Saturday, May 30, 2009

We used to nurse

Last week things finally started to settle a bit once we had a buyer for our house. This piece was started several days ago but never finished, so I guess they didn't settle down all that much! I'll let the rest flow as it was written (verb tense inconsistencies and all) and just finish the story where it stood last week.
Maybe now that my son sees that I'm not totally frantic all the time, he's able to stop being as whiny and just plain drop down to show he needs a close connection. And I think I've been more in touch with my own feelings than I'd been able to, living with half my life stuffed into closets or in my car or in storage and having to scrap dinner plans to get take-out or eat cold (organic) hot dogs and sauerkraut for dinner because some realtor wanted to bring over a client. We hope those days are behind us, and though there's still a lot to do, we are breathing easier...

So, for the first time in the two months since my son weaned on his third birthday, I've had the desire to nurse him and sense he wishes he could. He's been touching me in a way that says "we used to have a special way to comfort me, and now that's gone." He's also been putting his hands in his mouth a whole lot, and he was whiny and tired for the sitter the other day. So I made an appt with the craniosacral therapist who will split his time -- work on E for 30 min, and then work on me for the rest of the session. It's not ideal, but at least we both get something.

R said that E was pretty restricted in his head and compressed in his thoracic area. He said his fall a month or so ago was something he was indeed working around, and he recommended probiotics. Of course, now that he's not getting nutrition from me, I've got to be more vigilant about the probiotics and cod liver oil. I can't just assume he'll get a share from me. He's all on his own now.

And I have to find ways to meaningfully connect with him even if things are still a little nutty and rhythms & rituals are not so established. He fell asleep after the appt (at 6:15) and then woke at 10:45 p.m. a little hungry. I was still out at a MNO dinner, so my husband fed him and then I returned, quietly changed clothes and planned to snuggle him down to sleep since he'd been asking for me when he woke. Part of me thought I should just let him come into our bed and be a big family, but I knew that none of us would sleep as well as we would if he were in his room. I walked into his room to get his jammies, and he followed me, clearly content to go back in his bed.

I snuggled him and remembered why I loved for so long cosleeping in a family bed. It really is beautiful to share sleep, to share closeness. And it's great to be able to do that now that he doesn't need it all the time and feel like it's a homecoming. I am glad he has his own space, and he says with high eyebrows and a gleeful sense of pride, "I slept all night in my bed!" when he does (typically first waking us with the sound of pouring his IKEA mini-potty pee into the big toilet).

I was beginning to wonder if there was something wrong with me for not feeling nostalgic about nursing -- for just feeling such a clear-cut break after being so connected to nursing as part of my mothering identity for three years. It kind of felt humanizing to get the sense that we both felt something of a longing, even as we understood that chapter was over.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"I'm growing up!"

Yesterday we went to Frying Pan Farm Park where just a few months ago we saw newborn piggies and lambs, and, while watching the piglets nurse, my son announced to my video camera and his buddy, G: "I'm going to stop nursing when it's my birthday!" We'd had one or two conversations about that possibility, and he really seemed to embrace it that day at the farm.

We returned yesterday for G's bday party, and it felt a little like a mini-graduation to me to see the then-tiny pigs and lambs so much bigger. "Our" black and pink pigs were actually inside, where it was harder to take photos, but you get the idea with this big pink papa piggy and his little ones.

Now that we are almost two months beyond weaning, it really feels like such a long time ago. It was so clear that E was ready to be done, as was I. This last 6 weeks trying to sell the house has been so stressful. I think nursing would have driven me crazy, and I think it would have just felt confusing to him since it wasn't really helping him cope anymore.

