04/24/11 — Diapering for the record books

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Diapering for the record books

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 24, 2011 1:50 AM

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From left, Johanna Roddick, changing Kylee, 18 months, Jennifer Olson, changing Addie, 16 months, and Brandi McCullen, changing R.E. Lee, 13 months, take part in The Great Cloth Diaper Change at Herman Park Center. At 12:30 p.m. Saturday all over the globe, mothers simultaneously changed their babies' diapers to educate and convert mothers to cloth diapers. The attempt was being recorded for the Guinness Book of World Records.

Kate Burt from Rhode Island was in Goldsboro this weekend to spend some time with her grandchildren before their dad is deployed to Korea next week.

"I came down to visit and go to an Easter egg hunt," she said. "My daughter-in-law said, 'We're going to a diaper change.'"

She could've been taken aback by that, thinking it was a "Southern thing." But she soon learned that the event was part of a national effort to break the Guinness World Record known as the Great Cloth Diaper Change.

So after attending an Easter egg hunt with her three grandchildren, the Burt family made its way to Herman Park Center at noontime for the simultaneous diaper change. Daughter-in-law Ashleigh Burt and her youngest, one-year-old Kylie Elizabeth were among the 25 needed to help break the record.

"I think it's very neat," Kate Burt said. "I have always admired my daughter-in-law. She's into the organic things for all her kids. She keeps me up on all the things that are green.

"I think it's awesome. I try to send down cloth diapers."

Heather Bradley, local leader with the Real Diaper Circle of Wayne County, which promotes the use of cloth diapers, organized the event.

"This is the first one and we're going to do it again next year," she said before the event even got under way. "Over 400 locations around the world are doing this right now."

Standing nearby as the participants began positioning themselves in a tiny classroom area was Joel Jakubowski, state park ranger at Cliffs of the Neuse, serving as an independent witness to the festivities.

His role, he said, was "to ensure that they're abiding by all the rules that Guinness has set up, like all the babies have to be under 39 inches, all have to be using commercially available cloth diapers. Guinness has set up other guidelines, like it has to be (done in) an open area, open for anyone to attend, one entrance in and out, and the actual change will be at 12:30."

At one point, Mrs. Bradley announced she only had 22 participants and still needed at least three more to accomplish the record-breaking goal.

Someone was dispatched to drum up interest, running over to Herman Park to enlist others to take part. He soon returned with five more, but wound up with only three who completed the task.

Good enough, Mrs. Bradley said, as that gave them the 25 needed to authenticate the challenge.

Keshia Brownlowe of Goldsboro, with seven-month-old Kayla, was one of those who responded to the invitation.

"I have four kids so I'm kind of used to changing diapers," she said.

Johanna Roddick of Clayton came to Goldsboro specifically for the Saturday event, with 18-month-old daughter Kylee Roddick.

"I'm part of a couple cloth diapering forums," she said. "I found this location, though I would come out and help out.

"My in-laws got us a (diaper) service for the first six months and I was sold."

Stephanie Guillory, a military wife who now lives in Goldsboro, brought daughter Madelynn, 18 months. With only 10 minutes until start time, her daughter was starting to get squirmy.

"I think whoever did this did not understand babies, trying to have them stay still for 30 minutes," she said with a smile.

Fathers were in the minority, but still a presence among the participants.

Joseph Cockerell, holding Emmalyn, who just turned one, said his wife was among the event organizers and had enlisted his help with their daughter.

Jerrick Bradley, Heather's husband, was also there to support his wife. He was accompanied by 2-year-old daughter Talulla, the youngest of their three children.

As the countdown began for the diaper change, participants were give last-minute instructions -- including holding up the cloth diapers in unison, they were reminded there was no time limit for changing the babies and no photos were to be taken during the actual change.

The excitement began building, especially after Mrs. Bradley commended them for taking part in the local challenge.

"There are major cities that did not get people to do this," she said. "So I'm excited to this many people."

On the count of five, 25 diapers were raised high in the air, waiting for the whistle to signal the start.

"Go mommy, go mommy," shouted one older sibling from the sidelines.

And they're off. At least for a few moments. Then they -- the diapers, that is -- are back on again.