Monday, May 30, 2011

Books we're enjoying (and summer focus)

My friend KB recommended a book for me to read with N titled, The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence.  She and I have both been enjoying it, especially since it ties in perfectly with a Flat Stanley project that N's class did in April.  For the project, N mailed a picture of Flat Stanley to my friend G and her son A, who live near Philadelphia PA.  They took Stanley to visit where George Washington crossed the Delaware and sent N postcards of the liberty bell and Independence Hall.  And lots of this stuff is discussed in the Declaration picture book, so that has been tremendously cool.

KB also recently told me about a Scholastic warehouse sale where I purchased a book for N titled, Lives of the Presidents:  Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought).  I will be interested to see how we can tie what we have read about the Declaration of Independence to what we read about Thomas Jefferson and other early presidents.

We've been reading tall tales lately after G took a liking to Paul Bunyan vs. Hals Halson:  The Giant Lumberjack Challenge by Theresa BatemanThe kids really liked Stagecoach Sal by Deborah Hopkinson, and I have been meaning to check some websites to learn one of the folk songs from the book with which I am not familiar---"Sweet Betsy from Pike."  Both N and G liked me warbling "Polly Wolly Doodle" so I thought it might be fun for us to learn another one.

G is into anything dinosaur right now so I pick those books up when I can.  I think we must have read Dino-Soccer by Lisa Wheeler at least 30 times.  G also really liked the book Moonpowder by John Rocco which didn't seem like something he would go bananas over, but he did anyway.

Since N is in school, I try to pick books that I think she will like.  Even though she reads short novels on her own....bits and pieces since she never finishes any of them (which drives me nuts)....I want her to continue reading picture books.  I don't think one is ever too old to not get something from a picture book.  We read one I had selected called The Seeing Stick by Jane Yolen, which I thought was neat, and I think she enjoyed too.  N is pretty easy to please and rarely says she dislikes a book.

I really enjoyed Guyku:  A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Rackza.  Earlier today N was trying to write a haiku in her Junie B. Jones journal, so I had D read this to the kids before bed tonight.  Even though it is written "for" boys, the book is cute for any person who is around boys and understands how they are.

Here is N's haiku from earlier:
The pool is so fun.
I am going to the pool.
Pools are fun to do.  

I am always game to hear about books other people with similarly aged children are reading and enjoying so send me your suggestions if you have any.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The suicide of someone I know

Most of the time, I don't think about my nervous breakdown in 2004.  I don't remember too much about how miserable I felt.  How sad, how hopeless I felt.  How empty and alone.  And I never once thought about killing myself.  But I can imagine why someone who felt as I have felt might think of it.

My mother called me this morning and told me that her hairdresser shot himself.  At one time he did my hair too.

He left behind a wife and two teenage sons.

My first thought was, "How could he think that suicide was a good idea?"

And my second thought was to remember just how irrational my thinking was in the midst of my nervous breakdown.  Everything was desperate.  Nothing was ever going to work right again.  Catastrophes were everywhere around me.  I didn't know if I would ever not be sad or scared again.

My rational mind was taking an ass-kicking from my irrational, depressed, anxious mind.

I remember meeting some friends for lunch during the worst of my breakdown, and it was all I could do to not break down.  It was all so bleak.  I was so not the Carrie they knew.  I was a shadow of myself, a shell with nothing inside but sorrow.

So my heart really breaks for this man who was eaten alive by his irrational thoughts, and for his family who lost this man twice.  Once when the depression stole his mind and then when it stole his entire existence.


I am very good at making arbitrary "rules" for my life.  Then when I make decisions that do not adhere to these arbitrary rules I get all stressed and anxious until I figure out that the "rule" was a.) made by me and b.) able to be changed, and if it is changed then c.) that is perfectly ok.

