Diapers

Holee Crap! – I am so glad we are done with diapers!!!  The environmental degradation alone is something I don’t even care to think about – piles of plastics, chemicals, shit and pee piling up in dumps across the USA.  (Just thinking now how my mother used to marvel that in her day they solved the problem of diaper waste by tossing the diapers into the incinerator for incineration, out of sight, out of mind… incinerated into air pollution!)

Diaper changing is hard physical work when you don’t have access to a diaper changing table, all that bending over and sitting on the floor, I learned a lot about the arthritic ailments and bad backs of older people during those early childhood years hunched over smelly diapers and lugging around little bundles of joy in the crook of my arm.  We got a bunch of diapers at our baby shower when we rented out a church hall and invited a lot of people.  Then they had another shower for me at the elementary school where I worked and with it being such a big school, and me being one of the few male staff members, and this being my first baby, I got quite a few things, including oodles of diapers.  I thought we’d be set with the diaper packs we had lined against the wall up waiting.  But it seemed like too soon when it was time to buy our own box of diapers, and they are kind of expensive, aren’t they?  The thing is that you have to buy them and the diaper manufacturers know this, they could cook up any price they wanted to… anyhow, they seem kind of expensive to me, at least.  Something else that is especially true in the case of diapers is that you get what you pay for.  If you get the cheaper ones then you better bring some extra ones because they are not going to last as long as the more expensive ones.  And if you don’t want to wake up to a wet diaper then I suggest you buy Pampers for the overnight because the knock offs are not going to make it and I learned that the hard way changing diapers half asleep, dog tired, angry at the world and my kid and myself, because the sun is coming up and I feel like I haven’t slept and the bed is all wet because someone slept on their side and the urine is probably seeping into the mattress for the rest of eternity because the cheap diapers didn’t hold all the pee one does during the night…

By our third child we got with the cloth diaper thing.  It seemed to be too much of a chore when we were overwhelmed with our first child unless we could find a diaper service which a friend had recommended, but the diaper trucks didn’t operate in the Bronx so we didn’t even see how much money it would have cost which probably would have been too much.  I don’t think we even considered taking it to the laundromat and doing it ourselves, I would have been embarrassed by bad looks from the operators of the laundromat for washing out my kid’s feces in their machines.  The cloth diaper business is a dirty one though I do believe it saved me a bunch of money and the aforementioned piles of Polyacrylate gel, ca-ca, cotton, plastic and pee dumped into the crust of the Earth somewhere leaking bacterial debris into someone’s drinking water.  Despite these pluses there are some drawbacks to cloth diapers, number one being extra work and time.  And I definitely wasted a lot of water, not only with the washing, but the rinsing out of the shit and pee beforehand.  I mean there was no way I could have put some of those soiled diapers directly into the washing machine, so I used a pail in the bathtub to rinse them out and then I’d dump the pail of nasty water down the toilet.  What really worked to make cloth diapers viable were disposable liners which do create some waste, but not nearly as much as disposable diapers.  At night we would still use disposable diapers because the cloth diaper only worked for about four hours, tops.  And travelling as well we just went ahead and used disposable diapers.  And now we will never go back to diapers, and as nostalgic as I am I doubt I will ever miss changing a diaper, that is one aspect of their childhood that I couldn’t be happier to leave behind.

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