Posts tagged ‘elimination communication’

April 19, 2013

Catching wees

Elimination Communication. I was going to say that this is not related to sewing or home education or anything else I have ever written on this blog but in fact it is.

Miss Froo was a nappy-free baby and grew into a nappy-free toddler and than into a child like any other who used the toilet like a normal person. It was a great adventure and a lot of fun most days with us all being able to know what she wanted unlike when my other children were little and it seemed that only I had the solution to anything! My boys were able to figure out that sometimes she needed a wee, not a feed so they didn’t need to call me to ‘fix’ her; they could fix her themselves and get back to watching the tv in peace. Which is exactly what J is doing in this picture.

children 004

This did involve some sewing. The poor mite was half naked for a lot of her small life so she wore a lot of wool booties, skirts, dresses and waistcoats either knitted by me or sewn from felted wool. I sewed little ‘one wee’ undies for if we were out and about and might miss a wee. I sewed a fleece cover for the rim of the top hat potty so her little botty didn’t get too cold sitting on it and made easy-on kimono type tops as button up babygros and vests with poppers at the crotch were no use to us.

It was all about watching, listening and learning. We all began to notice patterns and signs of her need to use the potty even from a few weeks old. By the time she was three months old even my Mum could catch a wee when she visited and Miss Froo not wearing a nappy was becoming totally normal, even to our friends.

The reason I am writing about this now is that I see from Twitter that this week is Real Nappy Week. I’d love clothie families to move even closer to the dark side and think about catching one wee day and see how cool it it is. Most parents who use nappies of any kind can sort of tell when their babe will need to fill it with something and if you tune into this and catch one wee or poo a day you can save yourself some washing or a disposable nappy. It is so much easier to clean a potty than a baby’s bum!

I was searching for a link to tweet that would explain it all in one go and I went back to a site I used to read all those years ago (six and a half) and saw that Chandra has written an E-book which is a starter guide to EC. It is written with humour and is a fun read which is exactly what the EC journey is.

Read it here and share 

In our home ed get togethers and elsewhere I’ve been pondering the fact that as our children grow we stop talking about the earlier parts of the journey and therefore aren’t communicating with those who are now at those stages themselves. I don’t want to be seen as someone who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt because I’m aware that not everything I have done has turned out as I might have hoped, but just as we share many practical tips in sewing or baking or gardening perhaps we should reach back to the earlier parts of our parenting and share our experiences with parenting newbies. I don’t know how to do this in real life but I think this must be what parents did in the old days or else no-one pre- internet would have been able to do anything!

December 4, 2010

How to sew FOE with your bias binding foot

I have trouble with Fold Over Elastic and gave up on it when trying to sew ‘one wet pants’ for Miss Froo when we were doing Elimination Communication with her. I could never manage to get the elastic folded properly around the edge of the fabric I was sewing and despite reading all sorts of tutorials carefully I never got the hang of it properly. I did a bit on a shirt for Miss Amoo a while back but I wasn’t really happy with it.

Then the other night I was cutting out a vest to keep my chest warm from a slinky-but-stained top my mum had abandoned at my house, I wondered if I could use my lovely bias tape foot to sew some foe on the raw arm hole edges and neck.

I got the foot out and took some pictures just in case it worked and I could share this with you

Thread the elastic into the foot nice and evenly

Add your fabric (this is my vest)

Poke the fabric right up against the midline of the foe

relax your shoulders, keep breathing and sew steadily with a long-ish stitch and a teeny weeny bit of zig zag. Don’t stretch the fabric, don’t hang on to the elastic too tightly either but do keep your fabric feeding in right up against the elastic

Well! It works! At this point I realised that I haven’t been so anxious whilst sewing for quite a while!

It turned out that I only had enough elastic to do the arm holes which meant a hiatus until further elastic was purchased. I am now wearing the vest which has survived washing and wearing with no elastic failure so far. Now that I know I can do this I will be making more winter vests as I am freeeeezing.

April 6, 2010

Am I Normal?

Well, not normal to our neighbours, to my in-laws, to some friends nor to random strangers who hang out in the the world at large.

We do a number of things which seem to separate us from the normal ones. Here are a few which have been noted by those folks mentioned above.

We live in a small house with a large family.
We have jumped off the train called regular salaried work.
We stopped going shopping for things that were not food.
Only one of our four children goes to school.
We like green-ness in our garden; not decking and paving slabs.
Our children play out in the street on bikes.
We have at various times eschewed nappies, babycages, stairgates, pushchairs, safety latches on kitchen cupboards, reins, harnesses and corner protectors.

I don’t think any of those things is particularly offensive to anyone else but home educating seems to offend the sensibilities of all sorts of people.

Why is home educating so odd? Why is it not accepted as just another choice in the educational spectrum and considered to be a reasonable choice to make? I get that lots of people might think that they couldn’t do it or that they don’t want to do it but I don’t want to spend hours of my day chained to a desk and other people think that doing that is normal.

Home education and home educators have been forced into the spotlight in the last year or so and pilloried personally and collectively by a number of organisations including the media, the government, the NSPCC and the opinionated man or woman in the street. I think that in part, this deluge of suspicion and criticism comes from ignorance and the other part comes from a desire to control what is currently unfettered by tick-boxes and management-speak. Whilst this is very frustrating and makes lots of us (quite rightly) hopping mad with rage, the spotlight offers society a chance to see something new and learn from it.

Every time a normal home educator (which we all are) talks about home education with someone else it becomes a little bit more normal. Every time a newspaper story shows normal looking people enjoying life with their children and learning alongside them, not sending them to school it becomes a little bit more normal. All the people who saw home educators at all the bubble blowing events across the country last year saw that the bubble blowers were just like them: normal.

Putting up small posters about home education on noticeboards in public places alongside flyers for nearly new sales, local events and toddler groups will, I hope, add to the normalising of home education in the minds of local people. It may also show families whose children are suffering at school that they could choose a different path which may help their child and the family as a whole.

Who knows whose Gran might see a poster and then at some point later when she finds out that her grandchild is being home educated is able to say “Oh I saw a poster about that in so-and-so and it seems that there are lots of things you can join in with locally and people who can help you” instead of “What? Is that even legal?”

If the no nappies thing is on your list of not normal, go and have a look here to see how normal it is.

January 21, 2010


Mr G’s cousin has just had her first babe and as I don’t feel I know her well enough to send her a sling or tell her about the joys of Elimination Communication, I settled on sending her a baby giraffe instead.

Here it is: thrifted cotton on one side and the remains of the rescued jeans on the back.

The pattern is from here but I stretched his neck out a bit to make him more easy to grab by little hands.