Monday, October 26, 2009

14 months and 12 days

Did I mention I have another yeast infection on my breasts? Yeah, that SUCKS ASS. It's almost gone now, but it sure hurt for awhile there. I'm wondering if Kharma has it in for me? I obviously tortured a young mother heartlessly in a previous life and am now getting my just deserts. Is that how you spell that? I dunno. So, we took the boys to a harvest festival that Brent's parents' church, which happens to be our friends Gary and Louise's church also, was organizing last night. That was a hideous sentence. Can a former English major REALLY write such an aweful sentence? I'm going to leave that the way it is, so you can all have a laugh and feel good that someone who majored in English can write such a horrific sentence. There is hope for us all.

Okay, harvest festival. Games, a cookie walk, a lollipop tree, a craft table, songs, hot dogs, and CANDY. LOTS AND LOTS OF CANDY!!! For #3, I don't generally seek out junk food for him, but I don't restrict him much. If he wants what his brothers are eating, he can have some as long as there are no nuts. So, he had LOTS AND LOTS OF CANDY from 4 pm til 7 pm last night. Brent went off to work and I drove my three sticky, hyper, vibrating, wild, overstimulated boys home to bath them and put them to bed. My older two worked off their sugar high in the bathtub, but Riley stayed up very late. He was still bopping around my bedroom when I fell asleep at 11:30, fried and angry and swearing off sugar and HFCS for the rest of our lives. Sometime shortly after I fell asleep he crawled back on our bed, attached himself to my nipple, and didn't let go until 7 a.m. Every time I tried to ease myself away from him, he woke up frantic and reattached himself. I couldn't find the soother so I just stayed stuck to him. With the yeast infection, it's painful to nurse him so I can't really sleep through it that well, so needless to say NEITHER of us got very much sleep last night. Holy CRAPOLA! Did I ever pay for not caring if my 14 month old eats candy. I care now. Not for him, but for ME.

Especially if there is a chance I might run into an ex at the grocery store, I'm gonna need my beauty rest.

Today marks 14 months and 12 days of breastfeeding Riley, which is officially one day longer than I have ever breastfed one child before. I nursed Ayden for 14 months and 11 days, which I only know because the last day was the day of my friends' wedding, which I was in, and during which I got dehydrated and was separated from Ayden, and that was the last of my milk. I didn't try too hard to get it back, because I was pretty well emotionally done with breastfeeding at that point. For those of you who don't know, Ayden was one of those *SURPRISE* gifts you get from the Universe about 2 or 3 years earlier than you want them?? I wasn't ready. Brent wasn't ready. Our bank account wasn't ready! So by 14 months I felt like I had slogged around in pregnancy and breastfeeding land for a good, long time and I just wanted to feel normal and unattached (physically) to a baby. I really clearly remember feeling that I had sacrificed SO MUCH time and effort and personal space and bodily beauty to breastfeed this child by 14 months. This time around it feels so different, because we are so used to being parents and having no personal space and to putting in the effort required to care for offspring, so it feels like breastfeeding was normal and not wildly selflessly giving like last time. Once I stopped nursing Ayden I was so glad to have my body back to myself for about a month. Then I missed it WILDLY. I would still cry when he was 2 1/2 and I was cuddling him to sleep or giving him cow's milk, because I wasn't breastfeeding him and I missed it.
I was worried this time that my milk might disappear again. Maybe magically at 14 months and 11 days, it would disappear. Of course that didn't happen. I didn't say my fear was RATIONAL; I said it EXISTED!!!
My goal with Riley is 2 years, and then beyond that i will let him decide when he is finished. If he tries to decide before 2 I will actively encourage continuing and consider it a 'nursing strike.'
At my last La Leche League meeting he was playing with the toys and the kids on the floor, when he suddenly stopped in his tracks to investigate what one of the little boys (who is 4 years old and still nursing--props to his pregnant momma!) was up to. It was so funny to watch his face. It was like, "What's he doing? Ohhhhhhh, he's getting milkies! I WANT MILKIES, TOO!! MUST HAVE MILKIES!! WHERE IS MOMMA? THERE SHE IS! MOMMA, MILK, MILK, MILK, MILKMILKMILKMILKMILKIES!!" And he climbed frantically into my lap and nursed for 10 minutes amongst all that noise and activity. So cute.

