Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Johnson & Johnson....and JOHNSON

Unsent letter found in storage unit in Queens, NY.

September 3, 1953

Johnson and Johnson Corporation

To Whom It May Concern,

I hope you can help me with a problem that is admittedly delicate. I have a 4 month old baby boy. Ten fingers, ten toes, a happy, healthy baby in all respects. On the recommendation of friends, I decided to abandon cloth diapers in favor of your disposable ones, and I must say the convenience of them has been remarkable! Congratulations to your product development team.

In the last two months, however, a challenge has emerged, so to speak, that is making the disposables less and less of a fit for Ronny (I say challenge because, as my husband keeps reminding me, "a problem it most certainly isn't").

To state it bluntly, Ronny was born with a larger than average penis. This is not unusual, our pediatrician told me. But in the last two months, we've noticed that the penis has grown substantially. It's currently three inches long. This is unusual, our pediatrician told me. Not a health issue, mind you. Just, well, unusual. To the matter at hand, though, what this means is that his diapers don't fit properly. In all other respects, he needs a size 2. But when I try to put it on, he cries and covers his groin, and it's clear the diaper is uncomfortably tight. A size 3, however, while it gives him the room he needs up front, is simply too big otherwise, and the seal is not tight enough to contain his urine.

I haven't even mentioned the escalation of the difficulty that occurs when Ronny touches himself (as Dr. Spock says babies are prone to do) and grows to four inches (as they are generally not prone to do). He can remain erect for over an hour, but to put on a size 4 diaper, well, I might as well not put one on at all, for all the good it does.

For the time being I am forced to return to cloth and simply pin it tight where it needs to be tight...and loose where it needs to be loose. But that, as you can imagine, is both arduous (Ronny's an active baby) and time-consuming. Fortunately, we have a neighbor girl who watches Ronny while I'm at work, and she doesn't mind the effort (changing him more than is necessary even). But I could use some help. I realize that your success is built on the ability to mass manufacture, and yet I can't imagine there aren't other mothers out there--colored ones, for example-- in my predicament. Is there any way you could design a diaper with our needs in mind?

Mrs. Arnold Hyatt
Douglaston, Queens, NY
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