asphodellium

Posts Tagged ‘elimination communication

In August, you suddenly and inexplicably developed boob preference. Or should I say boob ADHD? Gone is our alternating one-per-feed system that worked so well for so long. For some reason you now feel a need to switch it up every few minutes, like, A HUNDRED TIMES. (Okay, maybe ten.) I’m decidedly unhappy about this. Not only is it annoying, it usually leads to MORE LAUNDRY.

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I think you’ve outdone yourself this past month, both in terms of sugar sweetness and omg-what-kind-of-creature-have-I-unleashed-upon-the-world-ness. You had a will, but now you have an opinion.

You like to snack on raw noodles. I have no idea whether this is in any way good for you. Generally we keep our noodles and pasta out of sight behind cupboard doors. Still, when you see them, you demand one. One noodle, thin and hard and crunchy.

We had a week-long potty strike … a week of laying off and letting you poop in your diaper, because poopy diapers are bad, but still better than constipation. A constipated toddler is not something I wanted to risk having on my hands. Thankfully your potty strike ended as abruptly as it began.

The revolt against diaper changes and tooth-brushing lasted a bit longer. We seem to be over that hump, but it’s a delicate peace, highly dependent on your mood.

IMG_20130806_222644You think soaps and lotions are the grossest things ever, something about the way they smear over skin. Whenever we break them out you make this pained expression, accompanied by an anxious whine. (It’s a sound I might make if I were ever forced to let a spider crawl down my arm.) You’ve even gagged just watching daddy rub on hand cream. Who needs lotion when you’ve got perfect marshmallow skin, right?

Jumping! is your new obsession. You don’t always quite make it off the ground, but you try.

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Sorry, did I say “obsession”? Actually, most other things pale in comparison to the intensity of your feelings about music. You like Disney songs – especially the opening African choir part of “Circle of Life” and the segment in “Kiss the Girl” where the tadpoles jump in and out of the lagoon singing “na na na” – and will insist that we replay those same twenty seconds over and over and OVER. You also like Lily & Madeleine. I have video footage of you interpretive dancing in the kitchen to “In the Middle.”

When I sing a line you recognize, you light up and go hunting for the iPod touch, demanding that I play the track. You’ve been known to melt down when a song ends or stops abruptly. (This applies to live music as well, whether it’s band practice or just me tinkering on the piano.)

IMG_3979Your vocabulary has been exploding lately, approaching a hundred words. Notables include open, more, 弟弟, (belly) button, ball, apple, bucket, toes, balloon, ten, done, mine, rice, hair, raining, run, come, chicken, dirty, music, blackberry, water, 哥哥, phone, door, morning, bird, bee, cookie. Your enunciation, however, can require some deciphering. Raining and morning you pronounce perfectly, but blackberry sounds more like “bai-jee!” Oh, and you know your name: “Aye-den.”

When I mentioned sugar sweet, I’m thinking particularly of how, even though you’re increasingly able to play and read independently, you still like to know that I’m there. I’m thinking of how you pat a spot nearby, telling me in unequivocal terms to “[sit] down!” before contentedly going about your business. (You get very upset and scream-y if I try to leave.)

And for the times my brain starts to unravel from hearing the same twenty seconds of the same song over and over again, your spontaneous kisses and 愛你s totally make up for it.

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I don’t feel strongly about “defining my parenting style.” (Natural parenting, gentle parenting, free-range parenting? What does that even mean?) However, I always chafe at being pigeonholed, and for some reason I’m especially resistant to the “attachment parent” label, even though – or maybe because? – I practice many of the things attachment parents advocate.

I had a natural homebirth. The “home” part was an accident, but it will forever make an awesome story. I was indeed crossing my fingers for a natural birth, but it was supposed to occur at the hospital. (I felt safer having my first at a hospital, you know, in case of complications. Plus the facilities at BC Women’s are wonderful.) But I held off too long and Ashelyn came too quickly. Strictly speaking, I had a freebirth, or unassisted birth.

I breastfeed. I’m fortunate and thankful to have encountered no hurdles here, so the boob it is. It’s convenient. It’s free. Ashelyn’s a fan. Actually she’s never tried formula; she’s never even used a bottle, because I’m crazy lazy. We’ll probably continue until Ashelyn wants to stop, unless she turns two and still doesn’t, in which case HELP. (I’m no elitist, though. If a mother who is perfectly capable of breastfeeding chooses to use formula just because, we can totally still be friends.)

We chose baby-led weaning. Because who wants to bother with separate food prep for munchkin? Certainly not I. We try to avoid processed foods and excess salt and sugar, although now that Ashelyn’s older I’m less likely to freak out if someone gives her a piece of croissant. I don’t care about buying organic or avoiding GMO; I’m not convinced the benefits justify the price.

I babywear more often than I use a stroller. We started with slings, but haven’t really looked back since acquiring an Ergo. It’s just that I’ve found a carrier to be more versatile, and more likely to result in peaceful cooperation. I’ve also done my fair share of toting Ashelyn around in my arms (and I’ve got the biceps to show for it).

We co-sleep. A while ago we sidecar-ed the crib, but Ashelyn doesn’t spend a ton of time sleeping in her space, preferring instead to cuddle with me. Which is sweet and all, but bedsharing is the one thing I’m not proud to admit, because ideologically I believe in the marital bed, not the family bed. Unfortunately Ashelyn was a sleepfighter from day one, and this is where the path of least resistance has led us. I still haven’t committed to any form of sleep training, not because I’m opposed to CIO, but because I doubt it’ll work on my girl without crossing a threshold of unpleasantness to which I am opposed.

