— sojourning, us

because you want to know how the pottying went this weekend. i know you do.

… i’m going to just post totally unrelated photos of Elisha enjoying an apple! yaaaay! wait, you don’t want to see that? haha. too bad.

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you keep asking in your head, “hey, what about that potty? did you really go for it?”

we did. it’s going great. we haven’t had to scrub a single patch of carpet! sure, we’re not going to “catch” (that’s the EC term) every potty moment, but we’re opening up communication and helping Elisha stay aware.

yes, we’re unconventional people.

yes, we might just be a little crazy.

no, i don’t have plans for E to be completely potty trained before he is 1. he can take his time; it’s up to him. putting him on the little potty at opportune moments (after he wakes up in the morning and after naps, for example) or when he seems to show signs or “cues” (like when he reaches for his diaper or when he stops playing or when he gets fussy while eating), gives him a new association with going to the bathroom. it’s not about pressuring him to grow up too fast or fit into our standards or be a more awesome baby than he already is. it’s just about giving him guidance and letting him shine and achieve things that blow our expectations every time. he’s been doing that since in the womb, really. ever since i peed on a stick, Elisha’s been nothing short of amazing.

i’ve learned two things this weekend—Elisha doesn’t actually like to be wet (he actually gets fussier and grumpy when he is but he doesn’t outright cry about it unless he’s in the car seat), and once he’s been naked, he doesn’t want to put a diaper back on. it’s like wrestling a wild animal! he loves to crawl around bare-bottomed to the world. he had some naked time this weekend so we could watch for his signs that he needed to go potty (“observation” is the EC term).

oh, and he pooped in the potty yesterday. it was a very proud moment. we sang his praises and he grinned with his four little teeth. it was much easier to clean up than it would have been in his diaper.

and just so you understand how part-time and how relaxed we want to be about introducing the potty, this morning was not as smooth (no Mondays ever are), and we “missed” most of our potty opportunities.

it’s okay. there are no failures here.

we’re just adding another option to the mix. at least with cloth, he already gets changed often and knows what it is to feel wet. no space-age gel keeping him unaware. no hours and hours in the same diaper. while i’m the first to admit that i no longer lot of stock in evolutionary theory (i think it’s downright silly, but that’s a whole other post … please don’t leave comments about that, though …), i can agree with the basis of elimination communication thought when it says even humans are wired not to actually want to soil themselves and/or hang out in their own waste. diapers are a convenient way of helping to contain messes since babies don’t have any control over when or where they go. that’s a skill that has to be learned. i found it an interesting thought that conventional potty training is almost like “unlearning” since we train babies to go in diapers—some toddlers can get very attached to wearing them.

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i’m not saying they need to be eliminated all together, though (heehee, pun intended). or that using them is wrong. obviously. what would i do with all our cute cloth diaper fluff? i love it!

i’m just really enjoying the option of offering a potty to Elisha this early. some people start at birth! while it’s never too late (or, apparently too early) to start working in some elimination communication into your daily routine, i can see that we’ll have challenges along the way because of our own timing. it’s kind of exciting to see him take to it now that he’s aware of his own body or now that he’s starting to express more of himself. he does let us know what he needs, but we often don’t recognize when or understand what he’s trying to say. we haven’t been in close communication about his potty needs because we’ve been happy to let him use his diapers. now that we can encourage him to express his needs instead of simply relieving himself without a hint or a care, he might be willing to strike up the conversation again. now that his wordless expressions are being noticed, it opens a new door for us in our relationship as parents and child.

wow. i’m feelin’ kind of crunchy as i write about a seven-month old using a little potty and cloth diapers and a bit of attachment parenting (though, i won’t go there at the moment, either). i even had granola for breakfast. look out!

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we’re aware of how much we’re outside of the mainstream, expected culture of things. we’re okay with that. we’re okay with the surprised looks and funny questions. we go home and are happy together at the end of the day. are cloth diapers for everyone? no, unfortunately not, but they’re definitely an option that every parent should actually consider. is elimination communication for everyone? no, but it’s certainly something worth looking into, even casually, at any stage of babyhood.

the bottom line is this: we’re having fun. we’re learning. we’re growing closer together as we go along on this journey. we want to be good, responsible parents as much as we want to be good, responsible stewards of all we’ve been given.

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