And a little bit of a rascal, yes.
Today's supper preparation (More with Less's Bierrocks) brought a new kitchen helper:
Her method for stirring is quite unique: she holds the wooden spoon still and spins the bowl.
Still, the cheerfulness is appreciated. And every seasoned cook knows to test the recipe:
Now who wants to kiss the cook?
Maybe this will explain it . . .
In his little world, there is nothing scarier than an Orange-Julius encrusted 17-mo. old sister. With itchy fingers.
Can't you just hear Elmira's (from "Animaniacs") voice: "I want to hug him and kiss him and squeeze him tight and . . ."
On another note, last night he woke only once to nurse for less than five minutes. And spent none of it in our bed. I am thrilled!
Our oldest, Benjamin (6), knows he was not an easy baby. The only way to get him to stop crying was to nurse him. Getting him to sleep was, pardon the wording, a nightmare. It involved at least 45 minutes of nursing, lying down, until he would fall into a fitful sleep. Three-fourths of the time he would awaken the second I dared to try to sneak away, and then the nightmare would replay. Even the seasoned mothers at church commented on how fussy and clingy he was. Fun.
The next four were a breeze. They all know that Lily (4) slept a lot, Abraham (3) didn't trust Papa, Miriam (3) was feisty about diaper changes, and Edee (17 mos.) slept through the night by the time she was 2 months old. But they all also know that all Benjamin did was cry and nurse.
And we don't feel bad about them knowing this, because we always balance it by saying, "But he turned into one great kid." And we've always consoled ourselves by saying, "Part of it was his intolerance to dairy. The other part was our naivete at parenting. If he would have been anything but our first, it would have gone much more smoothly."
Oh, ye of grand rose-colored hindsight, be careful what lofty claims ye make.
Jonathan is our chance to test that little "We are weathered parents; let us at 'em" bit of ignorance. Like his oldest brother, even the smell of cheese ties his tummy into knots. He can scream longer than ... well, longer than he should (please excuse this sleep-deprived scramble for any kind of vocabulary). He doesn't exactly nurse to sleep, but he has to be looking like he's nursing to sleep. In other words, he has to be in position, just not necessarily sucking.
Granted, it has been easier than when Benjamin was little. We don't stop the car for his crying (yes, part of Ben's problem WAS his naive parents), we laugh at his protests when getting a diaper change, and we follow the pattern of eat, play, sleep. Only Jonathan's "play" is squirming and screaming until Mom puts him in the nursing position where he can nurse or fake at will until he's asleep.
I've been excusing his melodrama because he's only a little guy (albeit a big little guy). And a lot of the screaming and squirming has subsided now that I've gone off dairy. But he's three weeks old today, and we're gonna stop the rest of it right. now.
So here's the plan: I keep off dairy. Jonathan keeps a strict routine, where he nurses until he's full and then plays nicely until he's not nice anymore. Then he goes down for a nap. If he screams more than fifteen minutes, I'll try nursing him again or changing his diaper, etc. Then back down.
At night, I will NOT lie down with him, no matter how tired I am. Because when I do, he stays in our bed and I stay frozen in a twisted position until he wakes again. NOT RESTFUL! So I'll nurse him sitting up and then put him back in his bed.
I'm sure this will work. OK, I'm not at all sure this will work. But it sure does give me a feeling of empowerment and control. "I AM MAMA; HEAR ME ROAR!!!"
Or maybe even, "I am Mama; hear me snore."