June 30, 2013

Pulling the Plug

I have been trying for weeks now to bust out this post.  I wanted to wait before shouting from the roof lest I eat crow, as before.
Tonight I did it.  I pulled the plug.  I cold-turkeyed these bitches.

I have been telling The Geel for weeks now that we were going to stop nur-nurs soon.  And she would nod her head with appropriate seriousness and then smile and say "Nur-nur sides?"  In other words, "Suuuure, Mommy.  You keep telling yourself that.  Now shut up and feed me."

My master plan was to start while The Sarge was away, because as much of a hard nose as he thinks he is, he just can't listen to the crying-it-out.  I'm not saying I enjoy it any, but I will tolerate it if I have to.  So he goes away for two weeks for some training, and what looked good on paper weeks ago, suddenly seems like a half-baked idea with a slight lack of forethought.

First of all, the new summer babysitter (awesomest EVER--but that's another post) started on Monday and it's the last full day of school for Moo and Slim, so The Geel is with the new sitter all by herself for a day.  Then she wakes up the next day and Daddy is gone.  And so, after those two realizations, I thought that perhaps I should rethink the idea.

Not to mention the fact that I feel like she just isn't ready to give it up.  Years ago when I first had Moo, I had a friend shared with me one of her parenting philosophies:  Babies/kids have needs and if you fill those needs when they have them, they will outgrow the need.  Seems logical, and it seems to have held true for Moo and Slim regarding nursing and many other things.  Now needing to nurse and wanting to nurse are, of course, two very different things.  I know that she doesn't need to nurse, but of course, she wants to.

Most days she wants to nurse immediately when we walk in the house after I pick her up from daycare.  I had tried many times to limit nur-nurs only to "nappies" and "night-nights" but soon found that 3-5 minutes spent nursing The Geel dramatically reduces the time it takes me to make dinner (once you count the exorbitant amount of time it takes to wrestle a toddler from your legs numerous times while handling hot food and cookware).

Even when Moo and Slim do try to help distract her it is always in vain.  The girl will not be swayed, she will not be distracted or bribed.  Or she will "let" her self be bribed and then turn around and expect to nurse anyway.  Persistence is her forte.  And I would be lying if I didn't say that it wasn't a tad convenient.  Tired?  Nurse her.  Hungry?  Nurse her.  Bump her head?  Nurse her.  But mainly it's just the fastest easiest way to get her to sleep when she's with me.

Anyway, I have been talking this up for weeks.  I have been telling her that there will be no more nur-nurs soon.  That Mommy just can't do it anymore, my nur-nurs are getting tired and that it's not nice and snuggly for Mommy anymore.  I'm sure she comprehended what I was saying, but didn't believe what I was saying.  You know, "Suuuure, Mommy.  You keep telling yourself that.  Now shut up and feed me."

So I did it.  I ended it.  I reminded her of what I have been saying for weeks.  I told her that I would lay down with her, and that she might be sad and that she would probably still want to do nur-nurs, but that we would not be doing it anymore.  And amazingly, she was okay.  She did get a little upset, and she did ask once or twice, but it wasn't the major ordeal I was anticipating.  It was not the earth-shattering, world-rocking devastating event that I thought it would be.  It was okay.  She was okay.
And as soon as I shut down my computer last night, I realize that maybe I'm the one who's not okay.  I don't get all sentimental about The Geel being my last baby.  I mean, let's remember, she was sort of not really part of the plan to begin with.  I am perfectly fine with her growing up and have often joked from the beginning that I'd like to fast forward 4 or 5 years--past diapers and the sleepless nights and nursing.  

But in the thick of it here, I think I am missing something.  It's like waging a war.  Every day you fight and fight.  I whined about nursing, I begged and bribed her just to not do it.  I was weary with the effort--both of nursing and of resisting it.  The nursing itself wasn't so taxing, but emotionally I was starting to hate it, to dread it.  It was draining.  No pun intended.  

Now that it is gone, the war is over, I can go back to......something.  Can I go to Mom's Night Out again?  My book club?  Could I meet a friend for a glass of wine?  It seems possible now, and yet it seems weird and almost wrong.  Like I shouldn't be able to.  From the first night, I stayed up too late.  First I wanted to write about it, but the second night and the third I sat up waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Waiting for the inevitable #epicfail that didn't come.  

Don't get me wrong, this has not been without some bumps.  Yesterday's naptime was a particularly ugly knock-down, drag-out match between me and the Terrible Two-ster.  It would have been SO easy to just start nursing her (and she would have, I'm sure) and get her to sleep and have some "instant" peace, but I just couldn't.  And it's not like she doesn't still need me to get to sleep.  She really has no self-soothing skills.  In fact Phase II of this whole thing will be to not have to lay down with her and sing 17 rounds of "Hush Little Baby" and recite Goodnight Moon six times.

The other strange thing is that although I have shared the "news" with family and friends, it's nothing I'm particularly proud of.  I am glad it is over, but in my heart, I hear "This too, shall pass."  A favorite mantra of mine for sure, but still, something has passed.  Right behind my sigh of relief, is a pang of loss.
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June 14, 2013

Flashback Friday: The First

(I know, I know it's really Saturday, but I had this cool idea for a "theme day" thingy, and I scheduled this post to fly last night and for some reason, it didn't.  So you're getting it now.  On Saturday.  Suck it up and deal.  I mean "Sorry.  Next time I'll try and get it right, dear readers.")

