Monday, November 21, 2011
The diaper cycle.
Babies wear diapers. In case you hadn't noticed. And in the beginning, they wear a lot of diapers, on account of all the pooping. When your first baby comes along, you buy very nice cushy diapers for your sweet little angel's delicate hind quarters, but soon enough, you discover that these sweet little biscuits can do some serious damage, and frequently. So, since diapers are pricey and you have realized you are changing baby's diapers far more often than you had thought (like a dozen a day!), you switch to the cheaper brand to compensate for the rate of usage. Besides, the baby poops in it and you throw it away - why spend more than you have to? Gradually, because baby is now eating some solid foods, the pooping slows to a comfortable four to five diapers a day. Much more manageable, both in the finance department and in in the amount of time spend wiping up body fluids side of things. This is great! You can anticipate that baby will need a change in the morning, poop before lunch, change after nap, poop before dinner (because babies always poop before a meal to make room, right?), and a change before bed. An excellent diaper routine, and you can pretty accurately predict how many diapers you need and how often you need to stock up. It's wonderful. Predictability is hard to come by in child rearing, but for a few, all too short months, the diaper situation is nice and easy. And then one day, baby asks to go potty. Well, some kids might. My oldest had to be begged to use the toilet, but we'll run with baby wants to potty, since it helps my story, and in truth, this is how my littlest started her "toilet journey". Anyways, baby wants to go potty. Ok! Here it is, the next milestone, potty training! And baby is so eager! Yes, baby, let's go potty! The tiny toilet comes out, baby's diaper comes off, she sits, she giggles, she chatters with you about sitting on the potty, she is generally cute, especially because she is just tiny and sitting on the toilet. Precious. Baby most likely does not actually make use of the toilet, but that's ok! She sat there! She liked it! Of course, the diaper she had been wearing is a little wet, so it gets tossed and baby gets a fresh diaper. You cheer, you dance, it was a good toilet experience. Then, an hour later, baby wants to use the toilet again. Yes! Potty time! Diaper off, baby sits, baby giggles, no actual pottying is done, baby wants down. The diaper is slightly wet, ever so slightly wet, but you can't put a wet diaper back onto baby, so you get a new one. Over the next few days, as baby proves to be eager enough to want to go potty several times throughout the day, you come to realize that the diaper rotation has been radically thrown off course. You are going through dozens of diapers! It's newborn diaper usage all over again, only this time around, the diapers are barely soiled! Of course you know it is wasteful to throw away a diaper that has mere drops of baby tinkle on it, but when you try to put it back on baby's darling behind, you feel the universe staring at you, judging you, "did you REALLY just put a dirty diaper back on your baby?". You can't do it. And you can't deny baby a trip to the toilet, either. She asks for the third time in an hour, and you really want to say no, because you can tell her diaper might be a little wet. You don't want to have to throw away a diaper with at least one more hour left of good wear time, and you are pretty sure she won't really go on the toilet anyways, but you have to take her or she'll fear the toilet and will never be potty trained! Plus, she cries when you suggest she wait a little while! She knows you are denying her a basic right to toilet! It's irrational! It's annoying! You can't stand yourself! And forget training pants - those cost twice as much as diapers. Underwear? Maybe, but then you'd be doing a lot of floor scrubbing, and sorry, but my whole house is carpeted - it is not time for underwear. And so here you are, stuck in the last and most frustrating turn of the diaper cycle, where the diapers are not being used fully, but are certainly being used up. All you can say is, at least we buy the cheap diapers.