Monday, March 22, 2010

Baboon Lullaby

Every night at around 8:30 or 9:00, I go to Marieta's house and help her with the final bottle feeding and diapering of the four baby baboons. The two oldest, Coco and Jessie, are a piece of cake. They're used to it, can't wait for their bottle, and tolerate the diapering nicely. So I do those first.

Then come the two newest arrivals, Bobbie and Annie. They're still quite wild and don't like to be held too much. They resist--and I mean RESIST--diapering. Once the diapers are on, they're fine, but the process is quite strenuous, to say the least.

Some basic information--for those of you who don't normally diaper baboons as a part of your daily life: First you must create a hole through the diaper for the tail. (I used to use scissors, but Marieta called me a rookie, so now I bite a hole through the diaper with my teeth, Rambo-style, just like she does.) Then you must thread the tail through the hole, putting the diaper on BACKWARDS because otherwise the baboons will pull them off in record time. The fasteners must be behind them so they can't figure out how to take it off. Got it? Sounds easy, right?

Not so fast, my friend.

I decided this experience must be documented, especially since I don't have children and therefore haven't changed thousands of diapers in my life. Mom, are you watching? I am, I admit proudly, pretty good at baboon diapering.

At least some of the time.

Lately, Marieta and I have had to do Bobbie and Annie together. They scream. They fight. They act like we're tearing their hearts out. Usually one of us holds the arms and legs and the other works the diaper. But tonight, for the sake of art--and by art, I mean my blog--I decided to do it myself and have Marieta film me. Jo and Schalk were there as witnesses (actually, Jo was giving Marieta a pedicure) which turned out to be handy because I needed Schalk at a crucial time. As you'll see.

The first baby boon, Bobbie--who is usually the wildest--went like a breeze. It took only 58 seconds to put the diaper on from start to finish, according to my film. I was thinking World Record, Olympics, Baboon Hall of Fame.

And then came Annie.

Well, she was just a bit harder. But still, if you watch the time, it took less than 2 minutes--with an assist by Schalk. It only seems longer because of the screaming--Annie's, not mine. Not exactly ready for Professional Baboon Wrangling, but definitely in contention for the Amateur league. Don't believe me? Just try it yourself.

And no one got pooped on, peed on, or bitten. That's a winner in my book.

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