Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Four Generations on Change - Part 1

Guest Post by Donna VanderGriend

1.  Change
I am surprised that in my late sixties, my first response to the word ‘change’ is: diapers.
Changing diapers is probably one of the most repetitive acts carried out by any mother or grandmother…but then, that has changed as well.  This generation’s fathers are becoming more adept at the task of keeping their little ones’ bottoms dry.  Perhaps that’s because diapers have changed into a more efficient commodity.  I remember endless rinsing-out-in-the-toilet-bowl, bleach soaking in the bucket, laundering, hanging on the clothesline, fancy folding for fit, and safety pinning those cotton rectangles.  Then scrubbing the rubber pants separately by hand…that additional anti-leak coverage that went over the diaper.  I suspect we changed baby a dozen times a day and several times a night.  Three dozen diapers at $8.00 per dozen would carry us through to potty training.  Has anyone figured out the budget for a baby-lifetime supply of disposable diapers?
The disposable diaper has morphed a long way as well…from a sagging, soggy eyesore to a cartooned absorbent wonder.  Pins were replaced by tape which was replaced by a stretchy adherent mimicking Velcro.  Diaper changes become necessary about four times a day with the addition of one all-night pull-up.

Yesterday a new mother showed me her favorite wardrobe acquisition for her new baby girl:  a lavender, pink-lined, custom-made washable cloth diaper with snap grippers and an absorbent, disposable insert…for $16.00.  She has a half dozen of them, this generation’s creative solution to the landfill problem.

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