Another one of my neighbours yelled at me today about my dog. I hate this place. I need my own house, with my own yard, where we can do what we want and it's nobody's business. After she stormed off from my door, I went into the kitchen and put my head on the counter and cried so hard. So, so hard. Why can't people just be nice? Why aren't people kind? Do I look like the type of person who can be easily bullied? Because I get bullied at work and I get bullied by my neighbours and I'm just so FUCKING SICK OF IT! Sorry about the swearing. I can't say it out loud anymore because my kids are too smart, but I can say it on my blog because you're all adults so hopefully you won't be adversely affected by my swearing influence. When I was venting to Brent about it after he woke up this afternoon, I said, "It's hard for me because you are either working or sleeping when people see me out with the dog, so I get the brunt of the poor conflict management and angry behaviour from the neighbours." But we both stopped and kind of realized at the same time that neither neighbour would have said anything rude or angry to Brent. For some reason, they respect him more. What is it about me that makes me an easy target for people who are looking for an outlet for their pent up anger, rudeness, resentment, or general dissatisfaction with life? I don't roll over and take it. I don't! I stand up for myself! I try really really hard to walk that fine line of assertive but not defensive or aggressive. I have a temper and I try to control it and not getting defensive but rather talking it out. Do I need to be more peremptory? More confrontational? More rude? Maybe I just need to grow taller?
I'm at my wits end here, because I have no extra energy to deal with nasty people. I have three kids and a dog and a cat and a exceedingly messy house and a job and a husband (xoxo) and I just don't have any extra to spend on people who like to yelp at me about my dog doing normal dog things, like taking a poo in my own yard, or escaping out the door and running into the front yard. Neither do I have extra energy to spend on bitchy ER nurses who cut me down in front of my coworkers by saying I don't take good histories when it's impossible to GET a freaking history from a man who has had a stroke and his wife who knows nothing about his medical history. Maybe you can surmise a good idea of someone's medical history and of what exactly happened today from that, but I can't.
And maybe I'm going into the wrong profession, because midwives are the bottom of the medical pile when it comes to respect from their peers. I am not asking for respect, though. I could give a rat's ass what other medical professionals think of me as long as they keep it to themselves in my presence and don't bully me. Same with my neigbours. I know Susan doesn't like my dog. She doesn't like dogs in general, but I don't care. I know it probably drives her nuts that we have three small kids and a dog and we're always in the yard that adjoins hers, but I don't care. The only time I care is when she's ringing my doorbell with a shouting match planned and not one ounce of grace in her mind for me. Not one milligram.
No one stops to think that other people might be having a really bad day, or week, or year; that their car may have just been totalled or their mom just died or their husband beats them in the privacy of their own home at night sometimes or even simply that they might have an anxiety disorder and seasonal affective disorder and really need some freaking kindness today. Does anyone give anyone the benefit of the doubt these days? How do people run around being bullies and get away with it for so many years?

I might be overreacting. Just a tad. But I'm angry, and it is tough because I've worked so hard for years to control my temper but I'm seeing it NOT serve me well to control it in the manner that I have been doing. I don't want to unleash the temper but I don't want to be perceived as someone who can be bullied, either. And lately I'm getting the impression that quite a lot of people see me as a doormat they can wipe their feet on.
At least if I were some stranger at the grocery store, it would be a chance encounter with no lasting consequences. But these are people I live and work in close proximity with, so you would think they would consider the consequences of butting heads with someone they have to see over and over again. But somehow I'm such a low threat that I'm a doormat. Even though I'm not. Do I need to be more assertive? I feel like locking my doors and staying inside for the rest of my life, with people who are kind to me.
Except Riley when he eats candy. Then he's not very kind.


Roboseyo said...

