The Amazing Journey of One Diaper


I didn’t start cloth diapering my firstborn until she was 8 months old, and then I started with simple, rather utilitarian diapers. When I became pregnant with my son, I decided to go all out and get “gourmet” diapers. I had them custom made from several WAHM companies around the US (I was lucky to be in the States at the time), and put together a deliciously adorable stash of teeny-weeny bundles of cottony joy that any diaper hyena* would drool over.

But alas, my son grew so fast that in no time he had outgrown most of them. I sold them off via the Trading Post at the MotheringDotCommune and used the money towards buying the next size up. This time, I narrowed it down to one brand that worked particularly well for him and we’ve been with them ever since.

During this recent period of contemplating baby #3 I suddenly remembered my ol’ diaper stash. Sadly, I had no photos of those diapers and I didn’t even save one as a keepsake. I really regretted that deeply. I was talking about it with DH a couple of weeks ago and asked him if he remembered the Dim Sum diaper. It was a hemp, side-snapping fitted diaper that I’d had made with a fabric that showed little dim sum dishes on it. Dim Sum is huge in my family, so it had deep meaning for me. DH and I both spoke fondly of that diaper, and he recently tried (unsuccessfully) to find it online (I had forgotten the brand name) to show to a colleague whose wife is trying to convince him to go cloth with their soon-to-be firstborn.

In a related story: my friend K is due with her third child any day now. She is an MDC mama, but an admitted cloth diaper flunkie. She started both her kids with diaper services, but soon tired of the laundry and resorted to ‘sposies. This time she wants to give it “a real try” and has been asking around about good brands. One of our fellow MDC mamas, J, informed K that she has a stash of diapers sitting around and would like to pass them on. The diapers were given to J by yet another MDC mama who was a beloved member of our knitting group until she up and moved to a 30 acre farm in Indiana. Sadly, J had a miscarriage and has been hanging on to the diapers hoping her infertility issues would be overcome. But she is now ready to part with them as she comes to the final stage of the adoption process (for a toddler who won’t fit in them).

It happened that J had the chance to attend our knitting group last night (she lives quite far out of town) and so she brought the diapers with her. She handed K the two bags, but not before taking out one of the diapers. It was a hemp, side-snapping fitted diaper with a pattern of turtles all over it. It looked familiar to me. The next diaper she pulled out of the bag was a Dim Sum diaper. I couldn’t believe my eyes. When she pulled out a third diaper, dark blue with planets and comets on it, I knew this was no coincidence. “Hey!” I said excitedly, “those are my diapers!”.

Back when I sold my diapers, I didn’t know the woman who eventually moved to Indiana. It’s possible that I sold them directly to her (I’m going to write her soon and ask). I met her right before her baby was born, and I don’t remember her mentioning that she had bought diapers from me. She became a good friend in the short time she was living here, and I was very sad to see her go. Her baby was very high needs; I didn’t see him often, and I never had the chance to see his diapers. I didn’t know she had passed them on to J, and when J asked me if I could pick the diapers up from a mutual friend to pass on to K (before she knew she’d see her at knitting group) I had no idea that these were from my beloved stash.

I never thought I would see my diapers again. K graciously let me take the Dim Sum diaper home with me last night. It is amazing to me that so recently I had thought about that very diaper, and thought it gone forever, and then last night it came back to me. If you are one of those types who believe that the Universe Provides then you might be nodding your head knowingly. I’m not going to go so far as to wonder at the “how”. I’m just so happy to have it back. And it is even more precious to me now, knowing that it has passed through such a wonderful circle of women.

* the term “hyena” is used to refer to cloth diapering afficionados. It all started on MDC’s famed diapering forum when Kendell from Freshies (who used to live in my ‘hood!) commented on the phenomenon of stalking coveted WAHM diaper websites. Experienced diapering mamas would wait for the diapers to be stocked, and no sooner would the item be posted online than it would be bought. Kendall joked that they were like a pack of hyenas, closing in for the kill….and the term stuck. Here is one example of a “Hyena diaper”. You will also see the term “hyena cart” at certain online retail sites. Hyenas originally posed big problems for shopping cart software, which generally didn’t process inventory until the checkout process was completed. Thus hyenas could snatch the diapers right out of your cart! Hyena carts were developed to address the specific issues related to the rush on new diapering stock.

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