Erin, who will be 3 in March is weaning herself off my breastmilk. I give her a choice of rice milk or boobie at bedtime, and 8 times out of 10 it’s rice milk. I’d say she’s feeding from me 3 or 4 times a week, which is great because it means we still have that bond and that special time together, and we’re both still benefitting healthwise. For my tandem breastfeeding blogpost, click here .
We went to the Bosom Buddies Extra group in Redruth this morning which is for mums who breastfeed older children, and it is nice to know you are in a place where you are safe to talk about these things (and even do them!!!) without being frowned upon. Why I’d be inclined to make my children drink milk from a cows breast rather than my own just for the sake of following the crowd, I do not know. I don’t know what the cow is being fed, injected with or how it’s being treated. Even organic milk can contain pus as “organic” cows are often not given treatment for mastitis, etc as these treatments are not organic. Saying that, Erin does like cow & goats milk too but she doesn’t have it very often. She has decided that she is not very vegan and adores cheese to the point where I occasionally (and a bit guiltily) buy her some organic cheese. Note to self – source good local cheese for her soon – Menallack?! I don’ t mind her having the odd glass of goats milk from the farm either as we know that the goats are treated wonderfully, eat well and even have Classic FM permanently on in the shed to improve the quality of their milk.
Erin has also been waking up crying at night, and we’re not sure what it is about. She seems scared, but she doesn’t tell us what’s wrong when we ask. Possibly she just wants to be closer to us, after all it is the 3 of us in a bed and then her all alone down the passage. We bring her straight to our bed, unless one of us has the energy to lie with her. She has wonderful bed guards which keep her from falling out of her bed as she tosses and turns a lot. In fact they’re so wonderful I’ve decided to stock them. They’re made of foam and fit under sheet…have a look!
Erin and Ayla are such great friends. They now play together, and even when Ayla pulls Erins hair or scratches her, Erin just tolerates it and still gazes at her with this look of adoration in her eyes. Occasionally Erin will claim everything we give Ayla to play with as her own…I’m sure this is perfectly normal behaviour! She’s forever rescuing Ayla from bumping her head or hurting herself, and is super protective. She does try to pick her up when she is upset sometimes, but thankfully Ayla is big enough now not to worry too much, as she’d fight her off if she was uncomfortable. We generally try not to stress and just let them play together without interference, even if it means a bit of rough and tumble every now and then.
That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing and there have obviously been underlying things that Erin’s dealing with that she doesn’t know how to share. After potty training herself in April last year, she suddenly needed to be back in nappies when Ayla was a couple of months old. She just started weeing everywhere, normally making no effort to pull her pants down. We didn’t tell her off or make a fuss, just put her back in nappies until she told us she wanted to wear knickers again(which was only a few weeks ago!). Apparently lots of siblings do this, and revert to other baby-like behaviour. It must be hard, having all our attention for 2 year and then suddenly probably only getting a quarter of it as we all adjust to having a beautiful addition to the family.
Speaking of normal behaviour…my two year old is FEISTY!!! She knows what she wants, which is fantastic, but not easy when I need her to do something she doesn’t want to do. I’m quite an easy going mum and try not to stress about the small stuff, but there are times when things have got out of hand and I’ve ended up with having to cope with poor Erin having a 2 hour tantrum. At times like this, especially if I have to go somewhere or do something, I find myself getting more and more irate, stressed and start blurting out nasty things like “if you don’t shut up and get dressed now I’m going to give you a hiding!” I’m not of course, because I don’t think it will do her any good to scare her into behaving how I want her to, in fact I know it won’t as I’m a child of the wooden spoon and ruler myself! But, I’ve had to come up with some solution to prevent me and her from getting into that space where you say things you immediately regret. So….I’m afraid it’s not very “attachment parenting” style…but we’ve started just removing her from the scene before it blows out of proportion. She stands in the corner (or by any wall/fence/hedge if we’re out) and I explain why she’s there and give her a moment to calm down before she joins us again, and apologises if necessary. This seems to have worked and nothing has blown into a tantrum for a while. In fact I am feeling so much more positive about my relationship with her, and so much less guilty & horrid! She seems to have blossomed as a result too and bonded even more with us both. I use it for sharing issues too and try to portray it as a positive thing, just a space where she has a moment or two all to herself to consider what is going on. Do I feel guilty? A little. But a lot less so than when I was loosing my temper at her every 5 minutes.
So what do you think? Do you have parenting tips to share? Comment below…
Aside from the challenges of two, she is an amazing little girl and I have to remind myself to try to look at the world through her eyes. How frustrating and contradictory it must be! You can throw stones in the water on a lake/river (skim stones with daddy) but you may not throw all the decorative stones next to the fishpond into the fishpond in the garden. How does that make sense?? I guess that is why it is important for us to be consistent. I do so love being her mother!