The 5 Levels of Dirty Diapers & How to Survive Them

When people dream about having babies, they only think about the fun things, like squeezing their cheeks and using them to practice ventriloquism. They don't spend much time focusing on the tough parts of parenting, specifically changing diapers. From what I've heard, this used to be an easy process. But then 9/11 hit and WHAM!, diapers became more dangerous than ever. That's why, with the help of the Homeland Diaper Advisory Board, I've developed the Dirty Diaper Threat Level Alert System.

This system is designed to help you diagnose the potential threat of each type of dirty diaper and advise on how to prepare for (and handle) each situation. No need to thank me yet—thank me after you've survived a Code Red.

The Dirty Diaper Threat Level Alert System: 
LEVEL 1: Code Green. This condition is declared when there is a low risk of bodily fluids escaping the diaper. Federal departments as well as your immediate household should consider taking the following general protective measures:
  1. Keep wipes and spare diapers close.
  2. Make sure changing pad is laid out somewhere away from foot traffic.
  3. Fake cramp in your diaper-changing hand and use sympathy to get mother-in-law to change it for you.
  4. Dispose diaper in any open garbage can or leave it haphazardly on the coffee table until the next time you go into the kitchen to make yourself some bacon.

LEVEL 2: Code Blue. Also known as "A Stinker," this condition is declared when there is no actual evidence of an explosion but there is a general risk of your baby dropping a load based on the terrible smell of her farts. Code Blue farts are toxic and can kill. I've seen a Code Blue take the lives of two doll babies, a Cabbage Patch Kid and one unsuspecting Potato Head. Consider taking the following general protective measures:
  1. Use latex gloves to slowly peek in the diaper to make sure there's nothing actually in there. If there is, you may have to declare a Code Yellow or Orange (see below).
  2. Remove smell by opening windows or cutting off your nose.
  3. Invite mother-in-law over for dinner, but only if she can arrive in next 4 minutes. Hand off baby, run out to pick up pizza. Text her and ask for Code Level before returning. Important Note: Don't forget to use $2-off pizza coupon.

LEVEL 3: Code Yellow. An elevated Code Yellow is declared when there is a significant risk of skid marks in the diaper. This is the type of diaper you offer to change because 1. It's not lethal, 2. It's not messy and 3. It will allow you to use the phrase "I changed the last one" when the big one drops. Consider taking the following general protective measures:
  1. Take off favorite sports jersey.
  2. Put on surgical mask.
  3. Sing Alma Mater fight song to pump you up.
  4. Make sure someone's purse is close and open. Dirty diaper + Open purse = practical joke enjoyed by all.

LEVEL 4: Code Orange. A Code Orange is declared when there is a high risk that the diaper is filled with a bomb but remains contained. Signs of a Code Orange include sweating, grunting, crying and foul odors—and that's just from you. The baby, likely embarrassed that she had to drop one in front of everyone in the living room, will pretend like nothing happened. Consider taking the following general protective measures:
  1. Also pretend like nothing happened.

LEVEL 5: Code Red. This is also known as a "Nuclear Attack." Slimy particles not only escape from the diaper, they leap and ruin anything within a 5-mile radius. Liked that onesie? Too bad, it's got poop on it. Liked that Green Day poster on your wall? Too bad, it's got poop on it. Liked your forehead? Too bad, it's got poop on it. Liked that 62-inch flat screen TV? Too bad … well, actually, you were wise enough to cover it in 11 layers of plastic and 4 rolls of duct tape to protect it during just such an event. Good for you! Consider taking the following general protective measures:
  1. Invest in Hazmat suit.
  2. Pray for a miracle.
  3. Man up and change that diaper, no matter what is clinging to your forehead. 
  4. Take picture and send to your wife while she is at work. She will appreciate it. 
  5. And finally, place all material that's fallen victim to a Code Red in a garbage bag, seal tightly, drive to neighboring state and bury it in the backyard of a Yankees fan. (Another practical joke enjoyed by all.)
The truth is, diapers are gross unless they are your kid's. And while I joke, I've changed every type of diaper imaginable, including a Code Erupting Volcano (details of this are too unfit to print). And I've survived—barely. I hope this chart helps you recognize and diagnose the proper threat level of dirty diapers and allows you to survive them, too.

I also hope you've perfected your ventriloquist skills.

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