Max asked me at breakfast this morning, “Mama, what’s 48?”

It took me a few moments to understand what on earth he was saying but after he said it a few times I told him that it is a 4 and then an 8. How else do you answer that one?

Then he asked, “What comes next?”

“49,” I told him, “and then fifty after that.”

And then he laughed.

Who knew numbers could be so funny?

Our EC Journey

Now that my graduation post is finally written, I will swing back to the other end of the spectrum and discuss baby stuff.

I have read about EC (Elimination Communication) for some time now, but never thought is sounded realistic. But things changed last week.

Since we are hoping for some kind of potty training miracle to fall from the sky and hit Max, was have potty chairs littered around our home right now in hopes of never missing an opportunity. Last Monday, I think it was, when Lily woke up first thing in the morning, I was changing her diaper on the floor. Right next to me was a little potty chair, so I figured, why not put her on it, she very often poops within the first few moments of waking up in the morning, maybe I can get away with not having to change one poopy diaper.

Well she didn’t poop in it, but she did pee in it right away. Over the next several days, I put her on the potty each time she woke in the morning or after a nap and sure enough she peed every time!

I have also caught at least the first half of her morning poops most morning since then. The second half is trickier since it happens about a half hour later.

Yesterday and today she has started something new, sometimes when I try to put a diaper on her she thrashes around and pulls at it while I am changing her. If I put her on the potty then, she will pee right away and then she is fine having her diaper put on. A couple of times now I have been nursing her to sleep only to have her wake up and start thrashing and crying, fighting me like crazy, so I put her on the potty, she peed and then was perfectly willing to go to sleep.

My mind is so boggled by all this.

In the mean time Max is making a real effort to go in the potty. Since there is obviously no pressure on Lily to actually go in a potty, it has been easier for me to let go of some of the pressure I have been putting on Max as well. He has been spending part of each day in big-boy- pants and has had reasonable success in those. When things get really busy though, he is still in a diaper. There is a coveted yo-yo ball waiting for him atop the fridge for his first poop on the potty.

And just so you don’t think I am certifiable, my goal with Lily is not to get her into panties before a year. I figure it is a few less diapers to wash and will keep her in touch with her body’s signals of when she needs to eliminate. That is what this is all about. Most days we have caught 2-8 pees and 1-2 poops. she still goes in her diaper, and I would not expect her to hold it until I got her to a bathroom. But it is much easier to keep her dry and happy this way. It really hasn’t taken any extra time, either. I have to change her diaper anyway…

After checking out a book from the library on Elimination Communication (The Diaper Free Baby) I realized that I have done this to some extent with most of my kids, I just didn’t start this early. Usually I would introduce a potty chair shortly after a year old and put the child on it upon morning waking, before or after baths, or when Jay or I would go. Within a few months they all seemed to get the basic idea and most of them were fully trained by age 2. (Max was obviously an exception to this, but then there is always an exception to the rule, isn’t there?)

But and 8 month old? This is completely new territory for me, but we are enjoying it all the same.

It began with mozzarella

My Graduate
When I was pregnant with Paisley, I craved mozzarella sticks from Denny’s all the time. As we drove away from her graduation, we stopped at Denny’s again and had a nice round of them with Posy and Ben and I thought, how fitting, to finish off Paisley’s childhood in a similar way to how it began, with mozzarella sticks.

The busyness of the last few months has kept me from really focusing on the hugeness of the changes that are afoot. There has been the usual Spring craziness of Lent and Easter, and there has been the rush to finish up college and financial aid applications and a little bit of surliness left to assert who is an adult and who is not. I kept getting a glimpse of what I was going to have to face – that my oldest child is… nah, I can’t say it yet – I haven’t had time to process any of what was going on.

Last Wednesday was the Baccalaureate mass for her class. They have been together to celebrate mass over the last few years so many times and now this was it for them. They left with a song about praying for each other and it left me wondering what things will be like for each of them when they come back for a reunion ten years from now. That mass was very special and showed me that all that sacrifice for tuition was well worth it. (When asked, Paisley’s take on it was that it was cheesy and lame, but I think it meant more to her than she was willing to say.) At one point I got all teary eyed and worried that I might become a quivering puddle of tears, but Jay’s mom fixed that by leaning over and whispering that one of the girls looked trashy. That was it, my tears were gone as I stifled a laugh.

Then Thursday was the graduation. It was hot in the church and the speeches were hard to hear, but it was amazing to seem my little girl, a high school student no more. Just that morning she had attended her Freshman Orientation for college. She graciously posed for pictures afterwards and then went off with her friends. I felt so happy for her, but so sad that my little girl was… nah, I still can’t say it.

I am grappling with the reality that one of my children is moving on to the next stage of life. Just when I was kind of getting the hang of having teenagers, THIS comes along. I remember being pregnant with her. It seemed like that first pregnancy would last a lifetime, I just couldn’t really imagine having a real baby to care for all the time. It was a totally alien experience and I wouldn’t know what it was about until I was there. Now here I am at the bridge to adulthood for her, feeling the same way. I can’t even imagine what it might be like to have one of my children grown, no longer under my roof. I know I will be her mother forever, and my job as a meddling, annoying, bossy, parent is still in full force, but it seems there has been another umbilical cord to sever. And it hurts.

This time is full of joy and tragedy, pain and excitement all at once. I am sure there will be more to discover as the summer moves on.