In our relationship, D makes the money and I allocate the money towards savings, investing, bill paying, whatever.  I generally run things by him, but he doesn't much care.  Even though he sometimes gives me shit that we don't buy enough, I think he also is glad that we won't have oodles of debt and have accumulated a pretty nice chunk of wealth in 13 years of marriage.

When I created some of our saving accounts, I arbitrarily decided that we would go on a big vacation every other year.  On the off years, we would just do a small day trip or perhaps a 2-night overnighter.  I also decided that we would alternate years with making home improvements.  For example, in a year that we did a big home improvement, it would be our "off" year for vacations.  That way, we have 2 years worth of saving for big vacations and/or big home improvements.

Now, we decided this spring to have a roof built over our deck since we had some water come in through the door that leads to kitchen from the deck (and this door is also rotting from the bottom up just as the first one did).  This is a fairly expensive project, but we've got a CD coming due and don't have to take out a loan to have the work done.

So what is the problem?

Doing this big home improvement project and going to Disney World violates the "every other year" arbitrary rule about vacations and home improvement.

It means that we are spending a lot of money all at once which is causing me considerable anxiety.  (Throw N's tonsillectomy in there and I am this close to having a panic attack.)

Even though we have the money to pay for this stuff and do not have to go into debt to do any of it, I am still freaking out.  Waiting for the roof to blow off.  Or for one of our cars to be wrecked.  Or for some unexpected and INSANELY EXPENSIVE thing to occur.

While I am excited about everything that is going on, I am also more than a little worked up about everything that is going on.

It is hard to be on a mountain and in a valley at the same time, but that is certainly what it feels like to me.

Vacation is is everything else

My mental to-do list is making my head hurt because of everything going on in the next month.  

First, I still have my reunion stuff on my mind's back-burner.  Making sure the caterer is contacted and the contract changed.  Making contact with the photographer to reconfirm.  Making contact with the school alumni coordinator to ensure last minute details are ok.  Depositing checks.  Reimbursing myself for postage.  Calling back alums who can come at the last minute.

Second, there is end-of-year school stuff.  Purchasing and making teacher gifts.  Taking teacher gifts to school.  Sending in forms and checks for school-related summer camps for N.  Trying to get done all shopping I might want to do in the summer months since I will have all 3 kids with me and WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WANT TO ATTEMPT SHOPPING WITH THEM IN TOW.  My budget is blown for May, but it is gonna look outstanding in June/July/August because I will not be buying anything or stepping anywhere near Target.  

Third, packing and prepping for vacation.  The actual arrangement-making is nothing compared to the endless insanity of doing laundry, counting out outfits for each day of the trip plus extra shirts since the boys will spill stuff on themselves, purchasing clothing items so D and I don't look like complete ragamuffins down there (the kids look great because we actually buy them clothing on a regular basis), packing all the miscellany we will need or might possibly need and won't want to purchase down there since we have them up here (ear plugs, sound machines, life vest for M, sippy cups for M, ibuprofen and measuring spoons, etc).  

My spending this month has been off-the-chain partly as a result of my goal of immersing my kids in Disney prior to and while we are on vacation.  G has always had 10,000 Lightning McQueen shirts, but I wanted to get N and M some for our days at the Disney parks.  I bought some gently used ones at a local consignment store.  I bought any number of gently used DVDs for the car ride down, to keep N and G happily transfixed and quiet (I hope):  Peter Pan, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Ratatouille, and Monsters Inc.  I have created a Disney Songs Travel playlist for my iPod, so I've spent a little change downloading songs.  G has been listening to "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," "I Thought I Lost You," and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" nonstop.  

Because of G's love of the Davy Crockett song and his and N's talk of riding Splash Mountain, I checked out some books about Mr. Crockett and Breh Rabbit (since Splash Mountain "tells" the story of Tar Baby.)  

I tend to be of the "Inch Wide, Mile Deep" philosophy, I guess.  

