Come, Mommy

Saturday, June 02, 2007

10 Weeks Of Brotherhood - or - Why I Haven't Been Posting Much Lately

Well, let's see. Kieran has decided to nurse all the time, day and night. I guess he's hitting the three month growth spurt a tad early. He's big kid already - 12 pounds, nine ounces and 24 inches at his two month check-up last week, and clearly he's intent on busting that growth chart curve. I say go for it, Kieran. I've never been a big believer in those growth charts anyway, particularly for breastfed babies, so go right ahead and prove 'em wrong. Just one thing, please. The next time you decide to declare a National Suck Mommy Dry Week, could ya send out a memo ahead of time?

Meanwhile, the Older Brother Previously Known as Leonard is now known 'round these parts as Diesel, or wait, no, Cookie Monster, or well, yesterday it was Cheese Monster. I'll have to call him by his given name for our purposes here until he decides on a new name for himself.

At any rate, said Older Brother is arising at 5:00 with the appearance of "Father Sun." If anyone knows of any thrilling activities for the young set in central NJ at that early hour, I'm all ears. The ferrets are getting a lot of early morning attention these days, and we're baking a lot of bread, and reading a lot of books.

The main problem with getting up that early is that everyone is good and tired by about noon. And since Liam is 3.5, nothing, including naps, can be discussed, much less accomplished, without a great deal of negotiating. Which leaves us more tired. And when Liam gets tired, he asks ever more "why" questions. And if I dare answer, "I don't know," the guaranteed result is a tantrum. It is flattering in some ways that my son thinks I know the answer to everything, but I gotta tell ya, the idea of a teenager who thinks I know nothing starts sounding vaguely appealing by about 2:00 P.M.

Also! Yet more with the whining! We have reached a critical juncture with regard to Liam's use (or non-use) of the potty. After a brief flirtation with potty-training last year, Liam returned to diapers swearing never to use the potty again. Things have reached a boiling point because of two things. His Fuzzi Bunz are too small for him, and are leaking regularly*, which freaks him out. Also, I have had had it up to my ears with changing big boy poopy diapers, and there have been some times where I have not been exactly polite about that fact. Since this weekend is Kevin's 30-something birthday and approximately Liam's 3.5 birthday, we baked a cake and had a double birthday celebration. We struck a deal beforehand that big boys of 3.5 could use the potty, but after having one accident on the floor, Liam is now terrified of giving up diapers. I truly think we are back to Square One. And he really needs to be out of diapers by September for nursery school. So, yeah, fun times.

And then, and then, just when I'm worked up and really furious at my firstborn, he'll turn around and do something really adorable like make funny faces at Kieran to stop his crying while telling him he's the best baby in the world. Or he'll grab my hand and Casey's collar, pull us all over to wherever the baby is, and declare that it is time for a group hug. The emotional ups and downs are exhausting!

Some days I wonder how much longer I can keep this up, and then somehow I get up the next day and do it all over again...I'm a big believer in non-punitive discipline and parenting through play, but on days where I'm scraping the bottom of the energy barrel, those seem like awfully lofty ideals. Especially when what seems really appealing is to throw myself on the floor and have a good old tantrum of my own. Bah!

I'm sure I'll be in a better mood in a few days - this level of contentiousness and funk can't last that long. I hope. Otherwise you may see me, baby in one hand, ferret carrier in the other, running madly away from home and (and I mean this in the most loving way possible) the moody, cantankerous 3.5 year old who resides inside. In the meantime, some pictures from the last two weeks...


Kieran taking a break at Liam's school.


The face of innocence.


Preparing the 3.5 year/30-something birthday cake.


The other reason I don't have many pictures this time is that Liam swiped my camera for his own uses and hid it for a few days...

*True story - at the vet's the other day, I saw Liam standing near a puddle of pee in the waiting room. I was about to get upset about his diaper leaking when I realized he wasn't worried, he wasn't freaking out, and there were six dogs in the vicinity. I've just got diaper issues on the brain and totally spaced on the idea that one of the dogs had had an accident.

11 Comments:

  • Sorry things have hit a bit of rough patch for you lately. I am also totally out of answers to all the "why" questions that come my way each day. And I can empathize with the potty training -- Allie was also extremely reluctant to use the potty, and it drove me crazy. Liam will get it one day, really!

    Hang in there.

    By Blogger Suzanne, at Sunday, June 03, 2007 8:51:00 AM  

  • Sorry that things have been rough lately. M was very reluctant to use the potty, and we finally got her trained around 3y 8-9m. J, who wanted to use the potty last summer and I didn't have the desire or energy to deal with it, is now in the resisting phase. Fun Fun! They'll all get there eventually!!

    Hang in there! You'll get through, with lots of those group hugs and silly faces!!

    By Blogger Steph, at Sunday, June 03, 2007 9:10:00 AM  

  • Sympathy, because we have the same total lack of interest in (not to mention outright rejection of) potty training, and the same September deadline. I'd worry about it more if I had any worry to spare after trying to get her to, you know, eat.

    Hey, if you want to make yourself feel better, ask Chichimama to tell you the story of our bloggy meet-up during which LG peed on a museum exhibit...

