When I first invested in cloth diapers almost six years ago there were no was no Facebook Live where brand owners now often unveil new prints, with a free giveaway if you comment and share! There weren’t even Facebook groups really, much less groups for individual brands or stores with thousands of members. I heard of a store through word of mouth, looked at their stock and sales, jumped in, and now here we are many, many, many carts later.
We began using cloth diapers to save money and for environmental concerns. Then came the cuteness in the mail which became even more cuteness on the bum of baby the first. Somewhere in midnight feedings I joined a few groups, met a few mamas, and found a supportive group of (mostly) mamas in the isolation of my dark living room. Who knew talking about poop catchers could turn into sharing your life with others in such meaningful ways?
And that is how diapers became so much more. They are where my sweet hubby bonds with the babes as I often cover feeding time. I treasure the memories of all the sweet giggles I heard down the hall: songs about little toes, talk of big dreams and favorite things. I heard monkey sounds and giggles, the naming of colors and head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Diapers are origami-wrapped up in love in this house.
Many nights I sat with a basket of cloth diapers and glass of wine or an old Netflix rerun, stuffing diapers and folding flats. The mindless task brought order to our sometimes-chaotic days. The monotony of fold, fold, flip, fold brought peace and a comfort in the small things of life. But the folding will soon end. We will not have more children. We’re entering the big kid world of things, school and group activities, peers and the older children’s section of the stores.
So when I come across this old Rumparooz Kangarooz print I pause, just as I have the last ten times I’ve stuffed it. This isn’t the first time I’ve been slow to let a diaper go. There is something about this one though. The print is so sweet, and it has lasted all these six years of diapering. Yes, the aplix is starting to lose some of its stick; the elastic has relaxed. I can tell the TPU is pretty worn though still waterproof enough. These are easily fixable or forgivable since the diaper is six years old with six years of wear.
But that’s just it—six years. All three babes have slept so sweetly in this diaper, this diaper that now has marker on the bum that won’t come out. Don’t even ask. I can only guess this occurred during toddler number two’s affinity-for-wall-coloring stage. All three babies were tickled and loved in this diaper. All three babies brought me concerns and uncertainties that I shared with other mamas in the middle of the night in those cloth diaper groups. I needed to unwind with a mindless task after days with all three babies, hence the glass of wine and old Friends rerun while I stuffed…this diaper.
Who I was one diaper ago—the me of six years ago—is still here but mutated somehow. The two masters degrees and career ambitions I set aside so long ago are now again on the horizon as my children grow and I reclaim little bits of myself, or assimilate them into my life as a mom too. Letting go of a diaper means also moving forward into a new season of life, away from first steps and first word milestones to all the things that come next.
Saying goodbye to messy poop and remembering to put the diaper laundry on the line is easy. I will not miss spraying diapers or troubleshooting the fit on my first newborn, changing another set of wet sheets, until I got the hang of diaper fit. I really could—should?—let go of this cute ‘lil joey-covered diaper. We don’t need it. But I stuff it again, use it again. Turns out this little diaper is a big deal.
Lynette is a mom of three children from one year to age five. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.
Tags: infant, toddler, preschooler, cloth diapers