Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Word on Diapers

Okay, diapers.

I love them. Not in such a way that I absolutely want Liam to wear them forever. Nooo, no no. But in such a way that they are in the top category of convenience as far as babies pooping goes. 

I use disposables. Cloth did have its appeal as far as low cost went, but then I thought about how crappy our washing machine is. Too bad.

Here was my other "option." And it's the option that most Chinese choose for their babies. Split pants. What are split pants, you might ask? Well, thank you for asking -- they are exactly how they sound. They are pants with a very large slit in the crotch. Large enough to not have to remove said pants while taking a squat. And take those squats they do.

In China, if you're a baby or even just a child, anywhere is a good place to take a squat. And I mean anywhere. It could be a street, or a gutter, or near a tree. One time we were coming up the stairs to the elevator from our apartment's parking garage, and there was a mother and her daughter (probably 3 or 4 years old) at the top of the steps -- little girl was taking a pee right there, and it was making a miniature waterfall down each of the steps. Drew and I just tiptoed around them, trying our very hardest not to step in the pee. Lovely.

The only good thing about these split pants is that the kids are potty trained at an incredibly early age. This is how they do it: when they're really young babies, the moms or dads or grandmas will sit with the baby on their lap with the baby's butt between their legs pointing towards the ground. When the baby makes a pee (or whatever), the adult will whistle. The baby learns that the whistle is associated with bathroom time, so then later when they hear the whistle, they will go on command. Pretty cool. The bad thing is the whole use-the-world-as-your-toilet thing. Plus the baby's you-know-whats are out in the open for everyone and their dog to see. Not very modest.

So, I'm grateful for diapers. Expensive? Yes. But so worth it.