safety glasses, to get hurt. One time where you don’t treat a tool with the proper respect is all it takes to suffer injury or even death.
It just takes ONE time, one mistake, one lapse in judgement, for something bad to happen.
If I get a little careless or too comfortable when changing my son’s diaper, I run the risk of being peed in the face. If I get a little careless or too comfortable with a table saw to where I skip or ignore safety practices, a lot worse could happen.
Accidents will happen. But following proper safety procedures all of the time can help minimize the risk.
You could wear safety glasses 5,000 times without any incident. Then, that one time you don’t is when you might need them most.
Let your guard down when changing a baby boy, and sooner or later he WILL pee on you, possibly hitting you in the face. Get too comfortable with power tools, or even hand tools, to the point where you might be unsafe, and you’re taking a much bigger chance with very different potential outcomes.
So please, take the time to do a safety audit this week. When using your tools, take a moment to ask yourself the following:
Am I following the proper safety procedures? Is there anything I could or should do to make this safer? Would I let a child use this tool in the manner I am using it?