She kept saying, “Again!” (Ignore my laundry waiting to be hung up…I had better things to do than hang up jeans at the moment.)
She kept saying, “Again!” (Ignore my laundry waiting to be hung up…I had better things to do than hang up jeans at the moment.)
Ada is wearing me out. She looks innocent, but don’t be fooled!
She’s curious, and busy, and I’m 99% sure she has wheels for feet.
I can’t get anything done because she’s always climbing and into every little thing!
God help me when she figures out how to open door knobs in the next month or so. (We can’t get those door knob covers because then Rosie couldn’t get the doors open.)
Ada can climb like a monkey. She has unnatural upper arm strength, I swear.
She will push a kitchen chair over to the counter, then climb up in the chair, and then climb up onto the counter, open the top cabinets, and begin throwing things out.
She can climb up onto the toilet, then open the medicine cabinet and throw everything she can find into the sink, and then she leans over and turns on the water full blast and splashes in it.
She can climb the big slide outside, then she turns around and slides down head first, crashes and rolls at the bottom, stands up, laughs manically, and climbs up the slide again.
Careful Rosie is the polar opposite. Rosie just worked up the courage to enjoy going down slides LAST MONTH. She’s five!
Ada can also scale the ladder to Rosie’s top bunk at warp speed, then she bounces on the bed and tries to launch herself over the side.
This one scares me the most–I try to keep the door to Rosie’s room closed, but that’s where all of the girls’ toys are and Rosie is always going in and out. If Ada falls from the top bunk she will slam into the wood floor below. It’s about 6.5-7 feet down. I’m terrified thinking of it. I’m almost certain it will happen at some point.
Ada takes off running and sneaks into Rosie’s room whenever she can, and she goes straight up the ladder. I try to watch her constantly, but it’s so hard!
People suggest a pack n’ play to me and that is just laughable. SHE CAN CLIMB RIGHT OUT OF THAT!
See for yourselves, the Ada Monkey.
I’m working hard to teach her boundaries.
It took me two days to teach her not to run in the road. She now walks nicely along on the sidewalk.
It took us about three shopping trips to teach her how to follow along without running away. It’s important to me that I teach my kids how to behave in public rather than just deal with them running off or struggle with using a stroller all the time, so as soon as they are big enough to walk along I begin teaching them.
I just keep redirecting, over and over, while explaining. I know it works on different personality types because Rosie was very sensitive and high strung, and it worked with her. Ada is head strong and plows through people using the force of her big ol’ head, but I could still teach her. You just have to be persistent and don’t let them get away with it one time or they’ll think it’s ok.
Ada always wanted to run the opposite direction from me while laughing. Uh, I don’t think so sister! If you don’t walk along with Momma then I have to carry you. That’s what I tell her. She wants to walk. She totally understood this at 13 months old. She still sometimes stops and gets distracted by things in stores, but we’re working on the next step–if you grab things off of the shelves then I have to carry you. I tell her, “Oh I see that. It needs to stay right there on the shelf. Keep walking!” If she starts to grab things I tell her, “No ma’am. Want Momma to hold you?” Works like a charm, at least when she’s well fed and well rested…
But in the house…oh Ada…it’s much harder because we’re here all the time. I can’t convince her not to climb up the bunk bed ladder, she watches her sister climb it over and over.
Two weeks of redirecting successfully got us past her climb-up-and-jump-on-top-the-kitchen-table phase. That was horrible and exhausting. The kitchen table has been replaced by the bunk bed ladder.
I am seriously considering getting Ada one of those infant sized bike helmets.
It would be cute, right?
Knowing my luck it would cause bald spots on her head from wearing it too much.
I remember how much I first struggled to get Rosie to nurse when she was a newborn.
She wouldn’t latch on. She just wouldn’t. She arched her back and screamed.
I didn’t know what to do.
I thought she hated me. I remember one night, when we’d only been home from the hospital for maybe a day or two, I laid her down on the bed and sobbed and sobbed because I was certain she hated me and that was why she reacted so strongly every time I tried to nurse her.
We had to work so hard, Rosie and I, in order to build our breastfeeding relationship.
The first time she successfully nursed without any pumped milk or nipple shields she was six weeks old.
Our breastfeeding relationship was wonderful. Rosie was one of those babies who wants to nurse all the time. Breastfeeding soothed her every woe, it put her to sleep, it nourished her body. She wasn’t really interested in eating meals of solid food until she was 16 months old, because breast milk was just that good to her.
She wanted to nurse everywhere we went! Nursing in public was scary for me at first. Rosie made me push past that. There was no way I could meet her need for nutrients and comfort without nursing her, and if I didn’t want to nurse her in public then I’d probably never be able to leave the house again.
Sometimes while I nursed her I sat and wondered. I thought about what the last time I ever nursed her would be like. Would I know it was the last time? How would it be, parenting my Rosie without nursing her?
At different points in our relationship when these thoughts crossed my mind I had varying reactions.
