Posts Tagged ‘ park slope ’

Elimination Communication: The New Poop Movement?

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

I complained in my blog last week about how hard it is to change Emmett. And I may end up trying to potty train him early–like at 18 months. Yesterday I ended up with feces on my wrist. Not fun. Then, I came across this: an article in the New York Times about the EC movement. Elimination Communication. Oh, if only I had known this existed…

Actually I was aware of this movement, but honestly didn’t know it had taken off so much. I should have guessed my old stomping grounds of Park Slope was leading the way. Next time I visit I will wear disposable covers on my shoes. Lest I step in kid sh-t.

For those of you who aren’t aware, EC means toilet training your baby from the moment of birth. Read that again. Yes, the minute they come out of the womb, in a sh-t storm of activity, you are supposed to start “observing” their bowel and urinary cues. Yeah, don’t focus on breastfeeding or your recovery, or bonding with your baby. What you need to focus on is when they are about to take a dump. Then rush them to the toilet, hold them over it, and boom, you are on your way to a diaper-free world.

I’m sure I’m going to get everyone hating on me because I’m sure moms and dads who subscribe to EC love their babies just as much as the rest of us. I’m being a bit tongue-in-cheek here. But I do have to wonder–if you’re spending literally every moment looking for these cues, doesn’t it get a bit distracting? Maybe I’m just jealous since my kid is a disaster to change. But I honestly can’t get my head around infants being able to grasp toilet training. For many, it’s hard to even learn how to latch on. Or to sleep a good stretch. More importantly, when you are a new mom, you are so overwhelmed and exhausted,  I can’t imagine putting this “task/pressure” on your plate.

The part where I am torn is, I do recognize how awful diapers are for the environment. So I dig that those parents aren’t contributing to the landfill. But I don’t want to start seeing signs in the city next to “Curb your dog” that says, “Curb your kid.”

(Sidenote: cloth diapers aren’t necessarily the answer either unless you launder yourself.  I researched it a bit in New York when I was pregnant. If you get a cloth diaper service where they pick up your dirty diapers and give you a fresh set, they apparently still have to launder them like 7 times in bleach. Then the trucks emit carbon gases and burn fuel doing all the deliveries. So it doesn’t seem like a full-on solution. Now I think they make inserts for cloth diapers that are probably a good idea…)

The author of the article, Anemona Hartocollis, says that many parents felt like they were rediscovering an ancient practice. Yup. Uh Huh. Heard that before.

This goes to the root of my annoyance on stuff like this. As in the homebirth movement and the co-sleeping club. If you want to homebirth your baby, go for it, but don’t say it’s because “that’s what they did in centuries past.” Because they did a lot of things back then that I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be down with. Like putting crocodile excrement in your vagina to prevent pregnancy.  It’s true–at least according to some historians researching ancient Egypt. I’m pretty damn happy I live in the modern world. And I’m pretty sure my vagina appreciates it, too.

In all the mommy wars, I don’t get why the go-to argument is often about ways to mimic ancient times. Like the co-sleepers who say we should do it because that’s what they did “back then.” No, actually, that shouldn’t be the reason. In past centuries families had no choice. They were often crowded into one room, and so exhausted from working the fields or the sweatshops that they’d all collapse together. I’m sure they would have loved a crib for their baby. If you want to co-sleep, do it because you love to cuddle with your baby. But then don’t complain when they’re 5 and still sharing your bed. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t make it because of “what they did in the 17th century” Infant mortality rates were horrendous–from curable things like diarrhea–which again, thank god, we have the modern medicine and sanitary conditions of the present day.

But I digress–I’ve said all this before in my blogs on these topics.

The author goes on to say that parents mostly do EC because they like being “in touch with their babies’ most intimate functions.” REALLY? I don’t know about you, but when Emmett poops, as much as I love him, I don’t smell roses. Poop and pee aren’t the things I love most about my kids. Or even second or third most. Yeah, I get it on some level…like when Fia started to get this far away look and grunt, I knew she was pooping. And as only a mom can understand, I found it cute. She was at least 6 months by then. Nowadays, some of our funniest conversations are when she is sitting on the toilet. So some of this resonates, but to make it an actual “movement” sounds like something for people who have too much time on their hands.

The article quotes one mom who says, “I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink.”  She goes on to say that one person took “…her baby and her bowl to a party, held her naked baby over the bowl…” I guess they were close friends. But still…doesn’t this seem a bit, well, affected??  Indulgent perhaps? Upper class hipster, um, crap?

My favorite part of this isn’t the article but the comments. I guess the people of the EC movement apparently have weekly support groups. One person left a comment saying she had 20 babies at her house while I guess the parents discussed at length the art of pooping. She said no one had an accident…but honestly, I can’t think of anything worse than taking my precious time, and the time of my baby, to go to a support group that revolves around sh-t. A playground sounds way more fun, right?

But the best was from a “Mom of 2″ in New York who says that people who don’t do the EC method are, you ready for this? L-A-Z-Y parents!!! Here’s her quote: “You know when your baby needs to go: after a meal, when wakes up from sleep etc. Just follow the pattern. Not doing it and continuing using diapers under pretense of various theories is a cover for a lazy parent. It’s a shame when your child can walk and talk and wears a diaper.”

People, people, how did we get here? I am seriously flummoxed. Guess it’s time for me to check out. I’ve never been so excited to change a diaper….

pic of poop via shutterstock
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My Sitters Are Driving Me Crazy Part 1

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Good god. I know they keep my child alive and out of harms way, but is it too much to ask that my sitters keep track of all her “stuff”? I’m talking sippy cups, snack traps, the play stroller, a soccer ball, her hat, to name a few. All of which have been lost–some, multiple times.

