Ok, so for the last week or so, I've been giving Plate more and more nappy-free time, having been (somewhat) inspired by a woman who advocated elimination communication1. Stupid name aside, I thought the whole idea was sound - I'm pretty sure when I was growing up, my childminder did that with one of the toddlers she looked after. From the Diaper Free Baby website, elimination communication3 is "... a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy, learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his or her elimination needs." Or as I like to call it, learning when Plate needs to pee or poo (peepoo!).
We've had a few accidents, mainly because, either I didn't get the signals, or she just unconsciously let go. Today, we had signals! So I whipped her over the loo, did all the "sh-sh-sh" noises... nope. Nothing4. But she managed to get her grubby mitts grubbier by grabbing the toilet rim, so I got a little stand, filled the sink and got her to stand on it to wash her hands. Which she duly did... accompanied by her personal little fountain all over the stand, her feet, my feet, the basin column and the floor. How we laughed.
Still, I will persist. I am looking forward to trying out my friend, Dee's, Potty Bench by Boon (left).
It's a pretty serious piece of kit - it comes with its own toilet paper dispenser, a drawer for wipes and closes down into a seat/bench that can take the weight of an adult. Everyone should have one!
This thing looks pretty cool too:
It's called My Carry Portable Potty!
I think I've completely screwed up the layout of this post. Oh well.
1. It was on 'How to be a Good Mother with Sharon Horgan' on Channel 4. The woman in question was a militant disciple of The Continuum Concept2 and was a husband-domineering, always-campaigning, always-right mother of one (basically, me! So we repel each other like magnets). I disliked her from the minute she started spouting off in that grating self-righteous way that all fundamentalists seem to have. But, much as I can't stand the phrase, I thought elimination communication was pretty cool.
2. The Continuum Concept is a book written by Jean Liedloff who believed that we need to go back to our primitive ways of raising children in order to achieve 'optimal physical, mental and emotional development'. It's essentially an account of her years with the Yequana and Sanema tribe in Venezuela, and her observations of their child-rearing methods. So far so interesting - I will read it someday, when I am no longer the mother of a baby and thus touchy about my way - what put me off was this: Jean Liedloff never had children of her own. From what I could glean, she never adopted or fostered either. It would be like seeking sex advice from a nun who was still a virgin and never been kissed.
3. The website shortens it to EC, which I can't stand! Why does it need to be shortened? You can obviously type - stop being lazy!
4. I can only imagine what she must have thought about that!
5. I find myself saying that at least twice a day, every day now. For Singaporeans, yes, hear it in your heads exactly the way your mum/aunt/Ah Mah would say it. Yes, in that tone.