THE IDLE AMERICAN: Diapers and other changes

Published 6:40 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury


Diapers haven’t been discussed often at our house for several decades. In fact, even when they were budgeted items, not much was said about them. Actually, most young parents in the 1970s opted for fabric diapers. Most of our discussions centered on whether we could afford a home diaper delivery service for successive months.

To avoid misunderstanding, I should explain that such services meant that fresh diapers would be delivered as scheduled several times monthly, with soiled ones taken away.

This was a “tidy” approach that went the way of baby scales after infant number one. Firstborn are treated differently, of course. We didn’t weigh babies number two and three daily, deciding that weights recorded during visits to doctors’ offices would suffice. Yep, it takes just one baby to reduce parents from “up tight” to “down loose.”

Routines for night-time disposables, however, never changed. Each of our three daughters got night-time Pampers, the brand name we keenly remember. Such application likewise was common when we referred to all soft drinks as “Cokes,” much to the delight of Coca-Cola©, of course.

We’ve reminisced many times about having purchased night-time diapers for 99 consecutive months, each child needing such attention for some 33 months.

All these memories came to the fore the other day upon learning that Kimberly-Clark–the giant manufacturer of disposable diapers–has announced across-the-board price hikes due to skyrocketing cost of pulp. And this announcement is neither “fake news” nor “pulp fiction.”

My Uncle Mort, 106, asked if I understood differing emotional responses concerning disposable diapers at “both ends” of life. (Pun intended.)

“Take Pampers, Luvs and Huggies,” he said. “After moms put Pampers on their infants, they pick ‘em up for pampering,” he explained. “After new Huggies, babies are picked up and hugged, and following fresh Luvs, they are smothered in love.”

Mort claimed that changes of Depends don’t typically affect emotions. “I guess it might depend on who is doing the changing,” he opined. Then he rambled off into mutterings about “once an adult, twice a child.”

Disposable diaper price hikes aren’t the only changes. Far from it. Mort said today’s “head-spinners” are too numerous to list.

“Who would’ve thought there’d be a chance to see a football game and a wrestling match at the same stadium?” my uncle asked.

Sure enough, when the University of North Texas Eagles take on the Southern Methodist University Mustangs in their season opener at Denton’s Apogee Stadium, it will be part of an unlikely “double feature.” Following the 6:30 p.m. football game on September 1, there’ll be a pro wrestling match.

World Class Revolution is sponsoring the wrestling event in a ring that will be erected immediately after the football game. The legendary Von Erich name will be tossed about to promote the event which will feature three grandchildren of the late Fritz Von Erich, a renowned pro wrestler.

Wrestling will be Ross and Marshall Von Erich, sons of Kevin and Pam Von Erich, as well as their niece, Lacey. Kevin is a UNT alumnus, and his late father attended SMU.

One admission ticket is good for both events. Fans whose focus is football are free to leave while they’re setting up the ring, and wrestling aficionados may choose to arrive late. The event is believed to be a “first;” it also could be a “last.”

In the grocery world, just as we’re getting used to having groceries delivered in traditional manner, some stores are introducing delivery by driverless vehicles. Only months earlier, many grocers began offering curbside pick-up for pre-orders. There’s been no indication if drones will be in the mix. Maybe Amazon brass hasn’t decided yet.

Finally, report cards are now going in two directions. Texas is issuing A-F grades for its public schools.

Next thing we know, if Mary wants the company of her lamb on the way to school, she’ll have to drag him.


Dr. Newbury is a former educator who “commits speeches” round about. Comments/inquiries to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: Twitter: @donnewbury. Facebook: don newbury.