JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

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P.S. – postscripts to yesterday’s posts

May 10th, 2004 · 4 Comments

  • Anita Rowland posted some links describing “the intersection of real brain science and fantasy in the movie Eternal Sunshine“. I wonder how this storage(erasure?!) of emotional memories in the brain fits with some of the studies I linked in Pain: it’s in the brain.
  • Related to the piece I wrote on our mammalian nature: women, relationships and working:

    The Seattle Times published an article on How can moms and dads achieve equality at home? and its accompanying list of Tips for Dividing Chores Equitably some of which I only learned recently when I went to Boston for the weekend, such as Don’t give dads a prescription of what to do with kids and Let go of the idea only mom can “do it right.”

    Also Ted summarized and linked to a study on women and computer science.

  • Enoch in his comment on Cutting the cloth mentioned this recent NYT article on diapers and potty-training. Ah, potty-training. A controversial topic! I will say briefly that from my experience I’m not sure I agree completely with this article. Then again there are as many ways to potty-train children as there are children, I imagine. The expert in the article says that 50% of the worlds children are trained by age 1. I have a couple books on training infants, but what I found was that it wasn’t practical, especially for island living. To take the boat to Seattle or drive to Silverdale for our family requires the ability to go without a potty for a while. My infants seemed to need to go about every 20 – 45 minutes or less, and it wasn’t that predictable! (yes it is more training the parents than the child, go by the clock) Contrary to what the expert in the NYT article says, I think it is more convenient to use diapers rather than the potty, at least until the child has a longer interval between needs. Even my kids who can tell me when they “need to go” at age 2, have required assistance with some aspect of the potty up to about age 4. There ends my short treatise on toilet-training for the moment…
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    4 responses so far ↓

    • 1 anniem // May 11, 2004 at 10:45 am

      I blogged this article on my sprogblog, too. I said it was the worst advice I’d ever read. with all his “simply do this” advice, this man only proves that his wife must have done the real potty training.

      He neglects to mention that the majority of the developing world potty trains with what we would consider a bizarre method of sound-cues and instinct. When a mother never puts her child down, instead carrying him or her in a sling all day, she instinctively knows when the baby is about to go and points the bottom (already uncovered or loosely covered) or front toward the ground and gives a sound cue. The baby goes, this often works after only a month or two of age. This method is often called Indigenous Potty Training, and is almost unheardof in the western world. In absense of this way of life, parents hardly need to feel guilted or failing for our comparably late training ages.

      This guy represents a harsh and strict tone that I thought was nearly extinct in modern parenting (except BabyWise!). Schedule driven instead of intuitive, filled with veiled accusations of lazy or dumb parenting. I’m really astounded that the NYT published the article, but I guess the editorial board either doesn’t have kids or has wives who protect them from the real day-to-day difficulties of child raising.

      Whoo, that was long. I forgot how upset that article made me. Sorry for the rant! Have a nice day-

    • 2 Julie // May 11, 2004 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks, Annie. I was trying to be concise with my comments about the article and I agree with what you wrote. The books I have adapted the method more for the Western world(toilets), but it is still pretty impractical for our lifestyles and sanitation, nevermind the logistics of my island life…And I don’t think anyone is harmed by taking an extra year or two or three – it happens eventually – as someone once said to me when I was getting stressed over it: no one wears diapers to kindergarten!

    • 3 anniem // May 11, 2004 at 5:28 pm

      Exactly! At my son’s two-year check-up, my ped asked me how the journey toward potty training (teaching) was going and I sheepishly said he’s still totally in diapers. The guy, (Dr. Ho in Houston, he’s great) bless his heart, said, “oh don’t worry about it, my daughter’s three and she’s still in diapers, too!” My son was quickly potty trained only after I failed twice on my own (once bare bottoms and once with cloth diapers sewn into undies) and then enrolled him in a part-time preschool. The peer pressure got him. My daughter, on the other hand, is 15 months and well on her way just from watching the family. Kids do what kids will do, and–especially regarding potty training, but walking, talking, and eating also follow–we parents are just the cheerleaders.

    • 4 Katherine // May 11, 2004 at 9:08 pm

      I have to insert my two cents about toilet training – my son was trained at 2 yrs 9 mos for the purpose of being able to go to preschool, and my daughter at 25 months (whether because of being a girl or being the 2nd child or both or neither, I’m not sure), both using the old book “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day” by Drs. Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx. It worked very well for us. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but it certainly can work and avoid months of taking the child to the toilet by the clock. I know a mom who has twins my age, and she used it for them about 30 years ago, so it has stood the test of time and twins too!