it has been reiterated over and over again by ECers in this thread that *listening to your child's communication* is the cornerstone to EC. I know I said in one post, listening to what my child was telling me about her elimination... even when what she was saying was "damn it, i don't want to sit on the potty right now, mom!"
but EC'ers will also tell you that how a child feels about eliminating, as well as which receptacle they prefer and the position in which they eliminate, is not a static thing. what *is* static with a growing, changing baby? so while a baby might fuss for a moment due to the change in air temperature or position, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are expressing a preference to soil themselves. sometimes, the reasons of which are only known to the child, they prefer a different receptacle or a different hold or a different location in order to be happy and eliminate - that's all part of the communication, responding to the child and discerning what they need at any given time. my DD2 has two little potties, they are slightly different shapes/sizes. and sometimes she wants the white one and sometimes she wants the blue one, and sometimes she wants the big potty (and sometimes she wants to face backwards on the big potty and sometimes she wants to face forwards
). who knows why but her? but if i thought when i put her on the white potty that she just didn't want to go and shrugged and put a diaper on her, i wouldn't really be listening to what she had to say, i'd just be giving up trying.
many babies cry when you change their diapers, and i don't think anyone here would suggest that it would be more AP to let your child fester for hours in a filthy diaper rather than remove the soiled diaper, even if doing so caused a brief moment of discomfort and upset for the baby. because even if a child *doesn't* express upset or discomfort in a dirty diaper, *we* know that it is not sanitary to keep them in it, even if it makes them happy to keep it on, and sad to change it. sometimes my 19 month old cries when i try to put gloves and a hat on her to go outside and play. but guess what, i'm not going to let her get frostbite just because she does not want to wear gloves. being AP doesn't mean letting your child do anything they want in order to avoid ever having them express a moment's discontent. and sometimes a child's needs and a child's wants are not the same thing, and that results in a temporary unhappiness that usually rectifies itself immediately once the child realizes that their needs were met. "i don't want to sit at the dinner table, i want to keep playing! waaaah.... oh wait, that food looks delicious, i'm starving! yummy!" yes, there are some kids who will always stop when hungry and ask for food, and others who'd practically starve if you left it up to them to ask to be fed. and many kids in the middle who sometimes stop and sometimes need to be gently led. elimination is not any different, some kids will make it blatantly obvious when they have to go and stop everything to take care of it, and others need regular reminders and a mom who stays aware of subtle signals and the clock to take care of that need. and many others will sometimes stop and sometimes need to be gently led. and maybe if they protest dinner time a lot one particular evening, they're really not hungry, and you leave them alone to play. and maybe if they're really protesting the potty, it means they don't need to go right now. i'm not a "you're going to sit here and eat everything on your plate if you're here till the morning" mom, and i'm not a "you're going to sit on this potty till something comes out" mom either. that's not respectful, that's forcing your will upon your child and it has no place under the umbrella of EC.
i don't know any EC'ers who would continue to try and keep a baby held over a receptacle or on a potty/toilet if they were arching their back, really crying or showing other strong signs of protest. that is child abuse, IMO, not EC. almost all of us have dealt with the "potty pause" - a period of time, usually during a developmental milestone, teething or illness, when a child just doesn't much want to deal with the potty. so you use diapers for backup for everyone's sanity, you cue and change immediately when they are using the diaper, you continue to offer and respect the child's refusal, and after a day or a week or a month or whatever it happens to be, the child is back to the potty again, as if there was no pause at all, and often with increased interest and awareness. it's all part of the *communication* which for most of us is the entire point in the whole thing, and not having to clean up poopy diapers and consistent dry nights at 4 months old and potential early potty independence and the rest of it are just the icing on the cake.
i know there's been a lot of dissing of Ingrid Bauer's book, but one thing she said that really hit home for me was that, much like a nursing strike, a potty pause is often an indication that something is going on. maybe it's simply an illness or milestone that's got baby's attention. maybe it's the baby's way of expressing that there's been a lot of disruption in his/her life and they need extra attention and snuggles. maybe it's simply a sign that the parent needs to re-examine the child's signals, that baby is signaling in a new way that the parent hasn't caught onto yet. it's all part of the journey, and as you figure these things out it enhances your understanding of your child and how s/he communicates what s/he needs.