Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Michelle was difficult since she was born but lately she's been IMPOSSIBLE. Though her vocabulary is up to about 250-300 words now (including phrases like "All done"), her favourite word, by far, is NO. She says no to everything. Even the things she wants. It's like she's testing me (and I'm failing. Beyond running out of patience at this point!) Her latest game is crying for her milk then saying no when I try to give it to her and hitting the bottle or throwing it. So you take it away and then she screams for it again. Maybe she doesn't know what she wants. Or maybe she just wants to give Mama a nervous breakdown. The worst is when I'm driving and she hurls it on the seat next to her then screams for it and I can't reach it to give it back to her. Sometimes I swear she's trying to drive me crazy. And it won't be much of a drive. I'm halfway there already!
Michelle only has milk from a bottle now. It was her own choice. Though I was planning to continue breastfeeding her indefinitely (at least once a day when I could) Michelle started weaning herself in early October until finally she refused to nurse at all and I had to give up. You would think that I would have been relieved. Since I've been back to work it has been increasingly difficult to breastfeed. I'm not always there. My milk supply seemed to adjust to the varied schedule. It produced as much or as little milk as was required on any given day, depending whether I was with Michelle or not. Maybe Michelle adapted to me not always being there by relying more on the bottle. Then when I tried to nurse her on the nights I was there, she was reluctant or frustrated. It got to the point where she just wasn't interested. She loves cold milk from her bottle. Increasingly independent, I think she likes the fact that she can control the bottle, hold it in her hands (or throw it away) and drink as much as she wants. She guzzles the milk (I can't even believe how much she can drink!) until the bottle is empty. Maybe she became frustrated because my milk production had probably gone down and it was likely more of a challenge to drink from the breast than from the bottle. I had been trying to wean her gradually but not entirely. I thought I'd get her down to just one feeding a day. I didn't want to upset her or make her feel rejected. Instead she rejected me. She literally pushed me away and reached for the bottle instead.
There are advantages of course. No more worrying about what I eat or drink. (I can load up on junk food, sugar and caffeine -- woo hoo! -- knowing that it's not going through to her anyway.) No more waking through the night to nurse her (although she still wakes me up asking for milk, in the bottle. Even more often than she used to nurse.)
I suppose it stands to reason that if she has the vocabulary of a two year old she might have the attitude of one as well. I've certainly heard about the "terrible twos." She has such a fierce temper already. She wants her way INSTANTLY or there is hell to pay. I know I'm at least partially to blame for indulging her. No one in their right mind would have given in to her whims to the extent that I have. The expression "spoiled rotten" comes to mind. Then again others have said that you can't spoil a child with love. She is healthy overall and intelligent. I tried to do all the best things for her. I wanted her to be happy. Maybe I created a monster. Now she's testing boundaries. Seeing just how much she can get away with. It is taking a toll on me. There was one night that I just cracked. Between sleep deprivation and stress and everything else I couldn't take anymore. She was crying and refusing to settle down and then I started to cry. All of a sudden she looked at me differently. She stopped crying. It was like a light went on and she realized "Uh oh. I finally broke Mama!" She reached her little hand out and started patting my arm as if to say "There, there Mama." It was so sweet. And then I sang "Two little birds" and we both finally got some sleep.