For now the gap between American and Czech ways is pretty narrow, but as Peanut gets older.. it’s widening..
Potty training – Huge debate in this house right now. Americans typically begin potty training around the age of 2. Czechs potty train before one. Yea.. one. They sit there on the potty reading a book, or on the potty eating their lunch, or on the potty eating their dinner. Either way.. that’s a lot of potty time. However, they do it out of necessity. Diapers are expensive (not to mention disposables are horrible for the environment!) and Czechs really don’t have the money to pay for over 2 years worth of diapers. They just pull down their child’s britches in the middle of a square and hold their daughter over a bush and let her pee there. In public. On a bush. In the middle of Prague. I shit you not. Our Peanut is half-way potty trained. She pees just fine as long as she’s bare-bottomed. As much as I love seeing her tush, she’s got to learn to pull down undies. We’re working on it.
Food – I don’t think we really battle much there between him and I. However, between the in-laws and me, we do. They’ll feed her just about anything and at any given moment and I have set schedules for eating (3 square meals and 1 snack time). I also didn’t want Peanut to have berries before 2 just in case she was allergic, that got blown out of the water quickly. I’m also firm that she needs milk at least once a day.. eh.. they gave her juice, and it wasn’t 100% juice either. That kid was wound up for a month.
Advice – I’ve noticed with Czechs that if it doesn’t concern them, they really don’t care. I like that. Sometimes I hate hearing people’s opinion about baby-raising..
Paci – Another ongoing battle here. Peanut is using her paci to teethe. She holds it like a pipe in her mouth and you can hear her grind the tooth on the nipple of it. This could be why I have zero problems with her teething. Hubby says it’s time to let go of the paci. So I told him that he’ll have to remove because I was not. So he did. That day she was a bit miserable, but amiable enough. That night, her heartbroke. She had those big blue eyes form tears on the bottom eyelids as she poked her bottom lip out and just said, “Mama, where’s my paci?” and just kept crying out paci, paci, paci. It wasn’t a scream or a demand, just a wail, like she lost her best friend forever. Hubby cried. He had tears streaming down his cheeks and he got the paci. “One more month maybe” he says.