No really. Not baby “stuff,” as I have already briefly discussed. I mean poo poo. When I was a kid, we called it caca. Or cuckies. I don’t hear that quite as much these days, or I don’t hear that term quite as often on the west coast. But of course, it’s been ten or fifteen years since I stopped shitting my own pants, and well, times change.
But seriously: Baby shit. I hadn’t thought about it all that much. I know about diapers. I know there are such things as disposable diapers, and there is such a thing as cloth diapers. I knew those things existed, and that was the sum of my expertise. When we decided to start a family, I figured I would someday get better acquainted with baby crap, and the whole matter dropped from my mind.
Now with the twins less than three months away, I am coming to understand that dealing with baby shit is going to be a whole big thing. I’m going to have to get off my ass and really think about this stuff. We’re going to have to develop strategies, philosophies, coping mechanisms, disposal protocols, evacuation schematics, aroma containment, and indeed, after all is said and done, we may need to deal with olfactory PTSD and submit ourselves to aroma therapy. I never quizzed Dave about his thoughts on potpourri, but I now realize we should have thought about all this months ago.
So with twins, I was just thinking we would probably do disposables, though it made my inner greeny hippy environmentalist self die a little. I just couldn’t imagine doing cloth diapers for two. TWO. Two little poopy butts.
Let’s do some math. I’ve never had a baby, so I have to believe experts and others when they tell me we will be changing each kid 10 to 12 times a day. Let’s make it 10 times a day, for the sake of being conservative, and because it’s easier to do math with 10. So, 10 diapers for each kid = 20 diapers a day. That’s 140 diapers a week. This to me, almost doesn’t sound like it’s enough.
Okay. So we moved into a duplex in Portland, and for us, our garbage service is every other week. So by the time the garbage is picked up, it would be 280 dirty diapers, in addition to whatever other household trash we create (which is not much). But still. 280 diapers is a LOT OF BABY SHIT. And pee. Those garbage bins are going to be heavy and stinky.
I don’t feel good about 280 dirty disposable diapers every two weeks. So maybe, let’s think about cloth diapers for a second.
I know nothing about cloth diapers. I guess you wrap the kid in a cloth diaper, then there are diaper covers, and you change them frequently, and you cross your fingers and pray to the unicorns that you don’t create a national emergency or superfund site in your house. Sometimes there are disposable liners, so that when the kids crap themselves, you can just zip off the disposable liners and flush it down the toilet. Okay. Not too bad. I guess. I mean, it sounds fucking awful, but these are the decisions we made, and so we have to live with scraping poo. Let’s just get through this.
So then, you wash the dirty diapers, right? They are going to be soaked with pee, and probably have some poo nuggets in there too. From the little I’ve read, you pre rinse the diapers in the washing machine first. Then you wash them. Then you do another rinse, which I assume is the same as the regular washing cycle. But maybe not. This is poo we are dealing with here, so I don’t know if there are special magical poo rinses we have to do.
Some folks say that your laundry room may eventually smell like pee and ammonia. If that’s the case, you need to do more rinsing. Because basically, you are baking the pee smell into the diapers in the dryer. Awesome.
Again, we are living in a duplex, and we are paying for our own water. City water in Portland is expensive. It seems like it should be free, practically, but there are big pipe projects going on in Portland and the rate payers are financing them. So our water bills are more expensive in Portland than they are in Los Angeles or Las Vegas.
So if we are washing our own diapers, and really putting them through two or three cycles, our water bill may end up being as expensive as a new car.
Okay? If I could, I would go back to being blissfully unaware of all this baby crap. But no, we had to go and procreate, and now we have to be responsible adults and deal with our spawns’ functions. I’m still just a bit skeeved by the idea of poo in the washing machine. It’s poo. In the washing machine. Is it just me, or is that fucking disgusting?
Dave brought up the idea of a diaper service. This is something else I know nothing about. Someone delivers cloth diapers, your family soils the hell out of them, you throw them in a bin, and the service comes and takes them away and gives you fresh ones. This doesn’t sound all that bad. We might do this. It feels more responsible environmentally. We may do disposables overnight. We may do this. But, oh, the research, and the reading, and the internet forums, and the raging parents, and the passionate advice from every possible perspective. I hear babies are more prone to rashes when you use cloth diapers, which sounds awesome.
No one just tells you how to do this. You have to figure it all out. You have to figure out what works for you. Isn’t that the most wishy washy, non-committal, namby pamby bullshit advice you’ve ever heard? It’s complete, utter bullshit.
We can send people to the moon, but we haven’t figured out baby crap.