Plus, I have bought each of the kids some fun but cheap Disney-themed items to enjoy while they are down there.  For example, I got some Mickey-Mouse flip-flop type shoes to wear to-and-from the pool.  And for N I bought some Tinkerbell lip gloss.  M will get a 101 Dalmations board book.  There are some other goodies stashed away as well.  

Even though I am mentally spent and lord knows my money has been spent and spent and spent, I think this will be one helluva vacation!  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Banging head against wall

Way back in February, D and I purchased a wooden swingset from Toys R Us for the kids to replace the metal one we have that is almost completely rusted through in the crossbars.  I asked the store manager if they had someone who would set them up; he gave me the name and number of the guy they recommend.  So I called February.  He told me it would be late March/early April before he'd be able to do it because of the weather.  Needed it to be warmer and drier.

So D and I stuck the two ginormous boxes in the basement and went on with life.  March and April and early May were soggy as hell, so I didn't think anything of it that I didn't hear from this guy.  But then when it started to warm up and dry up a bit, I called the guy with, "Hey, I called you back in February.  Remember me."  And I've had to call him a couple times since then because he is not exactly good about calling me back.

To make a long story short, it is now May 25.  He told me he would get to me around the 20th, which I believe is NOW.  I called him last Thursday and was told he would get to me either Tues/Wed or Thurs/Fri of this week.  I called him this morning and left a message and haven't heard shit from him.


So now I'm in the process of calling everyone and anyone I know who would be willing to put together this wooden swingset.  And I'll pay 'em more than what this guy was gonna charge me just because I want it done.
Like yesterday.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

The other type of person I am

At bunco the other night, one of my mom friends said something to the effect that she would rather go on a trip with her girlfriends than with her husband.  Every other woman in the room nodded and sighed, "Yeah."  

Now I know I'm the weird one because I want to go on a trip with my family, kids and all.  I want to be with all of them, or I want to be completely alone.  

But I am also not weird in that most of the women I know are not all gaga over their husbands.  Love them--yes.  Friends with them---yes.  But gaga, madly in love, PDA with their husbands---most definitely not.  

Sometimes I get a little freaked out on Facebook when gals talk about their husbands all sweet and romantic-like.  On the one hand, I think it is kinda goofy.  It makes me feel funny in the same way that it does when people talk all lovey about Jesus and how he's their personal saviour.  A little too emotive, maybe?   Whenever I read something like, "I love my man" or "My man is awesome" it makes me throw up just a little in my mouth.  (I told D about this one time and commented how pissed I would be if he ever said something on twitter about "my woman," like I'm some piece of meat.)

But at the same time, I envy them their feeling of lovey-dovey.  I am not this kind of person, and I sometimes wish I were (and probably my husband does too).   I was lovey-dovey back in the days before we lived together when it is easy to adore the person you're with precisely because you are not with them day in and day out for years and years and years.  

I'm not sure what this says about me.  Like Popeye, I yam what I yam.  

What kind of person are you? train of thought

Today while vacuuming upstairs and trying not to strangle the 3-year-old who, in addition to pestering the bejesus out of his brother, loves to unplug the cord while I am attempting to hoover the carpet, I started thinking about what kind of person I am at the core.

I used to think I was an unhappy person, but I think I was just a scared person.  I knew how to have fun and enjoy myself and moments, but I was just so paralyzed by anxiety most of the time. I hated feeling overwhelmed by anxiety because that fear then made me feel depressed.  At the time, though, I thought I was just weird or intended for a life of melancholia.

I am so glad I am not like a lot of people who are just plain unhappy regardless of what situation they are in.  They are "My life would be better if only" people.   If they had a different job.  If they had a different spouse or significant other.  If they had kids or didn't have kids.  If they had a bigger house.  If they had a bigger paycheck.  Or whatever else they think would make them happier.

It seems to me that what they are unhappy with is themselves.

Life is monotonous and rough and weird and often unpleasant and chaotic.  Life is about survival and coming through in one piece without too many scars.

