Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Little Monkey

This year, we had a pretty low key Halloween. I bought Jonah the above monkey costume to wear to an event at our zoo. I was pretty upset when reality of working set in, and I realized that I would not be able to take Jonah due to my work schedule. Despite having asked for that day off, I found myself working rather than masquerading with the monkeys at the zoo. This was a hard situation for me to handle, because it was the first time that I realized that I would be missing certain activities and special treats with Jonah because of work. It was when I truly figured out that my time was not free to be scheduled as it used to be. Jonah still got to go to the zoo event with his grandmother, but as she does not celebrate Halloween, she did not dress him in his costume for it. Which is fine; I am just sad that I missed it.

So today, Halloween day, we dressed Jonah in his monkey outfit for a photoshoot in our yard, and then took him to dinner wearing is costume. We've been avoiding going out to eat during flu season, but we decided to make the exception and have a little treat on Halloween. Jonah really seemed to enjoy his costume! He was very interested in the feet and the tail, and he even wore the hat (he never lets us put a hat on him!) I think he knew just how cute he is in it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Communicating "Potty"

For a little while, it was a bit difficult to tell when Jonah had to potty. He hadn't really picked up on very many signs or verbal words yet, and he was moving so much that his usual cues got lost in all of his running around. Recently, I was relieved when I went to get Jonah up from nap, and he was standing in his crib, wiggling his fist back and forth in the air. Ah, the sign for "potty." At last! A definite cue to say "I need to go now!"

At first, Jonah used it after he had already gone. If I missed his other cues because I was upstairs doing the laundry, or I took a little longer to get him from bed, he would sign as if to say "I pooped Mom, and it's in my pants. Where were you?"

Then one day while we were visiting my mother and grandmother, he signed "potty." We were in the car, driving home from having dinner out. When we got home, I expected there to be a load in his pants, but they were only a little wet. Jonah was still signing "potty" but I thought he must just be signing it because I'm changing his diaper. I shrugged my shoulders and went out to the car to get a clean diaper. Yes, leaving him diaperless in my mother's care. When I opened the door, clean diaper in hand, I heard the most hysterical laughter. I looked at Jonah, who was still signing "potty" to my laughing mother while he was going. I cleaned the mess up, put a diaper on Jonah, and laughed myself. That is what you get when you don't listen to your child! From then on, he has signed "potty" before he poops. He still hasn't done the sign for pee yet, but he will make the "sssss" noise as he's going.

Here is the video of Jonah signing "potty" (excuse the laundry that snuck into the shot!)

Jonah Signs Potty (youtube link)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pregnancy Dreams

So it seems in pregnancy, I have two different issues at night. Either I can't sleep at all (such as tonight, which is why I am blogging at 1:30 am when I knowingly have to get up for work in a few hours) or, I sleep and have crazy restless dreams.

While I don't usually share my dreams with others, I do find that people get a kick out of my pregnancy dreams. They are like those trippy movies from the sixties that just don't make any sense. So here is my latest and greatest sub-conscious brain child.

I was going to baby sit this little girl. I don't really know her, but she kept popping up in my dream at random times as this blonde thin girl who didn't talk but just smiled at me. Okay, creepy. As I was walking up to the family's house, which I don't recognize as any real-life house, all of the sudden my dog trainer was with me. We walked up the front steps, but it was like we couldn't ever make it to the house. Then suddenly, the family's pet alligator (yup, alligator- they had two, to be exact) came and bit my arm! My dog trainer started yelling, and the alligator was trying to rip my arm off, so true to the "Survivor's Guide" I hit him on the nose and he let go. So my trainer runs off and starts to yell at the father for not having his alligator properly trained.

The father and mother didnt care that their alligator had bitten me, and gave me instructions for their daughter's dinner, and started to leave. My arm was bleeding profusely at this point. Then my mother came and started to yell at the man for making me work when I obviously needed hospital care. My dog trainer had vanished by this point and no one seemed to be bothered by it. So my mom pulled me into my minivan and proceeded to drive to the store. Not the hospital, the store. We went in to get some food, because you know that is what you need if an alligator eats your arm, and I look down at my arm and can see, what in my dream represented bone (it didnt look like how real bone would probably look... at all) So I said "uh mom, I don't think I need bread, I think I need stitches and a skin graft." So then we run out of the store and get into my mini van. I get in to drive, but can't pull out of the parking spot. Then I realize that my mom had parked the van in the cart coral, and it was stuck!!!! She said if I was too much of a whimp to pull the car out, then she woudl do it. So I got out of the car through the window (because the doors were blocked by the rails of the cart coral- nevermind how we got in.) and watch her pull my extremely crumpled minivan out of the newly formed parking space.

I woke up without ever making it to the hospital, and thinking "Man, my mom owes me a new van!!!"

True story!


A question I get asked a LOT about elimination communication (EC) is "why?"

I've been asked this question in the form of responses to my blog posts, emails, personal messages, and face to face with family members, and it is usually coupled with reasons that I shouldn't be doing this.

"Why are you taking him to the potty when you are busy? Why won't you just take care of it later" Well, here's my short and sweet smart alec answer: I have to deal with the poop at some point, so I might as well do it now before it's stuck all over his butt!

Yes, laziness has a lot to do with our choice to EC. Too lazy to get a new diaper, and too lazy to deal with poop that somehow gets spread all over everything during a diaper change because of a wiggley baby, and too lazy to wash the diapers every other day. For every catch that we make in the potty, that is one less diaper that I have to deal with.

But it runs a little deeper than that too. That is really my "shut up, I'm different, deal with it." answer. The true answer has to do with the level that it has brought Jonah's and my relationship to. As I have said before, there is no training involved in EC. At all. Period. At the heart of EC is the "C." Communication. Jonah communicates to me that his need at that moment is to eliminate. As one friend and fellow ECer put it, it is the same to me as other mothers can tell when their child needs food, or needs sleep, or needs comfort. Eliminating is a basic need that your child can communicate to you, if you nurture that communication and awareness of elimination. After Jonah communicates to me what his needs are, I communicate back that I understand, by giving him the "cue." Now I've come to dislike this word "cue" because in psychology this word has come to be synonymous with "stimulus." And that isn't at all how it works. When I say "cue" I simply mean that I give Jonah the signal that I have understood his need and he is now in a place where he can relieve himself. It's a two way communication.

So I agree with several readers when they say that I have not trained Jonah yet- a child who is potty trained doesn't need an adult to take him to the potty, and can go on his own. What I don't agree with is that these readers often suggested that it is the parent who is trained. I do not agree with this, because as I said, there is no training involved. No training for anyone. It is all about communicating and responding to needs, not training.

It is not a waste of time because it in fact saves me time. As said above, I don't need to wash as many diapers as often, I don't need to find a clean one to put on, I don't need to wipe the entire area of the derriere. It takes about half the time to put Jonah on the potty and let him go there than it does to change his diaper. One reader in particular asked me why I would choose to stop pumping breast milk but continue with EC. I want to address this particular question, because it upset me at first. So much that it has taken me months to even respond. It probably seems like I spend a LOT of time on EC because that is what this blog is devoted to. Practicing EC does not take up so much time that it impedes on other aspects of my parenting. Practicing EC does not mean spending hours away from my child with very little results. Trying to pump full time with breasts that are no longer producing more than an ounce of milk, does. I did not choose EC over breastfeeding, and that is a completely different chapter in my life.

So why do I do it? In a nutshell, because it is an extension of my family's lifestyle. It is listening to my child and his needs, and providing for them. It is not letting my son sit in his waste for any amount of time. Because it is the best thing that I know to do for my son.