Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Of Cloth Diapers and Other Stuff

Almost a month ago I thought it was high time I made a few decisions which were slightly less selfish (just slightly mind you). One of them was to start Squiggles on cloth diapers while she was at home. The others I don't remember at this point in time (okay so maybe I should, but I don't. And your point is?).

Full of this unwavering resolve to protect her tush I marched into a kiddie store. Like the super efficient mom that I am I picked up a packet of 10 cloth diapers with some crazy instructions, 2 packs of 100 nappy liners (yes, that's 200 and yes I went a bit overboard but the nappy liners were on offer and I am nothing if not penny wise, pound foolish).

I came home with this miss-goody-two-shoes grin on my face, feeling quite righteous and rightly so. I was going to change the face of the earth with my environment friendly initiative not to forget the many benefits to Squiggles' tush (I will say tush as many times as I want... tush tush tush tush tush tush...............). I took out one cloth diaper and opened it up, felt the soft cloth (almost held it up to my face but remembered just in time the purpose that it was going to be used for and held it 0.01cm away from my face instead). Hmmm...should I start now or tomorrow? I gazed at the instructions uncomprehendingly. This looked a bit (just a tiny bit) tough. I had just steeled myself to using the little grey cells which were currently on a secondment when I thought 'Damn! I've forgotten to buy the safety pin. There's nothing to hold up the f%$*ing diaper!' Shit.

Never mind. The next time I went to a store I would just pick one up. Really there was no need to think this was a disaster. Silly me.

It was another 2 weeks before I managed to pick them up. Now, you didn't hear it here but maybe it took that long because of a certain person's fear that they wouldn't be able to fold the nappy in the correct way and a little concern about where all that pee and poo would land up once it passed through all the layers of that oh-so-soft cotton. Shhhh...

So this Sunday just gone past, I brought out all the paraphernalia - cotton cloth, nappy liner and safety pin. Hmmm... maybe I should have bought those waterproof undies coz isn't the pee going to leak on to me??? Nah, nothing to worry about. What's a little wee wee for a mom. Another reason to start that Sunday was that she'd poo'd first thing in the morning so I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to land up in a pile of crap anytime soon (usually it's of my own making. Ok that's gross. Stop).

The instruction leaflet is in front of me. There are loads of triangles here with some lines drawn. Hmmm. I open the square piece of cloth and put it on the bed. Squiggles is lying nappyless on her changing station, cooing quite sweetly actually. She has no idea of the bliss in store for her.

The instructions aren't making any sense. God, this is haaaard. I went to a WIMWI (Well-known Institute of Management in Western India, duh) and I can't fold a nappy. How stupid am I? I thought of calling the other alumnus of the school who also happens to reside in this household but then didn't want to lose face so I resorted to the individual who hasn't been to any such fancy school instead. Now, my maid has 2 kids of her own and she certainly hasn't contributed to the profits of P&G yet so she was the best choice (that was very logical wasn't it). Except that it's probably been 15 odd years since she folded a nappy.

So, there she was with me peering over her shoulder hopefully as she tried to fold the nappy. First this way, then that. With me constantly saying "Nah, that can't be right." or "No. No. That looks all wrong". Even though I was certainly not qualified to comment but you see I'm the boss and therefore I can get away with anything.

Finally she turned assertive and insisted it was to be tied in "this" way. By this time I was quite fed up and cursing the workings of an idle mind. I tell her to do as she pleases as long as Squiggles is in a damn cloth nappy by the end of it. So Squiggles is promptly removed from the changing station and plonked on the piece of cloth which has been folded in a weird way. My maid promptly does something and secures all those folds with THE safety pin.

I pull and tug at the diaper and I'm quite uncomfortable. There really is no way that pee is not going to leak all over me. So after several re-tries I give up and figure if she pees, she pees. I've had enough of our bumbling efforts and frankly I couldn't care less. So, I pick up my sack of potatoes and head out of the room. She's a bit hungry so I think let me just feed her and get that out of the way. She grabs my breast as if I haven't fed her for weeks (which could explain why she still isn't putting on any weight). We stay in that position for a while, Squiggles comfortable and I hunched over, very uncomfortable. I drift off into my own world, as you can only while breastfeeding. I'm feeling all warm and cosy. This feeling of benevolence doesn't come to me too often so I decide to bask in it for a while. Except that it's getting a bit too warm for my liking and a little too wet. I look down and spot the tell tale water mark on my pyjamas which is growing bigger even as I stare with an ever widening O. Mother's Instinct, I should've heeded it.

