Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gimme Milk!!!

Spice is on a full-fledged campaign to drink as much milk as possible and it's wearing me out. There is something about the way this child nurses that makes me SO SLEEPY!!! I know there's some hormone that nursing triggers that makes you relax, but this is ridiculous. I get this overwhelmingly sleepy drugged feeling and can barely keep my eyes open. I don't ever remember feeling this way when I was nursing Sugar.

It wasn't so bad when Spice was cutting back on her nursing. But she's ramped it up again and I feel so drained. I'm pretty sure she's cutting her 2-year molars and that partially accounts for the extra nursing. She's also been fighting off a cold, and last week she got two shots at her well-baby check-up which really threw her out of sorts.

She's been waking up early - around 5am - and coming to bed to nurse and doze. She doesn't fall back into a full sleep and she doesn't want to get up. She just wants to hang out and nurse with her eyes closed - for hours! I'd like to get up and go walking in the morning, but by 6am, when I'd have to get up, instead of starting to really wake up and getting drowsier and drowsier thanks to that crazy hormone - or whatever it is about nursing that makes me sleepy. By 7am, when I HAVE to get up (to pee, if for not other reason), Spice has wrapped her arms around my breast in a vice grip and won't let go. I'm pretty sure that if I stood up, she would continue to hang on. I suppose I could walk to the bathroom with a 28lb toddler hanging off my boob, but it wouldn't be comfortable - or pretty for that matter.

The good days are the days when we go out and stay out. On those days Spice doesn't ask to nurse - usually. Occasionally she will ask to nurse when we're out, but most often she doesn't. But, if we're home, she wants to nurse a lot. And too often, I don't have the time to distract her. Juggling work and childcare often means that it's easier to let her nurse while I get work done. Except that the work is the result of a sleep, fuzzy-headed me.

This week, I am going to make a strong effort to be up and out. Or to find distractions to nursing when we have to be in the house. I WILL drag myself out of bed early enough to go for a walk. I need the exercise SO badly. My body hurts, my pride hurts, I'm tired of being fat and flabby and feeling it.

I really don't mind nursing Spice for as long as she needs it. With Sugar I felt so conflicted about nursing past a year, and was downright miserable going past 2 years. With Spice, I don't feel any of that angst. I've gotten over all the social taboos about nursing beyond infancy. But, I am ready to start taking care of me a little and that means that she can't nurse ALL THE TIME.

I have to say that even though I am more comfortable with letting her self-wean, I'm also more comfortable than I was with Sugar, about saying no sometimes - even when it REALLY upsets her.

I hated to let Sugar cry for any reason, especially for things like wanting my time, attention, or to nurse. With Spice, I'd prefer not to let her cry for those things, but I also accept the fact that sometimes I just can't give her my time or attention, or let her nurse as much as she'd like. It's funny, too, because with Sugar it went against all my instincts to let her cry. But, for Spice, sometimes my instinct is to let her cry.

And interestingly, whereas Sugar would just cry harder and harder unless she was comforted, Spice tends to calm down fairly quickly and just move on to the next thing. Sugar is a sweeter kid, but in her own way, Spice is more easy going. She doesn't dwell on stuff. When it's over it's over. As soon as she knows she's not going to get her way, she lets it go. Sugar, on the other hand will often tell you about the thing you did that upset her 5 years ago.

So, I guess my instincts have as much to do with my children's personalities as with my own inclinations. Interesting.

For all that, it means that sometimes Spice's demand of "Gimme Milk!" will be catered to and other times it won't - without me feeling guilt or angst either way. However, each and every time, I will work on reminding Spice that the best approach is to say, "Can I have milk, please?"

1 comment:

The Bear Maiden said...

See, I worked outside the home, so I wasn't nursing The Sun during the day. Hon, that's not some hormone... that's her literally sucking the life out of you, lol. I felt it too. And I'm all for self-weaning... in truth, the Sun really did. I quit my job suddenly; we were both so surprised to be with each other all day we both forgot about it for about a week. When he asked "Can I have some boobie, please?" I said "no"... I had gotten used to being able to keep my own energy :). And that was that.

I think nursing a toddler is a LOT more work than nursing a baby. Your body works harder. I definitely admire those women who manage to do so, especially in this day and age. Cuz it's work....