Monday, May 04, 2009

The Ponderous Adventures of Cindabella and Bootie

In an attempt to act like a good mom and play with my kids yesterday, I parked myself in front of the three-story Barbie mansion with Genevieve. Delighted, she helped me pick a doll and parked her at table on the veranda with her own.

"What's your girl's name?" I asked her.
"Um...Cindabella," she replied. "You can be Bootie."

Clearly the Disney Princess indoctrination starts early. Genevieve has never even seen any of those movies. Oh well. I giggled at her interpretation of the names and dressed my brunette Barbie in a sundress that I could barely yank up over her misproportioned hips. We pondered the mystery of the stairs that go only from the second to the third floor, and the elevator that goes only from first to second. I noted that although the mansion seems spacious, Barbie is apparently the doll-equivalent of 8 feet tall. The bar-height kitchen table sits at her hips when she leans awkwardly against the stool. I guess it doesn't matter, since neither Cindabella nor Bootie was able to bend her elbow to take a drink of her "glass of line."

Barbies were a nice diversion in the middle of a day that both started out and ended up sucking. I have been working toward weaning Genevieve, with her third birthday at the end of May looming as our deadline. Sometimes she's been cooperative with the limits I've tried to set, and sometimes not so much. After she woke up at 6:00 yesterday morning and nursed without ceasing until I finally couldn't take it at 8:00, she screamed and cried and threw a fit about being denied. Then I pretty much screamed and cried and threw a fit at BD, and it was all just ugly and upsetting and the result of a lot of frustration and exhaustion and I think we all realized that we just can't do it anymore, any of us.

So we stayed in our jammies all day except when he took the kids to the book store for a brief outing before dinner, and we played Barbies and watched bad (really bad) tweener TV on Disney and tried to just be easy with each other, and when G asked to nurse and I told her I can't nurse her anymore, she handled it fairly well. Until bed time. We have never night-weaned any of our kids, because I'm too lazy and I can't stand all that crying. This is the first time in four kids and eleven years that I have not wanted to nurse more than I have not wanted to deal with difficult weaning rituals. (Usually I just take a trip or, you know, go to the hospital to have another baby.) BD had warned me not to come to her room no matter how much she screamed and called for me. It seemed to go suprisingly well for a while, then it went horribly. I read until I couldn't, and then I cried and felt like a selfish ass while SAM reassured me that she was in the hands of a loving parent who was taking good care of her, and that she was just mad and was making sure we knew it. I knew she was right, but it still sucked.

I never thought I would be anything but ready by the time she finally weaned, ending a nine-plus year nursing total, but I really hate the thought that Sunday morning will be the last time I ever nurse her, because I was just angry the whole time. And I really do have so many sweet, wonderful memories of curling around her little body, warm in the bed with the comforter around us. I can't decide if I can give us both a different last time or not without setting us back. I guess we'll see. In the meantime, I definitely feel like the Bootie in our little duo.


Secret Agent Mom said...

I'm not sure I've met any nursing mother who weaned just because the time seemed right and they'd reached a peaceful decision about it. Generally, each mom nurses until they just can't take it anymore. Sometimes that's at three months, sometimes that's at three years. We all have our point where the frustration and fatigue and physical demands overcome the benefits. If we were horses, that's the day we would kick our foals in the head, but instead, we usually just feel guilty.

You're an amazing mama. You've not only spent nine years nursing four children, but you're responsible for the breastfeeding success of dozens of other moms. What you've given your children is a gift that doesn't go away just because that era has ended. It will sustain them, physically and emotionally, for the rest of their lives. And nursing or not, they will still be your babies.

Now go buy a dress you couldn't ever possibly nurse in!

Anonymous said...

I was one of those "just couldn't do it anymore" moms with Abby--she was a month shy of being 2, and she was wanting to nurse for 30 seconds all day long--finally, I just had enough and said no more nursing during the day. After that, it just kind of faded away.

I agree with the dress-buying. Please do so posthaste.

Rita.the.bookworm said...

Yeah, and remember I just couldn't do it anymore while I was still in the hospital! Hats off to ya, kiddo, you should be really proud of all that you've done! She will remember the good of it and not the bad last day.

I can't have a Barbie Mansion in our house though, not since Kim Jakubowski and I turned hers into the Barbie Whorehouse when we were in 7th grade. Six Barbies, two very busy Kens. I just can't be around one with a straight face ever again.

Stacey Greenberg said...

I'm with S.A.M. on this one. You've certainly earned your breastfeeding badge of honor.

And hey, your new house is so big, you could pretend to be out of town for awhile without GK ever clue-ing in!

Mrs. Katherine said...

You're not a bootie. :)

Melissa said...

You're amazing.

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