Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The New Aged Woman

I think I'm caught in between.

On Sunday, I had entered into two debates of my own, with two women of two entirely different generations.

The motion for the first was This house believes that cloth nappies are far superior to commercial diapers.

I was on the side of the opposition. My honourable opponent's substantive was two tiered.

She defined nappies as rectangular cotton pieces of cloth that were held together by a big safety pin with a pink rabbit at the top of it.

Diapers were defined as expensive plastic underwear looking things that were costly and could be found in supermarkets under the brand names of Pampers, OkMAMA! And Huggies.

Her first substantive was a benefit argument- in which the baby would be happier and rash free in cloth nappies.

Her second substantive was on the more practical aspect of the issue where cloth nappies cost less than diapers for the sheer reason that you could reuse them.

As opposition, the onus was on me to take down the case.
My first contention was that while it could be true that the baby would be rash free, it was unlikely due to the non-absorbent nature of cloth nappies. Further more, the non-absorbent nature of cloth nappies would cause the mattress and the sheets to be soiled as well. This would not do well for the baby, seeing that it would be uncomfortable and probably itching from potential rash.

My second line of contention lay in the case that nappies were cheaper than diapers. Yes, the opposition does agree that a bag of a hundred nappies cost less than a 48 pack of diapers. But think of the great amount of washing that is necessary and the water used. Water has once again gone up in price, as has electricity used to run the gigantous tumble dryer needed to dry the millions of nappies the baby will go through in a day.

The Point of Information here was that all the nappies could be piled up and then washed in one go and could be dried, naturally, in the sun. My defence was, imagine the smell! And to soak it till it was ready to be washed? A pail of water that slowly becomes a swill of excretion and urine, sitting in the utility area? I think not. And to dry all those pieces of cloth? Who has the space, in those tiny units they've stuffed us into?

The opposition's case is that while diapers are expensive, they save time and hassle. With a new born crying the house down, who has time to wash, hang/dry them and then fold them, while breast feeding, battling with mothers who will insist on forcing traditions like not bathing for a month (!), washing your hair for the same amount of time (!!), eating pig trotters (yuck!) braised like forever in vinegar (double yuck!!)?

And, having a baby on expensive diapers will be further incentive to toilet train them as early as possible so as to wean them off the non-biodegradable saviours of mothers' lives diapers.

Furthermore, after having squeezed something the size of a melon out an opening the size of a lemon (unless there was surgical intervention- to which the proposition is also against but will be left to a later debate, time and place yet to be arranged), the name of the game should be anything to keep the mother happy. Like it or not, post partum depression does occur and to have to deal with soiled sheets, clothes (baby's, mother's, father's, grandparents', aunts and uncles and possibly maid's), furniture might just exacerbate the situation. Better to have a nice smelling house with clean furniture and a baby that is not in the danger of leaving a big wet spot on you when you just want to get a whiff of the baby smell from the top of its head.

So, in the spirit of trying to keep the mother sane and actually willing to go through the entire rigmarole all over again, this side of the house champions the use of diapers and thinks them far superior to cloth nappies.

The jury is still out on this one and I suspect the debate has been called to recess until the practical implementation of nappies or diapers is called for, sometime in the distant future in a galaxy far far away.

The second debate I somehow got myself into was

This house does not believe in taking vitamins

This time, I found myself on the side of the proposition.

After defining vitamins as little capsules of supplemented supposed goodness that make your pee turn bright yellow, I launched into my tirade of why.

If an individual ate healthily and had more than the required servings of fruit and vegetable and even calcium, there is no need for the diet to be supplemented since all the required nutrients are present.

And the second point was that the popularity and widespread availabilty and variety of such vitamins is a relatively new market created to cash in on the increasingly gullible educated elite who believed everything doctors, researchers and well, basically anyone in a white coat expounded. My question is, were there not healthy cancer free people who lived before the creation of GNC and how did they do that?

If we believed that vitamins were the only way to go, are we really just going out there to say that the poor, who cannot afford the extremely pricey mysterious bottles of magic pills, should just get sick and die? It cannot be that we were manufactured with the premium version of" Fortify with vitamins for a longer life" or the discount version, "Vitamin option not included, shorter lifespan expected" - but buy 9 and get 1 free!

The opposition saw it fit to not pursue the argument and conceded the debate, not because she was convinced by it but more to preserve some sort of peace. I suspect also she is just biding her time and one day, I'll find a very expensive pack of vitamins in my bag. Well, then I'll look forward to the entertainment of bright yellow pee.

So, two arguments, one fought in an attempt to go with the times and embrace commercialism scoffing the traditional and more economical way of doing things. The other, sticking stubbornly to the belief that two papayas, a cup of yoghurt, fish soup and a big plate of vegetables and ample sunshine is sufficient as daily bread instead of buying into Lingzhi, Gingko, Vitamin A,B1 to 12, C, D, E, F, potasium, calcium, iron and folic acid is required over and above my daily diet and once again, I'm not even pregnant!

I did feel bad though, arguing so much with people older than I am and sticking to my views. Some call it standing firm but I think it's been agreed, my middle name is Stubborn.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:18

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