...and counting! I'm completely, head-over-heels in love with this little person who engages with the world more and more everyday. It is such a delight to be her momma.
Between potty training J., diapering and rediapering the rapid-fire pee-er who is my younger daughter, and cleaning up after all of this (endless loads of laundry), I feel like my life is primarily dedicated to those things diaper-related. So, of course this tendancy has extended into the realm of my sewing.
After creating some underpants for J., I then turned to C.'s collection of undergarments. C. is, well, not what you'd call a petite baby. Although she was only 6 lbs, 15 oz. at birth, she sprinted into nursing and then into eating solid foods, and is now a lovely, hearty 18 lbs, 1 oz. at 6 months. Consequently, the infant prefolds no longer fit, but our bigger diapers are wearing out and still are needed for J. at night. Also, the infant ones are in really good shape, so I have been trying to adapt them to the new situation.
I first tried sewing two together. Not so good. Too thick for her to be comfortable and difficult to get dry. We figure we'll use these for overnight--she doesn't need to be able to move around much and more layers to soak is good. But, not the solution I was looking for.
So far, this is the best I've done. I sewed a piece of flannel on top. It is nice and soft on her back and snugs in nicely around the waist. The Snappi doesn't grab the flannel as nicely as it does a diaper, but it's good enough for us now. I'm still plotting, though.
So diapers on my mind...
Throughout all of this I've been stewing a bit. Yes, I realize that I'm a bit obsessed with cloth diapers and blogging about my adapting them does take it a bit far, perhaps. But, I am not a weirdo for using them, and, frankly, I'm tired of being made to feel like I am. I do understand that disposables have their uses. We do use them much of the time when we travel. On the days when J. goes to daycare, we don't get much of a choice. I know that lots of my precious time is taken up by laundry, and many people don't have this time or the easy access to a washer and dryer we have. We're lucky, also, to live in a part of the country with abundant water. So, I get it. It's not easy and not practical much of the time for many people.
However, it is so seldom that I encounter people who see using cloth as the preferred choice, even if they do not feel they are in a position to use them. I so often get weird looks and incredulous questioning. Really, though, what is so strange about using cloth to diaper your child? Isn't this what most of the world is doing now and what all of the world did just a few short generations ago? Why does our culture fall so hard for disposable everything?
As I think (and rant) about this, I think about what a challenge it is to shift paradigms. To change the thinking back to reusability and conservation seems like such a herculean task. We have been taught to think that being able to throw something out is of primary importance and that dirt and mess are to be removed from our homes at any cost (that is filling landfills, exposing ourselves and our kids to toxic cleaners, etc.). It can be so frustrating to chip away at these strongly held beliefs and try to change the thinking.
As one who has examined social change as a part of my education, I know that this sort of thing takes time and moves incrementally. But, I get tired of waiting. I wish greater numbers of others saw cloth diapers (and other environmentally conscious choices) as I see them: an act of love for my kids and an investment in their world.
After much fanfare and talk, I finally have made (and taken a photo of) J.'s new underpants!! Actually, the making occurred a couple of weeks ago; taking a picture during daylight hours proved to be a bit trickier! Where does the time go?
I'm pretty pleased with them. I bought and used this pattern, and then went into our old t-shirt stash and to the Salvation Army in search of soft, stretchy t-shirts. They're quite cute, and I was able to add some extra padding to absorb accidents (although I'm still experimenting with this part). They were a bit time-intensive, but they work the way I want them to, they were not made in China (or at least in this incarnation they weren't), and J. has a concrete reminder that her momma is helping her with this transition. Hopefully she won't be horrified when she realizes at age 16 that her mother made her underwear when she was 2. But, I'm hoping to do many more loving and embarrassing things before then, so she'll just have to add this one to the list!
The quilt, by the way, was made by Oma. However, in not too long (before 2010 anyway), I hope to post a picture of the quilt for C. I'm finally almost finished with!
There are so few things that take a short time. In both my home and work worlds, the work is ongoing and the terrain tough a lot of the time.
At home, we've been traveling on the "potty train" for some time now. It's a bit of a rocky journey. J. is so clearly torn between being a more dependant, younger toddler (even a baby) and being a more self-sufficient little girl. She both relishes the independence she's discovering but fights it tooth and nail (at the top of her lungs, many times). She delights in the tasks she is now able to master, but also loves to hear stories of when she was a baby, especially those that involve her having mommy milk.
Mommy milk is the other journey. C. has lately begun to do as her big sister did before her--she's been requesting a snuggly snack pretty much every two hours (at best) all night long. I'm sleep deprived and often cranky. But, I'm stubborn about wanting C. to have breastmilk rather than formula and really attached to the idea of providing nourishment and comfort when my baby communicates that she wants and needs it. But, these nights are long ones! I know that this, too, will pass, as it did with J., and that I will remember the closeness with my girl long after the memories of this sleep deprivation have faded. I know that C., too, is working on the tension between closeness and discovery; I'm pretty sure that the seemingly constant desire to snuggle with Mommy will decrease in intensity when she's feeling a bit more secure in this moving around on her own in the world thing (her rolling is now a well-practiced art and I think crawling is right around the corner!).
So, too, are the tasks at work a part of a longer journey. The hurt that many of my clients have experienced was perpetrated over years; of course, healing and growth will take time. The week to week work in therapy can feel endless and without gains, at times. Like the challenges at home, the work in therapy does not always go smoothly and can be exhausting. The end result (or something like that) is worth it, so worth it, but the road is tough.
This is why I consider EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitation and Reprocessing) to be such a gift lately. I was trained in the treatment method several years ago, now, and have used it here and there in since then. But lately, I've been working it into my practice much more frequently--taking cases that it fits for as a primary treatment approach and working to move other clients into phases of work that fit the method.
I have always enjoyed EMDR for its simplicity and its bottom-line belief in the client as the expert in his/her own healing. But, these aspects are even more important to me now. I don't have to be "on" as much as I do in talk therapy. I can be a much more quiet witness. I'm active and thinking, but my recent low energy level is not a problem.
Even more important, especially in these days of fatigue on the long journeys of parenthood, is the miraculous nature of EMDR's successes. This stuff works. Recently, I had the honor of witnessing several clients find, after only a few sessions of processing, that they were able to visit memories without distress and pain. After only a few sessions! It is just amazing to have a tool that makes people feel better in a relatively short period of time. If only it worked for teething.