I think you should carry a water squirt bottle, and when they try to bully you, you spray them, to train them to stop, just like when a cat jumps up on the table where it's not supposed to be.

Deb said...

You could say (in a saccharine sweet voice) "I'm sorry, due to my anxiety issues, it's really not healthy for me to hear this kind of abuse. If you could write a letter, or wait for my husband to get home to yell at him, that would be much appreciated. Now I need to get back to my three children. Thank you" and then SLAM the door in her face (really REALLY hard, so she gets the point that you're MAD). If you say that to her three times in a row - she'll probably figure out that bullying is no longer an option. If she does it when you're out walking the dog - than just say it and abruptly turn and walk away (not quite as dramatic, or cathartic as a door slam, but there's only so much you can do)...although if you said it on a walk, and then sprayed her with water (as per Rob)...that would ROCK!

Louise and Gary Chapman said...

In regards to all that sugar, I asked Gary if it would be bad to hand out those little mini packets of craisins for halloween. Seriously, there is no way I'm letting him eat all that junk. He had a donut at the carnival and was up til 9pm!
And, in regards to feeling like you want your body back more with baby #1, I completely agree. Now I'm way more flexible with when I feed him and I don't feel like I need to stop anytime soon.
Finally, I think that if you were a man, you wouldn't get disrespected as much. I think that as a teacher, men get way more respect from the kids. Our mechanic was like `I should probably be talking to your husband about these things...' What? Why? So he can forget what you tell him and then I have to ask you myself?!

Rachel Clear said...

Here's what you're gonna do:

Next time your neighbor comes over to yell at you, you're gonna do a little visualization routine.

You're gonna visualize your nerd herd (I think that's what they're called) and your husband, and me, and Tamie, and Lori, and Roboseyo, and Deb, and Louise and Gary (I think they're already covered in the Nerd Herd though) and your aunts and your mom and the women in your family both alive and passed away, and you're going to picture them all standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU, backing you the fuck up, and standing there like the freaking Verizon network people on the commercial, all making fists and showing our muscles and saying, without saying it, "Get away from Melissa... NOW."

Cuz see, really, if we all COULD be there, really backing you up, we would. But we can't. So just visualize it, cuz it's the truth, even if you can't see it. :)

Also, if it helps, visualize that we all have really bad-ass tattoos on our bare arms... that makes the whole image just much more tough, yeah?

melissa said...


nancy said...

you are anything but a doormat!! As I started reading your blog I thought "its because you're short!" then further on I see you figured that one out yourself.
I like the walk away and slam the door suggestion. Don't even answer her (or maybe say, you need to talk to my husband). That sounds wimpy helpless femaley I guess.
How about going out in Brents uniform with squirt gun in holster?
love mom

Tonya said...

Could you try being honest with this woman? "We are trying very hard to keep the dog crap cleaned up, but we are not perfect so sometimes we fail at this. You know? I'm sorry if it bothers you so much, but it has never been my intent to piss anybody off with my dog. Please forgive us for our lack of perfection." And THEN shut the door, smile in satisfaction. If she rings your door after that, pretend you aren't home. :-)

jenna said...

Stupid neighbour stories... we had a guy ask to borrow a few logs for the fire and we said sure. The next day our ENTIRE pile was gone!
That guy was priceless. He called me Gemma for 5 freakin years.
You'll laugh at it later.
I know what it's like to do the full out ugly cry when stupid people can be mean. you can only be responsible for you and how you act. and you didn't swear at her so you're doing pretty good!

Roboseyo said...

Hear, hear, Rachel Clear! Awesome suggestion...

except my tattoo isn't badass. it's a pink bunny. but I have a sixpack.

Dana said...

As fun and satisfying as it might be, I would not recommend being mean/childish as a retaliation strategy. Though some of the suggestions might be quite effective! I love Rachel and Tonya's suggestions. Something strong but still loving. I like the idea of calling her behaviour abusive. Unfortunately at this moment I can't think of a clever way to phrase your comeback. Good luck- this is a growth opportunity for you!