These days I'm a stay at home Mum, but in times past I've worked in academia (I have a PhD in Bioinformatics), on research ships with trace metal chemists and for a financial software company. I live in outer London in a very suburban street. I am not a hippy, I'm a scientist (I still keep lab books but now they're about children). I like to follow up on a good idea, even when it doesn't fit with the majority view - and that definitely applies when deciding how to raise my children.
We went to NCT classes to learn the basics. I read Gina Ford - misery - and The Baby Whisperer - sounds sensible but actually a bit insane (says the lady who held her newborn over a potty). It turned out that I didn't want to follow any of them... but it took me a while to figure that out.
Apart from the brief dalliance with books and institutions, I suppose I approached parenting in the same way as many people - by assuming I'd do roughly what my parents did because 'I turned out alright'.
As it happened, that put me on the road to attachment parenting. I wore my first born in a stretchy wrap. I breast fed on demand. I talked to her all the time and expected her to understand me. I took her to baby signing classes because it sounded intriguing and I wanted to see it in action (and yes, it was as wonderful as everyone says).
We used cloth nappies (muslins with a nippa and a wrap) and I knew almost from birth when she was going to poo but (to my eternal shame) it never occurred to me to hold her over the toilet.
The long and short of it is - if I had been aware of infant pottying before my first child was born then I would have tried it long before I did. As it was I started pottying her at six months because a friend of mine had advised me to do it when she started solids.
Six months of avoidable dirty nappies. Six months!!
I then had trouble getting her to sit on the potty because she liked to stand up and so I turned to google for advice. There I made the forehead slapping realisation that I should have been doing this forever and haven't looked back.
I've set up the bornready website and forum in an attempt to Spread the Word across the ether.
To provide a foundation for those interested enough to read on, rather than simply boring all the parents in my local park.
If you've made it this far - stick with me for a few minutes. Look at some photos. Skim some text.
Sow the seed of an idea that you might one day want to see in action for yourself... (Then come back here and rave about your first catch to forum members who understand!)
Enjoy your journey.
Am I a hippy?
I am not a hippy. I am a scientist. A biologist. With programming skills.
Am I a hippy at heart?
No. I am a scientist at heart.
Heart, Soul, Head, Hands.
When did I start pottying my children?
From six months with the first, from birth with the second.
Why not from birth with both?
Because I hadn't been enlightened when my first child was born.
It wasn't mentioned in my NCT class.
Gina Ford failed to timetable it in despite trying to help with every minute of my day.
And The Baby Whisperer apparently doesn't interpret all newborn 'communication' in the same way as I would.