Chloe is a leaking sieve and that means the flesh eating saliva is back and making my poor nipples raw. Desmond has a pretty consistent loop he's in. It goes, Play -> Hit (lots of times) -> Get hurt -> Nurse. Sometimes the loop goes super fast. He will throw the ball once, run over and start hitting me, fall down, cry and ask to nurse, all within two minutes.
I'm ok with it most of the time. We sing ABC's when I don't have a lot of time to nurse him. But on days like today when my nipples are so sore, its so hard for me to say Yes. I have been saying yes quite often, despite the discomfort. These are the thoughts that have been running through my mind, encouraging me, nudging me, to nurse him as he needs it. Maybe it will help you too.
Be your child's partner
This originates from La Leche League. It means support your child and help them achieve their goals. In my case, I support Desmond by nursing him when he asks. He is at a point where he's having some very big emotions. Nursing helps him navigate them. It's easy to get angry when a small child hits, or stubbornly does the thing you just said for them not to do. I've found that at those times, he's needing something. He doesn't want to hurt me. He doesn't want to throw things and hurt something else. He needs something but doesn't know how to express it yet. It helps me immensely to remember that.
Choose the more peaceful option
My body hurts. I want to rest. Chloe is crying, Chase is wanting me to read something for him. Daddy wants something too. Everyone wants my undivided attention. It's overwhelming. When I get it right, I breathe deeply, focus for a moment, and choose the more peaceful option. Not the easy option. Or the selfish option. The one that will bring about the most calm. That's nursing.
Remember, He's still a baby
Now that we have an infant again, Chase and Desmond look so old. But they are still so young. They seem so capable; they learn so fast. The list of things they "should" be able to do grows to unreasonable lengths and I become frustrated. Especially for Desmond. His verbal communication is so good and he's very willing to try to do everything himself, that I shock myself every time I remember he's only 2.5. He's still a baby!
He needs me.
It's so simple isn't it? Someday, Desmond won't need me, or at least not in the same way. Some day will be the last day he asks to nurse. But now, he needs me to mother him. To comfort him. To nurture him. To be there every time he reaches out. To kiss and hug him and love him more than he needs. He needs me to say Yes.