Month 32: It’s Not Complicated

Every ECer has heard a variation of just how complicated the process must be and how there is just no time for “ordinary” or “hardworking” moms to do this.    Hey, I am as boringly ordinary as you can get and I don’t relish making more work for myself!     We all work hard inside the home, and some of us also have additional duties working outside the home full time and part time.

What lack is not ability, but perspective!

Jorje from the Diaper Free Baby Facebook group posted a video that demonstrates succinctly how something so basic can be made into a tangled mess of unnecessary complications.   Watch it until you begin to feel extraordinarily flabbergasted at the rigamarole and then move the slider to time 3:00 and keep your eyes peeled for something so simplistic it wasn’t even mentioned.

Breastfeeding Infant Management: Part 3 (1935 Europe)

After watching that video anyone would be disheartened and feel like failures!  If there is one thing humans are great at, it is making mountains out of mole hills.    Let’s face it, unless battling a nasty infection no one medicates their nipples!   I’m willing to bet the idea for nipple sanitizing came about because if you didn’t sanitize bottles of the day, babies would get sick and possibly die.   Sterilize bottles teats ergo sterilize living nipples.    Kind of backwards thinking!      I confess that I’ve nursed through a puked on nipple with a newborn, and let the toddler latch on a nipple crumby from my lunch.   The nipples are lucky to get waterfall from a shower!     My babies are marathon nursers, if I followed the advice in the video it is very possible my breastfeeding attempts would have failed or ended before I hit 3 months.

The best advice is the most simple.  Only when there is a problem is more refined help needed.

Doubt #1:    I don’t have time to watch for every twitch!     

Who has time for that?   I don’t watch every twitch any more than I swab my nipples after the “gimme that side” breastfeeding Watutsi.   I don’t hover staring at my baby until I catch the signal for hunger.   Just like everyone else (bottle or breast) I learned the likely times the baby wants to eat (after naps, after a rousing game of goo-goo-coo), or when I “sense” hunger with my mommy super sense, or physical and audio cues like hunger grunts and fist slurping.    Sounds complicated, but it isn’t.    We all become very fluent in the language our baby speaks and we seamlessly can translate toddler-speak that is unintelligible to the world!     Elimination Communication is just like that.    If we can make breastfeeding as complicated as the video and convince busy women that it is THE way to do it, what do you think the diaper companies have done in in the last 40 years?    Think about the clip at 3:00 — it required no explanation.

Doubt #2:    I don’t want to push it and mess up!     

Babies hate diapers.  They do!   They stiff leg, roll, arch, kick, scream, twist, flail, noodle and if able, run away from diaper changes and remove even the most anti-removal contraption to get it off.    I helped diaper two siblings, so I know that a diaper change can leave both parties sweating and upset.    That happens every day, several times a day.   It is exhausting just thinking about it!  It can get so dread inducing that it can get to the point where parents begin to test out the “12 hour holding power” just to avoid the ordeal.  I get it,  but,  Umm…eww.     EC isn’t about pushing, it is about being proactive rather than reactive.   Get the waste in a pot so it doesn’t have to scraped off kibbles and bits or spigots and dingles.   Problems that I see occur with EC generally have to do with lingering diaper habits, not because of pushing.    Parents have been made to be afraid of toileting!   Why should we be afraid of a place we go to several times a day?    Parents are confident with the changing table, the powder, the diaper rash cream, the diaper genie (or complex wash routines),  and the wipes…but run screaming from a 6 inch tall piece of molded plastic?      You’ve got the instincts and know how already, it’s just buried under all the static!

Doubt #3:  It will be for nothing because they all regress.

If I could just do a “Heinz Duffenscmertz” and zap that word from the English language …

I despise the word regression.   It is a word of foreboding, it is negative, and it underestimates the abilities and intelligence of children.   Our culture is so negative when it comes to children and the ability of parents.  Too many “can’ts” and too much “defeatist attitudes” if there is a small blip in a process.

First, let’s address “it’s all for nothing.”   If I gave you a 25 cents a day, except on Thursdays and Saturdays and the month of June ,would you tell me, “Don’t bother.  No sense in collecting loose change if I can’t get it every day.”    Free money is free money, right?  Why is free money less valuable if you aren’t guaranteed to get it 100%?      Every pee or poop in the potty is one less uncomfortable state, one less diaper, one less fight, and money and time saved.   Even if you had only 2 successes per day for one year, that would be 730  fewer diaper changes!   At 10 cent’s a diaper that is $73 dollars.   What would you buy with that surplus?

Next, the “R” word.     When our babies fall, they aren’t regressive walkers.  They lost their balance and tripped…they get up, brush off, and keep locomoting.   When a toddler visits the playground after a long winter of growing, and seems awkward on equipment they had mastered last year, they haven’t regressed climbing!  Their limbs are longer and they are stronger, so they must make adjustments to muscle memory.  They are going to trip and conk their heads on openings until they get used to it.         Children grow, their bladders grow, their sphincters get stronger.    Drop the “R” word and take a different view.

Visit Brother Blog:  Pottytunities for Two

_______________________________________________________________

Give EC a second look.  It is about intention not perfection.
You’ll be surprised how liberating it can be.

Posted on May 29, 2012, in Parenting, Potty Training, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This is awesome! I have heard so many of these reasons not to EC and i just love your explanation to them! So true! Btw, I finally took your advice and started my own ECish blog.

  2. Very wise and fun commentary. :)

  3. Love love love this post! I felt off when I watched the video for the first time on facebook. I was so impressed that she had her baby on the potty, but it wasn’t even mentioned. I guess it was more the norm. I love the part about the free money. lol Thanks!!

  4. Thanks for that video. Seeing that little potty break happen unmarked was great – I’m a history buff and am far too obsessed with how disposable diapering and late toilet training became the norm in this culture. I was refreshed to see such clarity in the not so distant past. Especially today, because I was listening to a mom-podcast about toddler potty training, and I heard the dismissive comment – “some groups try to potty train from birth, but if you ask me, it’s just training the mother. Not for me…” I was going to blog about it but your post here, with the math, is everything I needed to say.

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