Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best Laid Plans....

It started with fussiness. Bridget has been getting a bit fussy when she and Christopher nurse together. Christopher is pretty calm and confident that he can get all the nummies he needs. Bridget worries and frets and can't get into position when she can see Christopher half a mom's body away. So it started with fussiness. But it has moved to the stink eye.

Bridget now gives Christopher the stink eye most times they nurse together. And bless her little heart, it backfires and she ends up feeling the anger of the stink eye herself. So even if we wanted to put the babies on a schedule, the stink eye prevents us.


As I said, we're not so much on the schedule, but we were loving the routine. We're still routinized: they still eat, play, and sleep around the same time. But any plans to encourage them to eat exactly at the same time are out the door. Bridget gets too upset and she needs to save her calories for growth, not for bursting my ear drum.

And how is Patches doing, you ask? (Smooth transition...not) He is well. He is happy to have more puppies in the pack. But he is concerned about our abilities to properly parent the loud one--Bridget.

People have accused me of exaggerating, but I'm not in this instance. Before we diagnosed Bridget with reflux, we had real problems with her screaming. Indeed, a few days before the doctor's visit she was screaming and Patches gave me a look that clearly indicated his thoughts. He was heading out the door of our bedroom and turned and with a disappointed expression, projected onto me: "You are not doing that right."

Yes, you can say I was imagining that, but I know my dog. And I know what he thinks. And he was sorely disappointed in my parenting skills at that point.

A few days later, I was nursing them together (it was the beginning of the stink eye), and Bridget was screaming, of course. Patches sat up from his nap and barked at me! Just one bark. And it was one of those heads up barks that dogs have. But I knew what he was thinking "Are you paying attention here? Fix it!!"

And on one of my first days alone, Bridget had a melt-down (notice a theme here?) while I was changing Christopher's diaper. I ended up putting Christopher in a safe place while I ran to pick her up. As soon as I started running, Patches started running, too, to safely escort me to Bridget. (All 7 feet it took me to get there)

So yes, there we are. Having my parenting skills judged by a dog and keeping my daughter from giving her brother the stink eye. We actually have created a "stink eye cloth", essentially a burp cloth I hold between them if we are trying to have them nurse at the same time. Because they have not yet developed object permanence, neither of them have any idea the other one is behind the cloth. It works mostly, unless Christopher starts stretching out his enormous monkey arms and pokes Bridget in the eye or sticks a finger up her nose.

Hmmm, maybe that's why she gives him the stink eye? I doubt it. Even when he's nursing in his sleep it bothers her.


Carroll said...

Toooo funny about the dog, Anita! I totally believe you though -- they have a 7th or 8th sense that makes the "inadequate parenting" alarm go off in their brain, no doubt about it. I tell ya, years from now this post is going to become one of your favorite family anecdotes :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anita -
I came across your blog last night while Googling "Trisomy 8."
I had a miscarriage in May due to Trisomy 8 (d&C at 8.5 weeks), and another early MC in July (empty sac; natural MC at 6 weeks).
My question is: how old are you and Dave? you mention being "older" but how old? I will be 42 in 5 weeks and my husband will be 46 in January. I have a 4-year old daughter, and would love for her to be a big sister, but my hopes are fading. Congratulations on your twins!!:o)

Anita said...

We are very similar in age to you. If you want to chat more, please email me at anitablanchard at gmail dot com