Monday, February 18, 2008

Mama, Ph.D.

Being home full-time with small children during the winter is like running a marathon except without the cheering hordes of encouraging onlookers. I once used the same analogy to describe the Ph.D. program I was in at the time, so does that mean that winter with small children is like a Ph.D. program? I suppose in some ways, on some days, it is: the crushing boredom strangely mixed with never-ending, energy-requiring work; the lack of timely positive reinforcement for anything you are currently doing; the angst. THANK GOD raising one's children does not ultimately result in low-paying jobs and massive amounts of debt. Oh, wait a minute...

Let's change topic, shall we?

I eliminated one of Genevieve's remaining three nursings over the weekend (the mid-afternoon, post-nap one). I chose that one because it's her "least important" nursing (the others being morning wake-up and bedtime), but it's a shame because that nursing is actually my favorite one of the day. She's always groggy from her nap and there's none of the twisting and poking and general shenanigans she tends to engage in during her other nursings these days; instead, she'd kind of sack out in my lap like a warm bear cub. So cozy and snuggly. I'll really miss it.

I hadn't really planned on it--this preliminary weaning business, I mean--but after taking her to the pediatrician on Friday and getting some feedback about her continued (cow's) milk refusal and ideas about how to handle it, I guess it felt like time to start thinking about weaning. As you might imagine, after being either pregnant or nursing for all but two months out of the past 4-1/2 years, it's sort of hard to imagine being completely done. I'm not ready yet to wean her completely, but my main motivation is the realization that once I do, I have at least the CHANCE of talking my parents into driving down to stay with the girls overnight so Christopher and I can, at some point, enjoy a weekend--or even half a weekend--away. Since we've never been apart from our babies for even one night in the 3-1/2+ years we've been parents, this would be a real treat. But we can't do it while I'm still nursing.

Genevieve was a TOTAL BEAR this morning, pretty much hanging onto my knees and crying nonstop until and unless I picked her up--all morning long--and now that she's napping and my brain is functioning normally again, I wonder: is she mad about that nursing? Maybe she misses it too.

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