Monday, August 12, 2013

Coyote Ugly

Ever been trapped under a sleeping child? Maybe it was just your arm, or perhaps your entire body was being used as a human hot rock for your lizard baby.  I myself have been trapped in every way possible, including my leg at mid thigh.   In that moment it is kind of like Coyote Ugly, where you would rather chew off your own arm than wake up said sleeping child.  Even have to pee.

Having been trapped numerous times, like every night for two years, I have become quite skilled at wriggling my way out of these situations.  It takes some pillow propping, some knee popping, some flexibility and some patience, but most of the time I can free myself to pee, get a glass of water or regain feeling in my limbs.  Most of the time.

Of course there are the times when I wait forEVER the perfect moment.  I wait for his breathing to become heavy, for his arm to lay limp and his fingers to open and relax.  I even do the kiss test, as Caches has been known to wake up at the slightest shift in movement including a kiss on the forehead.  Done, done and done.  I free my arm, shove a pillow against his side where my body was supporting his weight.  I free my leg and situate a blanket in its place.  I sit up and stretch, ahhhh sweet relief.  Now to creep out of the bed.  Almost there, one foot on the floor...MAMA!!!!!! MOMMY!!!! MAMA!!!

I try to shhhhh him and soothe him back to sleep.  I have no idea why because the success rate of that working is once in two years, but I try anyway.  I beg him, please just relax while mommy pees.  "NO MAMA, RIGHT THERE, MAMA, NOOOOOO!!!!"  There have been times when I have told him to suck it up and that I had to pee and he was just going to have to cry for 2 minutes.  There have been times, many in fact, where I didn't even bother with the half hour process of freeing myself and just carried him on my shoulder to the bathroom with me, and there have been times when I have accepted defeat and held my pee all. night. long.

Yes, over the past two years I have developed a bladder muscle like Heman.  It's fairly useful.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fight night

Ryan and I rarely argue and when we do it is usually over stupid shit.  Like what coffee ice cream tastes like.  This gem was the topic of our heated discussion last night.  We'd had it before, and I am sure we will have it again; we can not and will not agree to disagree.  On this important topic neither one of us is willing to budge.

One of us, the right one, thinks that coffee ice cream tastes like coffee with cream and sugar.  The other one of us, the wrong one, thinks that it tastes like black coffee.  Black coffee that has a sweetness and a creamy texture.  You know, because it is ice cream.

I am not kidding, that is a direct quote from the man I married...willingly.

He continued with a long, elaborate explanation of how the two tastes were different while I remained firm that coffee with cream and sugar is the same thing as black coffee with a sweetness and a creamy texture.  At least once it is melted in your mouth it is.  I was even willing to bend my description to iced coffee with cream and sugar but he was unrelenting.

I pointed out that the very ingredients of coffee ice cream are, cream, sugar and coffee!  Okay, and egg yolk, but this isn't about the eggs!  He didn't care.  He never cares about silly things like logic or reality.  He is far too creative in his arguments, and quite frankly, insane.

I thought the conversation was over, it was for me, but he wasn't done.  Oh no, he had to go on and on about the base of all ice cream being vanilla, but without vanilla flavoring if it isn't vanilla.  Yeah.  And how I wouldn't say that mocha ice cream tasted like coffee with cream and sugar and chocolate, only I would, because it DOES!  It turned ugly when artificial flavors joined the conversation, and I totally checked out when he started trying to convince me that I actually agreed with him.

The bottom line, in my humble correct opinion, is that Ryan is having a little bit of cognitive dissonance about the whole thing.  You see, Ryan does not like coffee with cream and sugar, but he does like coffee ice cream.  So admitting that coffee ice cream tastes like coffee with cream and sugar would be like admitting that he actually does like mayonnaise.

Oh wait a moment, he does.  When it is mixed into chicken broccoli casserole.  Which it is.  Like a lot of it.  And he eats the shit out of it.  Game.  Set.  Match.  I rest my case.  I win.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are you still doing that?

Last year in honor of World Breastfeeding Week I wrote about breastfeeding my then one year old son.  This year I decided to write about breastfeeding my now two year old son.

Some may think it strange to be nursing a walking, talking, three feet tall toddler who, "asks for it," but it didn't start out that way.  We started our breastfeeding journey just like everyone else, scared shitless, wondering if it was actually going to work, and curling my toes in agony every time he latched on.  I remember wondering how it was even humanly possible for a baby so tiny to suck so hard, it is crazy, right?!

We nursed through uncertainties about supply, rivers of tears, food allergies, painful reflux, engorgement, growth spurts, and exhausted glossy eyes.  Our confidence grew.  We nursed through hurt feelings and scraped knees, painful teething and unsettled nights.  It was coming easily now.  We nursed in the hot car, the dressing room, the bathroom stall, under a blanket, and in the far back bedroom of loved ones houses.  We decided that was bullshit.  So we nursed while walking around Target, at the Aquarium, at the beach, in restaurants, and on the comfortable couches of loved ones homes.  We had arrived.

