Or: Why the Government-sponsored Plastic Reduction and Eradication (PRE) Program Sucked
Or: Why I Can’t Possibly Buy Another Elmo Potty and Have Another Baby
We’re taking a break from Tales of My Traveling Past this week so that I can bring you Tales of My Obnoxious and Insufferably Principled Past. The Lonely Blogosphere and our expert guides are still Traveling the Blogosphere at All Mediocre. Stop by and meet the Cakerwakers.
Remember back to a week or so ago, before I briefly went very serious on you? Back to my great potty training adventures and the Elmo potty wars? The awesome Michelle from Honest and Truly made the extremely sensible suggestion that I purchase one or possibly even two more Elmo potties. One for each of my children. That way Ess could pee when she had to go, Gee could sit on his potty until his ass grew into the seat like that poor woman in Kansas and Cue could push his potty around the room as a bizarre urinary walker.
I went to Shopco twice (twice!) to buy another Elmo potty or two and I absolutely could not do it. Two reasons. First, Elmo potties are made of plastic. Second, HSSH and I think we may possibly, maybe, (not right this minute) want another baby.
Stick with me there’s sick logic here somewhere.
In college, I was a card-carrying member of the Zero Population Growth organization. They advocate having only two kids – called the replacement number. This seemed reasonable before I had kids. My major was environmental science. I read a lot about how humans are exceeding the earth’s capacity to feed and water us and we need to do something about that.
Years later, when I was pregnant with Gee and HSSH and I were in the no man’s land between globe-hopping, childless, care-free dog lovers and tied down, worried parents of a newborn, we made an anti-plastic pact. It was the result of an obnoxious and ignorant conversation that involved a lot of snarking about how much plastic our already-reproduced friends had and how we would NEVER ever own that much plastic. Never. Ever. We are both signatories to the great Anti-plastic Pact of 2005.
Stop laughing. No really. Stop.
Shortly after that our first child and two new plastic-loving, over-reproducing hypocrites, uh I mean parents, were born. It turns out that I adore both babies and plastic, at least when the babies are my own and the plastic makes their care easier for me.
Back when I roundly criticized my plastic-owning friends behind their backs, I was ignorant to some key plastic facts. Babies exude plastic from their pores, which then melds into baby appendages like booster chairs and activity centers and Bumbo seats. Like the black gunk on Spiderman only more pervasive. Also, plastic reproduces like rabbits. It’s sneaky. Little plastic cars breed under the couch at night. Plastic grocery store food spawns little plastic fake foodlets in the basement while we’re at the park.
Caught in the act.
Plastic was taking over our house and strangling all other forms of life. We knew we had to take drastic action. We decided to participate in a top-secret government pilot program for plastic reduction and eradication (PRE). They used money earmarked in the Ridiculous Experiments and Laughable Waste of Tax Funds (REAL – WTF) bill to create an experimental plastic eating DNA sequence that could be inserted into the human genome. The premise of the experiment was to create plastic eating babies (PRE-BABIES). We allowed them to implant this sequence into our third child while in utero. This took place in an underground hangar in a town that doesn’t exist in Arizona.
The PRE-BABY is on the left. Notice the inefficiency of his technique.
The PRE-BABY program was a disastrous failure and a huge embarrassment for the government, which hardly ever happens. Unfortunately, in a design flaw similar to the ethanol program, the PRE-BABY requires more plastic to maintain than it eats. The program is now defunct and it’s top scientists are in jail for brain-washing Matt Damon. Meanwhile, the plastic just keeps multiplying. It appears that once you’ve gone baby, returning to PRE-BABY plastic status is close to impossible. It’s never been achieved in a controlled scientific environment.
The week of the Elmo potty wars, I bought a NY Times in a vain attempt to be informed about something besides Elmo potties. The NY Times Magazine had a feature about The Garbage Patch, a Texas-sized flotilla of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. Reading the article, I felt tense and itchy about my failure to do better and teach my children to eat more plastic. We (and by we I mean, us, personally, the anyfamily) are burying our priceless biosphere in trash and we need to stop.
My hypocrisy chafes me every day. While we are breeding our own Garbage Patch of plastic to rival the nightmare in the Pacific Ocean, I freely day dream about exceeding our allotted replacement number of children and reproducing recklessly and with abandon.
My principals are crumbling on all sides. The sand shifts beneath my feet. There’s little left to cling to. I have to draw the line somewhere and it’s been drawn, dark and heavy. We might own enough plastic to restock a Walmart. We just might contribute to the population explosion by adding yet another adorable (it’s my blog) anyoffspring to the world. But, we will own only one Elmo potty.
In solidarity, Anymommy.