Toddlerhood

My little girl is 22 months old!  I’ve been so busy with pregnancy and NOT blogging that I haven’t gotten a chance to tell you all how unbelievable fun she is!  It is just indescribable how awesome it is to have a toddler.  I didn’t think anything could get more awesome than babyhood but now she is a PERSON – a walking, talking OPINION!  It is precious (and challenging).

Before I get to the good stuff – a tragedy.  Aellyn weaned.  After all my courage went into defying my doctors and nursing through my Frozen Embryo Transfer I completely dried up around 15 weeks pregnant anyways.  I was NOT ready for this.  I was really depressed and I didn’t want to tell anyone.  I almost felt like how could I be a breastfeeding advocate (especially a “full-term” breastfeeding advocate) when I didn’t even make it to 2 years.  It was really emotional for me.  Aellyn? Not so much.  It was absolutely no big deal to her.  She never cried or acted upset that my “boobies” weren’t working.  She would ask to nurse, suck a little or not at all, screw her nose up (like it tasted bad maybe?) and then laugh.  Then she went about her business.  Eventually she stopped even putting her mouth on my nipple.  She’d ask to nurse and then poke my nipple with her finger and say “button” and then laugh hysterically.  I still bare the boobies for her whenever she asks.  I want her to know they are still there for her and she is completely welcome to un-wean to whatever extent she desires after the babies come.

So, is that “child-led” weaning?  It certainly wasn’t led by me but at the same time it wasn’t free from outside influence (my pregnancy) so I feel like I “failed” at child led weaning.  It is really stupid to feel that way though.  This is exactly the kind of pressure that pro-breastfeeding can put on women – pressure so great that it becomes easier not to try at all.  Breastfeeding, like cosleeping and babywearing and any number of attachment parenting tools, is only successful if you are listening to the needs of your child.  Aellyn didn’t need to nurse anymore.  Lamenting that says more about me than about her, right?  Just like if cosleeping meant no one got any sleep – how would that be good for my child?  Sometimes parenting fails by imagining it is rigid.  Good parenting is not rigid it is responsive.

Of course it is always hard to let go of something that was wonderful and beautiful.  So, I let myself feel that loss but struggle to not let myself feel like I’ve failed.

Besides she’s too cute for words!  This picture was taken when she stayed the night with B’gah (grandpa) and Gam (grandma).  Man (Aunt Mandi) visited too.  She is wearing her hat an coat to go ow-side (outside) to get in the cah (car) and go see Mom and Da-ee (daddy).  She love Ho (Mickey Mouse) and watching Boots (Dora).  She loves to pick out the Moon and Stahs (stars) in the kie (sky) and even clout (clouds) and the sun.

She still sleeps in her zip (Woombie) with one arm out.  We have to get her out of it eventually since they don’t make a size bigger than “Jumbo Baby.”  When she goes nie-nie (night-night) she gets to brush her teef (teeth) and get her binkie.  She rubs mine or DH’s ahm (arm) until she falls asleep.

She can get out of sorts when she wants a kack (snack) or cheese and we say no (I mean how much cheese is too much cheese?  I don’t think she’d ever stop!).  She says ‘mon (come on) and grabs your finger to take you into her play room to pie (play).  It melts the heart.  She gets frustrated easily if, say, her ride-on horsey gets stuck on the carpet.  She’ll let out a whine and look at me for help.  I tell her, “you can do it.  Just lift it up and turn it around.” and she does.  When she hurts herself she doesn’t cry just comes to me and says “kiss?” and I kiss it and she’s off again to play!  When she plays too rough or hits me with something, I say, “no that hurts.  Be gentle please.”  She says “huts?” (hurts?) and then will pat my arm which means gentle (we started that when she would pull my hair at 6 months – take her hand and stroke the hair and say gentle, so now stroking = gentle).  If she throws something hard we say “no, that could hurt.  We can throw this [insert soft object].”

She is now 100% cloth diapered (or, as she would say, b’dah).  We have fuzzi bunz and they are so darn cute on her.  They really help her learn her colors too.  We say get the blue b’dah and she’ll pick out the right one.  She’s really good at blue, purple, brown, and pink.  She can count to THREE!  I don’t know why this amazes me as much as it does – I mean how many things do you do with your kids where you say, “one…two…three!”?  We do a lot.  Instead of saying more or again she’ll say “two.” to get us to swing her again.

I ask her “where are the babies?” and she kisses my (huge) belly.  Sigh.

I could go on but I don’t think any of it would come close to capturing the pure joy of being her mother.  It is just beyond words.  It is fun and challenging and alive.

I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

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5 thoughts on “Toddlerhood

  1. I bet you are full of emotions right now. Between being pregnant and going through such a transitional phase with your daughter, just one of those is enough to get anyone feeling a little emotional. 🙂

    I know you said that you have mixed feelings about the way your daughter weaned, but I wanted to tell you that I believe that many kids will continue nursing during a pregnancy (unless they are very young) if they want/need to. If your daughter was okay being done, I tend to think that she was probably ready.

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  2. beautiful narrative and I agree with Casey, I think she was ready which speaks volumes about your parenting. She is bright and confident and secure. She is always happy.

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  3. I enjoyed reading about your weaning experience. As a complete outsider it sounds like it went good, I am hoping for the same “good” eventually with my son. I have no idea what to expect though, so reading your story actually gave me some comfort. So thank you for sharing. And I also liked how you said you were still sad about the loss because it was the end of something beautiful. I loved that. I agree wholeheartedly.

    blessings,
    Jamie

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  4. I love todderhood, too. It’s funny how they get easier and harder at the same time. It’s so delightful to watch them grow up and develop, and it’s amazing when they can talk and do more things with you.

    I’m sorry she weaned on you! I wouldn’t have been ready, either! Maybe it was luck, though. Could you imagine nursing three??

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    • Such a good point! That’s what my OB said. While I would have happily nursed three if that is what they needed it might be a blessing in disguise, huh?

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