And it is made more bearable by being content with what you have, understanding that while your life could possibly have been even better had the stars aligned differently, it also could have been (or could be) much, much worse.

Whenever G is driving me absolutely fucking insane, which is at least 11 times a day, I try to think that he could have been born with serious birth defects rendering him unable to speak or walk.  He could have been (or be at some point) diagnosed with a childhood cancer and be unable to act like a "normal" 3-year-old boy who screams and terrorizes the household.

These thoughts don't change the fact that often he is a complete pain in the ass, but it does change me and how I carry on with my life, knowing that this phase will pass and life will go on, and really it ain't so bad.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Plans" for the summer

I think part of the reason I'm not freaking out about this summer with all 3 kids underfoot is because June is a wash.  With 10 days out of town and N's tonsillectomy at the end of the month, it is just gonna be too weird to even attempt anything normal and scheduled.  We're just gonna roll with it, baby.

Once N recovers from her surgery, I am going to institute some "homeschool" type work for both her and G, who will start preschool in September.

Here are my tentative plans for N:

1. Have N count the money in her bank and roll all coins.
2. Practice cursive (we started earlier this year and then fell off).
3. Practice telling time.
4. Workbooks (Geography, Grade 1 Addition, 1st Grade Math, Grade 1 Subtraction, Rhyme Time Grade 1-3).  I've also got some unfinished workbook pages from last year's workbooks that I have put in a binder.
5. Our local library's summer reading program (read 10 books; these will be longer picture books).
6. N and I are going to take turns reading chapters out of 3 chapter books she started and never finished this school year:  Judy Moody Was in a Mood, Ivy + Bean and Now You See Me.

I have decided that to earn computer time N can do workbook pages (1 page = 5 minutes; up to 5 pages per day) and read (1 chapter = 10 minutes; up to 3 chapters per day).

For G, I have a Preschool Scholar workbook and a Colors & Shapes workbook.  With him I've just been reinforcing number recognition from 1-10, alphabet letters and sounds, and having him attempt to hold a pencil correctly.  His speech therapist will be giving me his summer work tomorrow (his last day of speech until late August), so we will also have this to keep us occupied.  

And then there will be weekly visits to Nana and Pa's house to swim in their neighborhood pool.

In early August, N will be participating in an Engineering Camp at her school for 4 days, which I think she will enjoy.

I might even be a little sad when school starts back up.  Summer feels like it is slipping away and it hasn't even begun.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Here's the problem with saving money

Whenever D and I go to purchase something I always have to give the salesperson the "we don't do financing" song & dance.  If we don't have the money to get it, it don't get got.

We recently signed the contract to have the roof built over our deck, which means that when a CD comes due in June, we will use that money to pay for the roof rather than rolling it back over into a 4-year CD.  No debt is good.

But here is the bad thing about doing this.  It hurts.  Alot.  To take that much money that one actually has and spend it.  Even if it is on something that we will get great value and benefit from, that will add value to our home, that will help prevent us from having water damage to our kitchen door and kitchen floor.

I actually had a dream that we signed the contract and then a storm came along and all the drywall in our house shrunk, exposing steel beams, which meant we were gonna have to have all the drywall in our entire house replaced.  In the dream I was freaking out over "How are we gonna pay for this?" since we'd already committed ourselves to spending a considerable chunk on the deck roof.

D doesn't worry about the money part; he worries about the deck being built well and looking nice.  And I worry about that a little.  But mostly I worry about spending money that has been doing a fine job just sitting around earning a little interest but mostly making me feel secure and safe.  Because that great catastrophic whatever that hasn't happened in 7+ years since I quit working but may happen at any moment is at the back of my mind.

So I am already on a tear thinking of new and improved savings goals.  Not because there is something else I want to do or purchase, but to lessen the anxiety associated with spending money that we've saved.  

Does a vasectomy equal surgery?

