Category Archives: toddler

note to self, during the most-needed nap

Don’t go on vacation with a toddler and forget a stroller. Will be buying a cheap one tonight.

Don’t take a baby for a hot sunny walk in the sand for a half-mile or so and forget drinking water.

Don’t take aforementioned tired, hot, dehydrated toddler out and neglect to bring the diaper bag.

**********

So, after I scooped out the dried-out baby cement poo and got her to chug some milk, she passed out cold and stayed. I’ll pay for this long, late nap later, but hey. It’s vacation, so I’m not being OCD mama. The only rule is there are no rules. Except the ones above re: stroller, drinks, poop:) 

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this is my mantra for today

I am not the most obsessive-compulsive, it’s-never-good-enough person on this little spinney planet: I am not too picky to ever be happy.

I just have difficulty conceiving of details and small steps. However much I think I’m not, I am a primo, typical Aries in this way. I am teachable and mutable and still am growing. My faults are not inherent flaws; they are challenges and obstacles. There are many small worries, not One Giant Horrible Thing I’ve Fucked Up. Many of them simply need quiet and gentle attention and to be gifted with little bits of time.

Ganesha help me to rise to the challenges I create for myself, to learn from each perceived problem.

There is a need to remind myself stuff like:

  • there may be no perfect template on wordpressdotcom that fits my style exactly. It is OK to slowly learn the coding and it can be just pretty cool in the mean time. Aesthetic crap is not important enough to raise my blood pressure.
  • being cranky and resentful means I am a tired and utterly normal mommy, and does not mean I should file for freaking divorce.
  • whether or not to shave my legs for the beach trip is not a life changing decision. I am not on some Is She Feminist Enough? reality show where women with Ph.D.’s and hemp menstrual pads will vote me off the island if I decide to shave my legs. Likewise, it’s highly unlikely that a sorority of tanned blonde bikini people will gang up on me and kick sand at me if I show up in my normal mammal state at Daytona Beach. I won’t ruin the wedding because the bride’s mom will be so busy tsk tsk ing at the photographer’s wife’s hairy pale legs that she’ll miss the kiss. Won’t happen.
  • if I want to be a work at home mom, I have to WORK AT HOME. It is not a sin to use a babysitter (‘specially loving family babysitter) if I’m not at the day job. Two year olds zOMG need to be attached to mommies, and this makes for me not working. Someday working on my creative stuff will seriously pay off, but I have to invest intention, attention, time, and effort now. This is not neglect of my baby. This. IS. NOT. Neglect. Of. My. Baby.

OK. Thank you for holding my hand, tiny therapist priestesses who live in teh web.

commercialism, laziness, and not so much with the weaning

We’ve ordered a Little Mermaid cake. The Bird is obsessed with Her Fishy-taled-ness lately. I’m cranky. There’s a thread on my local mommy board about how many of the mamas shun licensed characters and TV. It brought up some icky feelings. Loving the concept of monitoring all that your kids are exposed to and keeping their childhood as innocent as humanly possible. (Also am very sick of fast-forwarding through the scary bits and feeling guilt for letting her watch videos that are too mature for her. And in less coherent moments of annoyance, raging at Disney for being such a twisted bunch of scary fucks in the first place.)

However: I’m absolutely too exhausted from thinking about every little thing. Also pretty sure that a Disney-inclusive childhood did not ruin me. She has massive mermaid squee and it’s hard to ban anything that makes the munchkin that freaking happy. (The video came in a load of hand-me-downs and she was enchanted from the moment she saw the box. A fishy! A princess! A princess who is fishlike! zOMG!)

Is it just laziness that makes me resent the feeling that doing things in accordance with my parenting intuition is a constant uphill battle against everyone and everything in our environment? It’s not a real big deal to me, this Disney Princess thingy- I suggested the cake theme. It’s just swimming ’round there in my brain, being examined. I’m just sick to death of feeling like I have good ideas but not doing anything about them because it’s easier to flow. Swim with the school. Snerk. I just wonder what it means that I take the easy way so often… I’m pretty sure it means

I am very, very tired
and have to cut myself some slack from the uber-granola ideals I have.

To address that, Bu has suggested that I leave the house a few nights at bedtime to let him take over. Maybe I can sneak back in and she’ll stay in bed with him. The weaning trend has reversed, and I’ve had to nurse her to sleep and through the days too. Then, of course, all through the nights. As tomorrow is the birthday, I think Friday night will be a better time to start the experiment. It also happens that a bunch of girls are going to see Sex and the City and have drinks that night, so the timing is good.

