The Poop Chronicles or How to Destroy the Environment (One Diaper at a Time)

“[I] am confronted by a red-haired little girl, shrieking on the toilet.  ‘This is my privacy!’”  - The Nanny Diaries 

Tim and I have an on-going argument concerning who has changed the most diapers in their lifetime.  We both have several siblings, although he has only changed the diapers of two of his siblings whereas I have six siblings younger than myself and have changed diapers for at least four of them.  Despite this conclusive evidence he still insists that he has changed the most diapers.  Apparently two of his siblings pooped more than four normal children put together.  From this point in the argument we progress to who has changed the most diapers while babysitting other people’s children, a point which neither of us can ever win because at the time we did not know how important it was to keep count.  Ever-obsessed with winning (I won), neither of us will give in (because clearly, I won), and therefore our argument has continued into the life of our firstborn son.  

Allow me to bring to the table yet another argument (diaperage is such a controversial issue): Disposable or Cloth?  I’m sure you’ve heard the discussion concerning diaper material and all sub-categories pertaining to a greener, safer, healthier, velcro-free, more-organic environment (if that is even possible).  You have, more than likely, met several members of the sect whose favorite word is organic.  This is Tim’s pet peeve.  He repeatedly tells me that “organic is by definition carbon-based compounds so they are using the word incorrectly.”  My mother decided to use cloth diapers in the past and from this experience alone I derive my unyielding opinion that nobody should have to endure them.  Except maybe the women who make other mommies feel bad because they use disposables.

In all fairness, cloth diapers have several benefits.  They are washable, re-usable, recyclable, do not take up to five hundred years to biodegrade, are not polluting our planet, are healthier for our children (what?), and, most importantly, are inexpensive.  They help poor parents (like us) avoid accruing a new monthly bill once the baby is born, like paying the mortgage three times over.  Now, from the perspective of someone who has born witness to both sides of the argument: in all fairness, cloth diapers are not worth it.  They are washable (disgusting), re-usable (disgusting), recyclable (disgusting), do not take up to five hundred years to biodegrade (because you never actually throw them away, you just keep re-washing and re-using them for the rest of your unhappy life), are not polluting our planet (instead they are stinking up our homes), are healthier for the children (what?), and most importantly are inexpensive (if time equals money than you are still spending the equivalent of disposable diapers because all you ever do now is soak and scrub poop off the cloth ones).  If I have yet to convince you then I rest my case.   

This brings to mind yet another issue of debate concerning diapers: Name Brand Versus Cheapies.  During a particularly rough spot in our financial lives, Tim and I succumbed to the alluring Five Dollars for One-Hundred Diapers! “deal” offered at our local Wal-Mart rather than buying our usual Huggies (one million dollars per diaper).  Needless to say, this was a mistake.  The one hundred diapers we returned home with lasted about as long as five name-brand diapers, once again proving the old saying “you get what you pay for” true.  I can’t say I’m sorry for trying, though.  How stupid would I feel if after going in-debt for Huggies I discovered that Parent’s Choice worked just as well (by the way, they don’t).  Believe me, using name-brand diapers is worth being in debt for the rest of your respective lives.  Less leakage equals happier people. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not the super-parent who has never experienced any leakage before, name-brand  diaper or no.  Granted, it happens less and less as we grow more accustomed to diaper usage in general (this might be a lie), but during Isaac’s first several weeks it was quite the regular occurrence.  For some reason I had it in my head that a diaper should last as long as a roll of toilet paper.  I’m happy to say I’ve gotten better at deciphering when the diaper does or does not need changed.  Also, Isaac has gotten better at wearing diapers since his first few weeks.  He always  had this problem with aiming properly, which sends shivers of fear down my spine at the prospect of potty-training him someday (I mean, of course I’ve already started potty-training him).  Someone told me about a woman who used to float a plastic boat in her toilet while potty-training her son, encouraging him to “sink the boat” in order to help his aim.  This advice is not helpful in a diaper.  I have literally spent hours baffling over Isaac’s astounding ability to pee in one spot in the middle of his back without managing to wet anything else, including the inside of his diaper.   

When I was a kid, I swore that after I had my own child I would not take naked photos of him/her to add to the family albums.   Lest you write this off as one of those stupid things people say before they become parents, I have kept my promise save one photo of Isaac in the tub.  Of course, there are always two sides to the story.  I didn’t take naked photos of him.  Instead, I wrote a blog post about his diapers.  Will he love me more or less for it?  Hard to say, really.  In the end, I feel like he deserves it, considering all the diapers I change.  Sometimes it is too much to bear, especially when you realize that you are devoting every waking moment to a child who prefers to poop out the left leg hole of his diaper.  

I must now end this chapter or run the risk of becoming one of those unfortunate parents who talk about nothing but poop.  Please feel free to share your stories, though.


  1. no no no, i still have my ideological ways and they include cloth diapers! with disposable inserts. does that count? oh i have this feeling that so many of my "grand ideas" are going to come crashing down in the face of convenience.

  2. Well you won't be the first to try it - so it must work for some people. . . on the other hand, I've seen you around throw-up so I'm not so sure you'd handle poop much better ;)

  3. I thought about this some more and what exactly is the point of disposable inserts? If you're still buying disposables, it can't be to save money. If the inserts are made out of the same material as diapers then using them isn't helping the environment, either. So I don't really get it.


( hippies always welcome )