Friday, June 3, 2011

Don't Be A Weaner

A couple of months ago I went to a La Leche League Conference. I came home with lots of new insights, educational materials and a few fun slogans! Vincenzo latched right onto one of the sayings (pun intended!) A button I got says, "Breastfeed, Don't be a weaner." He thought that was hilarious! He even made up a tune and turned into a jingle. So every once in a while he will chant, "Breastfeed, Don't be a weaner." And when I least expect it he will give me his unsolicited advice and manage to work in the jingle. For example, one day I had a bad headache so I was resting on the couch. The children cannot stand it when I rest, so they do everything they can to remedy any ailments that may bring me to needing rest. "Well Mama, why does your head hurt? Are you sick?" "You know you should breastfeed because it's good for your health." And then ~ the jingle, "Breastfeed, Don't be a weaner." Always sung in a LOUD, high pitched voice, which certainly does not help a headache.

Last week, I was going out in the evening. A MUCH needed break. I was telling my mother how excited I was to use my Mother's Day gift card for a mani/pedi and have the night off. Vincenzo overheard that and had a fit. "Ya know some moms stay with their kids all the time, every day and never go out." My reply, "Uh, yes I know that because I AM one of those moms sweetie!"
He kept going, "Well, you should stay home with us." When his logic and pleading didn't sway me, he knew he needed to take drastic action. So he went over to Isabella and said, "Well baby I guess you won't be getting your special milky tonight because Mama is going out. Sorry!"
And then the jingle, "Breastfeed, Don't be a weaner." UGH

And he is not alone in his mission to promote the "breast is best" belief. Luccio is right there with him advocating for Isabella to have the liquid gold that will make her grow strong and healthy. When Luccio heard I was going out that night, he put in his two cents. "Mama, you need to pump. She needs her milky!" Reasoning with him was useless. He is 4 and male and just unreasonable most of the time. He didn't care when I explained that Isabella would be fine and that she could drink water or even some of the organic milk in the fridge if she needed a drink while i was gone. He didn't want to hear that. He was appalled at such suggestions and said, "you should just pump!" Even though I haven't pumped in months, he knew that machine was somewhere in the house. And the next thing I knew they were both chanting the jingle.

When Isabella was born I knew all of our lives would change. A brand new baby in the family mixes up roles and lives and schedules and adds so many blessings and new dreams to the mix. But, I didn't quite foresee the path leading to my sons becoming staunch breastfeeding advocates. the first night we brought her home from the hospital, the boys (3 years old at the time) asked us when the baby was the going to eat. And could they give her a bottle? Well...I took out the book we had been reading about preparing for a new sibling and I showed them a picture of 2 moms. One giving her baby a bottle of milk and the other breastfeeding her baby. I explained some moms use bottles and some don't. Immediately they said, "We want you to use bottles." It took some adjusting in the beginning for all of us to get used to the idea of nursing.
I hadn't planned on nursing past a couple months. I certainly wasn't planning to nurse a toddler or attend La Leche meetings, no way! I didn't even know breastfeeding conferences existed at the time, but if I did I would have said I would NEVER attend one. Then I read a book called Breastfeeding Made Simple and it changed my life and mind forever. It is a wonderful resource.

I could go on and on about the benefits, challenges, pros, cons, etc. But, that is another blog post. And when Isabella is weaning I will write that post and reflect on the life giving experience it has been. For now, I will just say that for our family at this time in my life with Isabella it has been the right decision and perfect fit into our lives. And over the last 19 months her brothers have become educated supporters and advocates for the benefits of breastfeeding just by simply living life in our house. They are proud of the way she is growing, how healthy and smart she is and take great pride in the fact that I make milk. It reminds me of the other La Leche League slogan, "I make milk, what's your super power?" I love that one!

There have been funny moments, lots of questions, even slightly hurt feelings when the boys realized they were not breastfed, but received pumped milk in bottles and formula. Lots of questions and comments about that! The horror on their faces was evident and it made them all the more determined that Isabella get her "milky" for as long as she needs it. La Leche should hire these 2 to go out and campaign for them. They are convincing and even if you don't agree with them, they will try to talk you into doing what they think is right.

Or they will sing you jingles until you can't even think straight!

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