The Ariel thing isn’t all fraught with commercial anxieties, anyway. I read the Hans Christian Anderson story when I was young and I love it, so there’s some sentimentality watching her love the story too. Maybe I’ll get her the real version when she’s older and I’ll feel better. I had thought of making my own illustration and having a non-Disney mermaid cake, but- again- exhausted.

do they have wiccan toddler exorcists?

I’m taking a mental hygiene day, but I don’t feel very clean in the brain. Couldn’t make my nap work, so I’m swilling coffee. The child has been possessed by snot and some kind of malicious entity that has turned my zOMG sweetest natured baybay ever into a hysterical, rabid little mess. Sleep the past nights has been teh bad.

I have (so far) less frustrated burned-out mom feelings and more heartbreaking empathy and that thing where she pulls my heart out with her tiny fingers and opens it right up and it bleeds all over the place. I cannot stand to see her so raw and freaked the fuck out. I think I’m chill enough to project the idea that one of us is in a place of stable normal function. I am not entirely sure, though. She looks like a feral kitten plunged into ice water, and her big blue eyes that look into my soul on good days are full of this mad, fearful spazziness searching me for answers I can’t give.

Her triggers seem to be sleepiness, including the everyday waking in the morning kind, which means that every weekday there is a massive nuclear meltdown on the changing table; bathtime, until I climb in with her and hold her tightly for a long time, and then another one when I take her out; overstimulation, which paired with her cold and naplessness yesterday for the worst freak out to date.

Tactics attempted include:

-desperate boobie offers, rejected out of hand by the child who is now apparently totally weaned during daylight hours but MUST have nummins if she so much as stirs during the night.

The Dr. “Happiest Toddler” Dude caveman approach. Not working. I might not be trying hard enough to match her intensity. I still feel a little nuts doing it. (The speak Toddlerease thing did, however, totally pwn a tantrum thrown by E, the Birdy’s BFF.)

-gentle, hippie mama chanty soothingness

None of this seems to diffuse the worst part; I am unconvinced that anything could. (Or should? Does she need to vent this rage? Is it natural as a hurricane?) After the really bad part passes, I am very good. The aftershock involves a request to “hold” and/or “rock” and songs and stroking and whispered shhh’s and all the newborn stuff I was so good at and crave like comfort food. (I seriously will have to get a lapdog or a new cat if she gets non-touchy as she grows up. I am a big cuddly kissy touchy person, and new babies are the best snuggly thing in the world. I should hire myself out as a babywearing nanny.)

I haven’t tried ignoring her- shocking, no? I am not sure I am capable but it seems rationally to be a good strategy, if coupled with lots of loving attention during non-tantrum times. Bu wants to spank her. I can’t believe we are still discussing that as an option. I can’t write about that without coming across as insanely pissy and maybe elitist or something, and spouting terms I hate to use like “redneck” or “white trash” so I’ll spare you the ordeal and just say that I take issue with aspects of my husband’s upbringing. My opinion is also colored by my brother’s being spanked in anger and arguably emotionally abused. I’m not calling spanking abusive across the board but my momtuition rankles.

So, mamas:

Open call for advice! No flames allowed or expected. Suggestions to lock her in a dungeon or duct tape her mouth shut will be considered delightful black humor and dismissed, but seriously… has anything worked for you? Does she just need a Roary?

sainthood + baby pagan prayers

Did you know I’m eligible for sainthood? Yes. I am. I’m pretty sure that mothering a child for 23 months, 6 days, 4 hours, and eleven minutes without doing any of the following qualifies one for sainthood:

  1. Losing my goddamned mind
  2. Slapping, spanking, biting, or otherwise hurting the child
  3. Killing, castrating, or divorcing her father
  4. Selling her on eBay

She is in a spitting phase, she has a cold, we did not sleep, she will not eat, she will not be anywhere but my arms or [out]”side.”

Speaking of religion… she insisted we say grace tonight before she ate adamantly refused to eat dinner. I did a generic improv thing with generic “Lord and Lady,” which always makes me feel so old skool trad Wiccan. Which I am not. But I was charmed that she likes to say a meal blessing- the grandies have taught her.

Google turned this up:

Mother of Plenty, bless this bread
Father of the Grain, lend your seed
Let it nourish heart and head
Let it nourish thought and deed
Let its breaking be a spell
That hungry mouths be fed as well
And let its eating keep us free
As is our will
So mote it be!

