One reason I may never visit New York City

Posted by: Phineas on April 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm

**Posted by Phineas

This is what happens when you live in such a cultural cocoon that there is no one to tell you what a stupid idea your stupid idea is:

File this under “EW!”:

When Jada Shapiro decided to raise her daughter from birth without diapers, for the most part, not everyone was amused. Ms. Shapiro scattered little bowls around the house to catch her daughter’s offerings, and her sister insisted that she use a big, dark marker to mark the bowls so that they could never find their way back to the kitchen.

“My sister wasn’t a huge fan,” she said on Thursday.

But “elimination communication,” as the diaper-free method of child-rearing is called, 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.

Parents are drawn to the method as a way of preserving the environment from the ravages of disposable diapers, as well as reducing the laundering of cloth diapers and preventing diaper rash. Many of them like the thought that they are rediscovering an ancient practice used in other cultures, though they tend to gloss over the fact that many of those cultures had never heard of Pampers. But mostly, they say, they like feeling more in touch with their babies’ most intimate functions.

“I think for a lot of parents, the motivation is just to be more in tune with what their kids’ needs are,” Adriane Stare, proprietor of Caribou Baby and herself a diaper-free mother, said on Thursday, about a week after holding her most recent meetup. Another meeting was written about on Thursday on the news Web site; the next is May 14.

This is one of those things that happened before Rome fell, right?

When I think of getting “in tune” with a child’s needs, I think about things like food, shelter, clothing, love, confidence-building, instill good values… Not teaching it the right way to take a whiz between parked cars.

(And what of the poor schmuck who later picks that route to get to his car?)

Nincompoopery like this makes me think of “Green warriors” who want to preserve rural villages from the ravages of technology, so they can continue to live in virtue, close to nature… and then you go ask someone in that same pesthole village if they’d like to have refrigerators, electric lights, air conditioning —and diapers!— and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts for asking and answer “Heck yes! When’s the delivery?”

Sometimes civilization is a good thing.

Even in Manhattan.

via Jonah Goldberg

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “One reason I may never visit New York City”


  1. Tango says:

    Heh! “Nincompoopery” indeed! ;-)

  2. Drew the Infidel says:

    This is similar to such cultural black holes as Vietnam, where relieving oneself in the same manner as a farm animal is de rigueur. It was nothing uncommon to witness a woman lean to one side, hold her pants leg inseam away from herself, and let the urine run down her leg in public. They also defecate on their ancestors’ graves in the belief that “you came from nothing and go back to nothing.”

    “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” seems a better option along with answering nature’s call in a forest or cave as in Biblical times.

    A study of children raised in this primitive manner and their adjustment and social skills in adulthood might prove interesting. In the current vernacular, “We’re gonna read about these kids”.

  3. Carlos says:

    “EEWWWW” says it all.

    And there is anything civilizing in Manhattan? I didn’t know…And, as I understand it, Drew, the hemorrhoid of the world, North Korea, makes Vietnam sanitation practices seem terribly civilized.

  4. Stephanie says:

    So…centuries ago, chamber pots were tossed out windows (well, the contents, not the actual pots)and all the sewage ran in the streets and eventually to the rivers. And we had the rats and the fleas and the plague. Hmm. And I’m not supposed to wash my car on the street because the soap goes into the storm drain and pollutes the rivers. But we can ‘eliminate’ between parked cars? What the what?!?:-?

  5. Drew the Infidel says:

    @Carlos–Each one of those countries in that region earned the derisive moniker among GIs of “another Asian sh*thole”. In his “The Korean War”, Gen. Matthew Ridgway said every first-time visitor to South Korea asked the same question, “What’s that smell?”, the same thing I asked on landing at Osan in ’70.

  6. Steve Skubinna says:

    Why not just release the little bastards into the wild, let them fend for themselves naturally? That ought to teach them all they need know about life in Manhattan.

    Sometimes I think Rousseau has done more damage to civilization than Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin and Mao combined.

  7. Phineas says:

    Sometimes I think Rousseau has done more damage to civilization that Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin and Mao combined.

    They’re all Rousseau’s heirs.