When she was a baby I couldn’t imagine not nursing her. I felt heartbroken at the thought our nursing relationship ending. As time went on and she grew older the thought of her weaning wasn’t as sad. I began to accept that it would happen one day, and when it did I would be ok. Child led weaning means that your child is truly done nursing. She would not be sad to stop nursing because she wouldn’t need to do it any longer. Still, I couldn’t fathom when that time would come for my voracious nursling.
When I got pregnant my milk supply dropped. Rosie was two years old. She kept right on nursing, despite the fact that my nipples felt like they’d been rubbed against a cheese grater. Despite the lack of milk. It didn’t matter to her.
When my baby died at 12 weeks, Rosie kept right on nursing. My milk came back and that made her happy. It was nice to have her warm toddler body snuggled against my sad heart.
I got pregnant again right after Rosie’s third birthday. By this point it was no longer socially acceptable for anyone to really know she was still nursing. Americans don’t value breastfeeding relationships. Maybe because so few of us have really experienced one to know how wonderful it can be, that knowledge is lost to our culture. Instead we have so much misinformation brought about by inexperience, false advertising, and old wives tales. Even pediatricians give terrible breastfeeding advice.
In other areas around the world child led weaning is more common. Whenever I worried about what others thought I reminded myself that I am not the only mama out there nursing a toddler, or a preschooler. Mamas just like me are loving on their little ones all around the world, some right here in America behind closed doors.
(Even in the middle of reorganizing a very messy room…)
I dedicated myself to child led weaning–nursing until Rosie and I both were finished. At points during my pregnancy with Ada I was finished nursing Rosie. It felt horrible. I felt like I could crawl out of my skin, or fling Rosie out of the window. It was just awful. My milk was almost completely dried up by the second trimester. There were no longer unicorns, and rainbows, and warm fuzzy feelings when it came to breastfeeding Rosie during this stage in our relationship.
Yet Rosie still wanted to nurse. She loved the closeness it provided. She’d fallen asleep nursing in my arms every single night of her life for three years. I knew how important it was to her. At this age she only nursed a few times a day–once upon waking in the morning and then again at night before bed. It was a routine of love between us, the perfect way for us to reconnect at the end of the day. The best way to start out our mornings. I pushed past my feelings because I remembered how wonderful it used to be, and I had already come so far–why stop now? How would I tell my sweet girl that she could no longer have her favorite thing in the world just because I didn’t want to do it anymore? How would that affect her relationship with her new sibling if I forced Rosie to wean only to replace her at the breast with a new little one? It couldn’t be good. So I gritted my teeth and kept going, while kissing the top of Rosie’s head and whispering in her ears how much I love her.
Ada was born, and then I was nursing two little ones. Tandem nursing. It felt so strange at first. I had visions of myself as a mama mammal, maybe a pig or a cat, nursing a litter.
Tandem nursing was beautiful also. Rosie and Ada nursed together every night before bed. They held hands and giggled over my chest each night.
Rosie began forgetting to nurse in the mornings when she woke up. She just stopped asking. Occasionally she would remember, until Ada was a few months old. By then she had forgotten all together. I didn’t remind her. This is the natural progression of weaning, to forget a nursing session without remorse because it’s just not needed any longer.
After Rosie turned four I began to wonder if she would ever be ready to stop nursing. I never imagined I would be nursing a four year old! But you know, it’s not the same as looking at someone else’s four year old and saying, “Oh gosh I couldn’t imagine nursing that huge kid!” Rosie was my baby. I saw her every day of her life, she grew up before my eyes gradually. I nursed her every day of her life.
It’s like when you don’t see someone for awhile and then you see them again and they are totally different, compared to if you see them every day. When you see someone every day you don’t notice the gradual changes.
I know now that Rosie will go into motherhood filled with nothing but wonderful memories of nursing. People who don’t understand say things like, “Won’t she be disgusted when she remembers nursing?” No, she won’t. She loved nursing even as she was ready to wean. Memories of nursing are a gift that I’ve given her, a gift of knowledge about how wonderful a breastfeeding relationship can be, which she can in turn give to her children.
I would ask Rosie sometimes, when will you be done nursing?
“When I’m 90,” she’d say. “I will nurse forever.”
I started thinking that four was hitting my comfort limit. I mean she was still my baby, but she was so big compared to Ada. Our breastfeeding relationship seemed to be falling into a season of winter, where there is dormancy and quiet stillness. I could see a peaceful end on the horizon not too far ahead.
She began to nurse for shorter amounts of time. Just before bed, and eventually only for a minute each night. Despite the short amount of time, she would always need to nurse. Suggestions to skip one night were met with horror and gnashing of teeth.
Then our relationship suddenly progressed further towards the end. She came up with an idea she called pattern milk. Pattern milk meant you nurse one night, then not nurse for the next night she told me. She always changed the pattern to suit her needs. Sometimes she said the pattern was nursing for three nights then not nurse for one night. It was a silly game she played.
One night a few weeks ago she nursed for the very last time ever. She nursed for about 15 seconds then said, “Actually can I have a glass of water?”
I knew it was the last time. I have a snapshot of it in my mind.
