Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And decaf can go take a flying leap

because kiddette is all weaned and the only body I will be abusing with whatever I ingest is my own. Huzzah and get me a size small, cream, two sugars. And hey, toss some Kahlua in there while you're at it.

She more or less decided she was done on her own. She was eating less and less, for shorter and shorter periods, while simultaneously inhaling whatever solid foods we offered her. And sippy cups. She loves sippy cups. She especially loves whacking them on the kitchen table. So we were down to the final two -- the morning and the night feedings -- and she really didn't seem that into it, and I was feeling sick and about to start antibiotics anyway, so I just put her in the crib without feeding her and she went to sleep no problem. The next morning, I took her out of the crib without feeding her, and again no problem. And like that, the year-long commitment was over.

(Note: I do not recommend ditching the last two feedings at once. Shutting the factory down early only confuses the production line, and then the factory's a mess and the janitor has to work overtime.)

I feel a little sad about it, since nursing is such an easy way to get in cuddle time, and also get caught up on your reading. But I'm also looking forward to going out for dinner and letting someone else put her to bed. Also drinking at my sister's wedding. Looking forward to that.

It's a huge commitment in terms of time and effort (if you're pumping, anyway), but it's totally worth it and I'm glad I did it.

I will say, though, that I'm still endlessly annoyed by the lack of breastfeeding or breastfeeding imagery in pop culture. The only time I can even think of seeing it done is in "The Hangover," where it was basically played as a tit shot. Otherwise, every single time you see a birth -- from "9 Months" to "Knocked Up" to "Frasier" to whatever -- you never see the baby eat. Everyone's cooing over the newborn and seriously, the newborn is thinking, "Dude! I just got born and I'm starving! Which one of you guys is bogarting the milk?"

It's part of a larger desire, I think, to go "la la la la" whenever the topic comes up, because people are grossed out by it or think it's actually a sexual thing or are, I guess, afraid *they* will find it a sexual thing or have this crazy notion that breastfeeding means whipping it out and shining a great big spotlight on it so they can't avoid seeing it even with their eyes closed. Sure, honey, nurse your kid -- nowhere near me. (Even Barbara Walters. Thanks, Barbara Walters. You're a big help.)

But women pick up on that attitude, and that lack of societal support, I think, contributes to the relatively low breastfeeding rates in this country. Says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "The most recent CDC data show that 3 out of every 4 new mothers in the U.S. now starts out breastfeeding. ... However, rates of breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months as well as rates of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months remain stagnant and low." See the full report here. If breastmilk is clearly better than formula -- and every study or article I've read on the subject says yes -- then shouldn't people be backing up that conclusion with action, or at least an attitude adjustment?

Also, seriously, I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy size 6 and it's not because I joined a gym.

Anyway, to my original point: I found this site and thought it was neat. I had no idea you could even find this many images, or that they would go back centuries. Such a nice idea to compile them.

But still glad I'm done. Now for the wedding, should I visit my old friend whiskey sour, or just head right for martini land?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unintentional psychological study

Kiddette at 1 looks just about the same as kiddo at 1 -- short brown hair, big blue eyes, round cheeks, serious face. (Though kiddo's eyes are now brown-gray, and I was a little sad when they changed.) When kiddo was her age, people assumed he was a she. Always. He could be wearing bright blue dinosaur truck monkey motorcycle tiger train corduroy overalls and people would still walk up to him and go, "Oh, she's beautiful!" My MIL gave us a onesie that said, "Before You Ask, I'm a Boy!" I don't remember anyone reading it.

Kiddette and I were running errands yesterday and since it was Sunday and who cares, she was wearing some kiddo hand-me-downs -- a gray Mickey hoodie and a red henley-type top. And sure enough, everyone said, "Hi there, buddy! He's so cute!"

I'm not too sure what to conclude from this. Kiddo's eyes are a little bigger than his sister's; did that make him look more feminine? Kiddette tends to look more serious and studious than her brother did; do people think of that as masculine?

