Last month I was feeling so positive, and we were getting so many catches, it was amazing. After I wrote the last update, I actually thought to myself that this month I should dwell less on the missed opportunities (as funny as they may be sometimes), and focus on the successes. Unfortunately, however, I am not about to do that as month 14 feels like 4 weeks of constant misses! For real. I kept thinking maybe my timing was just off, and the next day would be better, but nope.
One thing that I am coming to terms with this month is that we are reaching a bit of a critical age for EC. 15 months is when my daughter started her potty pause (read: complete refusal to sit on a potty or pee in any place but a diaper), until we did a full potty-training experience at 17.5 months. So I don't want to mess this up!
A change that I made towards the end of this month is to have Alek in training pants, or occasionally a prefold/diaper belt, almost all of the time when he is at home. I am happy with this change, and yet it is frustrating because 90% of poops and probably 75% of pees (depending on the day, of course) end up in his trainers. WHY is that happening? Mostly, it is on me. Lately I have been feeling tired, burnt-out, stretched too thin. And not because of EC. EC is easy, simple, fun. But between waking up around 5am each morning with Alek (still not sleeping ttn either), homeschooling my daughter, managing our home and trying to keep up with my goals and commitments for this business (oh yeah, and my husband has been doing over time for about 2 months on top of it all), I have become forgetful, distracted.... Something has got to give!
As an example, this morning I was trying to do some last minute advertising for my upcoming potty-training class. My daughter alerted me that Alek was playing with a pen, and since I didn't want him crying, instead of taking it away, I gave him a piece of paper. I was so focused on my work that it was about about 10 minutes later that I realized I had completely forgotten all about the pen. And then I saw his drawings all over the couch...
Another big change from last month is nighttime. Last month Alek was holding his pee almost all night, and this month he is wet most of the time by 10pm. Some nights I have even changed him into a dry diaper at that point, and he is soaked again in the morning. What gives?
As I mentioned earlier, I have been missing probably 90% of his poops, which is admittedly a little shameful since he almost always poops around 20 minutes after breakfast, so if I were paying more attention I should catch that one no problem. But he generally poops 2-5 times per day, and the other times are anyone's guess! I do wonder if Alek has more control over where and when he poops than he lets on. He definitely never lets me know when he's going to poop, and yet I cannot remember the last time he pooped in his diaper in a public place. As an example of his stealthiness, the other day at home I was determined to get the after-breakfast poop, so I put him on the potty right after breakfast but he didn't poop on the little potty. Awhile later I tried again, but this time using the classic EC hold over the sink so that I could help him into a really deep squat. He did not poop, and, as it was easy to see in the bathroom mirror, I did not see his sphincter move or anything to indicate that he was trying to push. Since I was pretty sure it was going to come shortly, I decided to leave Alek naked on the bottom and try to be really mindful of him. Less than 5 minutes later I was speaking to my daughter in the kitchen, and Alek walked up to her to try to hand her something, when 2 big logs fell out of his bum! No squatting, no face, nothing but the sound of a plop on the floor.
A friend of mine was saying a couple weeks ago that people would always tell her that if life was getting tough and stressful, EC should be the first thing to throw out the window. She disagreed and replied (I'm paraphrasing here) that it would be unimaginable, she would not give up ECing her child for convenience, just as she would not give up feeding or clothing them. I had to think about this for a bit, because for me EC is a priority, yet on a daily basis it is the thing I end up dropping. Sometimes just because I am lazy and tired, but mostly because I am so preoccupied working, cooking, planning etc... It is unconscious, I finally remember to prompt him to potty but alas, he is already wet. Again. And oh great, there is a poop in his training pants too.
So, I need to make some changes. Because I DO value EC. I believe in it, and I know that it works. I have had the times where he and I are in sync and 90% of everything goes into the potty and it is wonderful. Most of the time now when we do catch a pee, he proudly picks up the potty insert, walks it (pee splashing around in there) to the bathroom and dumps it into the toilet. And he has only just turned 14 months. It is incredible! So, I need to do better. To be honest, Alek does not seem bothered most of the time by wet pants or even poop in his undies. Yet there are moments, perhaps only a couple per week, where he has signalled to me somehow and we have caught his elimination in the potty (otherwise, we go by timing). I know that EC is not a race, and I am not aiming to have him 100% potty trained or anything, but I do think that I own him the opportunity to stay dry. The opportunity for him to start caring more because he is more accustomed to peeing/pooping in the potty than in his pants.
So, here we go. month 14-15 is upon us. Can I make it right?
How is EC going for you? I would love to hear about your experiences, Please leave a comment below! If you are just EC-curious, read more with the Go Diaper Free book or Andrea Olson's wonderful online master mini-courses. The Disana knit wool leggings above are from Warmth and Weather.
Hi! I'm Danielle, your friendly neighbourhood potty specialist.