Big changes are afoot at the Silverman-Akande ranch! As of last Saturday, February 8, my exactly 2.5 year old twins have been refused entry to the milk bar. I just couldn't take it for one more day. My breast, a.k.a the milk bar, had become a stand-up, dance-at, always open spot to check in, soothe a broken heart or a stubbed toe and re-hydrate before running off on the next emergency toddler adventure. They fought over sides and positions. They broke my jewelry (and sometimes my spirit) and became rude and bossy about where milk should be served and how convenient access should be – “Don’t put my milky away mommy, I will be right back!” Rude!
So last Saturday when I couldn't stand the feeling of their sharp little fingers kneading every part of me, I told them that they had to say goodbye to “milky” and that they could have milk in a cup or juice and as many cuddles and hang-outs in the carrier as they wanted but no more milk from mommy. They whined and cried and have tugged at me and asked for milk several times over the past few days, but we’re done.
We went cold turkey, which is probably a bit cruel, but I am not exactly a slow and steady kind of person. And while I don’t remember how I dealt with the feelings of my older kids when they stopped nursing (yes, even Z who is adopted), I do remember that they were also made to stop nursing abruptly. My big guy nursed from about 6 to 17 months and stopped on the night I started injectable hormones to try to get pregnant.
The girls nursed for 22 months until I was 6 weeks pregnant with the Littles and started bleeding. I don’t know how we got through it – how I made it okay for them. When F & L cry for milk and I bribe them with a cookie or juice, I feel so awful and think “Is this really necessary? Shouldn't I just continue?” But I can’t because I always said that when I started to resent nursing, I would stop. No little one wants resentment flavored milk. It’s probably curdled! Ending our nursing relationship is the right thing to do but I still feel sad. These are my last nursing babes. It’s the end of a stage of my life and I am not that into endings.
The possible up side is that the world will finally find out what I am like without serious lady hormones coursing through my veins.* I have been on fertility drugs, pregnant or breast feeding since September 2006. That is 7.5 years! I realize that I’m not breaking any records, but I am so excited to learn if my raging anger quickly followed by extreme bliss is related to my hormones or if it’s just the joy that is me! I imagine Wife is also very curious about this. To be truthful, just wearing a proper, proper bra and having my breasts rest much higher than my waist, which is wear they've been hanging out for years, is enough to shift my mood!
In response to the end of nursing, or just to keep life interesting, Mr. Lee thought that he needed quick access to me and learned to climb out of his crib this past weekend with great precision. Sure, the first attempt landed him on his head but he is not one to shy away from a challenge so he kept practicing until he was a smooth escape artist. Figuring that one day he would try to escape while half asleep and really hurt himself, we decided on Monday to take down the cribs. I once read a blog post by a mom who referred to bedtime as a game of whack-a-mole. This could not be truer in our house. Wife and I quickly move through our tiny hallway returning escaped children to bed for a good hour and a half after “lights out”. The twins – set one and set two, refuse to stay put at bedtime. I am certain that we have successfully dealt with this in the past. The girls went through a phase when they stayed in bed but they are smart, and realize that there are good times to be had at bedtime. It is after 9 pm before the last emergency bathroom trips are taken and fetching of necessary toys and singing of various renditions of classic kids’ is done and the kiddos are too tired to continue their antics. And in case you are like me, and measure time in cups of coffee (AM) and glasses of wine (PM), by 9 pm I am about 2.5 glasses of wine in and am pretty much ready for lights out myself.
So the Littles are in new phase of "littlehood" and we are along for the ride. I suspect that there will be crankiness – theirs and ours, from lack of sleep for a while as well as frustration – mine, from having to come up with alternatives to “milky” for solving toddler problems . As the title of this post suggests, sh#t just got real!
*I use the term lady hormones in reference to myself, fully aware that this terminology would not be appropriate for all of those who have the same hormones running through their bodies.