Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Archive for the tag “elimination communication”

Babyhood Banished

Not long ago I realized babyhood was fast becoming a thing of the past.

Today Platypup put the stamp on babyhood and mailed that sucker off.

You see, Platypup is now, dare I say it? Is there any wood to knock on out there in the interwebs?



Potty trained.


Tomorrow I will rouse myself to do the laundry as long as it takes to wash all the cloth diapers so we can banish them to the garage. Nothing but training pants and underpants for big kid Platypup!

Except we are flying across the country to visit my inlaws soon, so we will use diapers for the plane trip there and back and for nighttime just in case. But other than that, we are so very done.

Yesterday he told my dad, who was babysitting, every time he had to go to the loo, and today he ventured out of the house in underpants for the first time (armed with a bag containing two backup pairs of pants and underpants and a travel loo) and was all kinds of successful.

Lazy, half-assed, way part-time EC for the win!

And here’s the icing on the cake — the night-weaning has stuck, and more than that, Platypup has realized there are other delightful cuddly things to do in place of nursing when one awakens in the middle of the night — hugs (“Hugk!”) and kisses (“Giss!”) — and will demand them with vigor. Which helps make up for the fact that his potty trained self sometimes wakes up several times at night to visit the loo…

Platypup loves the cello… Almost as much as the drums! (Don’t mind the mess in the background; we are removing wallpaper.)

Enjoying the one day of rainy season we’ve had so far this winter… (Rain, Rain, Go Away is not a song for Californians.)

Baby wearing master. (Kid sling by Lydi-bug.)


Leaving Babyhood

I have known, intellectually, that Platypup was no longer a baby for quite some time. He runs, climbs, sings, demands, brushes his own teeth, and is absurdly proud of his shoes.

And Owlet is certainly no baby either, and hasn’t been for a couple years.

But the last 24 hours have contained not one but three laudable advancements toward adulthood to twang out those bittersweet heartstring blues.

Last night we officially began night-weaning Platypup. I have been feeling more than ready for some uninterrupted sleep, lately he hasn’t been settling back off to sleep while nursing as easily, and according to my wise friend Rapunzel (who has experienced both) night-weaning an older toddler or preschooler can be quite a bit more challenging.

It went very well, from my perspective. Thor stayed with Platypup and magnificently kept putting him back to sleep while I bunked down with Owlet.

This means I got to sleep last night. Real sleep. Like, multiple hours of it, something approaching a solid stretch of sleep. I think. I’m a little fuzzy on the details of what uninterrupted sleep actually feels like, having not experienced it in some time. But I think this was it. For sure one 3+ hr stretch, and a few smaller stretches.

Utterly delightful.

Platypup came in at the agreed-upon hour of 5am for some long-awaited milk and even more sleeping happened. It was so sweet and snuggly and I had really really missed him; quite a change from what had lately been something of a sleep-deprived battle.

Not one to do things halfway, he eventually woke up for real, got out of bed with Thor, and apparently took himself to the loo, where he pooped — the first time he has gone No. 2 on his own initiative rather than because we happened to time a pottytunity well or, more common, let loose in his diaper. He has really taken to having his own little loo (we are using the Potette Plus in potty configuration with reusable liner inserted because it is small enough for his feet to touch the ground firmly) and has been self-directing loo trips for pee increasingly often, but was not inclined to poop there. Until this morning!

And then, just for a growing-up triple play, I cut both kids’ hair this morning for the first time ever.

For Platypup, it was definitely time — his delicious baby locks were beginning to not only obstruct vision but also get stuck in food on his cheeks or, worst of all, snot in his nose. (Eeew!)

Owlet I would have gladly continued to detangle frequently in exchange for enjoying her ringlets awhile longer, but she demanded in on the home salon experience.

Here they are pre-clippers:




And here I am attempting to trim to some semblance of an even length while they thrash about in perpetual motion:




And the finished products!








Unphotographed Moments – Day One

I enjoyed having a theme for July. But it was a rather time-consuming theme. August’s theme is less ambitious but the potential for growth and introspection is still there. Win, right?

As I mentioned recently, I feel an obligation to capture every beautiful, funny, unusual moment of my children’s lives on, well, whatever we call what replaced film. Memory? Data? The Cloud?

