1.23.2007

Alligator Wrestling?

Ever wrestle an alligator? Probably not. Ever try to clean the face of a wiggling, squirming, screaming baby? Yes... well that's close enough to alligator wrestling, right? The way they put up so much of a fight, you'd think that they were either in complete agony or fearing for their lives, or both.

A few weeks ago, I was alligator wrestling, I mean, cleaning my sweet Baby Dear's face after lunch. As I wrestled with her to clean the last bits of squash from her hair and the depths of her left ear, a thought occurred to me. We go through this same scenario after each and every meal and she still doesn't understand, but I always remind her, that "The mommy always wins."

I've tried making it a game, using the sneak approach, or making silly faces only a baby can truly appreciate. I've even tried reasonably talking to her about important personal hygiene and about how applesauce smeared in her eyebrow isn't really that flattering. She didn't take any of my advice. Hmmph.

So I went on thinking about how I could make cleaning her little face a less terrifying experience for her and for me. Looking at the paper towel in my hand, I wondered if a washcloth would be more comfortable for her. We would try that approach the next time. Later that night as we finished dinner, I armed myself with a washcloth and prepared to wrestle my 10 month old alligator once again.

I know you're waiting on the edge of your seat to hear how this went. Well.... let's just say I will soon be charging admission to watch me alligator wrestle three times a day, everyday. Oh well.

But... it was not a complete loss. I have decided to keep with the washcloth tactic even though it didn't win any points. What did it do for me? This wonderful, little, yellow baby washcloth has saved me money and has sparked something inside of me.

Why was I wasting paper towels three times a day to clean Baby Dear's face? That amounted to 21 each week, 84 every month and a horrifying 1,008 paper towels a year! Wasteful? Yes. Expensive? Sure. Stupid??? Yea I guess so.

It's funny how you can get used to doing something and not really think about it much. I had been using paper towels every single day and not even considering my impact on the environment and my wallet.

Of course, this led me to start thinking about other things that are wasteful and also costing me money. There are several disposable products that I use pretty often and certainly don't need to. It will take some time, but I am vowing to be more aware of my disposable habits... but that will have to wait. Right now I'm off to wrestling practice!