Is pink -- or the lack thereof -- that much more noticeable than blue?

What's weird is, I would've described his face as looking boyish, just about right from the start, and hers as looking girlish. I can't understand how people would see it otherwise.

I guess I could completely screw with everyone's heads and dress them both in green.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A fine week, really

So right about now kiddo should've been at the hospital, getting prepped for surgery, except he has a sinus infection and the doctor called it off two days ago. I appreciate his conscientiousness, but after psyching ourselves (and kiddo) out to be ready for this all month, it's aggravating to have to wait another month. It's almost a letdown. Plus side: The hotel rate went down. Minus side: I have to worry about the increasingly noticeable eye turn for another month.

Also: Kiddette got sick -- in fact, all the babies in her room got sick -- I've been hacking up a lung all week and I think my co-workers are annoyed I came in to work even though I saved them from having to do my work (post-nasal drip, incidentally; I broke down and went to the doctor yesterday), and I got one pre-printed rejection card from an agent about my novel (Dear Author, You suck. Sincerely, Us.) and another rejection letter about a short story. So a banner week was had by all.

This is in fact the second time we've postponed the surgery -- they originally scheduled it for Yom Kippur and we said, Uh, no. Date #3 is a week before Thanksgiving. Hoping things go well enough to have a good holiday.

One tiny bit of happy news is that I quit pumping at work. Kiddette is well on her way to weaning and I am not killing my shoulder anymore carrying that stupid thing around. Just in time, because I think the covering was starting to disintegrate. They don't make those things to last, do they?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back to School Night

It is a little odd for what is technically a day care, even though it functions like a school for the older kids, to have a Back to School Night. Since we're paying for the kids to be there in the first place, and I'm not really expecting kiddo to learn much right now beyond "biting bad" and "sharing good!" so anything on top of that is just a fabulous extra. On the other hand, some of our other parent friends were talking about their preschoolers' Back to School Nights so maybe it's not so odd these days. But my boss still went into a giggle fit over it when I asked to leave work early.

A lot of other parents showed up, which was nice, and the director and kiddo's teacher (who I like a lot, actually, she seems good for him) kept going out of their way to praise us for it, as in "We know your child will succeed because you're here!" Rah rah for us, but you'd hate to think the parental bar was set that low. Hey, maybe we were looking for free cake. You don't know that. (Note: There was no cake. I'm just saying.)

Apparently they're doing a letter a week with the kids, and they've already started on penmanship, and they're learning colors in English and Spanish, which all seems fine. And all the kids are doing great with circle, because they're being asked to sit still for a long time and they're doing it. Which yeah, is probably the hardest thing they're learning. And kiddo is even sitting on the potty there, apparently more willingly than he is for us.

One mom was talking about how her daughter tells her about everything they did that day and about all the other kids, and I forget the point she was making, but the rest of us were going "huh?" because our kids tell us squat about their day even when we ask them directly.

"Kiddo, what did you do in school?"


"What did you learn?"


"Who did you play with?"

"I dunno."

I expected this in high school, but not now.

His teacher made a point of telling us during the presentation how great he was doing, twice, and called him her "little man." Which is sweet, and he is a charming kiddo. And he did have some issues when he started a few months back -- some pushing, some hitting, some stealing food from other kids -- that we chalked up to a rocky adjustment, and that seems to have stopped. So likely she was just being reassuring. But both DH and I have done the teacher's pet thing in our own academic careers, and it's not all that enjoyable, so I think both of our radars pinged. Just something to watch for, I guess. It's great when your teacher loves you, but not when your teacher loves you way more than the other kids.

Still, a good night. Except for the chairs. The tiny, tiny chairs. I can't believe none of us broke the chairs. DH swears sitting on one threw his back out. My other boss said Back to School Nights get better as the kids get older, because then the chairs are bigger.