April 22, 2013

"Elimination communication" — babies without diapers — "is finding an audience in the hipper precincts of New York City."

"Ms. Shapiro, who is a doula, a birth and child-rearing coach, says it is practically now a job qualification to at least be able to offer diaper-free training as an option to clients. Caribou Baby, an 'eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store' on the border of artsy Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has been drawing capacity crowds to its diaper-free 'Meetups,' where parents exchange tips like how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars."

It's Earth Day, baby. Catch up with the hipsters! Get cracking! Or do you not even know what a doula is? Well? Do you or don't you? Do you doo doo with a doula?

If you had to choose a dimension within which to aspire toward hipness, would you choose poop? Perhaps there's something especially hip about expressing lofty aspirations in the lowliest medium.

48 comments:

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Yeah, this has been a thing for a while. Basically it involves, if memory serves from when I used to read about this stuff at Slate, staring at your baby and doing little else.

TerriW said...

This was pretty big in certain circles almost ten years ago in Austin, Texas, when my first was born. Of course, I lived down the way from a Waldorf school, so that may be skewing the sample.

Edward Lunny said...

So ,now, these folks will need to be told to curb their children as well as curbing their dogs.
The lunacy and asinine behaviors of progressive nitwits never ceases to amaze.

Michael said...

My wife is an OB/GYN resident and she can't stand the doulas.

BarrySanders20 said...

I took the dog for a walk this morning and she pooped on my neighbor's grass. Much like a doula, I assisted her by taking her on that familiar jaunt. I dutifully picked up the dooty, duty-free, and placed it in our poop receptical. That was before I knew it was Earth Day when all things nature should be reunited with Mother from whence it came. I fail in many ways on the hipster scale, so this is just another strike against.

I thought the eco-hipsters did not breed. I wonder if they think they will get a pass from their fellow hipsters if they allow their kids to shit on the street. Seems odd to me, but what do I know about the hipster mind?

Michael said...

My wife is an OB/GYN resident and she can't stand the doulas.

MayBee said...

In rural china, babies (or at least toddlers) don't wear diapers and instead wear pants with a split at the crack, When we were in Beijing for National Day, the streets were packed and you had to watch out for abides squatting and moms behind them, holding a paper to scoop up their poop.

Bob Boyd said...

Teaching your kid to piss in the gutter.
Tom Wolfe had it right in 'The Great Relearning'.
I hope to live the rest of my life diaper free, but if my plan goes to shit I will use the Althouse Portal to buy my Depends.

MayBee said...

Nothing says "hip" like rural Chinese folk.

Rumpletweezer said...

My oldest daughter, now in high school, was delivered in the standard fashion: hospital room, spinal block, almost a C-section if not for the midwife who just happened to be there. Second daughter delivered in a tub of water in the presence of the midwife and a doula. The hospital actually advertised "free doula." A much better experience for everyone involved. The doula provides back rubs, goes for water and ice chips. I highly recommend midwives and doulas.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...where parents exchange tips like how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.

When do they get to the really useful stuff, like teaching them to poop on the hood of a police car?

AprilApple said...

Peeing in the street between cars. Basically OWS babies.

You'd think by now someone would have invented a biodegradable diaper.

CEO-MMP said...

It's all fun and games until someone shits on your lap.




(*and I'm only being a little sarcastic, mostly truthful. She was a sweet child, and she should've had a diaper on, but her parents took it off so she could go swimming)

Oso Negro said...

I can't stand bullshit like this. No one, but NO ONE, has raised enough children to be considered an expert on the topic. If you have as much as out-performed the average in your reproductive endeavors (1.86 per 2000 US census for families with children) you don't have enough energy left to tell anyone else what to do.

Henry said...

Like many Western post-colonial fantasies, this elimination fad substitutes massive amounts of human energy for some infinitesimal ecological triumph.

If you can hire the energy, you can buy yourself the merit badge.

* * *

Regarding doulas -- I was very happy to have a doula for the delivery of our third child. The doctor was good; the doula was good; everyone did their job and everything went well.

I wish we had had a doula for our first child when the OB/GYN was a rushed, uncommunicative, jerk. After that experience we switched practices to one that had midwives on staff and, for the third child, hired a doula.


Henry said...

I do remember the diaper wars. Just a minimal amount of research reveals:

a) Cloth diapers require a ton of hot clean water for cleaning.

b) Disposal diaper compact really well in landfills.

c) Cloth diapers are good for shop rags.

pduggie said...

I've only seen this from the asian grandparents in the park with their grandkids.

"Shh Shhh" is the sound you use in asia to promote the kid taking a whiz, which is why its funny when an imported english teacher in asia uses "shhh" to tell kids to be quiet

edutcher said...

Even the Indians (ours) had better sense than this.

jim said...

We are so fucked

jim said...

We are so fucked

MadisonMan said...

Yet another way to brag about your kid.

Meade said...

"If you had to choose a dimension within which to aspire toward hipness, would you choose poop?"

Aspirational pooping?

MayBee said...

MadMan:Yet another way to brag about your kid.

Also a good way to brag about themselves. Imagine the joy in knowing you are a very special parent.

Valentine Smith said...

