Saturday, December 30, 2006

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation
By Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler

Chapter 2 Stupid Parenting Fads: Why Potty Training Your 10 Month Old Doesn't Work

The visit with the friends from Canada was more akward than anticipated. They spent the entire 3 hours playing with their child, which is not the weird part. The weird part is that they asked us no questions about how Rhett and I are doing. No small talk questions. No soul searching questions about events from this past year. Rhett and I can only speculate as to why they avoided such important topics. 1. They don't want us to feel bad or 2. They are emotionally immature.

Now, for the bitchy, gossipy part of the story.

Background: Canada is breastfeeding. She is an advocate of breastfeeding to the point where she derives identity from the fact that she is a breastfeeding mother. Canada's goal is to breastfeed until 2 years of age. Her SIL is still breastfeeding her 3 year old son. Now, Canada also practices a parenting technique which does not schedule feedings; she nurses whenever the child is hungry. A pacifier has not been introduced and I witnessed Canada pull out a boob at this child's every peep. This has lead to the baby being OVER 22 lbs, probably closer to 25. Now, normally breastfed children are less likely to be overweight than formula fed babies, but this appears to an exception.

Unfortunately, this child's proportions (height vs. weight) would be the same as like a 300 lb adult. And maybe that is an exaggeration, but the weight has hindered her mobility. She doesn't crawl in the normal sense. She kind of sits and drags her leg behind.

For those unfamiliar with children, most doctors recommend waiting until the child is 2 to begin potty training. They argue that the child must first develop parts of their brain and "bathroom" muscles making it possible to notice certain sensations. Potty training has begun on this 10 month old. You ask, "How do you begin potty training a child who currently has 2 words in their vocab (ma & duck)?" The answer: sign language. Canada says that they have trained her to touch her eye in a special way when she has to use the potty. What I witnessed was the child wetting her diaper, touching her eye, then two parents dropping everything to frantically grab the child, pulling down the cloth diaper, placing her on her potty and then nothing happening because she had already peed in her diaper. I don't believe this is potty training. This is a parlor trick that taught their daughter to tell them she wants her diaper changed by way of touching her eye.

Other signs have been introduced as well. There was a sign for nursing. What I saw was: Canada asking the baby if she wanted to nurse, a vague ambiguous reaction from the baby who had just eaten Cherrios and melon (hungry?), Canada latching baby to breast only to be bitten with two teeth twice then abandoning nursing for that moment.

While I sit in judgement, here are my thoughts:
  • Breastfeeding should be about providing nutrition. It is also a way to comfort and bond. When nursing becomes all about the mother, it just gets a little weird.
  • Sometimes it's better to conform to the "system" rather than always bucking it.
  • The Beldings are my control group. By comparison, Canada seems to be setting herself up for unreasonable and unnecessary benchmarks for herself as a mother and her child to reach.
  • Perplexed...


Blogger the future mrs. darcy said...

I thought the rule of thumb was to not let children with teeth near the tit. In fact if that is not a rule of thumb it should be.

Secondly, let me say how much I love Canada stories.

Thirdly, since I have no done so I was to offer my apologies to the Beldings for making their young son into "Colin Farrel as a pirate" if you took any offense. If not- YAR! Young Baby! YAR!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Margeaux Kramer said...

My mother taught me that if I had nothing nice to say, to say nothing at all. So, in that case, hope the rest of the trip to STL was fun!

11:07 AM  
Blogger snuffaluffacis said...

Sound advice from your ma MK - though it seems a little out of character for you - sure someone didn't slip something in your coffee this morning?

7:35 PM  
Blogger Margeaux Kramer said...

If your kid is old enough to ask for it, he's too old to have it. But then again, I probably don't plan on breast feeding and will incur the wrath of 1,000,000 angry moms just for saying that. OH well.

1:12 AM  

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