Today I am happy to host a guest post by Whozat. Whozat is the natural birthing, breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing, cloth diapering, babyled weaning, babysigning, 40-something, lesbian stay-at-home mom of two year old Peeper, who was conceived via IVF using her partner, Shrike's, egg and donor sperm. She blogs at "Lucy and Ethel Have a Toddler: The Adventures of Shrike and Whozat (and Peeper!)"
If you are interested in learning to sign with your baby or toddler, stop by Natural Parents Network for more information on the benefits of signing, then head over to Code Name: Mama to see how other mamas and little ones sign "nurse."
Here is Whozat's breastfeeding guest post:
|Carrie, a Natural Parents Network reade,r breastfeeds |
her 31 month old son, who signs "milk" while he nurses.
Carrie blogs at http://clothdiaperbooty.com/
I was a little disappointed when "milk" (or "goody" as we call it in my family - a term coined by my sister's son, now in his 20s, back when he was a nursing toddler :-) ) wasn't her first sign, but then I realized that she's been able to communicate that to me since she was tiny, she didn't need to sign it!
She did pick it up pretty shortly after that, though, and she usually uses the sign to ask to nurse. She sometimes still tries to just help herself, but I usually ask her to sign "goody please" to reinforce proper "nursing manners" for public. (Please don't lift my shirt in the restaurant, sweetheart!)
Before her recent language explosion, there was a night when I was in the kitchen washing dishes. She came in and said, "Mama!" took my hand, and led me down the hall to the bedroom. As we got there, still walking and pulling me by the hand, she held her other arm straight up and signed "milk," then looked over her shoulder and said, "Mommy?" (my partner, "Shrike") because she wanted her to go lay down with us, too.
Two words and one sign, and she was able to say, "Mama, I'd like you to come to the bedroom with me, because I'm ready to nurse now. Mommy, would you please join us?"
The story would be better if that had turned out to be bedtime, but she nursed for a few minutes, declared "Uppa!" and got out of bed for another half-hour or so. Oh well . . . .
We cosleep, and many times I've seen her sign "milk" while whimpering and rooting for me when she wakes in the middle of the night.
She also signs it while she's nursing. I'm not sure if she's just saying "Hey, look what I've got!" or if she's announcing my letdown as it happens, or maybe complaining about the service "Hey, Mama, turn this thing on!" when it doesn't happen as quickly as she likes.
Recently we were shopping and a child was crying somewhere a few aisles over. Peeper looked concerned and signed "cry" (or "sad" - we use the same sign for both). I told her, "Oh, yes, that baby is crying, but it's okay, his Mama will fix it." Then, just for fun, I asked her, "What do you think she'll do about it? How will she fix him?" Without hesitating, she signed "Goody!" I told her I thought that was an excellent plan!
Breastfeeding past infancy 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 child who is older than one year, 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. (This series was formerly called “The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler.” I changed the name to reflect the fact that we are celebrating women who breastfeed past infancy, regardless of the age of the nursling.)