N is nervous about having her tonsils removed, which I understand.  Surgery is scary in general, and especially when you're a kid.  I told her that right now she is odd man out in the family since everyone else has had surgery.  She asked how many surgeries everyone has had.

I told her that M has had one (ear tubes).
G has had two.  (Ear tubes placed and ear tubes removed).
D told her he has had 2 surgeries.  I knew the gallbladder removal was one, and I thought the other might be something from his childhood that I forgot about.  When I asked, "What is the 2nd one?," he motioned towards his "boys."  

I asked if that counted as surgery since he wasn't out completely; it was only local anesthesia.  He then said if that was the case then my c-sections didn't count as surgery since I wasn't out completely under general anesthesia.  

If his vasectomy counts as surgery, then so does having two of my moles removed since I had local anesthesia and stitches.  And so does having my c-section incision sliced open when it was infected because they used local anesthesia for that and a lancet.   

As far as I'm concerned a vasectomy and mole removal and wisdom teeth removal are "procedures," not surgery.  Anything that involves an actual anesthesiologist is surgery. 

Who's with me?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The boys' visit to the ENT

I really missed Dr. B in the week since I last saw him when I set up N's tonsillectomy last Monday. Today was the boys' 6-month ear-tube/ear-hole check.

I went in fully expecting Dr. B to say he wanted to fix G's eardrums, but fortunately the left one was completely healed up.  The right one still has some kind of weird wax or something blocking the tiny little hole, but Dr. B said he is completely fine with just watchful waiting.  Which is great because I really don't want to pay for 2 surgeries this year if I don't absolutely have to.

M's ears look perfect; tubes still in place.

The issue of sleep apnea was discussed.  At a previous visit I had asked Dr. B if he would remove G's adenoids if/when his eardrums were repaired, and Dr. B said yes.  So given N's situation with her tonsils, I asked Dr. B if he would also remove G's tonsils when/if the eardrums were repaired and adenoids removed.  I want to avoid more surgeries for G down the line so if he has to have a surgery to repair his eardrum, I'd just prefer they take out the adenoids/tonsils, which have caused me and the first 2 of my offspring a load of trouble.

During our discussion, Dr. B said something about strep or apnea, and so I told him that D thinks G has apnea.

Whenever G has slept in our bed, he does snore loudly and makes gasping-type noises.  But he was sleeping on our pillows, which are hard and tall (Tempur-pedic).  The last time G slept with me when D slept downstairs for a code move, I put G on his own pillow to sleep, and he didn't honk and snort at all. G is a mouth-breather and his tonsils are large; Dr. B said they take up 50-75% of his throat.  So he might very well have sleep issues, but we're gonna start by giving him an antihistamine and Singulair every day to see if those help.  Lord knows he has allergies....just never tested.

We briefly discussed a sleeps study to definitely rule in or out sleep apnea, but I'm not sure I want to deal with all this.  Especially if he only has a mild case, in which we would have gone through a lot of rigamarole for nothing.....or for them to say, "Take Singulair and an antihistamine."

My plate is so stinking full right now with my high school reunion a little over 3 weeks away, our Florida trip after that, and N's tonsillectomy shortly after that.  The idea of taking on one.more.thing to put on my mind's "to do list" or even "back burner list" could possibly do me in.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reasons why being organized and on-top-of-things is a big pain in the arse

No one likes an organized person (especially when that person also has OCD and will continue bugging people via Facebook email about RSVPing to a 20-year high school reunion that is 3 weeks away).  One has reached critical-mass annoyingness when one has OCD, is organized and, on top of it all, does not engage in procrastination.

I am a naturally organized person and always have been.  Even as a child, I kept my room neat and everything had its place.  Some people are born that way and some people aren't.  There are many times I wish I could be a more go-with-the-flow type of person.  (My meds have certainly mellowed me out in the last 7 years, but the fundamentals of my personality are still there.)

Being organized brings me a sense of calm and creates the illusion that I have control over my life.

