This image is burned in my mommy brain: My oldest daughter, at about 22 months old, standing in our living room after I have dressed her in a pair of lime green, wool kaidangku, split-crotch pants, staring down at her bare parts and then looking up at me and grinning. That began our potty training odyssey, inspired by my research into Chinese parenting culture and other "odd" family practices. My girl would go on to pee on the floor countless times, and sit with her bare bottom on precious items. But she would be trained within two (if wet) weeks.
It was one of the eye-opening experiences, inspired by my years living abroad, raising my children and researching parenting beliefs. There were so many "wow" moments, when my middle-class mom instincts clashed with what I was living, hearing, seeing and reading. But I was intrigued, and learned more than I ever dreamed. Those discoveries (to be explored in later blog posts) include: