One order of cloth with a side of … dog food?

The unyielding devotion of mothers is both an age-old cliche and a constant truth. What won’t most mothers – and fathers, for that matter – do for their children? When it comes to cloth diapers, this devotions means a whole new generation of parents is choosing to ignore the sideways looks of the unenlightened, retrain their own minds, and make a choice that is both good for their children and their Planet (which in turn will be inherited by their children).

Still, I am always newly impressed when I see a parent stubbornly determined to learn a new way of doing things when the old way might just seem easier. So I was amazed by the mom who came by the diaper lab the other night to look at some diapers for her 5-month-old son. She had been using a popular brand of cloth diapers but had been getting leak after leak after leak with them. She had worked with the company, gone through the arduous process of stripping her diapers multiple times in the wash to remove any soap/product residue that might have caused leaks, and had been through several rounds of online ordering and returning (how annoying is it to repackage and mail an online retail purchase?!) to try various diapers.

So on this recent night, she braved a freezing late-May Seattle rainstorm with her baby and his 3 1/2 year old sister to show up at my door. It was 7:30 p.m., the baby was fussy and the little girl was wild with excitement when she saw our Punkernoodle One – the perfect 3-year-old playmate and dutiful page – and our den full of toys.

But despite the weather, the months of leaks, and the handful her kidlets were, this mom was determined to find the solution to her cloth-diapering dilemma. As she fed her baby and kept one ear cocked to the mysterious crunching coming from the kitchen, we debated fleece vs. suede, cover vs. pockets. We assessed her chunky monkey’s juicy thighs and mulled the potential of hemp. All the while, the little girls-now a verified 2-member cabal-squealed and shrilled and streaked (literally). In the end, the mom settled on a few new options and a plan to come back for more once she found her foolproof solution. They packed up and headed out into the rain, leaving us with a few less diapers, one extra doll (the little girl left her baby) and one less serving of dog food. Yes, that was the crunching sound from the kitchen. I knew I should have offered those girls snacks…

– Natalie

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