In college I found that the more classes I took, the more organized, efficient and successful I was.  My best semesters were those in which I took 6 classes and worked part-time.  I didn't have time to waste so I didn't waste any.

Once I became a mom, I also realized that when I put things off, inevitably something came up at the last minute (usually a sick child or a horrible night of sleep), and I was left scrambling to get something accomplished.  So I just do things well in advance.  To maintain that semblance of control.

I often get the comment, "Oh, but you're so organized," and I'm not sure how to respond to this.  I feel sorta compelled to apologize or downplay my organizing.  And while it is very true that I can juggle planning a reunion, writing for a local magazine, being president of a moms group, and being on the HOA board, I also don't take a shower every single day and many times forget to brush my teeth or put on deodorant or both.   I wear the same clothes over and over without any idea of how many days they have been on my person.

I have my watch set to beep during the week when I am supposed to pick N up from school....because I would forget.  I actually need it to have a "snooze" function so that it could remind me repeatedly until I am actually in carpool line.  (For the past 6 weeks, she has taken a gymnastics club on Tuesday afternoons, and every week I was driving like a bat out of hell because I forgot about picking her up since my watch alarm didn't sound beforehand.)

So being organized and involved and on-top-of-things does have its downsides, namely in terms of hygiene in my case.  And in my ability to drive other people bat-shit nuts with all of my organizing.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When he's cute, he's really very cute

G woke up in a good mood today and has been pretty delightful, which must be the gods' way of helping me cope with the fact that 87% of the time he would not be described as delightful.

He was pestering his sister this morning, poking his pointer fingers into her rear-end and saying, "I danged her in the butt."  (Butt in his lingo is a 2-syllable word.)

At M's playgroup he did not harass any of the younger kids.  At Target, he did not throw a tantrum.  At the pet store he noted that all the parakeets in their glass bin were having playgroup.  And he giggled for a solid 5 minutes when he saw a bubble-eye goldfish.

Of course, he is refusing to take a nap which means tomorrow morning he will be back to turd-like behavior and driving me ever closer to Insanity.

But for now, I will relish this morning's cuteness.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Surgery #1 scheduled

Yesterday I took N to our ENT with my list of all her strep throat episodes from March 2010 to the present.  I anticipated him wanting to hold off, but he read my information, counted them up, and said, "Yep, she meets the criteria."

And so at the end of June, following our Disney trip, my girl will be the last of my three children to experience a surgical procedure under the care of our beloved Dr. B.

Next Monday, I take both the boys for their ENT check-ups, and I am fully expecting Dr. B to recommend that G have the holes patched in his eardrums and his adenoids removed.  G hasn't had ear drainage from an infection since the fall, which is great, but it also means Dr. B might think G would do well to patch the holes and not require further tubes.

My hope is that Dr. B is willing to continue this watchful waiting because I really don't want to have G have eardrums patched/adenoids removed and then when he's 6 or 7 have to have tonsils removed like N.

I would love, love, love to go one year without someone in my house having surgery.  For many reasons.  The worry.  The cost.  The recovery (which for tubes is nonexistent for but all of the other surgeries we've had or will have is pretty rough).  Did I mention the cost?  And the worry??

(It is all I can do to think through how I am going to manage the boys while N is on the sick-bed for a good 10-days to two weeks, drinking slushies and feeling pretty darn miserable.  I have already begged my mom to come over every day for about the first four days post-op to help me manage.)

The last time someone DIDN'T have a surgery in my household was 2005.

Really, a little surgery reprieve would be most welcome.

The throttling 3's

This post could also be called, "Turning the Bedroom Door Lock to the Outside Ensures that One's 3-year-old Doesn't Die By His Mother's Hands."