I sort Squiggles out but in anger I refuse to have a shower myself. I'm pretty sure all those mommies in villages don't go running to their fancy bath tubs every time there is an'accident'. This is punishment for DD who got me in to this situation in the first place. Humph.

"Can you f@*^ing read these instructions and tell me how to wrap this goddamn nappy?". And yes I resort to undignified yelling. So??? Quite reluctantly DD picked up the leaflet and stared at it for a while. I am proud to inform you that the other alumnus of the erstwhile WIMWI was similarly baffled. Obviously in this entire episode I was most worried about losing face in front of such an esteemed individual. So you can imagine my relief when I was able to snatch the instructions from his hand and walk off in a huff shaking my head, muttering unintelligbly "useless, useless men".

And oh about the waterproof undies for the not so waterproof nappies. They're still in a store somewhere awaiting my arrival with my hard earned money to waste. No, I haven't given up.


This has become a bloody long post so I will keep the 'other stuff' short.

Just saw a little 3 or maybe 4 year old being dressed atrociously by her mom. She was wearing a chaniya choli for dandiya. She had a pot belly which would put DD's to shame and yet her mom had made her wear a tiny choli (blouse) with her belly bare. It reminded me of all those fat women who can't resist wearing low waist jeans with short tops so that everyone can admire their ugly tyres. I promise you Squiggles I will be considerate and will not embarrass you like this ever. Of course I will embarrass you in other ways.

And now I can't be bothered to continue so bye.


karmickids said...

You brave girl you. I loved cloth diapers. But I also had help, and a maid to do the washing and drying and sanitising.

Fat women with belly baring tops. Boo hoo. You will hate me.

masi poo said...

all I have to say is..only you.

and as per the tummy-bearing bachi... dear GOD, that's true. please don't, and no halter's please. It's cute and all.. but halter? Maybe when she's a bit older... :)

Parul said...

HA HA WIMWI types are so should take a leaf out of the book of us ad-types and just continue with Pampers...and resolve to plant more trees...oh and toilet-train asap too...

Malavika said...

I hope you also made rude comments about people who claim to be engineers.
Pampers rocks...before D was born,we briefly considered cloth nappies for the first month and the grandparents went and bought all sorts of complicated looking bits of cloth. Our only contribution was a pack of nappy liners. Luckily Parul's better half weighed in with verrryy strong words of advice..and we've lived happily ever after.

GettingThereNow said...

Yeah - Pampers rocks!! So says a Network Administrator :D

And did you know those cloth nappies (unused ones, of course) make VERY absorbant dish towels??? Huh?? See, I do use cloth nappies - only not on my baby's bum :P

And again - Pampers ROCKS!!!

BTW - a 100% with you on dressing little girls in short, short cholis (or bikinis for that matter).

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS to Squiggles on turning over!! (Couldn't post a comment on your last post)

Just Like That said...

OMG Squiggles Mom, I missed you! :-D
Tell-tale watermark doesn't believe in sparing WIMWI (ROFL)types and is the eternal equaliser. LOL!
As for the baffled alumnus-whatever made you think he could figure it out where smarty pants you couldn't? LOL Lol

I have used cloth for my baby (why didn't you do this when g'ma was around btw, huh?)and was quite comfortable with it, but yeah, Pampers seriously ROCKS. Too bad its not good for the environs.

