Saturday, March 08, 2008

Update: Vivi Missed the Party; Weaning; Three is the New Two

So sad, people: Vivi missed the annual mother-daughter tea party my friend Laura throws each spring. It was this morning (an aside: it's not spring yet. not even close. it was 8 below zero when I woke up today. hate.), and Genevieve was too sick to go. She stayed home with Daddy while Julia and I dressed up (read: Julia dressed up; I spilled coffee on my white sweater moments after donning it--and moments before leaving for the party--and thus changed into a different sweater) and went to a lovely soiree involving tea (mamas), chocolate milk (daughters), all manner of dainty sandwiches, homemade scones, and muffins, and, most fabulous of all, a couple of hired college girls to entertain the children in the basement playroom while the moms actually conversed! ate! drank tea! in relative peace! while the girls played Pin the Crown on the Princess! what joy!

Do you remember last year's mother-daughter tea party? That was the morning Julia accidentally locked me outside on the patio, with the two of them alone inside the house, while I had a minor heart attack. So not relaxing! So much better this year!

Well, anyway. Genevieve is still sick, and that means she's been too stuffed up to really nurse. She was down to one nursing a day, at bedtime, but she can't do it right now: she can't breathe. I've tried to nurse her upon wake-up as a substitute, because she's less stuffed up in the morning, but even that has been brief. This would therefore be an ideal time to wean her completely, except I really don't want to. I'm not yet ready to say goodbye completely to my longstanding, comfortable, familiar identity of nursing mom, and I really want the very last nursing to be planned for and understood for what it is ahead of time, unlike Julia's last nursing, which happened by accident. This is my last baby; it would break my heart a little bit to be done with nursing, forever, without knowing beforehand that the last time is the last. So, I'm forging ahead and, unless Vivi protests, will try to resume a normal bedtime nursing schedule as soon as she can breathe again. I just hope my reduced milk production doesn't discourage Genevieve from being interested in doing the work required to up it again. Sometime soon, we'll wean completely. But I hope it's not now, because of a nasty annoying cold.

Speaking of last babies (or not-so-last, as the case may be), at the party today I heard that yet another mom I know is expecting her third child. It's happening like crazy; several preschool families we know now have kindergartners, preschoolers, and new babies born this year. That seems to be the most common pattern: five years old, three years old, infant. Didn't you know that three is the new two? A friend of mine told me that a year ago, when I was having my hormonal postpartum crisis over no more babies, and I laughed and gasped and said to her, Is it really? And now look: apparently it is! But don't start getting any ideas. I'm all for peer pressure and everything, but I'm over my postpartum sentiment. I kind of like the idea of never nursing every two hours all night long again. Never sleep training again. Never walking around with stitches and constipation and milk letdown and pain pain pain in those early, joyful-but-desperate new days home from the hospital. Yikes! The thought gives me the shivers.

But in the end, some friends of ours phoned today with news of the arrival of their first baby, and all you can do is cry with joy and shriek and shout and grin and wish them strength and love, because it's all so wonderful really, isn't it? Whether we're talking about one, two, or three. Though really: three is the new two. You heard it here first.


Rob Hardy said...

I would have liked a third child, if I could have been guaranteed a girl. Not having a daughter is my number one regret in life. The closest thing I have to a daughter is a former student of mine (a homeschooler I tutored) who remains a close friend now that she's in college. She, incidentally, was weened when she was FOUR!

Jordan said...

Oh, yeah, three is the new trend. I think I read that in some magazine a couple years ago, actually. We've talked about adopting a 3rd if we ever decided to have one but at this point no one's especially interested. Life is good.

Wean when you and Vivi are ready. You're going to love having bigger kids, too, I promise.

Shan said...

Update: tonight (Monday) Vivi totally dissed me on the bedtime nursing. Got all ready, tapped me on the knee to say she was ready, and then blew me off in favor of going straight to her "night-night crib" without nursing first. She may be weaning herself, with or without me. Which is just what the second baby would do, isn't it?

Heidi said...

3 is the "new" 2? Good grief, half if not more of the families I know of from *our* generation -- incl. US -- had 3 kids; and several of my church families with kids between elem. and high school age have 3. I think our society gets a sort of collective amnesia and "forgets" things -- thinks, in typical human-hubris fashion, that *our* experience is so novel.

Now, at *first* I thought you meant *age* 3 is the new *age* 2. *That* I could believe. My 3-yr-old, too, has continued to be very mommy-clingy, and I swear, the "terrible 3s" are worse than his "terrible 2s" *ever* were.

Shan said...

I think it refers more to what people in our own cohort are doing right now (i.e. 20-and 30-something professional couples). For a long time it seemed that everyone said they were having (or actually stopped at) two. Now everywhere I look families are adding a new, third baby.

donna said...

As is often the case, my thought was the same as Heidi's - when I read the title, I thought you were talking about age, not number of children.

I hope everyone is feeling better soon. I hate it when the whole house gets sick. When my son was a baby, I remember we were all sick for an entire month. It was awful.

Take care!!

(Oh, and my daughter decided to wean herself, too. My son? He never would have given it up willingly. I had to go out of town for my son to be weaned.)

Shan said...

Isn't it so funny how siblings can be so different? I think Genevieve has weaned herself. As of tonight (Tuesday), she would not nurse at all today other than about 30 seconds on one side when she woke up this a.m. I never did really get my known one last nursing, then. :(

donna said...

If it makes you feel any better, my last nursing with my daughter was exactly like that - I didn't have a planned last nursing.

Oh, and let me clarify that I didn't go out of town in order to wean my son. I had to go out of town for work and it happened to coincide with when we wanted to wean him.

(Side note: His pediatrician said he'd wean himself while I was gone but we didn't believe her.)

When I got back, he never asked so I never offered. And I had the task of slowing (then stopping) my milk production. So I still had to carry around my breastpump even though I wasn't nursing anymore. (I'm not complaining. I didn't mind using the pump, but I did mind having to dump the milk (we don't have a milk bank)).