Saturday, May 28, 2011


Baby W is a bit of a mystery. He's a great eater, but all the food that he eats leaves his system looking identical to how it went in. How is he getting any nourishment when his dirty diaper is full of entire, whole beans, which incurred no visible damage during their trip through his digestive system? I shovel bean soup in, and then a few hours later I open up his diaper and: yep, bean soup out. I think that after a quick rinse I could probably recycle most of the beans for another trip through his system. Or at least make them into hummus.

Instead of hummus, I have another idea. Have you heard of this fantastically, out-of-this-world expensive coffee that is made from coffee beans that have travelled through the digestive system of a civet or a lemur or such? Apparently the process of digestion alters the beans and makes them especially delicious to people with refined palates, which is defined as "having so much money that they got tired of just setting it aflame so are looking for something to spend it on instead."

Someone's been feeding coffee beans to the baby.
You might be able to see where I am going with this -- Perhaps I should become an entrepreneur and try to market the beans that have passed through Walter as a rare delicacy, one available only to consumers with so much money that they use dollar bills as coffee filters.

But here's a complication: would I be able to market these beans as vegan, given that they've been through the digestive system of an animal? I'm not even sure these beans could technically be called "free range," based on the use of baby gates in our house. And they're definitely not "cruelty-free" beans given how roughly Stella sometimes interacts with Baby W. If she could keep him penned into a veal cage she would. Basically, these special beans would be processed and harvested using the equivalent of traditional, big-agriculture methods. Michael Pollan is not going to approve.

By this time I realize you're thoroughly sorry that you ever clicked on the link to bring you to this post, but I would like to discuss another example of food that is barely changed on its trip through Baby W's system: broccoli. Sometimes even the tiny little florets are still intact on the other side! This is why I'm perplexed that he is somehow actually managing to get bigger. Perhaps he is taking in most of his nourishment from the air, and he's actually a species of bromelaid.

We use cloth diapers at our house, and wash them ourselves. I remember when I was pregnant with Stella and looking into diapering options. I had decided to use cloth diapers, and David scoffed at me, saying he thought I'd revert to using disposables in a few weeks. In fact, cloth diapers were so successful at our house that not only did we use them for all of Stella's babyhood, but now I have managed to foist off the chore of washing them onto David. Now that is a successful diapering system.

I can hear thumping feet and a baby crying upstairs, which means I should probably sign off and go help David. Plus I need to get a head start on dinner. You can come over for dinner if you want. We're having hummus.


  1. Two thoughts come to mind after reading this post. One, you helped me identify the limits of my "coffee snobbery"; no thanks to the ultra-flavorful beans you mentioned. And, you may want to google "article, Indian engineer, human urine as fertilizer". I had the pleasure of CJ reading it aloud to me earlier this week. You might find a nexus with Baby W's diapers.

  2. Wow, I had never before heard of somebody using clothe diapers for baby #2.

  3. Melinda, that sounds like the ultimate 'frugal' fertilizer!