So those of you die-hard fans might remember how we take our child to the bathroom rather than having her pee or poop in her diaper, just like how they do in China and India. And we're all environmental and green and such, and have a super-advanced baby, and we tend to just be better--more enlightened, really--than all of you "diaper users" out there.
Except we've kind of left China and India. We've headed back to Diaperville.
See, I've already written about the pros and cons of Elimination Communication (EC for short), but recently, the cons have started taking over the boat. And sailing us to frustration.
It started when Lucy started standing up. She is extremely excited about standing. She ignores her favorite toys and heads to the coffee table, where she pulls herself up to standing, and bounces up and down, sure that she's solving global warming and the federal prosecutor scandal.
So when I took her to the bathroom, she would try to stand up over the potty (almost putting her foot inside of it) and then would get super upset. She would not eliminate, but the communication was clear. GET ME OUT OF HERE!
Then I would let her go stand by the coffee table again, and she'd smile, and squat, and poop in her pants.
After a few days, I decided that taking her to the bathroom when she didn't eliminate and didn't want to be there was just clearly not worth it (note: I'm a little stubborn, because it took a while for me to admit it wasn't worth it).
I still take her when she wakes up, because that's super clear: she needs to pee, and is almost always happy to go. She even poops in there sometimes.
Now for the news that is going to make all of you naysayers roll your eyes.
I kind of like not having to worry about it.
Revise that statement. I really like not having to worry about it. I feel freed! And relaxed! Not jumpy, wondering: does my child need to go? Have I missed a pee? Is that a signal? Where am I going to take her? Will she go in the potty? Will she go while out?
I think our EC situation was complicated by several factors.
1) Lucy never signalled reliably (that I could tell). For a while she'd cry if she'd have to go, but she'd also cry for other things.
2) She didn't respond to the pee cue (ssssss).
3) Unless she's just woken up, she kind of takes a long time to pee. Ever since she was a newborn. So without a clear signal and a clear cue, I spent a lot of time over the potty.
4) She often takes even longer to poop. I'll be counting, trying to be patient, and just about to give up and....pbbbth. You get the picture.
5) She would only go reliably in our sink for a while. (About six months). Which got a little tiring on the arms, considering how long she took to go. And caused a bit of anxiety when the sink was unavailable, such as any time we went out of our house.
6) I'm just the teensiest bit of a control freak. And stubborn. So while my super-chill sister in law was okay with getting some baby pee on her, I wasn't so much. So we did diapers as back up, which meant we also had to deal with diapers, not just pottying. And I get frustrated easier than her, probably.
7) I'm also sort of results-oriented, and am not really that touchy-feely. I don't get ecstatic about having my baby naked, or communicating with her non-verbally and such. I mean, I think it's cool if it happens, but I'm also fine with diapers. Just fine. Extremely fine, as it turns out.
SO I had the probably bad idea of going to an EC support group the week I was deciding I was ready to not do EC so seriously anymore. I thought it would make me feel better or something.
I know, I know. I'm a crazy person.
The women running the group are super-cool, and have really made EC work for them. They are also much closer to Nirvana/God/Enlightenment than I am. The only other person there actually doing EC was me. And about five women that were considering doing EC with their babies.
I think I should have been smoking under the bleachers or graffiti-ing the meeting room. I felt like yelling, Don't beleive them! Run away while you still can! You'll go crazy doing this!!!!
I refrained. I've been praying lot lately. I am a Big Person.
After the meeting, I decided to just chill for a while. Just not try. And have discovered that parenting has gotten a lot easier.
Mind you, I don't like cleaning up poopy diapers. It was much easier when she'd just go in the potty. When her signals were clear, I almost never had to clean poopy diapers. I'd do that again.
And I'd try again with another baby; maybe they wouldn't be so choosy about their elimination. And SO SLOW! But I don't think I'd take so long to decide I was going crazy.
But I have invested in some nicer, fitted cloth diapers so that diapering gets easier than it is right now (it seemed silly to invest in nice diapers if we were just using them as backup).
And I'm backing away from my smug feelings of superiority. Quickly.