The day started out as usual; up with the Vs about 8am, made coffee and cinnamon rolls, and saw Husband off to work (he didn't have PT because he was on CQ duty, which lasts 24 hours). After settling down at the computer with my cup of chocolate coconut coffee, I scrolled through my blogroll while I sipped, clicking on whatever looked interesting. As I wandered through cyberspace, I stumbled across this blog on elimination communication, and was suddenly struck with this brilliant idea - and thus began my day of crunchy-esque parenting.
Which turned out to be about a half day.
I hurriedly texted my fabulous idea to Husband, who fired back this response: SOUNDS MESSY.
He was right.
After browsing my cupboards and determining that I wouldn't have to dash out right away for organic/all natural foods (it said, right on my Sprite can, "all natural ingredients"), I removed Vincent's diaper, looked him in the eye, and said "Okay, Little V. Let me know when you gotta go, capish?" When he ecstatically replied "BOO-gurk!" I assumed that was Emperorspeak for "You got it, Mam!" and turned back to my online chat with Stacey, assuming all was well in the Land of Elimination Communication, and that my offspring would effectively communicate his toileting needs to me at the appropriate time.
I had no more clicked open my chat window when the sudden and unmistakeable scent of Vincent doo reached my nostrils. I leaped up and snatched up my still-defacating offspring and raced to the trash can, trailing poop all the while, with Little V laughing hysterically and Big V making overdramatic retching noises and ostentatiously fanning the air around him. After ensuring that his bowels were empty, I wiped his butt, reinforced the Elimination Communication with Little V ("Next time, just start crawling toward the bathroom and I'll meet you there, okay?") and released my naked offspring. After gathering paper towels and 409 spray, I returned to the Scene of Elimination and proceeded to clean up the mess, with Big V offering commentary and inquiring as to whether I was going to put Vincent's nose in the mess.
Task finished, I again sat back down at the computer, with Vladimir on my heels. "How come you get to use the 'puter and I don't get my tv, Chief?" he asked. "Well, I have to chronicle our experiment," I replied. He clicked off my monitor. "Use paper."
After agreeing that the computer would also be off-limits, I asked what he wanted to do, to which he immediately replied "Go outside!" After sending him to his room to get dressed, I was confronted with the challenge of how to leave the house with my as-yet un-potty trained infant. After picturing myself dashing frantically back inside my building, trying to reach a sink or trash can while trailing urine and poo, I decided that one diaper in 24 hours wouldn't be too much of a cheat, and so put Huggies, socks, and pants on a loudly protesting Vincent and herded my brood outside to the playground.
After about 20 minutes, Vlad was sufficiently frozen enough to want to go back inside. After stripping off Little V's clothing, I removed his diaper and noted with some satisfaction that my youngest had remained dry throughout our foray outside. As I gave him smoochies on his face and belly and told him what a good job he'd done, he promptly broke into giggles and proceeded to pee on me.
After changing my clothes and once again reinforcing the Elimination Communication with the Emperor ("Vincent, say 'POTTY'!") Vladimir informed me that he was hungry and needed Second Breakfast. I dug through my cupboard and presented him with a bag of All Natural tortilla chips. "How about a Pop Tart?" he asked. "Those aren't All Natural, Vlad" I countered. He rolled his eyes and stalked out of the room, tossing over his shoulder "I think Vincent's gotta poop again!"
I dashed over to my youngest, who was standing at the coffee table with a perplexed look on his face. "You gotta poop?" I asked. "GECK!" he announced, so I snatched him up and streaked to the bathroom. After holding him over the toilet and watching him swing his legs and stare at his reflection in the toilet water for about 10 minutes, I concluded that it may have been a false alarm and transported him back to the living room, where he promptly peed on the carpet. Sighing, I looked around for a place to corral him while I cleaned up, and decided to place him in his Baby Einstein bouncer. Apparently, the act of bouncing was just the thing to stimulate his bowels. Jabbering excitedly, Little V bounced and peed, bounced and pooped, all to the tune of Rossini's William Tell Overture.
I decided that another tactic might be in order. I collected the pile of puppy pads that Pablo never used, and lay them all around the carpet in front of the sofa. After depositing my youngest on the now-protected carpet, I snuck onto facebook and updated how my experiment was going. As I clicked off, I looked up to see Vlad wandering back into the living room, completely naked. "What are you doing, Vlad?" I asked. "Bein' natural" was his reply. I sighed, collecting his workbooks. "Okay, are you planning on doing your homework naked?" "Yep."
After a couple pages of counting and alphabet exercises, he put his books away and told me he was going to go jump on his bed "To see what it's like when I'm naked." After a few minutes, I heard the sound of his bed being moved and went into his room in time to see him maneuver his bed in front of his dresser mirror, the better to watch his naked leaping. After ordering him to return his bed to its proper place, I realized that Vincent hadn't Eliminated in nearly an hour, and ran back into the living room, where once again the Emperor was standing at the coffee table, looking puzzled. After dangling him over the toilet again with no success, I carried him back to the living room, where he managed to crawl over to the one miniscule area of carpet that was not covered by puppy pads and once again, marked his spot.
At this point, I was getting a bit frazzled. Vlad was complaining that he just "need some time to watch tv and relax, Mom" and I needed to devote some time to doing my homework. I was 0 for 4 on the elimination communication, and in fact, the only person who seemed to be enjoying my experiment was Vincent, who would spend each and every day completely naked if I'd let him. I decided to re-diaper the Emperor and lift the tv ban, and conclude the experiment with a family co-sleep later that evening, which was promptly aborted once I realized Little V had no intention of sleeping (preferring instead to grab at my face and jabber) and Vlad rolled over and whacked me in the face in his sleep. I concluded that being a jello mama was much more my style than being crunchy, and transported each V back into their respective beds.
So. Much kudos to you mothers who make this a lifestyle. It takes time and dedication to make Crunchy Parenting run smoothly, and I definitely applaud your efforts. It's not easy bein' green ;)