    By Blogger Phantom Scribbler, at Sunday, June 03, 2007 10:00:00 AM  

  • Ah, Ominous Anonymous. I hope that the gorgeous Liesl ignores you and your cowardly anonymity (Do you even have a blog? Shall we go there and kick *you* while you're down?) and your bad spelling and grammar and takes heart that she is doing oh! so well as a mommy of two beee-autiful little lads.

    Liesl, loads of love to you, this too shall pass, and there's a ton of good stuff happening with the frustrating stuff.
    I love your parenting philosophy, you are growing two human beings who will turn out l-o-v-e-d.

    By Blogger kate5kiwis, at Monday, June 04, 2007 12:35:00 AM  

  • Steph, Suzanne, and Phantom - Thank you! The weekend was much better, so I can indeed hang in there a while longer. Guess I'll have to stick the ferret carrier back in the garage for a bit ;-)

    Kate - You are a wonderful mama and all-around terrific person. You and your family are truly an inspiration to me whenever I click over to your blog.

    Thanks to all four of you for helping to make this blog a source of sanity and smiles for me :)

    By Blogger Liesl, at Monday, June 04, 2007 7:46:00 AM  

  • Liesl-Your blog is wonderful and you are wonderful. I love coming over here every time I see you have a new post. Thank you for your happy and smart corner of the "blogosphere."

    Also, I can't believe your husband works in Union! He probably thinks it's gross. It's a very different town from when I grew up. But you gotta love it, it's so very NJ.

    We are in the throes of potty training for September as well! I know exactly what you mean about changing big boy poop. I can't do it anymore! Every day I find myself saying, "This belongs in the toilet!!"

    We just had the three-month growth spurt, too. The growth spurts feel so artificial with bottle-feeding, but, hey, what can you do? We increased her a 1/2 oz. and moved on. Also, I'm curious to know more about what you think about the growth charts in connection with breastfeeding. Those charts have always fascinated and mystified me. Little Guy was humungous (17 lbs. 11 oz and 26 in at 2 months; 21 lbs. and 28 3/4 in. at 4 mo.) and exclusively breastfed, and Baby Sister is tall and thin and bottle-fed. She was just 10 lbs. 15 oz. and 24 in. at her 2 mo. check-up. 50% for weight but 97th for height. Sorry for the HUGE comment!

    By Blogger Camille, at Monday, June 04, 2007 8:55:00 AM  

  • Not looking forward to potty training or another one of those 24 hour nursing parties. Good luck with everything... hope it continues to improve. :)

    By Blogger Laura, at Monday, June 04, 2007 11:51:00 AM  

  • Ah, and you can ask Phantom to tell you about how C pooped in his underpants during the aforementioned bloggy meetup at a museum...

    Hang in there, you are doing a great job. This is the hardest stage, it has gotten much better, really. Despite all my whining.

    By Blogger chichimama, at Monday, June 04, 2007 2:28:00 PM  

  • Ah, potty training. I remember it well. While my daughter picked up on the process rather quickly, my son just couldn't seem to do number two in the toilet. I don't know why girls are easier. I think it's because most girls don't like being dirty. Boys, on the other hand, aren't bothered by it if they can continue whatever activity they are engaged in. Good luck with your efforts!

    PS: I LIKE the look of your site...don't change a thing :)

    By Blogger Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom, at Thursday, June 07, 2007 12:03:00 AM  

  • Chichimama and Phantom - OK, spill the beans! I want to hear these stories because, you know, misery loves company...

    Jill - It's nice to see you back :) And thanks for the vote of confidence on both the site and the potty issues.

    Laura - Yup, there are times where you feel all you do is nurse, nuse, nurse, but on the other hand, they're only that cuddly for a hort while. I keep reminding myself of that. lol

    Camille - Thank you! I try to keep it upbeat around here, but there are times where venting is therapeutic...

    The thing about growth charts is that the ones in common use were derived from a small groups of Ohio babies in the late '60's. Most of the babies were formula fed and started on solids at a couple of months as was the practice then. There was little in the way of ethnic diversity; most of hte kids were of northern European descent. The problem in regard to breastfeeding is that bf babies tend to gain faster initally than formula fed babies, and then the growth rate slows in comparison to formula fed babies after the first few months of life. So it can look like a bf baby is falling down through the percentiles on these charts when in fact the baby is fine. So the parents get told to supplement with formula or push solids when in fact the baby is thriving. The formula and solids can cause him to reduce his breastmilk consumption, which is not good.

    The lack of ethnic diversity also makes some babies of other ethnicities than northern European appear to be slow gainers, when in fact they are doing just fine.

    There are new growth charts out for breastfed babies that are coming into more common use, so that is a good thing, and I believe there is yet another set that uses averages across a variety of ethnic groups released recently. So maybe things are changing for the better.

    By Blogger Liesl, at Friday, June 08, 2007 9:51:00 PM  

  • Potty training is so very very frustrating but don't give up. It'll get better. We've all been there.

    By Blogger a happier girl, at Saturday, June 09, 2007 3:32:00 PM  

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