This month there isn’t a ban on photography or anything so rash as that, but the goal is to experience those snapshot-worthy moments more fully by not always dashing off for the camera (phone? iPad?) and endeavor to remember them long enough to describe them here later.

I would love to hear your own unphotographed moments as well; please feel free to share.


Today’s Unphotographed Moments:

Waking up in the glow of morning curled tightly against a sleep-nursing Platypup, one cat at my feet, another at my back, fairly certain that we had awakened in exactly the position we fell asleep in together after I returned, far too late for Platypup’s liking, from a delightful night out on the town.

Major baby cacophony at our birth center parents’ group! Wiggling, crawling, toddling, giggling, babbling adorability. From every angle. Ceaselessly.

The love and delight on a successfully birthday-surprised friend’s face.

Thor and Platypup crashed out napping on the floor, Thor on his back, Platypup propped up against his chest.

Owlet’s devilish homemade-chocolate-ice-cream-covered face asking to go to bed early please.

Platypup making the clearest “loo” hand sign I’ve seen him do yet, trotting off to the loo, and making the gesture again while peeing and saying “tsss.”

Granny and Platypup laughing while dancing to bluegrass fiddling.

Feeding clover to eager rabbits at dusk.

Milk-drunk sleepy baby kisses.


I would like to end each day of unphotographed moments with a photo that must be taken from wherever I am when I finish writing the day’s post in a single attempt. Here’s what I see right now:


Question #5: To loo or not to loo?

(This post is part of a series for July 2013 entitled “Question Month.” Read the intro to the series here.)

My Facebook post earlier today:

“Question No. 5: Oh, magic eight ball, is now a good time to begin night-time potty training for one or both of my little ones?

“Owlet has been trained during the day since she was Platypup’s age and is no longer afraid of the bathroom at night, but does not seem to wake up yet before going.

“Platypup is going through a stage I remember Owlet passing through where he is often dry after naps, is really starting to signal before going, and appears to be waking up from having to go rather than just for milk. We did not seize this opportunity with Owlet, assuming it would last, but knowing it can be a fleeting stage makes me more willing to try, as much as I prize my sleep.

“(Owlet is 3 years, Platypup is 13 months, and both have done part-time E.C. from infancy.)”

Damned if I know. And judging by the lack of feedback, no one out there knows, either.

I really want to try Platypup. It’s just that his night diaper is kind of a force to be reckoned with: a pocket diaper stuffed with both an insert and a large prefold, covered by a plastic cover, covered by a wool cover.

Because we really, really like sleep. And dry beds.

I think if we were going to try night-looing him we would need to downgrade for easy off-and-on and risk waking up warm, wet, and smelly.

So maybe we’ll start with Owlet instead.

She is enthusiastically on board. Has been for months, just can’t seem to wake up in time. Either that, or she is saying “no” when she means “oh goodness yes I really really really have to pee.” In all fairness, I don’t often ask most nights — just pull her into bed and go back to sleep.

Tonight I mentioned it at bedtime and she said it sounded great. Especially the part about nursing afterward! We’ll see…


“Looming” (bad puns rule.)

Guest Blog Post at LittleOwlCrunchyMomma

Jackie at LittleOwlCrunchyMomma just posted my story of Owlet’s E.C. journey on her blog.

Turns out she and I have a few amusing things in common — not only do we both associate our daughters with owls, but it turns out her little one and Platypup were born on the same day!

Oh, yeah, and we both do E.C. But, you know, so does most of the rest of the world, in one form or another.

Check it out here: Guest Blog at LittleOwlCrunchyMomma.

Then check out some other posts, like Crepes with Soaked Whole Wheat Flour, Haven’t Washed my Hair in Three Years, and A Slap in the Face. Enjoy!

E.C. — not just about the pee

our boy soprano

Today, I have a six month old! (Also, yesterday Owlet turned exactly two and half years, but I’m trying to write an entire post about Platypup so shush.)

I find it quite odd to consider I was already almost done with the puking portion of pregnancy this time last year. At the same time, I am hard-pressed to remember life before Platypup.

