Sunday, June 17, 2012

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How I saved my diapers...and my sanity

Let me begin by saying that back when my (now) cloth diaper mentor told me that she was “obsessed” with cloth diapers, it only solidified my (then) opinion of her being crazy for using cloth. I gave them a try however, and five months in I have discovered the true meaning of being crazy for cloth. Or, if you ask my husband, perhaps just crazy.

It started when I noticed a small greasy looking black smear on the inside of one of my diapers. When I washed it again, the smear spread and soon the inside of that particular diaper looked very dingy. The same thing happened to a different diaper a few days later, and then another. I was truly perplexed. What was happening to my diapers?!?!?

Using my inner Sherlock Holmes, I traced the source of the problem to my diaper sprayer. I discovered that there were small black particles occasionally coming from the sprayer that were getting stuck on the diapers. When they went through the wash, it was creating a greasy smear. Hmmmm…

I told my husband the problem and expected him to immediately jump into action. Sure, he works full time and is also getting his master’s degree. And sure, it happened to be the weekend before his final exams. But these are my diapers we’re talking about!! What could be more important?!?!

So when he failed to immediately address the problem, I took the sprayer (and the toilet) apart myself. I ran water through all of the hoses. I filled buckets full of water and carefully strained it so I could show him the black specks. I stomped around the house and used the following lines: “This is RUINING the diapers! RUINING them!”, “Don’t you care that each of these diapers costs about $20 and now they look awful?”, “For every diaper that gets these smears on them, I will be completely justified in buying a new one” (I thought that one would get him…) and the ever popular, “If it was your computer that was broken, you’d have a repairman here by now!!”

None of this nagging appeared to be getting through to him, so I did the only thing I could do: I called my dad. Who also did not see the enormity of the problem and suggested that I wait until Monday and call the water company.

So that is exactly what I did. And on Monday, when they transferred my call to the county engineer and he asked me to explain the problem, is when I truly began to understand just how ridiculous I was acting. Here’s a script of the conversation:

Me: “There are small black particles coming from the water lines of our toilet. When they get rubbed together they smear.”
County Engineer: “Are you seeing them anywhere else?”
Me: “No, just in the toilet”
CE: (long pause) “How did you notice them?”
Me: “Um, well…we…we cloth diaper our son and we…have this, sprayer…like a little hose that we use to, um, spray the diapers off. And the stuff is getting on the diapers.”
CE: (painfully long pause, whereas I have no doubt he is wondering if I am joking and / or if I am a crazy hippie) “It sounds like there’s a rubber piece that is disintegrating and it’s coming through the hose.”

And eureka! Just like that the problem is solved! Except…my diapers still look dingy.

So maybe I am a little crazy…and maybe I did get a little worked up over some small black spots. And I’d like to say I learned my lesson about not being overly obsessive about the diapers…but I think my husband would say I didn’t. Especially after he recently found me in the laundry room at midnight with a toothbrush, baking soda, and some Dawn happily scrubbing those black marks away…

Kelsey Esber is a first time mom who really does try not to be so uptight about things. Just don’t mess with her diapers!

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