Written by: Scott Wels – The Cloth Diaper Whisperer’s Husband and new diapering Dad!
It is not until several months later, when the outcome of the big game, not to mention what you agreed to that night, had faded into the abyss of dim recollect that you are reminded of your agreement. Over dinner your partner reminds you that she clearly remembers, and even recalls the enthusiasm you displayed when asked this important, life changing question….”I think we should—-fill in the blank—–“.
Fellas, the question posed to me when we found out we were pregnant, when my mind was otherwise engaged on something other than diapers was “you want to cloth diaper our baby, don’t you?” To be honest, not even Alex Trebek would consider this statement as being in the form of a question. In fact many scholars would argue that my answer didn’t really count because of this simple technicality? Plus the fact that I was not really paying attention to the question, much less my answer, in my opinion voids the discussion entirely.
WRONG! Take it from me guys, this tactic was a loosing strategy especially when it was related back to me over the course of the remaining months of our pregnancy how I enthusiastically and emphatically answered “Yes…Absolutely!” (no longer my standard answer by the way!).
Although I had no Idea what I was answering, what I committed to, nor how this answer, seemingly insignificant at the time, would for the last weeks of our pregnancy be the fear haunting my nights, like COL Kurtz’ vision of a disoriented snail.
Ultimately, the day arrives…the big day…that day D-Day!. No, not the beautiful, emotion filled day that your cherished child enters the world. I mean about 4 or 5 days later when your partner, exhausted from delivering, breast feeding, no sleep, and running on emotion and sheer adrenalin crashes, and asks if you can do her a solid, and change the baby’s diapers. D-Day has arrived… Diaper Daddy Day!
Still clueless as to your commitment 9.25 months before, you bring your beautiful child to the bassinet, reach where the pile of disposable diapers should be, only to be confronted the reality of a rainbow of Velcro and Snap covered cloth diapers with cute names, “Fuzzi Bunz”, “Happy Heiny’s”, “Rumpsters”. It’s up to you big guy, remove the soiled diaper, and replace it with a fresh clean cloth diaper. Are you up for the mission???
For a moment you consider going to the Army Navy store to buy a gas mask, and a chemical protective suit. The baby cries, and you are brought back to the stark reality that you are about to tackle your biggest fear, head on….and bare handed!
You stare at the open diaper, the screaming bundle of joy, and the stack of clean cloth diapers. Paralyzed with fear, not knowing what to do next, you panic, instinct forces you to accept defeat with honor by defaulting to you’re your fall back position…playing dumb!
In my case I called for help from my wife Kelly. I asked for a quick demonstration on the safe method for securing and removing the M1-A1 cloth baby diaper. Like a drill sergeant from my past, she taught me in the kind of step by step in detail even a 3 year old would understand. She explained how to position the baby over the folded over soiled diaper, cleanse our baby with reusable cloth wipes, and installation of a new diaper. Finally she performed a function check… ready for action! Then it was my turn! Gulp…here goes, with beads of sweat, and shaky hands (I’ve defused bombs with less anxiety!) I gave it a shot. A little shaky, but I got the nod of approval from Kell…Good to GO!
Although I’ll never admit this to the boys, this whole cloth diaper thing is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Not only that it is far more economical as well. The best part, the money we save, and the “points” I earn by being a good dad, and devoted partner may earn me a “pass” next time I want to head to Vegas for a weekend with the boys!
Next time: “You want to put what in my washer!”