#Flatschallenge Day One - Putting the WHY in Yikes!

Well, the day has dawned. I have been looking forward to this event, though last night, the eve of flats fun, I found myself panicked for lack of research, preparation, and for procrastinating! As some know, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.   For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Here is my sweet dye job in progress from a few days ago.

Well, I'm doing this because:

1) I wanted to challenge myself, prove that I can do it. I wanted to shift my lifestyle for at least one week and take a more simplistic route in diapering. It's not like it's science fiction--it's POSSIBLE! Quite the opposite of sci-fi actually, even though to most people cloth diapering AT ALL sounds alien, flats and handwashing were the norm for many of our grand-mamas and great-grand-mamas. In fact, I'm sure I have ancestors that if they were to witness my feeble attempts at this first day, would have been wildly amused. This is a lesson in humility and history. For that reason, I'm into it and I'm going to try hard.

2) I am a cloth diaper advocate. I feel like I should try everything this lifestyle (I don't know what else to call it at the moment, I despise calling it a 'hobby') has to offer. I want to tell my readers that it IS possible. It makes me so sad to think that people REUSE disposable diapers!!! Ish! I think they are gross enough to begin with, but to reuse one? It makes me REALLY thankful for the plentiful stash I have built. I want folks to know you don't need the $45 custom-made posh diaper to keep your kiddo in cloth. You can save so much by cloth diapering to begin with, but going the way of flats is by far the cheapest way I've tried. This challenge is about anyone, anywhere being able to use cloth.

3) I'm an outdoorsman and a camper. We don't always camp where there is water. We just bought a camper for super cheap, so we'll be taking a maiden camping trip in the near future! But, I like to know that even while traveling, I can still keep cloth diapering, and, keep them clean & functional--not having to toss them in the campfire or something (totally kidding folks) just because we are away from washing facilities.

4) It makes me happy to think I'll be reducing my global footprint this week. I don't use the dryer a lot during the summer months, but, it will be great to not use the washer too. And, since it's stuck on HOT wash, it will save on water-heater costs and ultimately green-up our lives.

Here is my first sad attempt (pre-coffee, mind you)

Now for the Expectations...

So, that's WHY I'm doing this. But, as I eluded, I keep thinking YIKES. I don't know if I have enough flats. I was going to sew some sweet t-shirt "daddy" flats, but didn't get my sewing machine up and running. I know I can always still use t-shirts, but I am bummed that I dropped the ball on those flats.

I have: 10 flats (birdseye cotton) purchased at Walmart (about $10). I have 2 jersey cotton flats. I have 3 larger birdseye cotton flats that feel like WAY nicer quality than the Walmart ones. I also have a bamboo flat. So, that's a total of 16. I have 2 Oeko Popo covers that I purchased a few months ago and haven't used yet; 3 woolies, 2 fleece covers, and 1 FLIP that I kept "just in case" when I was getting rid of my covers, back when I was still relatively new to cloth and was CERTAIN I would never use covers.

Not only do I have the YIKES feeling about quantity, I have a little boy with the poops. Again, YIKES.
Although, I do think this will make it more 'real' -- since, inevitably, you will have diarrhea issues while diapering a kiddo. So, I'll be able to speak to that experience.

The last YIKES I have anxiety about is time. This is such a busy time of year -- fire season + planting season. So, for a firefighter/fire dispatcher and a forester, it's busy. But again, this will make it more reaal I think. What if we really had to diaper this way permanently? What if I HAD to have this laundry routine to get the job done? What if my husband had to figure this out? More frightening, what if the GRANDPARENTS had to figure this out? I have reason to believe my son would either be potty-trained VERY early or he would be naked a lot when mom wasn't around!! But, it makes me realize that even though I thought my time was completely leeched from me before, it doesn't compare to what I'm about to do this week.

These are the ideals that I have in my head on DAY ONE of the Challenge. I am excited about how/IF my opinions will change over the course of the week OR if I will find I am a future-forecaster. This is after all, just another Adventure!

Keep updated as we go along! It should be a hoot! It WILL BE a learning experience.


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