I understand that nursing a two year old isn't for everyone, in fact I wasn't sure it was for me until I woke up one day and realized that I was already doing it.  I remember thinking that it might be weird,  or creepy even to nurse a toddler.  I couldn't even imagine my child walking up to me and asking to nurse! I just wanted to make it through the first year.  Well, that first year few by and before I knew it I was nursing a two year old who most definitely asks for it.   Though let's be real here, a baby who is one hour old asks for it!  Days pass, the seasons blend, and nursing has just become part of our lives.  I honestly can't imagine not doing it, though some days I do dream about being done.

You see, when we are nursing, I am not thinking about the fact that Caches has 16 teeth and is fully capable of eating a variety of solid foods. I am not thinking about the length of his limbs that now rest awkwardly across my body and sometimes touch the floor or wave above my head.  I am not thinking about his ability to form sentences, request food by name, or ask to nurse.  I don't question his need for this loving connection, to be close to his first and greatest form of comfort.  I know that this is a normal, beautiful thing for a two year old to still be doing.  I also know that soon enough we won't be doing it anymore.

Just as he no longer needs me to hold his hand as he walks, he will outgrow his need for nursing.  It might require a gentle nudge from mama, or he could just one day decide to stop.  This is something I have no way of knowing, and just as I said last year, I am not going to let some arbitrary date on the calendar determine when our nursing relationship will come to a close.  There will come a sign, a movement toward stopping, so until that sign revels itself to me, we will persevere.

We will continue to curl up at the end of the day when the world is still and quiet.  I will continue to revel at the deep connection I feel to my child while nursing.  I will look deeply into his sleepy eyes as his lashes slowly fall to rest upon his warm, pink cheeks.  I will continue to be amazed at the length of his legs as they move from kicking my shoulder to lying limp and stretched out; they were once so tiny and weak.  I will fight through the days that I am feeling touched out, and I will enjoy the days when it all comes easily.

I don't know if I will be nursing a two and a half year old, a three year old, or even a four year old.  I can not predict the future.  All I know is that whenever our journey comes to an end, I will be proud of myself, and of my body for nourishing my child.  And I will be forever thankful to my son for teaching me patience, persistence, resilience, confidence, and how to do just about anything one handed while cradling a nursing child.

Friday, August 2, 2013

25 Months

Caches, I think this past month has been our best yet.  Your vocabulary has exploded and you are becoming a regular mocking bird.  Just this morning, as your dad was leaving for work, he looked back and said, "See ya dude."  Your eyes lit up and with a huge grin you repeated back, "See ya duuuude!"  I love hearing all your new words and your ability to string them together into sentences.  You still struggle with telling me what you want or need, but it is getting so much easier.  Baby, I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

You still absolutely love music, and you are now requesting songs by name. If you want to hear a specific song in the car you have no problem telling me about it, and are equally enthusiastic if you don't want to hear a song I have chosen.  And baby, you have started to sing!  It is magical and beautiful and I can't wait to hear more.  Last week I was dusting the bedside table in the guest room when you discovered a little candle.  You gasped, looked it over, and after you blew out the faux flame, you began to sing "Happy Birthday" to yourself.  And I died.

You have truly embraced the all mighty and powerful, right of passage as a two year old word, "NO!"   I know you are simply demonstrating your ever growing independence and that you don't mean no every time you say it.  I know this because you recently told me, NO! You didn't want any of my ice cream. Haha, yeah right!  And so your assertive "no" is often ignored.  Sorry dude, but I have your number on that one.

This month you have also begun imaginative play.  You always enjoyed manipulating toys and games, but now you are really playing.  You love to line up your horses and feed them bites of your apple while you neigh for them in delight.  After they are fed you put them night night in the barn and offer them marbles or pieces of paper for comfort.  Caches, you love horses!  You have also taken a liking to holding, kissing, hugging and wrapping up your baby doll, your stuffed animals and Abner.  Guess who likes it the least?  But your Abner holds still as you cover him with blankets, kiss his face and squeal with glee when his whiskers tickle your face.  You are so lucky to have these dogs.

And just in case I had forgotten that you are now two, you have decided that NO food shall be cut, NO shoe shall be put on, NO body part shall be touched, NO help may be offered, NO cracker may be broken and NO water will touch your head unless explicitly requested by your highness!!!  NO, NADA, NONE!  The other day you nearly melted into the ground a la wicked witch of the west when I cut the pancake that you asked me to cut!  Now I make sure to ask if you understand what cutting means and if you are suuuure you want it cut.

You usually don't

Caches, you are discovering so much about your ever expanding world.  I understand that it can be exciting and fun, but I also know that it can be scary, overwhelming and incredibly frustrating.   And though you seem so much older these past few months, you are still very much a baby who needs a soft place to fall.  So run, jump, play, and explore.  You are learning.  Fall down, get angry, feel sad, and cry.  Beam with pride and struggle with frustration.  You are growing.  Do everything your heart desires knowing that when you need me, I will be here.  I will be here with outstretched arms anticipating the increasing weight of your head on my shoulder and the smell of eternal sunshine wafting from your hair.