Monday, May 16, 2011

Scarlett's Play Date

I babysat Scarlett's friend Ella while her parents played ball.  Since this day, we've been working on Scarlett's social skills...
 
It started off with some sharing.  Very nice, girls.


Everyone was pretty happy about the playdate.


So I thought I would try to get some pictures on the couch....


....maybe not.


Scarlett doesn't go in her exersaucer very much anymore, but seemed to desperately want to now that Ella was in it, so she yelled at her. 


And then apparently tried to 'dump' Ella out of the exersaucer. Poor Ella, she did not deserve this.


She was also very protective over her toys.  When Ella would play with one (that Scarlett normally has no interest in), Scarlett would try to take it away. This made Ella cry.


Speaking of crying...
Ella started to get tired & wanted to be held. Scarlett did not like seeing her mom with another baby!  Needless to say the result was not pretty.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

B is for...

Bottle!
 
Maybe I have one last feed in me.....maybe.  But then that's it.  I think everyone is happier because of it.
 
When I talk to other moms who have recently weaned their baby off the boob, they talk of mixed emotions, happy to be done, but sad too.  I don't really relate to them much, all I feel is the happy part.  Sure I bonded with her sometimes during the feeding.  I also got the crap beat out of me by her spontaneous arm swings & sharp little nails.  I won't even get into the nibbling (thank goodness for no teeth!). But I suspect most of those moms that miss it didn't have to go through the same thing I did.  When I think about it, I question whether I would do it again (but probably would).
 
They call it thrush.  Personally, I don't think that is a harsh enough word for it.  I know that others who've experienced this to the extent I did will understand.  And although I am finally done with it, it still weighs on me when I think of it.
 
It's true, I am one of the not so lucky ones to have this chronic case of systemic yeast infections.  Most of the time it's not a big deal, a little irritating, but nothing the odd pill, cream or even pro biotic yogurt couldn't fix.  Then the baby came along & suddenly I had sores where I never thought possible.  After some serious doctoring, a few nights of purple madness, & more than a handful of renewed prescriptions, I managed to get it under control - at least to the point where I was no longer walking around the house bra-less (even shirtless at times) saying "My boobs hurt!"  So for the remaining months as a nursing mother, I dealt with the much less severe, but quite annoying infection, symptoms showing up in waves.  Finally when Scarlett turned 7 months, I put my previous expectations aside & decided I had had enough, Scarlett was ready for independence (so was I).
 
I think Scarlett had decided she was ready too.  Less interested in mom milk (& a little frustrated in the lack of it) & more interested in what was happening around her, feeding became a bit more of a chore, followed by a temper tantrum (not me, the baby) & efforts to convince the child that she was finished her feed. Since the switch, Scarlett has grown length ways & sideways, is sleeping through the night, is so very happy & has learned to feed herself (I am pretty sure she preferred the bottle the first time we introduced it at 8 weeks).  Just the thought of Rodd getting up in the middle of the night or early in the morning to feed the baby has freed me.  Now just to convince him somehow...
 
Nature may look down on the fact that I don't miss the boob feeding, but I'm convinced I make up for it in other ways.  Scarlett doesn't let me off that easy.  I am her number one.  Sometimes I wonder if there is a magnetic force between us when in the same room.  No matter how many times I pick her up, & put her down on the other side of the room, she always finds her way back to me.  Followed by an attempt to climb my legs, looking up at me with her big blue eyes & saying "Mom." Maybe it is her way of letting me know that she misses it a little.  Maybe this closeness is a way of compensating for the breast-feeding, making it so easier to wean to the bottle.  Maybe it has nothing to do with it.  But I know my space will never be just my space, & I'm OK with that.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom's The Word

For months, Rodd & I have been competing to be Scarlett's first word, bombarding the poor child with "Mom"s or "Dad"s.  Being the competitive spirit that I am (not to mention the one that spends the most time & energy with Scarlett) you can imagine my excitement when Scarlett's first word was "Mom." Rodd was on the night shift, so other than reinforcing this accomplishment, I wasn't sure what else to do about it.  Rodd was not around to gloat to. I had nobody to celebrate with (well that's not true, Scarlett is clearly somebody, & the dog counts too, but I'm not convinced they totally understood).  So I took a video & sent it to friends & family, & spent the evening throwing frequent glances towards the computer screen to see if anyone had responded (ahh, technology can be so lonely sometimes).  Scarlett continued to recite her new word, in her smug little Scarlett way, while her mom continued to encourage it. 

At the time, however, I did not consider the baggage that comes along with this situation, namely, the separation anxiety.  Looking back, it all makes obvious sense, but I hadn't previously made this association.  In moderation, I suppose neither the separation anxiety, nor the thrill of her first word would be as taxing/exciting, but Scarlett chooses to do nothing in moderation, taking each to the extreme, making a bittersweet event out of it.  With this newfound skill, "Mom" literally becomes the word...Mom becomes who she calls out to from her crib.  Mom becomes the one she calls to when she's hungry.  Mom becomes the cry when I leave the room.  Just when you think Mom cannot be  anymore in demand, Mom becomes a word. The word.

Although I don't always want to be in such high demand, I must admit that sometimes it is nice to be wanted, the only one that can calm her when she bumps her head. Plus, I get to hang on to the fact that I am Scarlett's first word, that's pretty special...well, for the moment. 

But then "Mom" starts to take on a new meaning, in fact a number of new meanings.  Suddenly "Mom" becomes food she eats, the toys she plays with, her dad, even the dog.  Now I don't feel so special anymore.  Since then she has expanded her vocablulary to "Amma" (Grandma), "Puh" (Puppy), & "Ba-ba" (Da-da), to the point that "Mom" has become just about obsolete - old news. What next?  No more tears when I leave the room?  

She's only 8 months old, & already I feel like she's growing up too fast.  I have the feeling that I'm in this for a long haul.


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