Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hi Boobies!

It's been almost six months since Tallu and I stopped nursing. We're still adjusting. First, I had to explain that the milkies were empty, so they are mommy's boobies now (again). It was easy for her to take "they're empty" for an answer, though there were occasions where she'd tried. It would only last a second or two, but my mind and body immediately repelled such attempts, as though we had never nursed!
Tallu gets glimpses of the boobies-formerly-known-as-milkies, and wants to touch them. I refuse, but I tell her she can say hi. She waves to my chest and says "Hi, boobies!" Or I'll ask if she wants the boobies to give her a hug, and I'll give her an extra squeezy hug. No doubt she remembers nursing rather fondly, and I do, too. I always wondered if she was getting enough, if we were going on for too long, if she would ever stop. She was getting comfort and nourishment, it went for as long as she needed it to, and yes, she stopped nursing.

It would be so helpful to nursing mothers to receive encouragement and support for this decision. You may think that nursing a toddler who can say "I want booby" is too old. You're allowed to your opinion, but that's when you press the Interior Monologue button. You may see a mother nursing her infant on a park bench, shirt up, "shame" be damned. Babies need to eat, and they don't care that they're in the park. Keep walking, and let that mother care for her child. You'll be glad when that same baby is sleeping soundly, not wailing for dear life on the train. If your family is unfamiliar with nursing, there's no better way to introduce them to it by not hiding. My aunt, who recoiled dramatically and hilariously the first time I nursed Tallu, praised me for nursing her great-aunt/godchild for so long when I told her we were finished.

Mission accomplished!

A Pot(ty) To Piss In

Sure the title is crass, but at least she's peeing more often in the potty or the toilet than on our wood floors or rugs. The last time she peed on the floor was last week, when she walked past the potty (which sits just outside the bathroom door) to pee on the floor on my side of the bed. I took it as a sign of aggression, and let her know how upset I was. It's kind of hard to be patient when one minute she's running to the potty, and in the next pouring forth a puddle on my bedroom floor. I have to remind myself, like Grover sings in "Elmo's Potty Time" that "Accidents happen, and that's okay."

Bladder control is something I take for granted, but I haven't worn a diaper in, what, twenty-eight years? It must be very difficult to move from literally peeing where you stand to a multi-step process: recognize the tingle in your bladder, contract muscles, go to the toilet, pull down underwear, sit on toilet, release. Let's not even talk about pooping...well...I'll just say that I've had to pick up Tallu and race to the potty, posterior in the air, to save myself from picking up her deuce from her bedroom floor.

Here's how I'm making the process easier on both of us. Tallu is butt naked during her waking hours, and there are two potties in the house: one in the living room (Al Bundy's dream), and the upstairs one. (When I was a kid my yellow and white potty sat just outside the bathroom door, which was great because I could "go potty" even if the bathroom was occupied.) Why butt naked? Pure laziness- I am saving myself laundry because we don't have an electric drier.

Here's how I'm making the process harder on both of us. I haven't given her real world experience. In other words, she hasn't left the house without wearing a diaper. If we're on the train and she's gotta pee, and we're twenty minutes from our destination, what am I supposed to do? I was trained to pee in the street, between the cars if we were too far away from a bathroom. (It was New York in the 80's, what can I say?) My mom told me that when I was about three I told her I had to go to the bathroom while we were out, so she took me between some cars. She was horrified when I started pooping!

I wish I had answers, but this is one of those real-world lab exercises for which no one can give me the answers. I'm not claiming my toddler to be potty-trained, as I see this will be a long process. We are working on it, one pee-pee dance at a time.