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DAN'S PAPERS, June 12, 2009 Page 58 www.danshamptons.com

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HOMELIFE

By Susan Galardi

Recession = Eco-Friendly Training Decisions The repercussions of the downturn in the economy aren’t all bad. (I know – this coming from a person who still has a job). But it’s true. People are making more thoughtful decisions about how they’re spending money. Craig’s List activity must be booming. I know very few people right now who are buying retail – particulary for their children. When you can get a brand new pair of kids’ roller blades for $10, why pay $50? Not only is this good for our diminished nest eggs, it’s also great for the environment. There’s so much that can be recycled and re-used, and buying “preowned” items means less stuff in the landfills. What does this have to do with kids? Well, they’re affected by the downturn too – a topic I’ve addressed in this column recently. But what made me choose to write about this today was a news tidbit I read last week. In addition to Walmart shoppers opting more for the ground round rather than filet, the chain has noticed a marked drop in the sales of diapers – particularly those interim “pullups.” Seems parents are going right from diapers to undies. In this country, most kids are potty-trained between the ages of two and three, with the belief that boys take longer. On average, the numbers are 39 months for boys, 36 months for girls. I remember how proud we felt when my partner managed to get our son diaper free a few months before his third birthday. What an accomplishement! When we had our son, I remember reading an

article about another option to diapering. It said that some parents actually start potty training a baby as soon as he or she is born. Apparently, this is popular in many other cultures, where Americans are considered insane for using diapers on a 30-pound children who can walk and talk and follow direction. There’s a website (actually there are many) on this topic. One states, “The process involves observing one’s baby’s signs and signals, providing cue sounds and elimination-place associations, and can be done with or without any diaper use.” The site goes on to say “Before 1950, most children in the United States were toilet trained by 18 months. And today, most African, Asian, and European babies are trained well before their second birthday.” So why do we let it go on so long? A simple answer: The very disposable diapers that parents are starting to pooh-pooh. They were introduced in 1961 and used widely by the 1980s. Supply created demand. Considering that a baby will go through 2,000 diapers in a year, times three years – that’s 6,000 disposables in the landfill per child. But it

was convenient and we Americans like convenience. When we were dealing with our son, a friend strongly recommended cloth diapers – apparently they not only help with the garbage problem, but speed up the training process since the child actually feels the discomfort of the wetness. But we eschewed against disposables with the rationalizations that all that washing would burn electricity, and gas-gobbling diaper service trucks would burn too much fuel. So we contributed to the landfill, and paid the price for diapers, which become more expensive as the size increases. But now, thanks to the recession, Americans are wising up. When I read the article, it made me happy on one hand that we were stopping the insanity of diapering through pre-school. As a mom, and now a card-carrying worrier, I was concerned that kids would be forced into the humiliation of wet pants before they were ready. But in these trying times, many of us – including our kids – need to buck up for the common good. For info about early potty training, try http://diaperfreebaby.org.

Kid’s Calendar SATURDAY, JUNE 13 80th ANNIVERSARY BASH – Balloon sculpting, potato sack races, Bocci ball, lunch and more. $30/$15 per child. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Montauk Yacht Club, 32 Star Island Rd., Montauk. 631668-3100. FATHER’S DAY ART WORKSHOP – $20. 14 Gingerbread La., East Hampton. 631-324-0603. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE FESTIVAL – Local strawberries served with shortcake and whipped cream on the front lawn of Old Whalers’ Church, 44 Union Street, Sag Harbor. 1 – 4 p.m. $6/$3 kids. 631-725-0894. PINE BARRENS DISCOVERY DAY – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nature walks, games, presentations and workshops. www.pbdiscoveryday.org. Suffolk County Community College, Eastern Campus, 121 Speonk-Riverhead Rd., Riverhead. 631-224-2604. CLAY MUGS FOR DADS – Clay workshop. 1 p.m. Hampton Library, Bridgehampton. 631-537-0015. SUNDAY, JUNE 14 FAMILY HISTORY DAY – Create a family tree, and look into the genetic traits that make your family unique. LI Science Center, Riverhead. STORYTELLING CONCERT – Heather Forest. $5/$10 for family of 4. 3 p.m. Garden of Eve Organic Farm Market, Riverhead. 631-722-8777. PROGRAMS/CLASSES AMY’S ARK FARM – “Art of Life.” Tuesday to Friday. 4 to 5 p.m. Small art classes held in a converted barn in Westhampton. Focus on art, cooking, reading, yoga and more. Ages 4-9. $85 per 4 week session. 631-288-3587 or 631-902-3655. GYMBOREE AT CMEE –The Children’s Museum of the East End presents “Gymboree.” Friday mornings in May

