Okay, it wasn’t exactly the Mall. But it was a shopping district that contained several Big Box stores, including the Church of the Impulse Purchase, otherwise known as Ikea. God bless the Swedes for introducing us to cheap, stylish furniture but I have never come away from that store spending less than $100. Anyways, the kids were with MIL and I had two hours of child-free errand-hopping freedom ahead of me. My destination was an upscale Baby Boutique in search of a potty seat.
The choice of locale was entirely due to its convenient distance from MIL’s house and my unfamiliarity with anything else in her area. The reason for the purchase? Son is 3.25 years old and we recently flunked potty-learning. That is to say we tried, and failed, to convince His Nibs that doing your business on a potty is more convenient than wearing diapers. And herein lies my confession: we’re currently using disposable diapers. I know, I know, it pains me to even write it out. We moved into this house last September and, in a fit of decluttering, I gave away all my cloth diapers, pail liners – the whole kit ‘n caboodle – to a friend who is adopting. Son had outgrown most of them and I figured with him turning 3 in just a month I would buy one or two packs of ‘sposies and then he’d be done with diapers for good. We are now on Month #5 of using these disgusting, overly-perfumed, non-biodegradable, time capsules of human fecal matter and I am just beside myself with how revolting it feels to dump them in the trash, let alone pay money for the things. I am determined to stop using them even if it means I’m wiping up pee-pee accidents for the rest of my natural life. As of this afternoon, Son will be wearing underpants and I’ll use up the remaining diapers for nighttime (dealing with soaked sheets in the wee hours of the night is not something I’m willing to risk just yet) and emergencies (those places where pee-pee accidents would risk having you dismissed forthwith from the premises…though for the life of me I can’t think of anywhere I go which fits that description).
Anyways, to facilitate our success I went out in search of a potty seat. I realized, after Son decided that wetting his pants was actually preferable to sitting on the toilet, that there was an issue with his seat. It was much too small for him, but the adult seat was too big, leaving him to focus his efforts on balancing precariously over an open bowl rather than the business at hand. My theory was that if I could provide him with a seat that was comfortable and hands-free, he might be willing to give it a go again.
In true testimony to how far I’ve come along the path of Simple Living, I now detest having to buy something new. After a fun and satisfying visit to the thrift store yesterday, it irked me to walk into a haven of hugely expensive, mostly useless, baby gear. Personally, I think all you need for a baby is a good sling and a set of lactating breasts. But I digress. I did consider searching the thrift stores for a potty seat…for about a millisecond. I’m sorry but I draw the line at used toilet gear. So off I went to find a seat that would fit on the toilet and be large enough for my 45 lb Son’s butt. Everyone told me about the Baby Bjorn toilet seat which retails here for $42.99. I was really hoping to find a the same thing for less. Well, I came away with a Primo seat which was $12 cheaper and had a duck face on it to boot. I’m still a bit miffed that I had to blow almost $35 on a toilet seat (with tax and all), but I suppose it will see a fair amount of use. While Daughter hasn’t used any toilet accessories for some time now, she does have to balance herself and I cringe sometimes when I see her fingers gripping the sides of what is rarely a clean surface. And hey, if it helps me win the war against diapers it will pay for itself in a month. Not to mention the immeasurable cost to my sense of personal ethic every time I toss out a wadded-up ball of Elmo-festooned plastic polymers.
The point of this post is that today was a test of how far I’ve come in the battle against the forces of consumerism. In the past, an opportunity to spend some time without the kids invariably ended up with me shopping and spending a fair amount on money on stuff I thought I needed but probably didn’t. This time I hit my destination, swiftly accomplished my goal and, since there was nothing else to do in that particular suburb besides shop (how typical), headed back to MIL’s early to have lunch with her and the children. Shopping has become the utilitarian pursuit it should be, rather than a chance to indulge or reward myself. And when I do hand over that debit card, I do so rather begrudgingly.