I like to think of myself as pretty worldly. I live in the Big City. I've seen some things. And when it comes to raising kids, I'm pretty willing to try anything.
I was at the Children's Library yesterday, chatting with a Brooklyn mama. She was typical Park Slope - smart, artsy, the kind of woman who composts and wears spectacular glasses. We were talking childrearing and about halfway through the conversation she asked if we practiced EC.
"EC?" I asked innocently.
EC. It stands for "Elimination Communication" and apparently it's the latest latest. For those who aren't in the know, EC is a sort of a back-to-basics potty training. For years, women without access to diapers had to learn to follow their infants' cues to know when they needed to do their business. People eventually realized that you could successfully potty train your child by simply anticipating their needs and it started catching on in the Attachment Parenting circles. Brooklyn Mama was doing it with her daughter and finding it surprisingly easy, managing (as she so delicately put it) to "catch" most of her daughters poops and pees. Did I mention that EC is diaper-free?
Oh yeah. Diaper-free.
How spectacular would that be? Mind melding with your baby means NO DIAPERS. No diapers means no trash, no trash means no landfill, no landfill means more planet, plus you'd never have to navigate the choppy waters of potty training! PLUS you could totally pretend to be a Vulcan! It's a win-win-win-win-win!
Needless to say, by the third "win" my Inner Midwesterner was grabbing for the Pampers.
See, here's the thing - as far as I think I've come with my PBA-free lotions and Greenmarket produce and organic-yogurt-with-flax-seed-oil-and-wheat-germ toddler breakfasts, I will never do something like this. It's not the Ewww factor that gets me, it's the thought of adding one more thing to my already Santa-sized parenting list. I mean I have a general idea of my son's bathroom schedule but if I had to race to the toilet every time he gave an inkling of a hint of a grunt I'd lose what's left of my tiny, addled mind. My god, the pressure!
"But Ali", you say, "it's just pee."
But criminy, it's PEE! On stuff! Stuff I already don't have time to clean! (Note to self: add "clean stuff" to Santa list.)
My hat's off to anyone who does this, and I'm not saying that in any sort of condescending, "Well good for you" way. She cares more about the planet than a whizz-free couch. Frankly, she cares more than me. I'll still buy the (hopefully) better diapers and recycle like a fiend (unfortunately composing is tricky in 750 square feet) but I will potty train like the Midwesterner I am.