Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Snuffles and Biting and In-Laws.. Oh My!

Kellan and I both have colds at the moment (he passed it on to me). He seems to be feeling better now, but for some reason has allowed the cold to alter his entire personality. Mr I'm-Starving-I-Eat-Everything-In-Sight-Feed-Me-Now! has suddenly gone off his food. Completely. It started at the weekend when he decided that he would only eat tofu and only if I fed it to him from my hand. So, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks he ate tofu, from my hand. At least its healthy. But then by Sunday night he decided that he would no longer eat tofu. He would eat a granola bar, but nothing else in the house would do. So, for dinner he ate a granola bar. By Monday morning, even that wouldn't do. Anything that goes into his mouth is promptly spat back out. And the mere act of trying to feed him is a struggle as he clamps shut his mouth, waves his head in every direction, and frantically signs "all done, all done, all done!". For the past two days he's eaten cheerios off of his tray table. That's the only thing he'll eat. He's not even interested in the old ice cream stand-by. What am I to do?

And the biting. This also came with the cold. He has started biting every single time he nurses. And it is intentional. He latches on, sucks for a second, stops, looks up at me while moving his tongue out of the way, then bites. Over and over again. I tried shouting at him and pulling him off. He cried every time, then started crying whenever I offered him the breast because he thought that he would be shouted at (we don't shout in our house, so its a bit scary to the poor little guy). So, that didn't work. I tried the just pulling him off and not saying anything technique (biting my tongue while he bit my nipple!). He still bit and bit and bit again. We had not nursed successfully in five days. Last night at bedtime I tried a new technique which, although I was bitten three times, seemed to work and in the end we did accomplish the desired result of a long and happy nursing session. I didn't detach him or yell, I simply pressed on the side of his mouth and said "don't bite" sternly. I had to do this three times before he nursed properly, but the main thing is that he did nurse properly in the end. Hopefully this is just a stage.

We were at the orientation for his new music class last night. It starts next week and should be a wonderful experience for him. I hope that he got my musical genes. A woman there had a 7 year old who she'd had biting while nursing problems with at exactly this age, but she assured me that I was doing all the right things and that it did indeed pass. Right now, I'll take any encouragement I can get.

And then there is the matter of the in-laws. Perhaps the biting has something to do with the tension that Kellan can sense in me now that they have given firm dates for their two week trip to Springfield. I do not get along with my mother-in-law. We were fine until Kellan came along, at which point she realised that we have completely different views on parenting and --I'm still not sure that she's clear on this one-- that Kellan is my son and not her own. These two facts have made me Enemy #1. We currently live in rather a small apartment, as we decided to rent for a year when we moved out here, not knowing if we'd like the town, if I'd like the job, and so forth. We got a tiny two bedroom place, Kellan's only small and still sleeping in our room, so we didn't see the need for anything bigger. Nic assured me that when his parents came to visit during this first year, they would stay in a hotel. Guess what? They're not staying in a hotel. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen, but they're coming for two weeks at the end of March / beginning of April and they intend to stay with us. Where they intend staying in our apartment is a great mystery to me. Why Nic has not talked to them about this is an even greater mystery. They are in their mid-70s and I can only assume that he expects them to crash on the air mattress in the office and to sleep around his work hours (which are unconventional because he's at home with Kellan full time). Good plan?

Trust me, you'll be hearing more about my mother-in-law. She is the only stress in my life. Suppose that I'm very lucky in that respect. But she's a big stress, and she's coming here, in two months time.


betty said...

I can sympathize with everything that you're having to deal with right now.

With my toddler, he only went through a short phase with the biting, but eventually it stopped. I stopped breastfeeding him when he was about 17 mos old. My milk supply was slowly dying out, and he was beginning to lose interest in it anyway. But, that worked out fine for me because my goal was only to keep it up for 1 year, and I had reached my goal.

We have a very small apartment too...650 square feet to house 2 adults, 2 kids, and one cat. Very cramped! There is no way that any guests would be comfortable at our place for 2 weeks. There literally wouldn't be any place to put them unless they wanted to sleep on the living room floor. We have invited my MIL to visit us, and we have told her that we would pay for her airfare and hotel expenses. There is a very nice small hotel near our apartment. Besides the space issue, there are other family issues involved too, so it would be very uncomfortable to have her here underfoot for an extended period of time too.

Hopefully your DH will reconsider the hotel idea.

Nicola said...

Yes, we have a couple of nice hotels not far from our apartment, and right next door to Target, Walmart, Payless Shoes, etc. Every British traveler's dream (stuff is expensive over there and shopping is a huge part of any US holiday). But they won't be staying there. Nic has firmly decided that they will be staying with us. Has he told them that they're sleeping on an air mattress in his office yet? Nope. We'll see how that goes down. I'm staying out of it.

We went to baby group this afternoon and that little monster was at the biting again. Really horrible biting. But at the same time, he desperately wanted to nurse and cried terribly when I took him off the breast (pried him off more like!). They suggested that I get the milk to "let down" prior to putting him on, as he doesn't bite anymore once the milk is flowing. I'll try this at home this evening. But honestly, that's a bit of a pain, especially if I'm not at home with the pump handy. He's got to sort this one out! I would love to nurse for another year yet, but it can't go on this way, he's really starting to hurt me. I'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I can so totally relate to the MIL problem. We married very young and mine didn't like me much. Over the years we've learned to tolerate each other. In fact if you were to ask her she'd tell you I am the most wonderful 'daughter' in the world. It was tough, tough, tough the first few years, espically after the children came. What I learned was to say "No Mom" and to then try to find something that would make her feel important like cooking my husband favorite meal or sewing something special (I don't sew). I know it sounds simplistic and no relationship is that easily solved, but that was the path I took and it really helped. Good luck.

P.S. 70somethings sleeping on an air mattress? I once put mine up at a hotel and told them it was because we wanted to come over and use the pool :)