The Learning Curve

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Look what an exceptional baby we have! He’s crawling at four weeks old! (Okay, just kidding: not our baby.)

But that’s our diaper. (Okay, not literally that one, but we have three that color.)

Funny enough, after researching all those cloth diapers months ago and making that chart and ordering a six-pack of some of them, trying them out, etc, I ended up choosing a completely different kind of diaper. Sometimes no matter how much you think you know what you’re going to like, you don’t know until you try it.

Anyhow, I happened to run across these gDiapers at Babies R Us a few weeks ago. They didn’t have the size I needed, so I had to order them online, but still it was one of those love-at-first-sight, just-felt-right kind of things. I knew this was our diaper.

That doesn’t mean the transition to cloth has been cake. Obviously disposables are easier. Like, a lot easier.

Disposables:

  1. Buy them.
  2. Put them on.
  3. Take them off.
  4. Throw them out.
  5. Repeat from step 1.

Cloth:

  1. Buy them.
  2. Wash them.
  3. Dry them.
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 five more times.
  5. Insert them into diaper cover.
  6. Put them on.
  7. Take them off.
  8. Rinse them off.
  9. Wring them out.
  10. Collect them.
  11. Wash them.
  12. Dry them.
  13. Repeat from step 5.

The only bonus is that you get to skip steps 1–4 all subsequent times with the cloth, whereas with disposables you’re always having to restart at step 1.

But there’s also the learning curve to consider. Take step 5 for example. That step is different for each different kind of cloth diaper. For these gDiapers, you have to have perfectly manicured/moisturized hands, as shown above, to gracefully slide the insert into the liner. And a perfectly calm baby (notice his legs are not thrashing — that’s how you know that’s not my baby waiting for a diaper change).

Seriously, though, there are videos. Like, multiple videos. And you watch those and take a deep breath and tell yourself, “Right. I can do that. No problem.”

Then there are the steps that are simply gross. Like step 8. Because if you go the low-tech route, step 8 = dunking in a toilet. And nobody tells you that as well as being gross it’s actually impossible. Because poop is stubborn stuff. So you try to rub one half of the diaper against the other, and this causes smearing and staining until the whole diaper is orange. Not the cute orange of the outside. A nasty orange on the supposed-to-be-white inside. Awesome.

It turns out there’s this thing called a diaper sprayer. All I can say is, “Bless it. Bless the people who invented it. Bless all their posterity until the end of time.” It sprays off poo so well that I’ve had zero stains since installing the thing. Not to mention the fact that I haven’t had to stick my hands in toilet water any more.

If you’re thinking of cloth diapering, buy it. Don’t ask questions, and don’t think of going without. Just buy it.

Anyhow, this is the point where I tell you what the point is. This isn’t a diapering or mommy blog, after all. It’s a writing blog. And here’s the writing analogy of the day.

As I watched the videos and read the instructions and the reviews and everything else that’s ever been said about gDiapers, I was struck by one particular five-star review who told the one-star reviews that their problem was essentially giving up too soon. They hadn’t been willing to stick it out long enough to learn the ropes.

It’s true of a lot of things, but it’s also true of writing. How many people say they want to write a book? How many people try it and give up, deciding they “can’t”?

I’m back at the point in my revisions of feeling stuck. (I could draw a parallel here back to the diapers, but I won’t.) I open the document each time not really sure what to do with it next. I know what still needs to be fixed, but I don’t know how to do it yet. But, I’ve learned to persevere and make outlines for myself and checklists and etc until I eventually get through the muck. I’ve learned not to give up. And I’ve learned it’s worth it.

Are the cloth diapers worth it? For me, yeah, because I hate step 1 and step 4 of the disposable diapers even more than I hate step 8 with the cloth. But then, I write novels, so you already know I’m a little crazy. 😉

(Oh, and next week — I swear — I’ll write a post that has nothing to do with babies. Cross my heart and hope to die.)

What learning curves have you experienced lately?

Leave a comment!

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6 responses »

  1. Sometimes I lie awake at night and think about how dumb my tweets and comments are.

    I think you’re right about the learning curve. I imagine it as being exponential–when I was learning Photoshop, I felt there was no progress at all, then all of a sudden, something clicked and I was able to learn faster and faster. The same for other software programs too.

    At this point I feel I’m still in the hard learning stage of writing, so I don’t know if it’ll ever be exponential. Wish it were, though.

    Anyways I think it’s awesome you are taking the time and care into cloth diapers–that’s really neat.

    Like

    • Heather, I love your funny comments and tweets! They always make me laugh. But thanks for mentioning that you’re still learning with writing. I tend to associate “published” with “expert” and it’s good to know that you’re not perfect yet just because it means I don’t have to be perfect before submitting to agents and editors, too. 😀

      Like

  2. Great post! I’m glad to know that being stuck is like changing/learning how to do diapers. I just need to keep going and get a really cool mental sprayer to get the junk off in my writing. He he. 🙂

    Like

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