Damn the Dodots!: Eurostyle, Good. Eurodiapers, Bad.
With all the sightseeing and gullet-stuffing, I hardly had time for shopping, but you can bet that anywhere I go, two things get bought. Baby gear and diapers.
In Barcelona, a cosmopolitan city which takes pride in offering the best of everything, I found two kinds of disposable diapers. Dodots (crappy and crunchy) and Suavinex ("new!" crappy and slightly less crunchy). This is a great case for why people all over the world marvel at American supermarkets. Brand competition ain't all bad, and friends, if I were a spanish--sorry, catalan--woman there is no way in hell I would use disposable diapers on my little button's tushie. Not only are they pinchy, tape-y/sticky, and crunchy, they are no match for my Noodle in a poop fight. She routed them over and over, once right nicely on the herring-packed train back to Barcelona from Montserrat (about an hour) which left me sitting in a steaming puddle of baby crap and fumigating all the neighboring grumpy commuters. Nice. Especially lovely for the clammy, smelly, humiliatingly stained walk home from the station.
I have been up to now a sideline fan of the alternative diaper scene, and I bought my g-diapers but I'm not using cloth--and there is exactly one reason I have not yet fully embraced the diaper revolution: Pampers New Baby Swaddlers. They are the most seductive of diaper devils. They're soft, smooth, stretchy, silent, have a lean profile, and are almost entirely leakproof. They are also still choking landfills, no matter how small a ball I roll them into for disposal.
I think the Eurodiaper Experience gave me some diaper perspective. It seems disposable engineering is not at such a premium in other parts of the world. So now I'm home, and after a happy reunion with American disposable diaper perfection, I sheepishly admit that I have been a spoiled-brat-environment-destroying-natural-resource-squandering-big-loud-American diaper consumer. I want ideal performance, and then I want to throw it in the trash and forget about where it goes after that. As a result of some light self-flagellation on that point, I'm now a part-time g-diaper user. (www.gdiapers.com) We are using them at home, and so far I'm pretty happy with them, though the routine and technique take a little getting used to.
Of course, Barcelona is not known so much for its high-performing disposable diapers as for its cool modernist style, and there they live up to their billing. For as bad as the Barcelona disposable diaper scene was, I ran across one of the cutest baby/mommy stores I've yet encountered (dig the hat!). Check out www.pygmees-perlimpinpin.com, and www.pygmees-perlimpinpin-bx.com to see some truly funky needlecraft.