While he has been known to kick up a fuss, occasionally even at night, I believe this is mostly just to remind us that he CAN so we won’t take his smiley, mellow, super-chill self for granted. He wakes up chattering away, making small chirping sounds, odd grunts, or even blowing raspberries. He is an adorable plump little glowworm in his Woombie and writhes upon waking like an cartoon tornado. There are only two conditions upon which he cries his way out of sleep: (1) he is soaking wet, and I mean his overstuffed diaper, his extra diaper cover, his pajamas, his swaddle, and the wool pad underneath him — thankfully wool is a powerhouse so our sheets don’t generally need changing when this happens; or (2) he is in his bouncy seat and starts to roll himself over while sleeping, becoming an adorably grumpy plump writhing upside-down glowworm faceplanted into the bouncy chair. (This is why we only put him in there if we are awake to monitor his position!)

Platypup is a poster child for breastfeeding. He only just got his first food at Thanksgiving last week (sweet potatoes mashed to perfection by Aunt J) and therefore I take total credit for his luscious rolls of baby fat that turn leg warmers into anklets and have on occasion meant his forearms grew out of a shirt before his torso. Especially since he sports cheeks to make a chipmunk swoon as well as a well-padded cloth diapered bum, he looks larger than your average one year old and is certainly already wearing that kid’s size in clothes.

the baby giant at Thanksgiving

I find Platypup’s age hard to fathom because we’re just not doing all of that obsessing-worrying-nit-picking nonsense. I get an email sent to me every week to remind me how old he is, and do actually read it at some point before a month has passed, but I don’t think all that much about what’s in it unless it’s amusing, like predicting that my baby will soon start to hold his head up when he’s had that down for ages, advising me on sleep training (um, no thanks), letting me know I ought to be washing anything that touches the floor with soap and water before he puts it in his mouth (I do sometimes manage to prevent him from mouthing the floor itself), or telling me not to worry because babies are supposed to be fat (duh). I don’t read ahead so I don’t worry over milestone-hitting. I don’t try to “train” him to do stuff like sit or roll or crawl, so instead I get to be pleasantly surprised when those things occur without my unnecessary coaching. If he’s amusing himself, I no longer feel the need to hover the whole time. And one more major difference with the second child — I never, ever find myself trying to think of ways to entertain him when he’s perfectly content tapping on the unopened fifty pound bag of flour on our kitchen floor, watching one of our cats take a bath, or chewing on his sister’s toy wooden screwdriver. In fact, my only real worry with him is that I don’t worry about him enough or, blissful baby grins to the contrary, give him enough attention. Somehow this became manifest in our lack of focus on E.C.

E.C. stands for “elimination communication” which is a gentle potty learning method you can learn lots about by googling. We had a good experience doing it with Owlet and had no question about taking that route with Platypup. I even caught some meconium in the toilet, so I thought we were a shoo-in for E.C. heaven. Wrong, for two reasons. First, as alluded to above, Platypup is not often the recipient of undivided attention. Second, possibly due to starting solid food later, Platypup still poops randomly, sometimes at the crack of dawn without warning and often at least once more, where his sister had developed a once a day, first thing in the not-crazy-early morning habit that allows us to number her poopy diapers from 3-4 months to the present in the single digits. (Jealous you are, yes?) About a month ago, we were only taking him to the loo maybe one or two times a day and not even looking for signs that he needed to go, so Thor and I agreed to make a greater effort before he turned six months, especially with crawling impending. But with a week to go we were still not doing all that much better. I decided drastic action was in order — I joined three E.C. groups on Facebook and trusted my mild FB addiction to do the job.

And it has. A low level of FB interaction on the subject has been enough to foster a nearly effortless transformation. One to two times a day skyrocketed into almost every diaper change plus at least one diaper-free period per day, aided in part by Platypup’s stiff legs of steel and increasingly mighty wails of protest during diaper changes. It was immediately apparent that the mild fussing we had previously been solving by offering milk or changing his position was happening right before every pee, in contrast with Owlet who never seemed to give any reliable signals, and as a bonus he is starting to squirm for longer in the morning prior to pooping, though the hour is still less than desirable.

Tangible progress aside, I love that this process is giving me a little sliver of one-on-one time with my small son. When he tilts his head back in the crook of my elbow and grins up at me, I could care less whether he subsequently pees.

real babies use the loo, yo!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: