Sunday, March 20, 2011

Usually I Don't Judge Other People, But...

Okay, so that isn't 100% true. I do enjoy sitting in judgment of other people. But usually I try to keep my hands off other people's crazy-pants parenting notions, and certainly don't use my public forum to advertise that I think it is a crazy-pants notion. Because I understand that what works for my family might not be what works for someone else's family.

But this morning, I stumbled upon the weirdest parenting trend I've ever heard of. I would be thrilled if the Bug potty trains on the early side of the normal window. Diapers are bloody inconvenient and expensive. Even cloth diapering, which costs less in the long run, is not without a large share of handling another person's poop. But this Elimination Communication movement is nutty. It is a set of ideas that you can actually start reading your baby's signs and put them on a potty at the age of 4 months, and go largely diaper-free.

The principles of EC include some the basics of attachment parenting: listening to your baby's signals, paying attention to their habits and behaviour, and so on. It also suggests helping Baby to associate a certain sound with the different potty events, so that if you put your baby on the pot and make a particular sound, they will ... um... respond, as it were.

Okay, so far we've seen the part that made me go, "hmmm... interesting, but not for me." Here's the part that made me think "this is bat s&%^ crazy, I have to blog about this." They suggest that as one becomes attuned to one's child's urges, one will be able to rely on intuition to figure out when baby needs to "go." Here are some of the ways they mention that one might feel the tug of elimination-related intuition:
  • a sudden thought along the lines of "She needs to pee."
  • wondering or questioning, "Does he need to go?"
  • "seeing" or "hearing" the word "pee" or cueing sound (see below)
  • "just knowing" that your baby needs to pee
  • feeling the urge to pee yourself
  • feeling a warm wet spreading over your lap or other area while baby is dry
(From "Getting Started" on
Apparently, though this method, one can become so attuned to Baby's bathroom habits that they can just psychically know when to put Baby on the pot.

Even if this works, no thank you. I really don't want to be that attuned to any other being's bathroom habits. I would like to, at least bathroom habit wise, return to the part of DH and I's relationship wherein we both pretended we didn't do that sort of thing.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Worth It

So, if you're a loyal Mom Snark reader, you have undoubtedly noticed a them to my posts of late: sleep. I'm not getting it, the Bug isn't getting it, DH isn't getting it.

After a series of alternating good sleep nights and bad sleep nights, I was feeling quite bitter about having to stay up late into the evening to finish my work for the next day. Yesterday, I was working after 10pm for the second night in a row. But I realized something: it is totally worth it.

Don't get me wrong, I'd probably be a happier mama if I had a personal assistant, TA for my marking, and a maid for my house, but I make only the tiny salary of an adjunct instructor, so that seems unlikely at any point in the near future. (Although the next time that Groupon for our area is for a house cleaning service, you can bet I'm buying that sucker.) I would be a more pleasant person if I got more than 6 hours of sleep on an average night, but...

I got to spend yesterday playing and shopping and seeing my friends with my girl. There are so many moms and dads in this world who don't get to spend that kind of quality time with their kids. So if this means that sometimes I have to stay up until 11:30 to finish my work and have a small amount of quality time with my husband, it is absolutely worth it. (Our current favourite quality time is watching a great BBC comedy series called Coupling on Netflix. The only problem is that DH has laughed so loudly and heartily that he has fallen off the sofa and woken up the Bug.)

Therefore, for the season of Lent, I have decided to do two things:

1. I am participating in Sallaboutme's 46 day challenge. She's right, it is about making time. How we spend our time is a reflection of our values. What does it say about my values if I'm choosing to watch Grey's Anatomy reruns instead of doing an hour of yoga?

2. I am not going to complain, whine, bitch, moan, snivel, kvetch, carp, gripe, grouse or cavil until after Easter. This will be hard. Our society functions on complaining; it is the easiest possible small talk to make-- want to have something to discuss with your acquaintances? Complain about the government, whine about the bad service you got recently at a restaurant, kvetch about what a pain in the arse work is. But I'm going to do my utmost do do without.

I'll let you know how I do.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When is it Time?

So the big debate in the Mom Snark household at the moment is when to move the Bug to her own room. After all, we have a room upstairs that is ostensibly hers, but basically it serves as a place to change her diaper and keep her clothes. Her crib is, as it has been since we moved back into our own digs, in our room. The problem is, she doesn't sleep well. Which means none of us sleep well. Which leads to a short-tempered mama who says things like "Liszt was an asshole" when it really isn't the appropriate thing to say, even if it is true.

The sides of the debate are as follows:

Side one:

She doesn't sleep well because she can hear us there, snoring, coughing, breathing, talking in our sleep. She would settle down better from little wake ups if her two favourite people in the whole world weren't sleeping a few feet away.

Side two:

It isn't as if she has the tools to soothe herself. She's barely a year old. If she really wakes up, she'll wake up unhappy, and she may wake up just as many times in the night being unhappy and needing mom or dad's help getting back to sleep, which will simply result in multiple trips up and down the stairs and the genuine possibility of injury on the part of the party doing most of the stair climbing.

The problem is, both parties in the debate are arguing both sides of the thing. It would be way easier if we were making different arguments, but alas, we both think both sides have good points.

I have a feeling I'm not going to get a good night's sleep until the Bug is 12.