We do EC and cloth diaper and use disposables. Ashelyn has pooped in the potty since she was five months old, because she is awesome. So is poop-free cloth diapering! Still, there’s no denying the convenience and absorption power of disposables; we use them, sparingly, for (longer) outings and overnight.

We vaccinate. On schedule. In all other matters I stand behind the decisions of well-meaning parents, even controversial ones like spanking or crying it out. But unless your child is immuno-compromised, if you don’t vaccinate, I say you’re doing it wrong, and I shake my fist at you for weakening herd immunity.

I’m a proud product of the public education system, and biased in its favour. Although there’s plenty of time for shifts of opinion on this front, presently I’m not very interested in private institutions, and I don’t intend to homeschool.

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I’m no expert on babies. I am, however, an expert on one baby. And that’s all the authority I need.

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Posted on: 12 March 2013

Ashelyn has been napping for some time. I gamble that she’ll stay asleep long enough for me to flat iron my hair, another ten minutes? It’s kind of an unruly mess, and Kevin is expecting someone over for a business meeting.

No luck, though. I’m halfway through when she wakes. I set her down in the hallway outside the bathroom so I can keep an eye on her while I finish.

But before I can, she starts doing the poop grunt.

So I whisk her to the potty, because baby poop doesn’t wait. At least, not long. Not if I want a “clean catch.” The potty is beside the change table, which is in a fairly prominent place in the living room.

This is apparently the perfect time for M to arrive. Ashelyn is in the middle of pooping. It smells. I’m holding her wriggly butt in place, 1/4 of my hair curly and the rest slipping out of a hair claw.

Hi. A pleasure to meet you, too.

Dear Ashelyn,

You’re six months old! You don’t look much like your newborn self; your complexion has lightened considerably, for one. Do I even remember how to handle a floppy infant?

You haven’t been floppy for a long time. A couple weeks ago you surprised us by pulling up into a standing position in the bassinet … and almost pitching over the side. Is sitting up not enough for you? You’re really good at that now, no more toppling over. Now you want to hold onto our fingers and do squats. Girl, I can barely do squats.

You’re a robust one, for sure, brimming with energy and eagerness. Lately you’ve been working on your crawl. Though it’s still in caterpillar-shuffle territory at the moment, I’ve a feeling that won’t be for long. You’re hitting every milestone so early I have to remind myself it doesn’t mean anything beyond bragging rights for the parents; all babies learn to walk and talk in the end.

I still think you’re a genius, though, of course. That’s my prerogative as a mother.

Two favoured syllables have surfaced from your abundant chatter. One is “ngar,” the happy word. I like to watch you say it, the odd way you work your tongue to shape the sound. The other is something like “nya” or “yeh” (as in, “Nya nya NYA NYEH YEH!”), clearly a complaint along the lines of, “Why aren’t you picking me up?!”

When you’re really excited, you scream. And sometimes you’ll beat your arms against your tummy in accompaniment. You know your uncle David, the one who’s always all up in your face? He’s your future drum teacher.

I’ve seen you cross-examining your fingers, slowly clenching and unclenching your fist. Undoubtedly scheming what to snatch out of our hands next, how to stuff it into your mouth before we can stop you. Already you’ve swiped one of my mugs off the counter, where the handle broke off against the kitchen floor.

Last Sunday you somehow managed to give your father a nosebleed, WHILE YOU WERE ASLEEP. Apparently you were napping in the sling when you entered thrash mode and attacked his face. One of your fingers went up his nose and scratched a little too hard. When I arrived at the scene of the crime, you were still sleeping innocently, and your father? He rolled his eyes at me, a wad of bloody tissues in his hand.

See, this is why daddy sleeps in the spare room. Unfortunately you aren’t the greatest of sleepers, though I wouldn’t say you’re a terrible one either. You haven’t slept more than eight hours in a row; recently it’s been closer to four or five, occasionally less. We might want to do something about this soon.

Anyway, you make up for that by pooping in the potty! So far I’ve caught five and missed one. Yes, that’s six poops total over a span of three weeks. Yesterday you pooped twice, perfectly normal peanut-butter poops, after ten days of complete pooplessness. Even I was close to calling the newborn hotline. Except you were still so happy! If this is how your plumbing works, well, let’s just say it’s not far from my normal but very, very far from your father’s.

Also, even though I can’t tell when you pee, we’ve caught five in the potty. Easy catches, like after naps. The cool thing is you seem to have made the necessary associations on your own. And you’re so proud of yourself afterwards.

For better or worse, motherhood has awakened a part of me that will always be aware of your existence. Even when someone else is looking after you, there’s a corner of my psyche preoccupied with where you are, how you’re doing. I wonder if this ever lets up. It’s alright if it doesn’t, because you are a delight.

Love,
Mama

After months of dawdling, I finally got around to ordering a potty for Ashelyn.

It’s the BabyBjörn smart potty, which took forever to find in an acceptable colour (ie. not pink or blue) at a distributor for which I had gift card credit.

Why a potty so soon (or, for EC purists, so late)?

Well, I’m reasonably certain I can catch 80% of Ashelyn’s poops. She goes relatively infrequently – every handful of days – so it’s not like I need to be on constant poop watch. Besides, she’ll grunt.

I have no idea when she pees. Our cloth diapers handle that perfectly well, though, so for the time being I’m not trying to catch those. I’m in a bit of a hurry to establish pooping in the potty because solid foods are just around the corner … and with that comes solid food poop. If I can spare myself some of those diapers, why not?

I know I’m not aiming for a pipe dream here, because Ashelyn successfully went in the potty on the very day we brought it home! Which necessarily precipitated this tweet, sorry, I couldn’t help myself:

MY FIVE-MONTH-OLD POOPED IN THE POTTY OMG I WIN AT LIFE.


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