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Diapers & Coffee

M: “Verity, are you poopy?”

V: “No.”

I start checking her diaper.

V: “Daddy no check diaper.”

M: “What will Daddy find if he checks your diaper?”

V: “…poop.”


I came across this almost-nine-year-old post yesterday, linked to from an innocuous article about CSS color formats. It’s a response to the proposal that a named color be added to the CSS spec as a tribute to the writer’s daughter.

This morning that tab was still open, and I clicked through to the Rebecca category on his blog and started reading through the archive of posts he’s written in the years since. I fell apart almost immediately. I couldn’t help but see the face of my little girl as I read the words of another dad who’d lost his on her sixth birthday.

I can’t begin to imagine what it would feel like if something happened to Verity—the unspeakable pain that Eric and Kathryn Meyer have lived through. It’s the pain foreshadowed by Hamilton and Burr singing “I’ll make the world safe and sound for you” to children they would each lose in their lifetimes (spoilers for American history). I hope Megan and I never have to live through that, but in a world where the unthinkable happens far too often, it’s a specter that’s never far enough away.

When I set up Diapers & Coffee I used a template as a starting point and just left the colors as they were, including whatever shade of purple it used for links on hover. It seemed appropriate—for this blog especially—to update my CSS and make it rebeccapurple.

“Please put your tongue away so I can get to your teeth.”

Bird’s-eye-view of a track layout including 6 forks and an overpass, with Verity sitting in the middle, looking down at a train in her hands.

We just got an expansion set to add to our wooden train tracks collection—not because Verity was feeling a lack of train tracks, but because her dad, the engineer, was running out of layouts to build with the pieces we had.

“Verity, do you need to go potty?”


“Well, you should probably try.”

“I sound like my dad.”

I got curly fries with lunch today. It was nice to get them without having to worry about a toddler wanting my fries and refusing to eat her own food—even if it’s something she’d really like if it weren’t competing with fries. I never used to have to worry about that.

We made grilled cheese and tomato soup the other day. Verity also asked for some frozen berries, and then she asked for some apple juice. Before long she was dipping blackberries in her tomato soup and mixing tomato soup into her apple juice. By the end of the meal it was one big bowl of tomato-apple-blackberry soup.

I was just sitting in Verity’s room, holding her in my arms until she fell asleep and I tucked her into bed. I started thinking about wanting to cherish these moments. I’ve so enjoyed watching her grow, and learn, and interact; and I look forward to seeing her learn to do new things and express herself in new ways. I look forward to all the things we’ll do together—but I want to appreciate these moments now, while I have them: when she still fits in my arms (if barely) and falls asleep on my chest.

Diapers and Coffee

I was making coffee in our upstairs kitchenette for brunch one Saturday. The dryer was running, full of a load of cloth diapers. I had already made a comment about it smelling like diapers in here, and now my wife came back up the stairs and said, “Now it smells like diapers and coffee in here.”

“Diapers and Coffee sounds like the name of a parenting podcast.”

Well, here we are. Not a podcast—at least not yet—but it was too good a name (and was too good a domain) to pass up.