So this past month has brought this Southern girl to a wild realization. . .I am turning into one of those crunchy Earth mothers, and I’m afraid I am one cloth diaper away from buying a goat to replace our lawn mower and changing my name to Sunflower. . .
It all hit me on Sunday when Dustin mentioned planting our garden again next summer. As I agreed with him, this vision popped into my mind of me in the garden with two toddlers around my ankles and their cloth diapers blowing softly on the clothesline behind us, and it hit me. . .who is this Earth mama in my vision, and why didn’t someone help her before it got this far?!
A little background info on how this has all happened. . .I had grand ideas of going just a little green and saving money by using cloth diapers when I was pregnant. The new ones are cute, easy to put on, and only require a little extra laundry, right? I’d get these terrible looks from people when I’d mention it, then they’d smile and say, “Oh, what a wonderful idea!”. It was so clear that everyone thought I was nuts, and to be honest, they were right. I was so overwhelmed with two babies for the first few months that I couldn’t even shower or brush my teeth on a regular basis, much less do “just a simple extra load of laundry” a day. I promised to pull those dang diapers out for at least a week this summer before I sold them to some other poor naive pregnant mama, and I have lasted about five days so far. I have to admit, I love the poo-splosion stopping power of the cloth diapers. (After starting the girls on cereal a few weeks ago, their sweet little breast-milk poopy diapers disappeared and were replaced by this horrific, gravity-defying, outfit-ruining, atomic poo. Don’t be fooled by the cute, smiling babies on the cereal boxes–they fail to show the gagging parents running to the laundry room to grab the Oxy Clean for the third time that day.). I am somehow staying on top of the diaper laundry, too, but the jury is still out on whether or not this is a long term Earth mama thing or just a stubborn phase to prove to myself that I can do cloth diapers if I choose to do so.
Along with these Earth-friendly diapers, I am drying them outside to help with stains and to save the dryer from running 1.5 cycles to get them all dry. I am not sure when I decided to try to save electricity, too. . .kind of like the diapers, this “crunchy” behavior just crept in to my perception of normal somewhere along the way. It even appeared in my gardening vision somehow without me even thinking about it. . .how does that happen?? To make matters worse, I am co-sleeping with my babies and tandem nursing AND baby-wearing. . .SERIOUSLY!! None of this was planned. . .each behavior started independently and out of necessity and has slowly become normal. . .when you put them all together, well, like I said, I’m afraid I’m one cloth diaper away from having a goat, changing my name to Sunflower and making my own reusable toilet paper. . .
I never imagined myself as an Earth mama NOR have I ever had any intentions of becoming so green. . .I am terrified! I think I need to run to McDonald’s in my gas-guzzling SUV for some processed food and then go throw a few mattresses in a landfill to make myself feel more like the self I thought I was. . .it sounds like great therapy! I may even need to order a redwood deck and a Hummer to top it off.
So what now? How do I accept this inner Earth mama that has slowly taken over? The tandem nursing, co-sleeping and baby-wearing are here to stay, the cloth diapers may stick around, and I plan on making my own baby food in a few weeks. Maybe I just need to embrace my new-found “crunchiness” but set some guidelines. . .no goats or chickens no matter how wonderful it sounds to have fresh milk or eggs or chomped-down grass, no extended periods of make-up free or hair-product free days, no sewing my own clothes, no composting, no homemade toilet paper or baby wipes. . .but I can’t make any promises about the name-changing. . .someone yelling “Sunflower” as I turn and wave seems like the icing on the cake of my gardening vision, doesn’t it?