Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I, man

So I was describing my sleep training efforts to a friend, the one who came and got me at the emergency room when B's mole burst. I was telling her how the initial crying didn't bother me one bit. And then remembered how I looked on calmly and rubbed his hand while they stitched him up in the ER while she had to leave the room. I think I've come to the conclusion that, to all intents and purposes, I am, essentially, a guy.

I've always had a very masculine energy, but rather than it being tamped down as a mother, I think it's ramped up. It's because you have to be strong, you have to be both father and mother. And you can't just be helpless and hand things off to someone else. Being a mother has really challenged me emotionally and pushed a lot of my old buttons, but I have to say I'm gaining a lot of confidence as I tackle each of these things that scare or confuse me. The sleep thing has been HUGE. Having basically gotten my son to sleep through the night every night and as of tonight go down with not even so much as a whimper has made me feel like superwoman.

Today I attempted not wearing my little silicone nipple thingies for the first time ever. I probably could have stopped wearing them weeks ago but I just kept using them out of habit; then this morning as I was washing them I just thought, what the heck? I never leak, and with very little nursing my nipples don't hurt (as much) anymore. So I had a bit of an itchy day with my gross pilled nursing bra (I need to stop wearing those, too), and then a funny thing happened when I went to give the baby his dinner time nurse. He just held the nipple there in his mouth for a second, looked confused, and then turned away. I tried the other side, and it was the same. No interest. I could tell he was hungry so I got him a sippy cup of cow's milk, which he wolfed down. And we had a nice cuddle in the rocker watching TV while he drank. It's interesting to me that he rejected the nipple - they probably felt different and/or smelled different from not being encased behind silicone all day. But I did have that moment of, "is this it? Is he weaning himself?" A friend of mine described how one day her infant daughter just looked at the boob, patted it nicely, and walked away, as if to say "thanks for the good times." I will try for my usual morning nurse with B tomorrow and we'll see what he does. But if he's done, he's done. Part of me despaired a little at this, but then I had to remember that it has to happen sooner or later-! My little lad is growing up.

This week I bought each of the four original Mary Poppins books to someday read to B. These books were a HUGE influence on me when I was a kid, and I always dreamed of reading them to my own kids one day. I think my mother must have them in Brazil because I can't find them anywhere (and I am the keeper of all family heirloom type things), so I decided to find the original 1930s and 40s books online, which was not hard to do. The original Mary P was NOT a sweet, singing darling like in the movie. No sir, the real Mary is kind of a bitch, always ready with a nasty remark or back handed compliment (I remember driving my mother nuts with this when I tried to emulate MP when I was around ten). I think a great deal of MP still lives in me, honestly. I'll be fascinated to see what reading those books as an adult will be like!

I also plan on reading B the Chronicles of Narnia set and the Little House on the Prairie books. What are your childhood favorites that you want to read to your kids?


  1. I used to pretend to be Miss Hannigan, and my friends were the orphans. I didn't understand she was drunk but knew I had to wobble and stagger while I sang!

    I love Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein books and look forward to reading those to Felix. I'm a realist and from a young age, didn't enjoy stories that couldn't really happen. (Cartoons were okay, but nothing with real people in them.) Talking animals, flying beds, mythical creatures were all off my list. And don't even try to mix cartoons and people (Roger Rabbit) or Muppets and people. Two universes colliding and so wrong! :)

  2. The Chronicles of Narnia are special to me as my Dad read most of them to me. We use to curl up in the living room (the good living room no less) & he'd put on some classical music & we'd read for hours. They are such sweet memories to me. I reread them while I was pregnant & it really brought back those feelings. I can't wait to read them to Elena.

  3. I still have my Little House books and plan to read them to Annelise. Also looking forward to introducing her to Harry Potter.

    Annelise self weaned. It was bittersweet and much earlier than I would have liked. I wasn't producing enough so I think she just began to prefer solid food. The first time she refused I called my mom and cried. But now I'm glad she did it on her own instead of it being a struggle.

  4. I loved Mary Poppins (the mean one) also! I still have my four book set at my mom's house, I think. Also adored Little House on the Prarie, and all the Anne of Green Gables books.

    As for your last post... sounds like a great plan to talk to the midwife. Getting more information can only be helpful.

  5. In addition to the ones everyone else has mentioned, I'll add the Secret Garden and A Little Princess - loved those books! I'm really looking forward to storytime with older children, and talking about the books, too.

  6. I work in a pediatric emergency department, and interestingly, it's often the dads (men) who have to leave the room or sit down or simply can't watch. Moms tend to handle blood type stuff better. It's not always the case, but it often is.

    I have a box of books that used to be mine (and my siblings') when I was little. Some of them have my name in my little kid handwriting inside the front cover (or one of my sibling's). I've already pulled a few out to read to Jordyn, and will continue to do so. It's not so much the specific titles, but just that they were mine when I was little, and now they'll be Jordyn's.