Within a week or two of weaning, E started to say, "Look at me! Look what I can do!" Recently, E has been telling us, "I'm growing up. I'm getting so big." No doubt he's heard this from us in our attempts to get him to let go of some behavior we're ready to be done with. It's funny but also comforting to hear him brag about his maturity, like is comfortable moving on and growing into his next self.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Raising a Traditional Foods Snob

"Here, Mommy," my son said as he handed me a bowl of wooden fruit and eggs he "made" for me in his play kitchen. There was half an orange, cucumber, banana, carrot and mushroom. He's been making me a lot of "food" lately and enjoying watching me pretend eat. And then he takes a turn, chomping the air loudly and happily. But now baby's adding in the food sensitivity piece.

"It's soyfree!" he noted with glee, then adding with questioning eyebrows, "Do you eat soyfree?"

Damn, I didn't know I even talked that much about soy. I bet it's that label reading in the grocery store to avoid getting some crap we don't need. He's been whining, "Why does it have gluten?" for a while now, but to hand me an orange and assure me it's "soyfree..." Egads.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun with my Son in the Fleeting Sun

How lovely to enjoy a walk in the woods with my son and not be thinking of other things I could be doing.

Other than yesterday's trip to Hidden Oaks Nature Center, lately I've pretty much sucked at in-the-moment living. When you've got two adults and a three-year-old living in a house that is supposed to be clean enough to show to prospective buyers at the sound of a ring tone, there is a neverending battle to work toward "pristine." It's hard to enjoy lunch if you're thinking about needing to clean it up fast, or to drop down into play if you're focused on cleaning up everything else first and making sure all the animals stay in the damned barn. Really, I think they'd like to be in there. I mean, it's raining!

And speaking of rain, this past week it's been like an in-law who can't take the hint that it's time to leave. We are beyond lush. We are tropical, overgrown, dripping with fecundity out there in the natural world. Open house? Rain. Two potential buyers coming over at dinnertime on Wednesday and Thursday? Rain. Just as I'm about to head out to pick up a test at the doctor's office, to be followed up with a trip to the nearby nature center? Deluge. It was like a white-out, it was coming down so hard.

But then it stopped and I got a glimpse of blue. So off we went, and our trek through the trail actually found us following some sunshine. I didn't mind that I didn't have the camera, and I wasn't in a hurry. In fact, I had no desire to be home more than an hour before the folks came to look at the place. Longer than that would invite more messing than cleaning.

So on the trail, I dropped down and just enjoyed the damn nature! Outside and in the center. There was no one there. We watched the snakes, the turtles, the toads. We went potty. Twice. My son was my buddy, and we were explorers happily enjoying each other's company. It was kind of what I thought I'd do all the time as a SAHM but don't because there are other things to do. (Hey, I think I wrote those same words after a hike back in September. Not a coincidence. I seemingly can't keep it simple without some outside force. I think I'm happy and then enjoy stuff most when I'm sort of forced into it by circumstances and can't reach the computer, the dish towel, or my running shoes.)

I wonder if mindfulness is a buzz you can lose, if there's a tolerance you build up that makes it not so great if you spend all your time there. Like, maybe if I weren't so scattered all the time, I also wouldn't appreciate the focused moments so much. Maybe if you're always mindful, you lose how great that is.

What a brilliant philosopher I am to reason my multitasking. Except that I'm full of shit!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

No matter how you dress it up, it's still a potty seat

We've had a few days lately when my son just would not go to sleep. One was after he'd had his first chocolate cupcake (gluten-free and dairy-free, but still, chocolate) and had been to a party at JW Tumbles. He had a great time, and it's not like the place has TV or flashing lights or anything, but I do wonder if it was the sensory stimulation that he's not used to as much as the Pamela's mix sugar-bombs that made him wired.

Despite the fact that in recent days the kid has fell asleep during dinner (he won't nap, and we've not done so great lately prioritizing quiet time), last week we had another sleep-resist day for no good reason. He's been clear as day chirping: "I'm not tired. I don't want to go sleep." No whining, no eye-rubbing. Just matter-of-fact.

So when my husband brought him down to the basement where I was cleaning, we let him play quietly. And what did he choose to do? Find wrapping paper and present the potty seat to us as his token of appreciation for all we do for him. For me? Really? What a sweetheart!