Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Being the Only One

The other day on Facebook, a former colleague of mine from Kyrgyzstan posted pictures of his new son, now a few months old. In one photo, someone held the naked baby with his back to her chest, his legs up and apart, clearly in a position to go to the bathroom.

This is normal in Kyrgyzstan and my colleague didn’t take any note of the fact that his baby was going to the bathroom without diapers. Instead, he commented on the baby’s facial expression, seemingly asking his parents what they expected of him.

I forwarded the photo to our babysitter. She hadn’t heard of elimination communication until she came to spend time with River. She did watch our copy of the Potty Whisperer video though and took on the challenge enthusiastically. She has been very helpful in the EC process and I think she should take credit for the results appearing so quickly.

Her response was “We think River is so amazing for doing so well (and, of course, he is!), but compared to the rest of the world it doesn't seem that special!"

This morning she told me she’d been discussing elimination communication with her husband and the challenges of attempting something that is so rare in one’s own community. She asked me, “Are any of your friends doing ECing?”

I paused for a moment to think. I thought of my friends who do yoga, who teach their babies music, foreign languages, who feed them organic foods, who gave birth at home. Nope, as far as I knew, none of them were doing elimination communication with their babies.

For the first time, I momentarily felt a sense of isolation. Am I really the only person I know doing this? Then I reminded myself to not limit myself to my physical community. There are millions of parents all around the world raising their children this way. They were my example and this particular lesson seems to be working so far.

Instead of feeling odd or isolated, I’ll just be grateful that I have access to different cultures and ideas and am able to choose what I think seems helpful from each one.

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