The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #12
Today I am pleased to host a guest post by Kristin, artist and mama of three. You can normally find Kristin over at Intrepid Murmurings, where she writes and photographs her attempts to embrace motherhood, nurture creativity, and maintain sanity while raising twin toddlers and a preschooler. Here is her breastfeeding guest post:
From two rooms over, I hear the scream and know exactly what it is. A bite. Again. When I come around the corner, one of them is standing there, book in hand, huge tears flowing, and a telltale wet circular mark on her sleeve. The other, her sister, is sort of moseying across the room, a half smile on her face, not exactly looking at me, yet also watching my every move.
Oh, twins. Two year old twins. Double toddlerdom has its ups and its downs, that is for sure!
After a brief discussion of what happened (and some exasperated sternness on my part) I sit down in the “big chair”, and the injured party immediately settles into position. Mokie! The crying immediately stops, she starts nursing, gives a sigh, relaxes, and cuddles into me. The tears stop. Soon, her sister is climbing up too. Moke? Mogie? This is a loaded question — I know this is more than just a request to nurse.
I relent. She eagerly climbs up and settles in — “my side!” The bitee pulls off for a moment –”Dee Dee’s side” she says, pointing to her sister Delia, now happily nursing too. She goes back to nursing, and soon they are playfully fiddling with each others hands, patting each others arms and faces, humming back and forth in “conversation”. Within minutes, we have gone from storm to calm. Now we are three bodies, cuddled together, lounging, relaxed, at peace with the world, a moment of calm and connection amidst days of non-stop action.
At these times, I often think of the struggles it took to get here — chronic milk supply issues, open nipple wounds, pumping and syringe-feeding, herbal potions and medications, careful, obsessive supplementing, bottle washing and scale-watching, and endless (truly endless!) days and nights of non-stop breastfeeding and baby juggling. Those days were NOT the good days, nursing-wise, and I know so many, many moms of multiples who never make it past that part — the HARD part. Amazing mamas who are never able, for so many reasons, to get on to the good, the easy, the effortless, the comfortable and happy nursing routine that we’re at now.
Though I know many women nursing toddlers, and quite a few nursing infant twins, I have yet to meet another mama nursing toddler twins! You are out there, somewhere, right? I am so thankful to have this way to connect instantly with both my girls, to still be able to tandem nurse them to sleep each afternoon, to offer this easy comfort, extinguishing sibling rivalry and rotten moods in a single swoop. It is truly a blessing, not a burden. So many times I wasn’t sure we’d make it, but now, here we are, and I will surely miss it when its gone.
How lucky I am, how lucky I am.
Breastfeeding a toddler (or a preschooler!) is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship.
But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a toddler (or have in the past), please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire.
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"The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #12"
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