Granted, I’ve done it too. I’ve lost some mom-crutch items and been thoroughly scattered (see post). But then I pay the consequences and buy more, or whatever. And, I’ve gotten better on the scattered front.

But my problem is two-fold. Sometimes they don’t restock and reorganize the diaper bag. And leave dirty items in it. I’ve even put a checklist on the refrigerator. Yet, today, I was out with Fi. I went to get a diaper, only to find a dirty spoon, two dirty sippy cups and no diapers. And the playstroller and ball are missing too. I mean, isn’t this childcare 101?

My disorganized diaper bag

I know what you’re thinking, find new sitters, idiot. And I may have to. Except that one of them gives me something a lot of others won’t: complete flexibility to book her at a moment’s notice. She is a college grad and very laid back. She hasn’t found a real job yet–which is to my benefit. And truth be told, I really like her. She cares deeply about Fia. And Fia adores her. And even though she loses more than my other sitter, it’s just been small things. And I honestly don’t think she’ll lose my baby. Plus, she just rocks. I can’t say it any other way.

The other one I use on Friday afternoons. She is a career nanny,  paid no matter if you use her or not. But for me, since it’s just 5 hours a week, as long as I give her ample notice if I don’t need her, I don’t have to pay her.  (It may sound crazy, but “pay or play” is the nanny culture in our neighborhood. They practically have their own union.)  I know her from the neighborhood and have complete trust–at least in keeping Fia safe.

So here I sit on a Saturday morning, totally annoyed because I spent an hour texting  one of them to track down Fia’s soccer ball and play stroller, both of which went missing on her watch. A neighbor had the ball, the stroller is still MIA, which means I need to go buy a new one. (BTW–Those things are like crack for tots. What’s up with that?)

My other sitter did offer last week after she lost Fia’s baseball cap–the only thing she will wear to keep the sun off her head–to pick up a new one. And I thought that was a really cool gesture.

But honestly, am I being a bitch here? Or do I have a point? Do I need to accept this as the price of doing business and keeping my tot safe? Does anyone have any ideas for me?

Before I waste any more time, I need to sign off. But thank you for letting me vent, because I kid you not, it infuriates me. Which probably means I’m overreacting.

AAAAA—RRRRR–GGGGHHHHHHHHH.

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Introducing Me and Fi (pronounced “Fee”)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Mama and Baby on Beach

I was so adamant about not having children, I debated getting my tubes tied at 30. My mother begged me not to. (Obviously I listened.) Still, it is with great irony that I find myself an “official” mommy blogger.

Pre-Fia, I’d cross the street to avoid the little Petri dishes. Diapers? Disgusting. Playgrounds? I’d rather have the plague.

My neighborhood didn’t help matters. I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn–perhaps the biggest breeder neighborhood in New York City. A place where wee little inmates run the asylum. We’re featured in articles and blogs—one equates Park Slope to a battle zone between “the ballers” and “the breeders”.  For those without children, you can’t overstate the annoyances: strollers on every inch of the sidewalk, oblivious parents who bombard quiet coffee shops with their babies, intimate restaurants that quickly become cacophonies of chaos when toddlers are unleashed.

No, my husband and I certainly didn’t move here six years ago to procreate. The reason we moved here is it sits right on beautiful Prospect Park and we’re runners (or were before we had Fi and P90X).

But then, through various events, we changed our minds. We decided to give up birth control and “see” what happened. At 39, I figured my ovaries were toast anyway. Off to Mexico we went where tequila poured free, and boom, Ms Fi was on her way.

Throughout my pregnancy I spent many a therapy session worrying that I’d love my cat Wayne Sanchez more than my daughter. Thank god nature does its job well. Wayne still gets spooned every night, but it’s Fia who rocks my world. And the fact that I love—not loathe—babies is nothing short of a miracle.

So now I’ve been given this platform on Parents to basically write whatever I want about my life with Fi. A golden ticket covered with baby barf.

I hope to bring an honest perspective to my blog that’s not indulgent, irritating or precious. I hope I don’t bore you. And that you’ll come back and visit. Lots.

I find it a privilege to be a parent and an honor to write about it. And thank god. Because if I hated it, or loved my cat more than my daughter, then I’d probably be in the loony bin. And who wants to write from there?

FOR A YEAR, I BLOGGED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SHOW I WAS HOSTING, CALLED MY FIRST BABY. HERE ARE MY PAST BLOGS THAT SPAN MY FIRST YEAR WITH FI.

What it Means to be a MOM–the feelings of early motherhood

The Fog Will ClearHow early motherhood does get easier

Baby’s Not-So-Cute-Milestone: Diaper Rash–a traumatic event, followed by another involving a red bum and a lot of cornstarch

Living in the Moment--how having a baby gives you a chance to indulge. And play. Especially if you’re a Type-A person.

Not A Vacation--did  I really say in the previous post that having a baby allows you to indulge? Play? Feel like you’re on vacation? Was I on drugs?

Have Baby, Will Travel--tricks for traveling with baby/helpful advice and tips

Navigating the Minefield of Milestones–the good and bad of baby milestones

Travel Fiasco–My Scattered Self–a shit show, for lack of a better word, at LaGuardia. I must be losing it.

Picky Eaters–great advice from my pediatrician for picky eaters and avoiding the terrible two’s

Fia Turns One--the emotional journey leading up to your baby’s first birthday

What Travel Does For Me…and Fi–my first babyless vacation. And why I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Return From My Baby-less Vacation–I find out things weren’t so smooth while I was away. But I don’t feel guilty.


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