Here is the stage we are in:  G is 3 and 7/12 years old; he's a boy (so developmentally delayed by at least 6 months compared to what a female child would be like at this same age); and he's stuck in the middle, sandwiched like a sardine between N and M.  He has also apparently inherited every pesky personality trait from both sides of the family.  Finally, he is at that horrible point where he still needs a nap every day, but he often doesn't want to take one until about 2:45, which is much too late.  And if he doesn't take a nap, he is even more of a turd than he normally is when well-rested and in a good mood.

N was difficult at 3, but I don't recall having it out with her, watching her flail and cry and scream, at least two times a day  Sure, she would have some tantrums every week, but not morning, noon and night.  If G would sleep all the way through the night without waking me up at least once, I might have a better tolerance for his daytime behavior.  If G didn't have a little brother who also wakes up during the night, mommy might be considerably more willing to let certain behaviors slide.

When I think about him starting preschool this fall, I feel concern....mostly for his teachers and their mental health.  It is all I can do to tolerate him, and I have overwhelming momma-bear love for him.  I cannot imagine how quickly I would jack him up if I wasn't his mother.  It is fortunate that he has a terribly cute grin and mischievous eyes; I fear he will be the "bad boy" for whom all the girls go nuts.

G is persistent, a trait that is good for many things in life.  But he uses his persistence to persistently aggravate others.  I really wonder how things will go in preschool when he plays with other kids his age, how long before another kid cracks him in a the lip.

Of course, I worried a bit about how G would do in speech class, and he does really well.  He sits and participates and doesn't appear to annoy his classmates and teacher.  He is actually a pretty good kid in speech therapy, I think.  Perhaps he just shows his ass to the ones he knows love him enough to not beat his brains out....although we are sorely tempted.

Honestly, most of the time I cannot stand G, and I truly hate that.  I stay home because I want to enjoy my children and their early childhoods.  I want to be with them.  But G makes that tremendously hard a lot of the time.

When N was little and even when I had N and G, I never, ever thought about going back to work.  I  think about it nearly everyday now even though I know that I don't really want to go back to work because I would be dealing with surly middle schoolers.  And as far as I'm concerned the insanity that is a 7th grader is just like a 3-year-old, except taller and with a snottier attitude.

What I want is for G to move a little more quickly through this stage that seems like it has been going on for fucking eva.  Because there is much in G to love and to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The funny things about nursing a toddler

M is almost 19 months old and still nursing.  It is funny that I wanted to nurse my first baby until she was 2 years old, but it took me until my third child to find a willing accomplice.

As in all aspects of parenting, nursing has its phases.  At first it takes foreva for a baby to get through a nursing session.  As soon as they detach, burp and sleep for 15 minutes, they are ready to go again.

Within a couple months they get faster at nursing, but they are still very boob-centric.  Nursing becomes more of a wrestling match once they start to notice that there is a little more to life than nipples and mommy milk.  Even if they are not mobile, their little heads are on a swivel.

Once they become mobile, nursing often requires a darkened, quiet room with no distraction so that they can focus on the matter at hand and not jump off momma's lap to crawl or run around.

N weaned at 12 months and G at 14 months, so even though I think I am a fairly seasoned parent, all of this toddler nursing is a new thing for me.  Nursing is often about comforting M whenever his big brother steals a toy from him....which means I suckle for comfort ALOT.  And that gets kinda tiring.  I feel like a pacifier with legs.  This is when it feels frustrating.

Despite this, I can't help but get tickled by M's continued nursing as he develops language.  He will be latched on, laying in my arms when he decides to detach and say, "Mooooooo," letting me know he was evidently thinking about cows.  Or he'll detach and growl, which I can only assume means he is thinking about bears.  Sometimes he detaches and just laughs and laughs.

Before bedtime at night, he nurses and does this hip gyrating/pelvic thrust thing while rubbing his crotch through his diaper.  I sorta feel like I should give him some privacy, but he is filling his tummy for the night, and this is for him the be-all/end-all in soothing comfort.

As much as I sometimes think I will be really glad when he decides to wean, I am also so glad to have the wonderful and often weird experience of nursing a toddler.