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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flats Challenge - Day 3 - Almost Caving In

[This is a part of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge Series. To read more of my posts on this, see a list here. To see the Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats and Handwashing Challenge series, go here.]

Today was it, do or die day. The true test of me taking this challenge. Even though I wrung out flats for an hour last night, they were still wet this morning. I put the diapers in front of a fan for five hours and they got a little better, but not much. Kids were put in nearly dry diapers all day.

And the day quickly got worse. The oldest turned into McGuyver and suddenly mastered child safety locks (oh boy), she found her plate of food that I hadn’t put away yet (was feeding the little one) and she threw the plate of stuffed bell peppers ALL over the floor, she took my water that was next to me (I went to change little guy’s diaper for the umpteenth time) and spilled it everywhere and my box of pita chips was emptied on the floor. After returning to the room from changing ANOTHER diaper, she was RUNNING on the couch. Although I spent the day cuddling with both, reading books and singing, tickling and giggling it was matched by timeout after time out.

Finally, at 3pm, both kids went down for a much-needed nap. BUT when little guy awoke, I had absolutely NO diapers ready. I grabbed my prefold and went to change him. In my head I thought, “Well, a lot of people are doing this challenge for ONE kid. I guess that is what I will do” and “No one would ever know if I used this prefold just once.” But this thinking is not me. I really try to be honest and I couldn’t look at you guys in the electronic eyes if I went against this challenge. What do Moms do who have to be in this position?

So, I lay a towel on the floor and gave my little guy some “free time.” I even saw a little golden arch too, so that sheet will get washed! I washed another batch of diapers and this time I stepped on them in the bathtub for a while right before wringing them out. I found that shortened wringing out time. I also dug up another receiving blanket. I love this one and would rather not use it, but I would rather do that than cave in.

My batch of diapers is out on the patio to dry (so glad the rain cleared up!!!). They are hanging from my patio swing.

My covers, holding hands:

My GroVia got left out of the huddle. Don’t fly away!!!!

With crying babies and homework untouched and diapers to be washed, I have been thinking ‘Why am I doing this?’ over and over again. I loved the post at Dirty Diaper Laundry on why she is doing it and it is inspiration for me. I also love my readers, who have coached me throughout the day on what to do. “Use a fan” “Squeeze it between cloth!” and “Hang in there, Tara!” I am so grateful for this support.

I'll be honest. I didn't just want to give up on the challenge, I wanted to give up on the site altogether. An illness in the family has made me reassess my priorities. This site takes a lot of work and I never really know if I am helping people. It took the support of my mother, husband, and Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry to encourage me to stick with doing this site, which I love. You may see less of me, but I am here to help!

Why am I doing this? Will people who can’t afford diapering really read this? WHY.AM.I.DOING.THIS? I am doing this not to convince someone to cloth diaper. I thought that was why I was doing it, but I am not. I am doing this to endure all of the troubles of diapers not drying in time, babies crying when diapers need to be washed, wringing and wringing so I can learn what to troubleshoot so someone else has it a little bit easier. I think of people stretched for time and money and I think they need a little break. So hopefully the things I learn this week will save them from dealing with stress.

Oprah quote from today: “Use your life to serve the world.” I am bad at service. I feel like between school and kids I have no time (lame excuse, I know). But maybe this project is my chance to help someone. I hope so.

On the note of service, I go to say bye to my amazing brother in law tonight who is leaving for Afghanistan. I wrote him a “Thank You for serving our country” card. I thought the clothespin on this card was fitting for this week!

Day 3 – Lessons
Step on diapers to dry
Ask for advice
Enjoy your kids, no matter how many diapers are damp

For those doing this challenge, why are you doing it? For those not, what do you do to serve others (don’t say “nothing,” we all do something!)?



  1. Kudos to you for sticking with it!! This challenge does not sound easy. I don't think I do anything huge to serve others, but I try to do little things, like holding the door for the older people in our building.

  2. Don't give up! I love reading your posts on FB and even though I am not participating in the challenge I am learning a lot about flats and am planning on trying them as soon as I can afford to by some. But, i will not be hand washing and drying them. I try to live a pretty green lifestyle but I need my washer and dryer lol (and bleach will always be my friend).


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