Sunday, August 17, 2008

Swimming, swimming

Again, a better day today, even than yesterday. This morning, we woke up and all had breakfast together, and not long afterwards, we went back to sleep. The Boy and Musical Daddy napped for about an hour longer than I did, which allowed me to finish making a blueberry pie and make some salads for our visit to Uncle P (Musical Daddy's brother). Always a fun time because The Boy enjoys the pool.

It was interesting during some of our time there--Uncle P's mother-in-law and brother-in-law analyzed every little squawk from The Boy as "oh, he's tired." Not at all--he was mad that we wouldn't let him knock over the bowl of cheese or play with the glass coaster. It seems like many people of an older generation--and some small children--like to dismiss every baby protest with "he's tired" or even "he's hungry." Forgive us, but it's a little more complicated than that sometimes. Or, more often, it's as simple as The Boy needs a hug.

But then again, this is the generation of parents who so strongly advocated the rationing of affection. Why, really, when baby hugs are the best?

We also had a fascinating discussion at the dinner table about nutrition and I am proud of Aunt S. (sister-in-law) for getting more interested in healthy food. It's difficult to criticize her in the first place because they usually have home-cooked food and eat a balanced diet, but it's little things like switching from white bread and white pasta to more whole-grain editions and trying out things that are made with soy from time to time. She and Musical Daddy are at either ends of the last group of kids who were raised eating a little more butter, a little more Wonder Bread, and a little more sugary cereal but also spent a lot more time running around outside all day, especially during the summer.

But, back to our discussion. There was an amazing amount of protest around the table when Musical Daddy and I brought up the idea that neither wheat nor cow's milk is particularly good for anyone. Uncle P said that we needed calcium, to which we responded that there are many other good sources of calcium out there and that the dairy industry has done quite an amazing job of making us believe that cow's milk is a good drink for children. Not that I don't like my pizza and ice cream but we never drink milk. Except for The Boy...but that's different :) .

And he won't drink milk either, most likely. I'm expecting, especially with his condition and treatment, that he'll nurse for the better part of an additional year, which will take him to 2 years. In compliance, mind you, with the World Health Organization's recommendation. I'm sure that at some point relatively soon I'll start hearing people ask the question, "Shouldn't he be drinking cow's milk from a cup by now?" At which point I'll ask them to repeat themselves and listen to what a patently ridiculous question that is. After he has finished nursing, I don't really see the need for him to have milk. Maybe some soy or rice milk in his cereal, and I don't see a problem with the occasional pizza and ice cream, but I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that cow's milk is good for any of us.

I feel bad for Musical Daddy because The Boy has been so much of a mama's boy for quite awhile now. Although that means that any attempts to put The Boy in his crib for bedtime (which by the way, hasn't happened since Thursday night) have to be done by me.

On that subject, of baby in the bed, I still maintain that I don't have a problem with him being in here with us most of the time. From the beginning of the whole cancer thing until this past weekend, The Boy would start in the crib and end up with us at some point. About a month ago, during a particularly difficult evening, I had wanted to just bring The Boy in with us and Musical Daddy vetoed the idea, saying that if we did that it would set us back and we'd have just as difficult a time as we did before in getting him to tolerate the crib again. Now we'll have to see if that's true, because right now neither of us really wants to fight The Boy on this one. It's clear that he needs the snuggles to fall asleep and stay asleep nicely. I don't really remember him nursing much last night; sometimes he only wakes up once during the wee small hours if he comes into our bed earlier. Or maybe I'm just getting better at staying asleep while The Boy has his milk.

Intellectually, I understand the principle behind letting the child cry if necessary, even for a longer time, when it's bedtime. I didn't quite get it before and I thought that it was incredibly inhumane. What's supposed to happen is that the child is put to bed awake and gets that it's bedtime and this is the environment in which he is supposed to fall asleep. Furthermore, this is the environment in which he is supposed to stay asleep, so that when he wakes up in the middle of the night and sees the same things, he doesn't concern himself and goes back to sleep. This is why so many kids who are left to "cry it out" do end up sleeping through the night after a little while. That said, even though I do understand it, I'm just not going to do it. The Boy has high blood pressure. Oh yeah, and cancer.

We may need to do a better job once school starts of setting the tone for bedtime. Maybe dimmer lights and calm activities when it gets close to bedtime, and a little less TV. Also, we could use some bedtime rituals, which neither of us has done much of with The Boy at all. I'd also like to child-proof his room a little more thoroughly so that we can spend more time in there. We need to put things on really high shelves, which don't exist yet.

Tomorrow I may go in to my school to get some work done, and since Musical Daddy will be working too, I'll be bringing The Boy with me. I'm sure that no one will mind seeing him. He's pretty cute.


Sarah R said...

My husband has made the comment before about the dairy industry's push for all people to drink milk.

He said, "Where do you think the calcium comes from? It comes from something that the cow eats. There are many other sources of calcium than just dairy products."

We, too are extended breastfeeding. Andrew's birthday is a week away, and with him still eating from me 6 times a day (in addition to his 3 solid meals a day), there is no way he's going to wean anytime soon. I'm shooting for 15-18 months now. If anyone dare make a comment to me about "still nursing", I will tell them that human milk is better for babies than cow milk. We are the only animals in the world that drink milk from another animal. It makes me wonder why we ever decided, " there's an idea!".

If I do buy milk, I always make sure it is rBGH-free. I don't want growth hormones--no thank you. That said, we rarely buy milk, except when a recipe requires it.

the mol said...

I'm all for "don't offer, don't refuse" once they become active toddlers. From what I understand, they just forget to nurse when they're so busy.