Posted May 4, 2011on:
lately, when i’m really pissed, I sometimes give May a time out. We don’t call it a time out per se, but it kinda works like one. The situation often involves May and her bed time antics. She doesn’t really have bedtime antics unless I don’t nurse her to sleep. And this week, I have been trying to wean her, so she thrashes around the bed, sometimes throwing her legs into my face (not intentionally, but she has not mastered full self control, which gets worse as she gets more tired, if you know what I mean). After about 1-2 hours of her babbling and testing her vocal chords, I get a headache and grow progressively more pissed off. So May gets time-outs.
Basically i give her 3 warnings, and then the 4th time, I throw her out of the room. She would start apologizing immediately in tears “I’ll listen to mommy, I’ll listen to you! wah wah wah” but she quits very soon after. Then she would just resign and stand with her back pressed against the room’s door, waiting. No sounds, no complaints, nothing. She just waits. This is the same as when she’s afraid and worried when I’m not around. She would stand with her back pressed against the door in the direction that she knows I’m at, and then she waits for me to come back and get her. Sighs. I know throwing her out of the room would prevent me from the alternatives, which are impulsively yelling and possibly rough handling her*; yet, when she’s like that, she melts me. As is often the case with May, though, she adjusts very quickly. I think after a few more days, I won’t have to throw her out of the room any more. Tonight, she settled down and went to sleep next to Son without any protest, inspite of saying wistfully when we were going up stairs, “I want to nurse, mommy.”
WARNING: extensive description of breast feeding to follow, the non-sexy variety.
I’m a bit sad about this whole weaning business too. Whereas May has been a champ in many areas as far as I’m concerned, she has such.a.bad.latch. B.A.D. I mean, the first week after I gave birth to her, she could barely latch 1/2 of the time, and crazy consultants came up with all crazy ideals, like “oh, she has such a delicate jaw structure with such a tiny mouth which cannot open to the size of your nipple” WHAT EVER! Where were those damn consultants when May cried ? That was a pretty big mouth I saw. She could definitely open wide. She just didn’t want to. And no amount of persuasion could get her to latch like other babies. May just clamped down around the areola and that was the extend of her latch. For the last 2 years, I’ve been in pain whether I’m on duty or off duty. It has gotten to the point where I actually could ignore the pains, and then occasionally wonder why my mood was so foul – oh, right, the soreness that’s why! Since my supplies dried up 6 months ago, and May sleep pattern has gotten much better as she grows, I’ve decided now is the time to call it quit.
I have had thoughts about nursing her for as long as she liked. But the reality of it is, I’m through. I’m fed up. It is fun and rewarding. It forges such a bond between the two of us, yeah. But I also need to quit nursing her to sleep, because she is now old enough and able to learn to just close her eyes and wait for sleep to come. I’ve seen her doing it. I just need to give her a nudge. I am still keeping the morning nursing session for now. That’s the session I don’t mind. We’ll see.
*I was abused as a child, which went a notch beyond whippings and kneeling. Some of my punishments were pretty bizarre and down right wicked. Some people come out of abuse for the better – they become loving, patient, tolerant parents who would never hurt their own children; many come out the other end, inflicting the same vicious cycle of abuse on the next generation. I’m somewhere caught in between, with enough awareness and self control at times to monitor my own actions, but when tired or pissed, my impulses always come back to yelling and wanting to punish rather than to gently redirect. I have to keep writing and reinforcing positive parenting methods as well as noting down negative/punitive things I do to May to help me fight my battles with my own demon. The sad thing is, if I say “I was abused as a child” among my Vietnamese friends, many of them say, “oh yeah, well, that was the norm for everyone, no?” Some of my friends and acquaintances have stories to tell about their near-death whippings, I kid you not. And it was all done in the name of love from their parents. Many people have parenting philosophies and motto’s. Me, I’m reduced to just this line: “I will not punish my children while I’m mad at them. ”
Need to write that line and rewrite that line daily.