Well, I have never tried this before, but there's a first time for everything.  I'm not much into theme days, but that's probably because I hardly take the time to post with ANY semblance of regularity, and having a weekly (or even monthly) theme would kinda require that.  But I was looking back over some old posts and kinda thinking about what I might want to write about this weekend and I feel like I don't have anything better to say than I did last year about The Sarge.

So without further ado, my first "theme-y" thing.  A flashback to a year ago:

Confessions of a (Not-so-)Super Wife

I met him at a club where we used to dance.  We'd both gone for several years but had never really run into each other before that night in June.  I had been watching him dance for a while when I decided to approach him at the bar (with what could be one of the corniest things that ever left my mouth:  "I was watching the dance floor and you were absolutely the most interesting thing on it.") <gag> that was painful to write

Soooo, anyway, we talked the rest of that night and I realized by the end of the night that I didn't really like him very much.  It wasn't anything specific, just didn't get any kind of spark or anything.  Of course, after a night full of cheap gin and tonics and 2 am small talk, I'm not sure what I had expected.

About six or seven months later we started "officially" dating.  That was 14 years ago.  Marriage, three (unexpected) kids, a dog, a few states later (and not necessarily in that order) and here we are--wedded, parenting bliss.  Or something like that.

For being a man who never thought he would even have kids, The Sarge is a pretty great dad, and I think we're a good team.  He's the strong arms, straight backbone and discipline, and I'm mostly the squishy parts (in more ways than one).  His military background and my laziness sometimes make for interesting, um, discussions, but I prefer to think of it as one of the many ways we compliment each other.

He is a history buff and can (for example) tour the battlegrounds at Gettysburg and give Moo and Slim a full run down of every battle, which commanders fought which and what direction they were marching across the fields.  I am of more use helping them with their math homework.  (I am actually excited that Moo will have some Algebra next year. Bring it on!)  He is the one to make them sit and do their homework everyday as soon as they walk in the door.  I take them to auditions for plays.  He likes to plan for any and every possible eventuality.  I sometimes forget daily repeated tasks (and have been known to run out of work screaming expletives, realizing that I forgot to leave on time to pick up the kids at school.)  Like I said, we compliment each other.

One thing I never really tell him is that I appreciate our differences.  I think it is virtually impossible to realize such a thing in the middle of any "discussion" over those differences; and like most people, I have a hard time saying I am wrong about a good many things, but sometimes I am. Discipline is necessary, history is educational, planning is smart.

Happy Father's Day to The Sarge.  Today, you can be right.  Tomorrow.....well, that's a new day.....
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June 1, 2013

Around the Block

I was thinking the other day about why I don't post more often and how I could go about changing that. A few things were poking at my brain. One was a question in Facebook group asking some bloggers to fess up about our biggest obstacle.  The other was as post I read over at Pocketful of Joules about "busy people."

Anyway, those two things together made me think that mommy bloggers don't normally suffer from "Writer's Block," but there are a whole host of other things that ail us.

1.  Blogger's Block - You know, when you write a great post (or even a not-so-great one) and then you hesitate to publish it because you need to edit, or maybe you think it's just not the kind of thing you would usually write about, or the thought of the full time job of promoting it with an endless parade of social media makes you think twice.  No matter the hang up, sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

2. Kid/ToddlerBlock - This is when you sit down at your computer to get started and suddenly you become interesting to your two-year-old, who prior to that very moment, had no clue you were in the room.  Not only are you interesting, but anything and everything you touch is as well. Need a pen? Nope, she'll take that. Trying to type? Fat chance! She can do it better.

3. Laundry Block - This is a particularly tough one.  I had high hopes as I sat on the couch with my laptop, only to be thwarted by the evil glare of the pile of laundry staring me down from the laundry room (or as it is occasionally known: the loveseat).  Guilt ensues, and I forgo a night of potential writing in favor of more seating in my living room.

4. TV Block - Sorry, as good as a multitasker I can be, I simply cannot churn out a cohesive thought, AND keep track of Meredith Grey's neuroses at the same time.  Thursday Night Drama - 1. Blog Post - 0.

5.  Bills Block - Oh those pesky bills!  You mean electricity and TV aren't free?!?  Oh yeah, that's why I work. 

6. Work Block -  Generally speaking, the boss isn't too keen on me logging in and working on a new post while I should be, well, working.  And unfortunately, work is the only thing that takes up almost as much of my day as sleep.  Or at least it will when I start getting some. (Sleep, that is.)

7.  Sleep Block - Or lack thereof.  I always love it when I surmount Block's 3, 4 and 5 only to be thwarted by nodding off in the middle of working on a post.  Kind of derails the train of thought.

8. Spouse Block - This is not always entirely unwelcome.  I mean, it is not the end of the world if you have to put aside those post ideas about poop and weaning and let some other creative juices flow, right?
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