February 10, 2012
The Best Evening.

You and I had the best evening.

I have been very frustrated with you lately. You’re having accidents (not with daddy but during naps with Mimi and with me at random times, even in the car), and you’re asking to nurse a lot. You’re also physcially resisting getting in your carseat when I pick you up after work so much that I can’t even restrain you enough to get you strapped in sometimes. I You get so hysterical that you start coughing, and I worry that you’ll make yourself vomit.

Daddy pointed out that maybe you’re doing it for attention. I know that with the carseat it’s probably very difficult to get in the car five minutes after I’ve arrived after being gone all day long. The pee accidents could be a number of factors including you taking a great interest in watching your friends get their diapers changed or motioning for you to go away when they need to poop (multiple kids on multiple occasions have done this to you).

With nursing, I have been trying to get you to nurse less at night. But this was more due to the fact that your diapers kept leaking. We kept trying different brands and switching between size 4s and size 5s, and nothing was working. I was agonizing over whether I would have to wean you completely at night simply to avoid wet sheets and a grumpy baby in the middle of the night all the time. But finally, we went back to our original brand and original size, and you’re no longer leaking. I don’t remember why we ever strayed in the first place - probably because you’re growing, and they seem so small and tight.

I’ve also been trying to break you of the habit of putting your free hand on my free breast all the time. We had a pretty good rule for the past couple months that you’re only allowed to do it in bed and that otherwise mommy has bra on (even if I don’t). I’ll also push your hand away if you’re “playing” with it too much, and then you’ll acknowledge that you can only “hold it” and I’ll let you try again. But even during naps/naptime it was getting annoying for me, and so I kept offering you to put your hand on my neck or on my belly. Sometimes you’re okay with that, and sometimes you insist on the breast.

I read a post on a lactivist Facebook page today about a mother who finally weaned her daughter at two years old, and the daughter missing it and asking her mommy why she had to stop. The mother was still nursing her other child and therefore still lactating, so she offered her daughter to try again even though it had been three months. The story reminded me of the bond that comes with nursing and how once it’s gone it will never be there again. So I tried to keep that in mind on my way home from work today. Often I am frustrated that you ask for milk for only two seconds and then run off to play again. But I considered daddy’s point, and I realized that yes, you will often ask for milk as a way to bring my focus back on you. I am constantly trying to “get things done” before and after work, and I include you in household chores as much as possible. But I need to also be able to just stop what I’m doing and go play trains even if the dishwasher is only half loaded or the laundry is half put away.

And you know what? We had the best evening. It was just us because daddy was working. I tried to keep my focus on you, but I did need to put in a load of laundry, wash some dishes, and throw something together for dinner. You ate leftovers in your chair while I cooked. Then when you’d had enough, I put you on the counter to help me cook noodles with veggies and peanut sauce. You slurped the noodles with no shirt on because you had spilled your soup. I let you grate ginger by yourself (again), and you sliced your fingers (again). We ate right out of the serving bowl together. You kept getting something up your nose and asking for milk. I practiced a lot of German with you tonight, and you repeated everything I said. I was proud of myself for remembering to not only speak German AT you, but also to replace simple phrases we use all the time with the German translations. You said, “milk please mommy,” and I said, “Bitte Milch, Mama.” And you repeated it. You said, “this side,” and I said, “diese Seite.” And you repeated it.

We colored for an HOUR together with three pens. Every time I would get distracted opening mail, you would hand me my pen and say “here you go, mommy” or “mommy color too?” I drew a pig and asked you what it was, and you said “pig.” I merely started drawing a rainbow, and you said “rainbow!” I drew many more animals and other things, and you guessed what they were. I drew a rose and then pulled out one of the roses in the bouquet daddy bought me earlier this week for my first day at my new job. I showed you the petals, leaves, thorns, and stem on the rose and then pointed the same parts out in my picture. I held your hand and helped you draw a heart. You doodled and doodled and doodled. You kept asking to switch chairs with me. You asked for your Thomas pillow to sit on, so you’d be higher up.

I didn’t even get that upset with you when I noticed you had peed your pants on your Thomas pillow. I even laughed to myself wondering how long you’d been sitting there without telling me. That’s very unusual for you not to say anything after an accident, so I figured it mustn’t have been very long. I put you in the tub to get clean then wrapped you in a towel. We nursed in the rocking chair for a long time until your eyes started getting droopy. I got out your Batman pajamas and a diaper. We nursed some more until you were relaxed enough for me to get you into your PJs and diaper. Then we nursed in the rocking chair some more. You even fell asleep that way, which we haven’t done in months and months and months. In fact, you’ve only fell asleep while being rocked (by me, at night) a handful of times in your life. You didn’t even wake up when I carried you to bed and snuck away.

I love you so much. I love how at your young age you are able to teach me about patience, focus, and what really matters. I love it when you grab my face with both hands and turn it to look you in the eyes. I love it when you pat my hand repeatedly and yell, “hey mom.” When I first got home, I was trying to fix the sheets on the bed. But you took over, “shoved” me back and said, “go over there, I got it.” Sometimes you’ll ask me to stop what I’m doing so you can nurse and then run off into your room by yourself and play with trains for ten full minutes while I finish up the dishes.

I love you sitting on the kitchen counter, wanting to be involved in every aspect of making smoothies, cutting produce, tasting sauces, shaking the spices (even just wanting to smell the ones we don’t need at the moment), getting things out of the fridge, throwing wrappers away, heating things up in the microwave, wiping off the counters, holding the lid on the Vitamix while it blends (even though that’s not really necessary), banging on wooden spoons and metal bowls to make a drum set, pulling off all the magnets and looking at the pictures on the fridge you’ve seen a million times.

You are so incredibly verbal these days. You tell big long stories with excitement. You know how to whisper but quickly forget while daddy is sleeping in the mornings - and all night long for that matter.

You love to “rember” things from yesterday, last week, last month. Last week, you weren’t falling asleep right away. We had all the lights off, even the fishy light, and we lied in bed talking about Hawai’i for ten or 15 minutes. We remembered every detail and experience we could: the condo, the bus rides, the luau, the dancers, the hot blacktop in the parking lot, Maxine, the green crab sand toy, the restaurant, the whales, the bar where you did pull-ups, the balcony, the beach, the ocean, the beach where you were naked, the beach where you and daddy jumped on waves, the pool, daddy splashing you, the boat with the trampolines (catamaran), the plane rides, the kids on the plane, the suitcases, chasing Taube (pigeons), building sand castles, burying your feet in the sand, the drums, the fire, the pig on a spit, sunscreen/sun hat, Crocs stay outside, all the stairs, new house, hiking backpack, coconut checkers, etc.