Cute. I like. My searches for bedtime blessings yielded more poetry and made me say “aw…” and leak breastmilk they were so precious. (Argh! Where are they? I saved them… Oh. I’m a dork: My Docs->babybookofshadows.doc) OK. Look how adorable:

Day is done, it’s time for bed
Goddess bless my sleepy head
Earth and Water, Air and Fire
Bring gentle dreams as I retire
When the morning sun does rise
God will bless my open eyes

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Please help me learn my world to keep.
To guard the air and skies of blue,
The oceans, lakes and rivers too.
Save the mighty forest lands,
The plains, the shores, the desert sands.
Protect all creatures, wild and free,
In air, on land, and in the sea.

timing

Bird: *tweaks my nipple* Heheheeee!
Daisymama: No! No pinching.
Bird: Num-a-num! Heheheheheeee!
Daisymama: Wanna nursey?
Bird: *looks at me as if I’ve just stepped out of a spaceship* Hehehee, no…
Daisymama: Hmm. Is Boo suddenly too grown up for nummies?
Bird: *emphatic nod* Uh- HUH! Wah-yee?
Daisymama: Okaaaaay… *hands Bird sippy*

The thing with timing is…

Mid-August 2005, we decided we would start trying to conceive in nine or ten months. September 5? Pregnant. Start musing that I’ll think about starting to maybe try to wean after age two. Age 23 months? Sixth bedtime without nursing, second or, no… third day in a row with only early morning sleep-nursing.

It’s sudden, and I am caught off guard, but I have had the easiest, most fun and playful week with her since she was a quiet nine-hours-of-sleep-at-a-stretch six month old. What makes me sad is I don’t have a breathtaking serious nursing portrait. What I do have captures the reality though, with the quickly snapped, laughing candid photos and the hilarious ones of her trying to tear off my face. It’s a little sad that it’s starting to look like I’ll be half sleeping through our last breastfeedings. (Although it is amazing how adorable a nursing child is at 3:30 a.m. when that’s the only time she wants to nurse.)

I’m just sort of surprised with myself. I feel so happy and at peace with this, assuming it really is a weaning experience. And it makes me feel really confident that I’m going with my gut. Even breaking my own rule by a month maybe! Certainly violating the sacred dogma of the hardest hardcore boob nazis. And I’m OK with it all, even the good-natured ribbing at work from coworkers who zOMG at me about weaning before kindergarten/middle school/college:)

It’s really just… OK. Wow.

weaning immanent?

Tonight is the fifth night in a row the Bird went to sleep without her num-a-num. It’s the third night I actually put her to bed myself. (!) Yesterday there was no nursing from wake up until the wee hours this morning. Today so far there was only one quick attempt, when she latched on for ten seconds and then very casually said “No,” and gently patted my top down. (She as pretty much only nursed two or three times between 2 a.m. and waking around 7:30 in the past week, actually.)

I started my period today, so I think that’s why she was all “Meh” today. Either didn’t get any milk quickly enough or it tasted weird? However, the menstrual hormones usually come with all night clinger monkey Hoover nursing. I think she’s having a very low interest phase… And I think that I’m taking advantage and allowing weaning to start. I’m no longer offering, but won’t refuse. I may even start to delay her if she asks during the night. It feels right, and the last two nights of her very peacefully turning her back to me after stories and scooting up into my belly then pulling my arm to encircle her have been the most blissful bedtimes in recent memory. The idea of stopping is full of relief and quiet closure. I may be reading her cues all wrong and she may pick back up but if we are “starting to finish” I am feeling good. Earlier my eye was seriously bugging but I couldn’t sleep, so I recorded a voice post about all this for Wabi Sabi Mamas. The file turned out to be too big to upload easily for free unless I started a mypodcast, so I spontaneously started podcasting as a little extra thing for Lexie’s and my little lotus blossom of a mommy blog:) If you go to the podcast site, be aware that it’s saturated with huge ugly ads. Blegh.)

I’m going to go to the next meeting of the local lactivist-y group here- the one sponsoring the art show. I may get involved, may not. I like the idea of working with them because our region really needs better education and PR for breastfeeding. Our rates are crazy low and we are a poor buncha peeps. I actually talked to an expecting mom who was squicked about nursing her first baby who is planning to breastfeed this new babe because it’s cheaper and healthier. I offered her books, etc. and warned her about the crappy nurses at the hospital she is going to use. She surprised me- she was so grossed out about it when Molly was new, and we teased each other a lot (she’s extended family) but she was so serious about nursing this time and was also really supportive to hear that the Boo’s nursed so long.