Musings About Life... After Birth

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ScoreOneforClothDiapers

Posted by Colleen on August 08, 2011

I have a confession to make.

I use disposable diapers. (Go ahead. Gasp. Hater.)

Yeah. I feel pretty guilty, knowing that my most enduring legacy won’t be my children, but instead the products of keeping my childrens’ prolific behinds clean. I know that many moms, like the super-cool-mom-I-think-im-friends-with-but-forget-ive-never-really-met Sherry at Young House Love, have used cloth diapers, and I think this is amazing and admirable.

I swear I thought about doing the same. I really did. I just knew I couldn’t hang. Hosing “solids” off of soiled nappies? Keeping a bucket of bleach around to soak said nappies in? Egads. I have a hard enough time keeping my house sanitary as it is. Add in buckets of marinating fecal matter and I’d be one rough week away from inspiring a bad Lifetime Movie.

In what I can only think is some version of the universe giving me the cosmic finger, two of the disposable diapers I opted for over saving the earth somehow got thrown in the washing machine today. Naturally I didn’t realize this until after the cycle had run all.the.way.through.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of duplicating this particularly messy science experiment, let me tell you what happens when you soak two high absorbency diapers in gallons of hot water and then spin them around at NASA-inspired speeds. What happens is they absorb until their little hearts simply can’t absorb anymore. And then they explode.

The resulting carnage takes the form of a bazillion tiny beads of sticky silicon* yuckiness that cling to wet clothes, skin, and metal appliances. The stuff gets everwhere.

I’m sure there are plenty of moms (Sherry?) who would know how to handle this situation and have it cleaned up in no time. I’m not one of them. But we here at The Momtourage are all about information sharing, so I'm going to share my own mature step-by-step reaction to this sticky situation:

  • Curse loudly. Squeeze in as many PG- and R-rated words as possible before your children, who came flying to investigate the second you started screeching, are within earshot.
  • Slap wildly at your hands until you realize that you are not, in fact, being attacked by crazy spiderwebs THATARESMARTANDHAVESUPERPOWERSANDGOINGTOTAKEOVERTHEPLANET.
  • Blush when you turn to see your concerned children, who apparently think you’re dying.
  • Smile and suggest they help themselves to a cookie, ensuring their immediate vacation of the laundry room.
  • Shake one of the silicone-encrusted shirts. Watch in awe as the shimmery beads rise in the air, creating an almost pretty effect…before landing all over the next load of laundry.
  • Curse again.
  • Consider the possibility of using duct tape to remove said silicone.
  • Realize that there is at least one situation in which duct tape will not be of any help whatsoever.
  • Consider calling Sherry.
  • Consider calling Google.
  • Curse again. Kick the front of washing machine for emphasis.
  • Curse again, this time because you’ve hurt your toe.
  • Remove laundry from washing machine and throw it into a basket.
  • Using paper towels, wipe silicone from the inside of the machine. As it’s invisible and is known to be invincible, wonder if you will be finding little gel beads on your clean clothes for the rest of the machine’s lifespan. Or yours.
  • Stare blankly at semi-clean-but-gel-covered laundry. Stupid laundry.
  • Stick basket on back porch.
  • Channel your inner Scarlet O’Hara and decide to deal with the mess tomorrow.

Ever the optimist, I am very grateful to acknowledge that the diapers were, even before the spin cycle, clean.

My toddler had corn yesterday.

And we all have our limits as to what we can handle.

*I’m sure it’s not really silicone inside the diapers. Or maybe it is. Whatever. But for the sake of this story, let’s just agree it is, kthanks.

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MondayMomMust-Have:MunchkinSnackDispenser

Posted by Chelsea on February 03, 2008

If you’re looking for a cool/freaky/important read, check out Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us”. In it, Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity’s impact on the planet:  he examines what Earth would be like without us. I’m not some hard-core environmentalist (yes, I drive an SUV and use disposable diapers), but I am interested in the topic - enough to want to do what I can, no matter how small, to reduce my own waste and impress Leonardo DiCaprio.

In the book, Weisman’s research (which draws on the expertise of all sorts of legit folks like engineers, atmospheric scientists, zoologists,marine biologists, astrophysicists, paleontologists, etc.) reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York’s subways would start eroding the city’s foundations, and how, as the world’s cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how, surprisingly, cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us (Who knew? I thought they were indestructible…). The one fact that really stood out to me: all of our discared plastic baggies will still remain thousands of years after we’ve gone, creating one heck of a toxic mess. Ewwwww.

Don’t get me wrong - the thought of giving up plastic baggies altogether is a little disconcerting, but I now see a need to to at least attempt to reduce my dependency on them. I’ve been re-using the plastic containers I get from Whole Foods, and wrapping food I want to save for later re-heating in aluminum foil, which is recyclable. My favorite baggie replacement, however, is Munchkin’s Snack Dispenser ($3.38, babycenter.com).
Instead of packing a snack-sized amount of cheerios and raisins in plastic baggies and tossing them in my purse or diaper bag, I now use the refillable Snack Dispenser, which includes four compartments to hold different snacks, and features a flip-top lid that lets you dole them out at will. When Junior depletes your Goldfish supply, just fill it back up again - no need to use baggie after baggie. Brilliant - and Green (or orange, blue, purple, etc. - the Snack Dispenser comes in all sorts of cool colors).

Aren’t you proud, Leo?

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