Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In honor of Earth Day

It must be confessed: we use disposable diapers. When I started on this parenting gig the squick factor in cloth diapering was too strong for me. As you know, the gig itself desensitizes a person to anything squicky, and by now I think that wouldn't be a problem. But we started down the disposable path and I'm not investing in cloth now, not to mention our daycare center wouldn't put up with it. So we're a Pampers family. And therein lies the problem.

The probLEMSSSSSSSSS, I should say. They are manifold and I shall explain a few of them:

The landfills, of course
This is a NIMBY problem but I lead with it because I care. I'm not being dismissive. See, our county is too precious to dispose of our garbage. We don't have a dump; we have a Waste Transfer Station. That means we ship our garbage elsewhere...possibly to you? On behalf of the three noteverstill tushies, I apologize for that methane cloud lingering over your home. That is the lesson of Earth Day, after all: we have but one planet to share, and we all need to look out for each other.

In which, sadly, the point of this is not the chocolate
The characters. Right around the current age of the second child, the first child had a strong-willed streak of Cookie Monster Preference. She wanted the Cookie Monster diapers. You see, the Pampers are festooned with Sesame Street characters. However, they are not distributed in even percentages (I can only assume because the Pampers people are sadists) and most diapers are Ernie or Elmo diapers. Cookie Monster is like the caramel-filled in a box of mixed truffles. There are reliably a few, but not nearly enough to satisfy.

Well, like the drug-resistant bacteria that grow more resistant with each year and natural mutation, leaving our defenses weakened and ineffective, that strong-willed streak of Preference in child #1, circa age 2 became a defiant-willed streak of HELL NO WE WON'T GO in the second child, who is so very two right now. This chick wants her Grover diapers and she only wants her Grover diapers and don't you even show her and Ernie diaper because um, THAT NO MY GROVER I WANT GROVER. (And if you want that to sound accurate in your head, you'll pronounce it Growjjhurrr.) But the Grover diaper is like the peanut-butter-filled trufflle. There are not that many and you will dig and discard, dig and discard, just to find the one you really want.

The third child is not yet old enough to make character requests, but we assume he'll demand Mr. Snuffalupagus, becuase poor Snuffy is not featured on any diapers at all.

In which I was locked out of my house today and was saved (reluctantly) by my four-year-old
Our first floor bathroom door is locked closed. Our bathroom door is locked closed to keep the children out. Our bathroom is locked closed to keep the children out so that L does not play with the toilet. Our bathroom is locked closed so that L does not play with the toilet because this weekend we caught her flushing plastic toys down it, and we think we retrieved them all, but now the toilet is clogged and some weird squicky stuff is floating up in it, and we think that she not only flushed toys but also a diaper.

This is bad under any circumstance and will likely instigate a lovely plumber's visit before the weekend, but if she had been wearing a cloth diaper it would only...clog. Clog alone vs. clog and absorb and expand...let me just say that the squicky floaters are very squicky.

So we locked the bathroom door and closed it while the very un-Earth-Day-friendly gobs of chemicals slowly do their dissolving magic and L is. not. happy. because now where is she supposed to suck toothpaste brush her teeth? So after pounding on the bathroom door and pounding on the bathroom door to no avail, I curried her disfavor by effortlessly opening the door across the hall. That would be the garage door, and I just needed to retrieve the diaper bag from the car. In the time it took me to reach through the open window and grab the bag, L slammed the door closed behind me. And then she locked it. And then she yelled at me that I locked her door, so she locked mine.

So, you realize, then I was locked out of my house. The three children were locked in the house, unsupervised. I yelled at the four-year-old to come unlock the door but she didn't want to leave her coloring and parenting from the garage floor isn't as easy as you might think.

Please heed this cautionary tale. Earth Day is sometime this week. Don't ask me when because I've lost my mind a little, but it's sometime soon. Do something for Mother Nature and your S-bends. Consider cloth diapering. And plant a tree. They clean the air; a few trees will offset some of that methane. You don't want your neighborhood to smell bad, do you? Pin It

1 comment:

LazyBones said...

We used a cloth diaper service, which dropped off clean diapers weekly, and picked up a large, smell-proof zip-bag of dirties at the same time. For exclusively breast fed babies, you don't even have to rinse! Then once he started solid food, we used liners, which could be pulled out of the cloth & flushed, while the diaper went into that giant bag hanging next to the changing table. It was great until our provider ran out of liners, and then we canceled the service temporarily, which eventually turned into permanently, so now we're using disposables. I couldn't stomach washing them myself. I can barely keep up with my regular laundry!