The END of the flats and handwashing challenge.
Thursday evening, I rinsed, rinsed, washed, rinsed, and rinsed. All with my hands. I hung them in the bathroom, using hangers, because we were (once again!) under a tornado warning, plus it was dark outside. I left the fan on for about an hour, but turned it off before we went to bed. Amazingly, all but a few of the thicker flannels I had been using were dry by morning!
Hence my conclusion #1 I may not enjoy using flats all day every day, but I do not mind the handwashing. There's something cathartic about it, with a dose of satisfying mild compulsivity. Yes, even poop diapers.
It was fortuitous that the diapers dried so well overnight, because Friday morning I had to put my hind end into proverbial gear to pack and get the boys out of here by 9:15. We hit the library first to return an Elmo DVD and get some good toddler CD's for the drive, then wound and wove our way through the Catawba Valley to Vinton for E.R.'s funeral. I changed a flat at the funeral home - piece o'cake seeing as it was the first time I'd had to do any changing in a real public place. After a nice, respectful service, during which I felt the consequences of rarely taking the boys to church, at not least without foisting them upon the nursery workers, we headed down to Justin's parents for the rest of the weekend.
Conclusion #2 - Sometimes our convenient way of life is not possible, and camp-style washers come in handy.
Needless to say, power was out from Thursday night-Saturday evening. Even though my father in law is prepared, in his near-hoarder way, for many situations, and thankfully had a generator to power lights and fans, we had to handwash everything and take cold showers. Which is where having my camp-style washer along was incredibly providential.
Conclusion Final: Cloth diapering using flats and washing by hand is definitely possible, but the mother would have to be dedicated.
Not really prepared for a sociological discussion here, but let's face the fact that many underprivileged families are not exactly itching for the excitement of squeezing poopy water out of diapers. We have an obesity epidemic in our country, especially among the low-income folk, and it has a lot to do with convenience and under-education. I won't say the l-zy word, because I do know that's not always true. I think it is a valid option, but I don't particularly see the welfare moms around here, who refuse to breastfeed due to social conditioning, getting anywhere near "crunchy" enough to cloth diaper. I genuinely hope that this can be changed!