I was asked how I used to parent if it wasn’t “like this”.
I don’t think that I really had a “method” four years ago. I just reacted. I hadn’t been a yeller, never spanked.. I found infancy to be pretty easy minus the “will never let me put him down” and “Does not sleep before two years old” stuff. But as my child was growing out of infancy into “a child” his behavior was starting to get on my nerves and I was viewing his actions through the words that other people provided.
People say that children are manipulative. So when my child cried I would get annoyed that he was trying to change things…. When he was simply HAVING FEELINGS about something.
People say that children are destructive. So when he took something apart I viewed it as destruction instead of curiosity.
People say that children are careless. So when he broke the little red frog (story here: http://nurshable.com/2012/06/19/red-frog/ ) I viewed it as careless rather than realizing immediately that I had startled him and that he was being extremely careful.
Children are not convenient. That’s what people really want to say. They want to make kids be convenient.
Kids are independent human beings that have immature brains and bodies and that are still trying to piece together how and why things work.
I’m not a naturally patient person. I’ve always tended toward the sarcastic/negative outlook and towards being quick to judge and react.
Over the past four years I’ve become extremely different from how I have been most of my life.
It’s been work. But I believe in hard work. I believe that we each have the ability to change and to grow and to become better people and better parents.
I mentioned that I would share a low resolution scan of Keenie + Zeebie so that people can read before they buy.
* Keenie and Zeebie can be purchased here: http://nurshable.com/shop/
Upset because papa changed her bandaids without asking her, tearstained. Daddy brings her to me and she asks to nurse. So we lay down to nurse.
Huge blue eyes twinkle at the corners as I tell her funny things. Then I fall silent and she just looks at me. Her eyes open wide as she tries to keep them open.
Are you sleepy? I ask. She grunts protest in lieu of a no.
Do you want to take a nap? She grunts again, shaking her head slightly and kicking her feet in protest, her eyes annoyed.
She doesn’t really nap anymore.
I say okay.
I run my finger down her nose, along the outside of her cheek. I have missed her this morning as she has been playing with her daddy, her gramma and her grandpa, drinking in this time with them as they are at work most of the week.
Her eyes blink.
“Your eyes look sleepy, ” I say. “Doesnt it feel good to let them close?” And I trace my finger across the corner of her eyelashes, her eyes flutter closed at the touch. Then open again.
“Your body looks tired, too. Doesnt it feel good to snuggle near?”
Her eyes flutter closed again and she curls herself into my body.
Still awake, but relaxed and still.
Soon her body is heavy with sleep and her little mouth hangs open. Her hands and feet twitch away in some kind of peaceful dream.
Twenty nine months. This is what naptime looks like now, when she takes a nap that is.
The Daily Onion shared a satirical (fake) study showing a link between breastfeeding and always knowing what is right for everyone. It required a response, so we did some research for Nurshable readers.
Apparently shortly after the original study was shared with the world another study was conducted by an opposing faction of researchers at John Hopkins University. A cranky lactating researcher granted an interview. “It’s not that breastfeeding mothers know what is right for everyone.” she explained. “It’s that breastfeeding mothers are exposed to so much misinformation that their brains reach a catastrophic overload and they simply cannot take it anymore. When you hear too many times that someone’s boyfriend drank all the breastmilk before the baby was born… Your brain breaks. And when you hear things that are similarly impossible being repeated by pediatricians you start asking how this is even possible. Then you come to the epiphany that pediatricians are doctors. They’re not lactation consultants. Most pediatricians don’t even know how breastfeeding works!”
She went on to explain that breastfeeding mothers retain the ability to listen to accurate information.
“The study done by our colleagues made the amateur mistake. Correlation is not causation.”
When asked what that means she explained rather clearly that the latest study on the topic shows that mothers exposed to less misinformation and sabotage not only went on to breastfeed for a longer period of time, they also remained more open to the opinions of others and more trusting of medical professionals.
“This CLEARLY shows that while breastfeeding mothers are less open to new information, they still retain the ability to listen to new ACCURATE information. They have only developed immunity to information that is incorrect and that flies in the face of logic, science, best practices and the knowledge of how lactation works. This is a GOOD thing!”
Sadly the interview had to be cut short as the researcher needed to go back to pumping. “The human breast won’t spontaneously dry up.” she explained apologetically as she unpacked her double breast pump. “That’s just another myth. But human milk contains a protein called Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation which will decrease supply slowly over time if mom doesn’t remove milk from her breast as frequently as she can. When I am unavoidably apart from my baby I pump every two to three hours to maintain my supply so that I can continue breastfeeding. When I first started I was given horrible information about this. But lactation provided me with the immunity necessary to discard the falsehoods, do my own research, and succeed at my goals.”
As I was ushered out the door she whispered one final secret: “IBCLCs? They really know their stuff. If you ever have a problem with breastfeeding, they’re the ones that can help you.”