and June. $110/$120. 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. 631537-8250. RHYTHM RECREATION – Introduction to dance. Thursdays thru 6/25. Ages 3 to 8. $55/$45 residents. Lodge at Squiretown Park, 62 Red Creek Rd., Hampton Bays. 631-728-8585. ONGOING WATER MILL MUSEUM – Mondays at 11:30 a.m. “Milling Around” – Grain grinding demonstration with the mill stone. Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Children free, adults $3. 41 Old Mill Road, Water Mill. KIDS KARAOKE – 5 to 7 p.m. Regulars Music Café, 1271 North Sea Road, Southampton. 631-287-2900. SOUTHAMPTON YOUTH SERVICES – Kids’ programs continue daily with sports, dance and fun. Call for info 631-287-1511. HAMPTON LIBRARY STORYTIME – Saturdays 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Children ages 4 to 7. Stories and music making. Registration required. Hampton Library, Bridgehampton. PETTING FARM AT AMARYLLIS SANCTUARY – Sundays. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Pony rides available on most days. 93 Merchants Path, off Sagg Road (behind Wolffer), Sagaponack. 631-537-7335. ART AT THE GOLDEN EAGLE – 14 Gingerbread La. East Hampton 631-324-0603. CMEE – Children’s Museum of the East End. Interactive exhibitions, arts and science based programs and workshops, special events. 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. 631-537-8250. $7/free for members. SOUTHAMPTON TOWN WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES – Call to register for classes. 631-728-8585. GOAT ON A BOAT – Goatonaboat.org. Puppet Play Groups for children under 3 on Mon., Thurs. and Fri. at 9:30

a.m. Tot Art for children 5 & under Mon. and Fri. at 10:30 a.m. Rte. 114 and East Union Street, Sag Harbor. 631-7254193. LIL COWPOKES PONY CLUB – Every Sat. from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for ages 3 and up. Learn about animals and how to ride a pony. Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue, 93 Merchants Path, Southampton. 631-537-7335. ART BARGE – Open May though September. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Offers weekly children’s studio programs. theartbarge.com. AFTER SCHOOL ART – At the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton. 631-283-2118, ext. 40 or visit parrishart.org. MOMMY AND ME – Mondays 10 a.m. for pre-school children and their parents/caregivers. Montauk Library, Montauk Highway, Montauk. 631-324-4947. MUSIC TOGETHER BY THE DUNES – A music and movement program for children newborn to 5-years-old and their parents/caregivers. Mon. and Tues. mornings at the Dance Centre of the Hamptons, Westhampton Beach. Thurs. mornings at the Southampton Cultural Center. Fri. mornings at Southampton Town Recreation Center on Majors Path in Southampton. 631-764-4180. YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Sponsored by the Town of Southampton Youth Bureau to give kids a voice in town government. 631-702-2425. JOHN JERMAIN LIBRARY STORYTIME – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. John Jermain Library, Main St., Sag Harbor. 631-725-0049. Send all events for the kids’ calendar to events@danspapers.com by Friday at noon.

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Dan's Papers June 12, 2009  

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