Sunday, December 28, 2008

Night Weaning

It took me a long time to decide that I was going to night wean D. Let's just say that it was a process. My first two attempts, one at 26 months and one at 30 months, lasted one night. She was not happy about not nursing and I felt like her need to nurse at night out weighed my desire or need to not to nurse her at night. I had night weaned R and T when I had gotten pregnant again because when I am pregnant night nursing makes my skin crawl. Since I am 99.9% sure that D is my last child I've had to take a more active approach to it this time.

When D turned 3, I decided that I was ready to sleep through the night so I decided to give night weaning another try. Again, I spent a few weeks talking to D and telling her that my nah-nahs were tired and needed to sleep at night. I told her that they would wake up when the alarm clock went off. The first night she woke up at about 2AM. When I told her that my nah-nahs were sleeping she made a little whimper, rolled over and went back to sleep. She woke up a few more time that night and quickly went back to sleep but when she woke up at 6AM she got very upset when I told her that my nah-nahs were still sleeping so I nursed her. We fell into a pattern where she was fine about not nursing until 5 or 6AM at that point I would nurse her. So much for waiting for the alarm to ring.

I was actually OK with this. While I would have preferred to have her go back to sleep with out nursing I had nothing pushing me, such as a pregnancy, to make her wait until the alarm clock went off like I did with my other girls. That was until I took her to the dentist and found out that she had tooth decay and 4 cavities.

Yeah, yeah I know that nursing is not supposed to cause cavities and I also know that she probably got them because I was never very religious about brushing her teeth. (It is believed that it is not the breast milk that causes the problem it's the food left in the teeth reacting with the breast milk) At bedtime she often refused to brush and I took the easy way out. I never feel like I have enough patience at bed time and if I can avoid a stressful situation I will. The truth is I did the same thing with my other kids and never had a problem. It could be that D is just more susceptible to tooth decay or it could be that she nursed at night 6 month longer than T and 14 months longer than R.

The cavity situation gave me a reason to night wean her completely. I just didn't want to take any chances on her teeth. She was almost totally night weaned anyway. For the past few mornings she has been waking at about 6:30. We get out of bed to use the potty and then she will lie as close to me as possible till 7. Then we go into the living room and I nurse her on the couch.

I know that if I nursed her when she woke up she would go back to sleep for another 2 hours but I think that this will be our new morning routine. If she wakes up at 6:30 or 7 she will get to see her siblings in the morning, get to school on time and take an afternoon nap. These are all good things. I do, however, feel a little sad since this will most likely be my last time night weaning one of my babies. No more of those sweet moments in the middle of the night. I guess it's just one more step towards the next part of my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Blackberry

Yesterday the Blackberry that we had gotten for my son for Chanukah as an upgrade arrived. My son called Sprint to have the phone activated. At some point in the call the man who was helping him asked to speak to me to tell me about the $30 a month Blackberry fee. I hesitated at first but then told him it was fine after he told me that I had 30 days to return the phone.

About 10 minutes later I realized that $30 a month meant that over the next 2 years we would be spending $720 on his monthly Blackberry service. The thing that's so ridiculous about this is that both my husband and I have Blackberries so we should have been aware of this fact when we decided that we would get Z this phone. I started to think about how we could deal with this problem. It's really hard to give up a gift that was given to you but it was clear to me that he could not straight out have this phone, no strings attached.

When I mentioned to Z that I was not sure that he was going to be able to keep the phone I was prepared for him to get very upset. He was definitely disappointed but it was clear to him that $720 was a lot of money. He did offer to work for my husband to help pay for the phone which was very sweet but I was not sure that there was anything that he could do to help his dad at work. I know that if he could Z would happily get a job to help pay for the phone but the truth is there are not that many jobs out there that a 12 year old can do. (I also think that this would not be the best use of any money he earned)

The other option was to use the Blackberry as incentive to get him to do something. My first though was that maybe he could take the garbage and recycling out each day but I feel that kids should help around the house because it's something that all the members of a family need to do. I don't like the thought that his helping out was contingent on something. (he already has "chores" that he does with out any contingencies)

My husband was out with a friend so I knew that I had to wait till the next morning until we could figure out what to do. Later that evening Z came to me and told me that he understood why he could not keep the Blackberry. He told me that he would be willing to return the phone and get one of the phones that would have a free upgrade and no additional monthly fee but he also wanted to get a new ipod. This was an interesting negotiating tactic. His old ipod had been washed by mistake when he had left it in his pants pocket. Josh and I decided that we were not going to buy him a new one because we thought it was important that he learned to take care of his stuff. We gave Z J's old ipod so he would not be with out his beloved music.

I have felt a little guilty about the ipod since I was the one who washed his pants. There was a part of me who felt like maybe I should have been more careful. It was also the second one of his ipod I washed. A few years earlier while cleaning for Pesach I washed his knapsack. I forgot to check one of the pockets and washed his ipod by mistake. (I also washed his phone once but it was a magic phone and still worked after it was washed!) This strategy worked well for him because it tied into my guilt. I thought it was a great idea. Z was going to willingly give up his Blackberry and all it would cost would me was $50. (That was a $670 savings).

The next morning I told J about Z's proposal He also thought it was a great idea and a shrewed negotiating tactic. Z's new ipod should be here by next week.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Adelle Shayna

I have totally been ignoring my blog since my last post in March. I was inspired to write again after reading another blog Introducing Yael. Yael is my neighborhood Mikvah Lady. Her family experienced the unspeakable tragedy of losing a child. What I am awed by is her unbelievable strength and her unshaken faith in G-d. 

I first met Yael when I returned to the Mikvah after a 2 year and 8 months absence ( I have been breastfeeding my now 3 year old and did not get my period for almost 3 years). She was pregnant at the time with her baby girl Adelle Shayna. We spoke briefly about her being pregnant and I found out that she was into attachment parenting like I am.  I can't say that I know her well but I felt that AP mother bond with her. After her baby was born I always asked how she and her brother were doing because I knew what she was experiencing as a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing mother. I understood the kind of bond she had with her children. 

I mentioned this bond when I was with some friends after I found out what had happened and I got the sense that this was the kind of thing that could get people upset. It sounds like you are saying that one who does not practice AP does not love their children as much as one who does. That's not what I meant at all.  I did not know about attachment parenting when I had my first child. We did things very conventionally. Luckily I slowly began to learn about attachment parenting. I vowed that when I had my next baby that we would do things differently from the beginning. I want to make clear that I do not love my son any less than I love my 3 daughter who were attachment parented from day 1, but my bond with my girls when they were babies was stronger and deeper. (I know that my bond strengthened with Zev the more that we changed our parenting technique).

So I know the kind of bond that Yael had with her baby and the kind of bond that Adelle Shayna had had with her mother. Yael has written about how blessed she feels that she was to have Adelle Shayna for 4 months but really they were both blessed. 

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