I have to tell you, as much as I hated handwashing the diapers last year, I loved the flats and handwashing challenge. I loved using the flats, but most of all I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I finished it and could say “Hey, I did that, and it wasn’t that bad.” All year long I looked forward to doing it again this year. I still had most of our flats (John took a liking to the red ones for kitchen towels) and I even went and picked up a new package of white ones. I had the fold that works best for Mason perfected since flats were my go to diapers during the summer last year for playing in the hose and on diaper laundry day (so that they could just be handwashed the next day so that I didn’t get stuck with a dirty diaper sitting around until the next wash day).
The Saturday before the challenge I was all hyped up and ready to go. I had my new flats (and all of the old ones) prepped and ready to go. I got a brand new non-broke-down drying rack. Took advantage of the last day to use the washer on the diapers to wash EVERY SINGLE DIAPER in the house. I had my camera ready to go to capture cute pictures of Mase in flats, because, seriously, babies and toddlers in just flats make for such a cute nostalgic look. The funny thing is that I’d actually been slightly hesitant to formally sign up for the challenge. Mase is in underwear 90% of the day (or naked) and mainly only in diapers during nap or bedtime or on the rare occasion we leave the house. But I was convinced to go ahead and sign up, so I did, and actually planned to just keep him coverless in the flats during the day instead of in underwear. Saturday night I folded a flat prefold style, just laid it inside his diaper, and put him to bed like that.
That was when failure overtook my house.
I had just gotten into bed when I heard (and smelled) it. Mason was pooping. It sounded like Mason was pooping a lot. Night time poops are now really odd for Mase as he almost always goes during the day around naptime, and usually wakes himself up to go to the potty for it. By the time that he was done I knew immediate changing was going to be needed or we would be in for a mess. I got him up changed him (oh Lord, was that a change, ick… ) and with another diaper with a flat laid inside we went back to bed. That morning we woke up, and he was poopy again. And so was the bed. But. I didn’t give up. I decided to go with flat stuffed pockets for the day (since we would be gone all day, and make a little less mess if he kept up the pooping), stuffed the bed stuff in the wash, and put Mase and I in the shower to clean up and get ready for church.
And so it continued all day. He was miserable and droopy and pooping a TON every few hours. He’s usually a once every 2 days kind of dude. We figured it was teething, or maybe even the onset of an ear infection. But oh no, it was not.
We got home that night and Mason threw up all over the kitchen floor. Then Bella threw up. They were both throwing up and having other stomach issues all night long. The only plus to it all was that at least we finally taught Mason how to puke into the toilet or a pan.
The next morning was a little better. No more throwing up, though they both did still have the other tummy issues. We were still using the flats inside the diapers, however I noticed by lunch that we were about to be out of clean ones. Thankfully I’d been rinsing diapers as we went, so I just needed to find the time to handwash a day’s worth of stomach bug diapers. (*gag*) Each time I’d get ready to start washing, a child would need me. It got to bedtime, I still hadn’t washed the diapers – now making it two days’ worth of stomach bug diapers – and there was only one clean flat left. I figured oh well, I’ll just wash first thing in the morning.
Well, then Zach got sick. Then I got sick. Then I decided that I was totally just throwing those diapers in the washing machine. BUT – I did hang them out to dry. And it was just in time, because then Bella and Mason got sick again. And then Ryan got sick. To wrap it all up John then spent the weekend sick.
I sort of kept up with the challenge. I only used the flats through all of that, even though half way through the first Sunday, for the first time in about 2 years, I felt a very deep desire to go and buy disposables. Which I am happiest that I held out against that. I hand rinsed the diapers as much as I could, and I hung them all out to dry. But I didn’t do handwashing. I hate that I can’t say that I completed it this year. I’m sure this would have been the ultimate test, and probably a time when I could point back and say “Ha! I did it through a stomach bug, you could totally do this!” However it all came down to I was just too tired, and too sick of cleaning puke up to also handwash poopy diapers.