The Seven Stages of Stinky Cloth Diaper Grief

Diaper Day: The holier-than-thouest days of the week

Diaper Days: The holier-than-thouest days of the week

I was working on a recap of our Triduum for this week’s seven quick takes but why settle for something holy and lovely when you can read about poop? I know what the people want.

I enjoy using cloth diapers. Really, I do! You can put your pitying looks away! Sure, I hate that every other day I have the revelation that, dangit, is it Diaper Day again? but we do it for the savings and I’m always amazed at how expensive disposable diapers are when we buy them to go on trips. That moola for two weeks worth of diapers is two trips to Chick-Fil-A, our gourmet date night of choice! Our use of cloth diapers also gets us free crunchy points, which are measured in Wendells, as in “the Moby-wearing mom at the library story hour noticed my baby’s giant diaper butt and it earned me fifty Wendells when I said I’d check out her sister’s Etsy shop where she sells handmade wool pants”. Never mind all the water that we should be shipping off to my home state our (slightly against our lease) apartment washing machine uses and that each of our prefolds has a “Made in Pakistan” tag, surely indicative of totally legit labor practices. Instead, think of all those disposable diapers, sitting idly in landfills, and all those parents without the extra dose of mortification of the flesh spraying a cloth diaper provides. Feeling superior yet? Me too.

Let’s take this one step further and apply some James K.A. Smith cultural liturgy language to changing a diaper! Changing our children’s diapers brings us up close and personal with our fleshly nature. It prevents gnosticism and confronts us with the Incarnation…

Totally kidding. It’s poop. Let’s not baptize it.

For those not in the know, I should point out that we don’t just throw the dirty diapers into the washing machine full of their, um, deposits. The extra step in changing a poopy cloth diaper includes a diaper sprayer (here is one on Amazon, par exemple) hooked up to the toilet to aid in ridding yourself of that unpleasantness. It’s like power washing your driveway but way more disgusting. The worst part is WRINGING OUT THE EXTRA WATER IN THE DIAPER before it goes in its designated bag and festers sits patiently until it is washed. We have been cloth diapering for a year and I still shriek when I squeeze the sewage water into the toilet. So I try to ignore the poopy diaper as long as possible.

Now, duly informed, I give you the Mooney Model of cloth diaper usage, or the seven stages of poopy diaper grief.

1. Denial: “What’s that smell? Are the neighbors making baked Brie again? Oh. Probably just residual from last time, right?”

2. Attempt to impose arbitrary rules on the situation: “Maybe my ‘he who smells it deals with it’ principle will finally catch on. Let me just lure Christopher to Chris’ desk…”

3. Speculation as to the cause: “Should we be feeding him more bananas? Is this the mango’s fault? Why does he enjoy beans so much??”

4. Anger: “Didn’t he just go yesterday? We shouldn’t have fed him so much sweet potato. What were you thinking, Yesterday Julia?”

5. Bargaining: “Chris, if I change this diaper, will you spray it?”

6. Depression: “This is my life now. I am the excrement queen. My crown is made of microfiber inserts and regret.”

7. Acceptance: “Sigh, fine, I’ll change him.”

Motherhood: full of joy.


4 thoughts on “The Seven Stages of Stinky Cloth Diaper Grief

  1. Ha! I love this post! I had a long internal (and external — with the hubby) debate on whether or not I wanted to use cloth diapers. We’re pretty frugal, largely out of necessity, but we ended up deciding to do disposables (for now at least). I’m pretty dedicated to finding sales and coupons though, so we actually manage to keep the costs down pretty well. Seriously though, I can’t wait for the diaper days to be over! 😉

  2. We also did disposables for kid # 1, but I’ve been seriously thinking about switching to cloth it for the next one. I might have to rethink that based on this post! 🙂
    Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with cloth diapers? Anything you wish you’d known?

    • I really would recommend it! Don’t take my post too seriously. 😉 Things to keep in mind: I didn’t start using our cloth diapers until my son was about a month old. Ain’t nobody got time for diaper laundry with a new newborn. I’ve also read about the “grandma-friendly” quotient and it depends on what kind of CDs you decide to go for, but the prefolds we have make it hard for anyone else to change his diaper just because they’re not the most intuitive. You’ll be doing a lot of laundry but it’s easy once you figure out the rhythm. I would also recommend taking your water bill into consideration when you cost out disposables vs. cloth. We don’t pay water so it’s pretty great for us. We were able to borrow diapers in the beginning from a family at our parish which helped us solidify our decision too. Best of luck!!

  3. Pingback: (7QT) Critical thinking, cloth nappies and crisis response | Craic & Banter

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