This past fall, I agreed to coordinate an art competition for my son’s elementary school. The oversight of this program included working with school staff, budget mapping, recruiting volunteers and judges, event planning, marketing, public speaking, and data management. Some may say, “But it’s for kids, right? Small scale?” I suppose. However, I think of kids as our most important shareholders in a way, so the stakes were high in my mind. Oh, and by the way, I’m not actually the “artistic” type. So the project management piece of this was just fine, but the actual getting-kids-jazzed-about-art was something that I hadn’t thought about before signing on. Yet with all of that, what concerned me most was whether I still had my grown up chops. I’m talking about being able to hold my own and remain verbally agile in adult dialogue over a multi-month project.
For the past 7 years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom with two young boys (by choice, and I love it). So most of my days are spent discussing the merits of dinosaur vs. oval shaped chicken nuggets or perfecting my living room fort building skills. I talk kid-speak constantly. When spending time with adult friends, I’ve accidentally reverted to my mommy-mode and announced I needed a “potty check.” My husband has greeted me with “Hi, Tara,” and I have responded on auto-pilot with “Hey, buddy.” I perpetually walk around with my hair in a wet knot while clothed in semi-clean jeans and a fleece top.
So entering into this project, I was a little nervous. What if I asked a professional photographer if her dinner was “nummy” ? Or what if I ended a talk with the principal by saying, “Sure thing, big guy.” These things just spray out of a stay-at-home parent’s mouth like a geyser. (more…)
Of all of my parenting decisions, my choice to use cloth diapers raises the most eyebrows.
People tend to treat it like an admirable but inconvenient decision that they would never seriously consider themselves, like converting your car to run on vegetable oil or biking everywhere instead of driving.
They see it as difficult, and a little weird.
This bothers me, because I think my choice is more convenient, not less.
I use a diaper service, Happy Nappy, and since they bring my diapers to my door and take them away from me on a weekly basis, you could argue that my choice is actually lazier than using disposables, since I never have to go shopping for diapers. I don’t deal with any more poop than a parent who uses disposables. In fact, since I find that disposables have a deplorable tendency to leak poop down my baby’s leg, I actually deal with more poop when he’s in disposables.
Their cost is comparable to disposables – around $25 a week – and service becomes free after you’ve been with them for 30 months, because kids usually potty train earlier in cloth diapers. So either my kid will be potty trained by 30 months, or I get free diapers. That makes it a cheaper choice, even with the convenience of a diaper service.
So here I am, making a cheaper and more convenient choice, but people respond as though I was hand-knitting my entire family’s wardrobe or something. (more…)
Looking back, I think my son’s potty training went pretty smoothly. Using a mix of cloth diapers, disposables and some elimination communication (intuitively, because at the time I didn’t even know about that concept), he was completely diaper free at 18 months, even at night.
However, now that I have a daughter (13 months) other issues arise, and suddenly I am at loss at what to do. Let me try to explain.
First of all, in between my two children, I read a book on elimination communication (EC) and decided to give it a more consistent try with my next child. For those of you who are not aware with EC, it is a practice that was quite common in the past (and is still used in several countries)and that eventually got “lost”. (more…)