Noodlehead said...

rotflmao!!! your blog is funnnnn!!! thanks for visiting my blog. i think you're the only e-mom i know who's baby is younger than bonbon.....(panic not, i wont give you any advice - i'm sure you're eyebrows deep in it anyway!)

squiggles is sooooooo ADORABLE! i know the thing about weight, bonbon only grows longer (or is that taller??) maybe she takes after her dad...hummphh!

i HATE bikinis on kids. which sane person would wanna do that to a child when there is tons and tons of adorable babywear out there?? you mark my words, this very parent will be cribbing in a few years when the lil girl will be wearing a bikini!! shheesssh!

but pot-bellies on kids are kinda cute....they look like lil ganeshas :D

Moppet's Mom said...

LOL! I wish you'd told me when I was over. We used cloth exclusively for Moppet until she was 6 weeks old, and then diapers only for the night and when we took her out.

It's actually much easier when they're not mobile, because YOU have control over where they park their risky butts :-) But we found some great reusable plastic overwraps which helped considerably once she started moving around.

And now you know what I meant when I was talking about inappropriately grown up clothes for little girls - hot pants and sequins? :-D

Sue said...

If you feel like some more gyan, I'll tell you what we do for The Bhablet. He stays dry(ish) and we only change him as often as we would a diaper.

But only if you feel like some more gyan.

And congrats to Sqiggles on her milestone.

Squiggles Mom said...

Karmic Kids - Uh oh... you haven't been reading for long have you? I have a full time maid. Yes, and yet I use Pampers!!! So no I cannot be called brave.
And no I don't hate you but I'm sure you haven't gone around torturing strangers with your belly, if you have one that is. See, friends again :).

Masi Poo - Whats wrong with halters? just because you are one 'hide all my skin' dresser doesn't mean Squiggles shall not wear halters. And yes I can abuse you now. Your birthday is over hahahaha.

Parul - You think I'm going to side with a MICAn over a WIMWIan??? And we have tried toilet training and it worked but then it didn't but that's another story!

Squiggles Mom said...

Mala - The engineer thing only sufaces when something needs to be taken apart so I kinda forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me. I shall use it at the next available opportunity which will be tonight *evil laughter*.

Gettingtherenow - Dish Towels!! I will remember that. For now I haven't given up....yet. But more in a follow up post.

JLT - Awwwww... thanks hon. I hate all this equalising stuff. Not fair! You know I call Squiggles smarty pants :).

Mona said...

whoa, hats off to you for trying!
we did and it didn't work for us.

but if you do give it up, here's a thought. sure disposable diapers take up .01% of landfill space but it's an even tradeoff when you think about the water, detergent and power you use to take care of those (messy!!) cloth nappies!


Squiggles Mom said...

Noodlehead - Welcome! And thank you for the compliments *shy smile*. And I don't mind advice... I'm so bad that I can do with every bit of help! I can see the whole bikini thing panning out :).

Moppet's Mom - OK, OK. You have the last word on the hot pants... I still remember that night *shudders*, I was mentally looking for the receipt all the while you were talking!

Sue - Gyan is very welcome. Feel free :). And thank you!

Mona - Thanks! I can count on you to make me feel better about giving up. I haven't though and a follow up post will arrive shortly.

masi poo said...

oh GOD! no, let her wear halters when she walks then. It looks 'cute and all' but it looks funny otherwise. Seriously. I recently saw my niece-y poo wearing one yesterday....she's walking talking, shaking her body and rocking it... hahaha looked so cute. And it works, because THEN she knows she is cute and can rock it. hahaha (btw: I am in delhi, leaving tomorrow)

masi poo said...

btw: my kashmiri birthday is on the 13th.. so start becoming nice againnnnnnnn.

Sue said...

We fold and pin him into cloth (which has a nappy liner paper inside) and then cover that with a plastic-lined cloth nappy.

The nappy liner makes cleaning up easier and the plastic-lined cloth nappy keeps him dry outside.

Rachel said...

heheh! I spent the initial three months at my folks place so my mother was there...she insisted on using cloth nappies for the baby at home..i remembr the numbers that would go for a wash and then drying and then mother was insistent on the cloth diapers going through the rounds of washing, drying and ironing..

Squiggles Mom said...

Sue - Thanks for the info. How do you keep yourself from getting stuff on you? I seem to be perpetually changing outfits!

Rachel - Lucky girl. I've decided to use cloth diapers once my mom has left! Stupid me.