I couldn't read past the "eco-friendly diaper service" in the article. The world is teeming with "eco-friendly" hucksters, doodoo ooh lala.

Fucking wankers.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Nothing says "eco-friendly" like coprophagia.

Valentine Smith said...

Maybee, so parents actually brag about their kids? Mine used to warn everyone about me.

TANSTAAFL said...

Ummm....diaper free babies. My wife and I just visited our son and DIL at Camp Lejeune in NC. They have 3, a 5 y.o. and twins, who were having their 2nd birthday. The first night we are there, son SGT Matt is getting the twins ready for bed, diapers, PJs and a roll of duct tape. He diapers the first one and proceeds to wrap the duct tape around the diaper. Turns out that the twins would strip in the night and DIL was tired of having to wash the bedclothes on a daily basis. They couldn't take the diapers off because of the tape, hence a clean bed every morning.

Van Wallach said...

As a Jew, I am always alarmed by "eliminationist" rhetoric. Can't we try a more positive term like "free-ranch potty training"?

rhhardin said...

The high is represented by the low, Kenneth Burke says somewhere, both representing the principle of hierarchy.

Maybe google will find it, I don't feel like searching the bookshelf...

hmm no but helpful secondary links lead to a page number which I type in:

"The forbidden (of either holy or obscene sorts) can become identified with the magic experiences of infancy, the tabus [sic]of the exremental, which are established along with the first steps in language, and fade into the prelinguistic stage of experience. Thus, ironically, the very "seat of highest dignity" can become furtively one with the connotations of the human posterior, in a rhetorical identification between high and low, since both can represent the principle of the tabu. A friend said:

"When I was young, I thought that a king's 'royal highness' was his behind, and that his subjects were required to show it great deference. I could not have told you what the principle of hierarchy is, but in this error I showed that I had got to the very foundations of it."

Rhetoric of Motives pp256-257

rehajm said...

It is hip to examine the practical, the sensible, the considerate.

Then do the opposite.

David said...

"De Camptown ladies sing 'dis song, doula, doula..."

whswhs said...

Wow, what a fine expression of wealth and privilege. All the way back to the court of Louis XIV!

Mary Beth said...

while holding him over the toilet or the sink for perhaps 20 seconds, and he would go to the bathroom on command or refuse if he was not ready.

So, basically the parents are trained to anticipate when the child will need to go to the bathroom and sometimes they guess wrong.

Moose said...

Why don't the mothers just lick them clean, like dogs or cats? That's REALLY bonding then!

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that they are thinking this through very well. We have spent thousands of years learning to live in high density urban environs, and one of the things that we have found essential for that is cleanliness. Human refuse in the streets was one of the big causes of illness, sometimes fatal. And, my understanding is that human fecal material is significantly worse for humans than that of other species, such as dogs and cats, likely due to the presence of pathogens adapted for our species.

If they were in most of Montana, or, indeed, the rural part of much of flyover country, this wouldn't be an issue. But, instead, this is in the middle of the biggest concrete jungle in this country. No, we really don't want our kids being trained to pee between parked cars and pooping in the shrubs and maybe even on the sidewalks. As someone pointed out above, this sounds an awful lot like the sort of thing made fashionable by the OWS crowd. And, maybe that is what their parents are preparing them for.

Douglas said...

I live in China, where babies poop and pee on sidewalks all the time and let me tell you, it's disgusting. You think living in a clean, sanitary environment is nice? You get upset about people letting their dogs piss wherever? Don't let this back-to-the-middle-ages fad get a foothold in the US. It's gross. If you see some mom letting her darling piss on the sidewalk in front of your building, yell at her.

mccullough said...

Doula is a great word.

mccullough said...

Any doubts that all health insurance policies will be required to pay for doulas.

chrisnavin.com said...

What's brown, red, and green all over?

furious_a said...

Nothing says "Earth Day" like contaminating storm drains and waterways with untreated human waste.

furious_a said...

The doula provides back rubs, goes for water and ice chips.

I thought that was what "husband in the delivery room" was for.

Lonetown said...

That's better than the 70's when the fad was raw wool diapers.

Whew! glad that one didn't last long.

Seeing Red said...

Mao used to shoot the peons if they did this, didn't he?

David-2 said...

Haven't seen this yet, but living in Seattle, it is only a matter of time.

Starting today I'm carrying a selection of these to offer to any idiot mother following this plan.

A small size for an infant, a medium size for an older child, and the largest size for the mother, to stop her self-righteous whining.

Rumpletweezer said...

furious--

<>

No, husband in the delivery room's job is to hold his wife's hand and comfort her during the contractions. Eye contact is very important.

Meade said...

David-2 said...
"Starting today I'm carrying a selection of these to offer to any idiot mother following this plan."

Great! And if you'll purchase them through the Althouse Amazon portal, you'll be communicating proper elimination attitudes while supporting the Althouse blog. Thanks!

Gabriel Hanna said...

"Elimination communication" means "potty training the parents".

Traditional Chinese families give their babies pants with no bottoms, let them run free in the yard, and eventually they figure it out. Our son was presented with a fancy pair from some cousins who live in the country, but by the time he's old enough he'll be way too big for them.

Sam L. said...

Raising OWSers from the cradle! Good going!