There it was–the moment I’d always wondered about when she was a baby. At different points in our relationship I’d thought of that moment with dread and sadness, and at other times I’d looked forward to it. But now that it had come I was ok, just as I thought I’d be. Rosie was done nursing. I was done nursing her. We finished together and it was a peaceful quiet ending.
She hasn’t asked to nurse again since that night. We read a book together before bed instead. I tuck her in, blow the bad dreams out of her head, kiss her goodnight, and she goes to sleep.
The ending was so simple.
I won’t lie, I secretly cried.
It’s really over. Four years and eleven months of a beautiful nursing relationship are behind us, and now a new chapter begins.
Must share this.
I stumbled upon this woman’s videos randomly when internet surfing trapped under a sleeping baby.
Oh my gosh.
I already knew these things, I was once this kind of parent. It was so…refreshing? Yes refreshing to have someone look me in the eyes and remind me of the kind of parent I want to be.
(Also, I love her hair and I kind of want to do that to mine, though I’m not sure I’m cool enough to pull it off. Especially considering I live in conservative Kentucky.)
Oh, so here’s the video. She has other videos too, they are aimed towards parenting adopted children with extra issues. However, they also go pretty long and far towards parenting spirited biological children too! (And I am storing up knowledge, just in case I find myself one day the mother to an adopted child with RAD or something. Intimidating thought, but you never know where you might find yourself…)
Yeah, anyway, the video:
In order to fit homeschooling into our routine I’ve had to tweak things a bit.
It’s working out well, I think. In the morning we get up and eat breakfast, do an activity together (like Math) and then we have a short break while I prep lunch. We eat a big meal for lunch because Tyler works nights, then for supper we have something light. Kind of reversed from the norm, but whatever.
After our short break we read a story from our list–Rosie chooses. Then I set Rosie up with some art or a craft, or she plays with toys, or she goes outside. I cook lunch while holding Ada.
After lunch we run errands or spend a little time with Tyler. Then Ada takes a nap (on me) and Tyler leaves for work at 3:30. Rosie reads books with me if she wants, or she just plays and draws in her notebook. After Ada wakes up (around 4:30) Rosie and I do another school thing together if she is in the mood. Then we hang out and play and make something simple for supper.
After supper we watch one TV show. Then we might read another story or look at some fun library books on nights they don’t take a bath. (While they are playing in the tub 3 or 4 nights a week I clean the bathroom, it gets dirty an hour after it’s scrubbed seems like. I try to clean the tub itself during the day once a week, usually Mondays.)
After that, around 7:30, we start cleaning up together. I set a timer on the microwave and we run and tidy up as fast as we can before the ten minute timer goes off. Rosie likes this. Ada even helps clean up, she loves to pick up things from the floor and drop them in a bin. I quickly prep anything I need for the next day, like setting out oats to soak for breakfast or chopping veggies or fruit. Rosie dwadles putting on her PJ’s and brushing her teeth and I pretend to be annoyed but Rosie and I both know it doesn’t matter. I hold Ada while vacuuming quickly in the kitchen and living room–lots of crumbs, tracked in dirt, and pet fur! Then our small house is somewhat tidy and I can breathe.
I close the chicken coop doors since they’ve gone to bed at dusk and Ada stands at the back door watching me. Rosie helps me feed the dogs, water them, and put them outside then let them in again. Hank sleeps in his crate because he’s naughty otherwise, Manuel sleeps snuggled with Ada, and Abby sleeps in the bedroom doorway on constant intruder alert.
At 8:30 we are in bed and I put Ada in her pajamas and double diaper her bum. Then we waste more time laughing and playing around in bed before they finally nurse and snuggle to sleep.
If I can get Ada to stay asleep by herself for more than five minutes I would get up and do the dishes at night, but that doesn’t seem to be working out. The hardest part is finding time for dishes, deep cleaning, and putting away laundry. My days are going by so fast, it’s like there’s just no time. Right now I have five baskets of clean laundry waiting to be put away! At least there’s hardly anything dirty.
Here are the girls in bed tonight…
Baby chicks are so sleepy for their first few days of life! It was hard working hatching out of the egg.
Today Ada walked by herself without coaxing. She’s walked before on her own, but only when we hold our hands out and encourage her.
Not today though.
This morning I was doing the dishes and Ada was happy pretending to color on the grocery ad with one of Rosie’s pens. She was intently bent over scribbling, though the pen wasn’t clicked out to actually write. She did that for at least 45 minutes.
Then as I was finishing the dishes she stood up, held out the pen, and walked across the kitchen to me.
She had such a proud look on her little face! She fell down several times, but got back up on her own and kept toddling.
Oh my heart. I will never forget the look she had.
Both of my girls love dancing. Anytime we have a spare moment we turn on music and dance.
Tonight we had already eaten supper, but we still had half an hour before bedtime can happen. (Or Ada just thinks it’s a nap…dangerous.)
What better to fill that gap than an 80′s dance party?
Here’s Ada reading one of her books on the potty right before bed. I love her pudgy little fingers pointing, and her baby voice…
Why is Ada so grown up? Soon she’ll be as big as Rosie. I might go cry now.
The Joy of Siblings.
Happy 9 months to my sweet baby Ada!
(The end is my favorite part…)