We have been playing a game between the two of us called ‘Not my Nappy’. Although neither of us have actually mentioned the game by name or acknowledged its existence, the instructions are fairly simple and consistent all over the world.
Two players are in a room when a sound or smell signals the start of the game. The two players then spend the opening few seconds pretending that nothing has happened until one player makes a move and nominates the other to acknowledge the situation and do something about it. This leads to stage 2 of the game – negotiations. Here the two players bid and counter bid as to why they should not have to deal with the problem before them. Suggestions and pleas of tiredness, cleanliness and turn-taking are all permitted.It is here that female players of the game may wish to use their trump card – the birth. If this is played, there is only ever one outcome. However, once used, the card cannot be used again for a further 24 hours.
Once negotiations are complete stage 3 can begin. Here the nominated player must decide how to approach the sticky (or runny) situation. The nominator can now relax in comfort to become observer and coach, offering advice as to how they would approach it and how they think it should be done. The active player can either choose to follow or ignore this advice for later in the game.
The game now slips into a timed challenge. Once the first button is undone on the baby’s sleepsuit, the clock starts. A steady hand is needed here. Think Buckaroo and Operation. The active player must remove the dirty nappy, clean the area and replace the clothing before anything else occurs. If successful, the nominated player will lift the baby like a trophy to celebrate and refer back to the ignoring of the other player’s advice as being a major factor in their achievement. Play then passes to the other player even if the game starts again just 2 or 3 seconds later.
Yet even the most experienced players can find difficulties in concluding this part of the game. Insufficient materials (missing or wrong sized nappies / lack of wipes etc) heighten the tension of the player and the excitement of the observer and clumsy or nervous moves may lead to the incorrect matching of buttons to their holes. However, should the baby begin to urinate at any point during the changing then there is no way back. Such instances require not only a full clothing change of the baby but, inevitably, the help of the other player. At this point, even if the end result is a clean and changed baby, the nominated player must accept defeat and be prepared for a thorough investigation into what went wrong and a second helping of the original advice.
For extra fun, try playing the game late at night in a dimly-lit room.