My *very* not green vacation

23 04 2012

My husband’s family lives in Louisiana, they are a wonderful bunch that has welcomed me as one more of their own and we miss them a lot. Since it had been about a year and a half since the last time we had been down there we decided to go to visit them for Easter, and get Ignacio to meet his Cajun family!

The first question was: cloth diapers, yes or no? Even though I am a big fan of my cloth diapers and I really cringe to the idea of putting tonnes of disposables in the land fills, I do not like to impose my lifestyle on others. Since we were going to be jumping from relative’s house to relative’s house, and they did not cloth diaper and probably are not too fond of having poopy diapers in their washing machine, we decided to use disposables for the ten days that our vacation would last.

So we got some Seventh Generation diapers, they might be disposable, but they are made with plant fiber and they are at least trying, you know? I had read that they leak in the larger sizes, but our baby is a size 3 and he fits in the middle of the range for that size, we had no problems at all! Since we were really looking forward to traveling light and avoiding check in fees we only put as many diapers as would fit in our already quite full diaper bag, thinking of buying more when we arrived to Louisiana. Seventh Generation were fine, but they made my baby’s urine smell acrid. It really stunk each time he peed to the point that I was constantly checking for poop!

As we arrived to the airport, Alamo made a mistake with our car reservation and they did not have a car sit. They openly lied to us about them “needing to get it from the back and installing it”, but after over an hour went by they admitted to us that they did not have one. As they saw that we were not going to be happy returning costumers, the manager, whom until then had been busy elsewhere, came rapidly to us and offered to do as much possible as he could to fix they big mess (I mean, think about it, a couple with a baby, after traveling for hours, stranded in an airport because they cannot leave in a car without a car sit). My husband and him went to Walmart to buy a car sit (a crappy one, the only one they had) and to make things ‘better’ he gave us a different car. We had asked for a small, compact, sedan… he probably pitied us, this was the South, where people looooove their huge trucks, so if you are asking for a compact family car is probably because you cannot afford a huge SUV and you are to be pitied. So we ended up with an SUV, he wanted to be nice… I really wanted to say no, but my husband advocated for us just taking the car and go to his sister’s house. After all, we had started our day over 12 hours ago, we had a hungry and tired infant with us and we still needed to install the crappy car sit. So we just took the SUV. We received lots of compliments and envious looks for it around the city, while I was dying inside thinking on the gas consumption and the carbon footprint. I kind of promised my husband that our next car was going to be an ethanol/electric hybrid to compensate a bit (and if they don’t exist we’ll build it ourselves!).

See that monster behind us? Yes.... I tell you what, when we go back home, we'll buy a hybrid.

Back to the diapers…. Surprise! We could not find Seventh Generation! So my poor husband, after a long day of flights and rental car problems, got Huggies, from Kimberly-Clark, it felt like buying from Monsanto…. And my baby had to wear Elmo on his bum! :/ Oh…and guess what? When I opened the pack, they had scent! Fake baby scent! That “fake baby” scent that is reminiscent of old times bad baby powder… which brings me to the question… why would you cover the wonderful scent of your baby!? I get it, you don’t want your baby to smell like poop, but that is why you change him as soon as he goes, don’t you want to smell it as soon as possible so your baby is clean? Plus, why would you want to put an extra load of chemicals (perfumes plus stabilizers) against your baby’s butt, that is going to be in touch with them 24 hours a day! And because the scent was so overpowering my baby ended up smelling like fake baby all the time… So I was constantly checking for poop…. (see a constant in my vacation here?)

One night Ignacio fell asleep before I could change him for bedtime. I was relieved though, he was wearing disposables, so there would be no problem, right? They are supposed to take 12 hours of pee. However, by midnight my poor baby was so wet that he was very uncomfortable and would not settle, so we had to wake him up to change him and rediaper him… so much for the beauty of disposables. Because of the scent (I assume) my fears were confirmed, and my poor baby ended up with a bright red bum in no time, but that is OK, we just covered the heck out of it with diaper rash ointment. If there is one advantage of disposables is that you need not to worry about them, you are going to put them in the trash can anyway.

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