Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Power of Please

Not too long ago, Jack started screaming when he wanted something and I wasn't moving fast enough.  These were full-on screams from a very passionate little person who really really REALLY wanted more pears.  As badly as I wanted to stop the screaming, I also didn't want to just give into it.  I figured there must be a better way.  My guy was simply communicating to me his wants in the only way he knew how.  So the secret was to give him a better way.

I began teaching Jack and Gus the sign for "please".  The ASL sign is to make small circles on your chest with an open hand.  Small circles presented a problem for 15 month olds, so we modified it to patting with an open hand.  It turns out that the chest part is a bit of a stretch right now, too, so the boys will pat their bellies with varying degrees of enthusiasm when they're asking "please".  

Their first signed phrases include please.  "More please"  "Milk please" and "Food please" are some of them.  They have learned the power of please.  In fact, Moviedad and I will sign it to the babies often when we are asking something of them.   When Gus started standing up in his chair during meals I worried he'd fall over.  Thus begins our delightful dance.  It goes like this:  

Gus stands up.

Mama says and signs "Sit down, please."

Gus does so with a mischievous look.

Mama signs and says "Thank you, Gus."

Gus beams and stands up again.  So does Jack.


I know some people might think this is conditioning the boys to perform for praise.  And maybe that's the case.  But there is also safe limit-testing going on, and the forming of a wonderful habit.  

Jack and Gus are learning to sit down whenever and wherever I say "Sit down please".  This has kept them from stepping off a playground step that was too high for them, slipping by me while I was putting shoes on the other one, and from running headlong into each other during a rowdy game of chase at Nana's house. 

The power of please has also come into play when Gus and Jack want something from me.  Today we were wrestling when they both decided they wanted to nurse.  There I was, sitting on the floor, watching my babies advance on me saying "na-na" (their word for nursing) and signing please frantically and with great joy.  How could I resist?  We had an impromptu nursing session right then and there.  

Ah, the power of please...

"More please!"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

To the day...

Disclaimer:  This post might contain what some would consider too much information.  But I don't think so.  It seems there are no boundaries to what women will talk about-- or write about-- when it comes to birthin', babies, and bodies.  I'm writing about the return of my fertility just in case another nursing twin-mama is curious.

My time of the month.  Aunt Flo.  My visitor.  Period.  Menstruation.  Pain in the ass.  Call it whatever nickname you want, it's not fun.

My period came howling back 17 months to the day after my boys were born.  I've been without a period for a little over 26 months total.  I haven't missed it.  I'm trying to frame it in a positive light.  "It's the return of my fertility!"  Yay.  I'm not trying to get pregnant, so that one's not working for me.  "It's a time of restfulness and a little self-pampering."  Yeah, that's not cutting it either;  I have 17 month old twins.  "My body is cleaning itself out, cleansing, renewing."  Ok, that's great but why must this cleansing HURT so much?!

I'm cranky.  And crampy.

I should have known this was coming, though.  Gus and Jack are nursing just as frequently during the day-- up to 10 times-- but their night nursings have dropped off considerably.  Mom had mentioned a few times that the return of menstruation usually coincides with night weaning.  And last night, both boys slept through the night!  They woke around 6 to nurse, but went back to sleep for another delicious 3.5 hours.  I haven't slept in until 9:30 in forever.  It was lovely.  

Then I woke up to a familiar ache in my lower abdomen, with pain referring down to my knees.  Yep, I know that causes THAT.  Sure enough, today was the day.  I sent Moviedad out to the drugstore to get some ibuprofen.  He came back with the painkillers and chocolate.  I love that man.   

I didn't notice any change in my milk supply.  My nipple didn't become extra-sensitive.  I didn't even have any PMS symptoms, unless you count one very bad day earlier this week when I lost my cool and yelled at the boys.  (But I don't think that was related to hormones, I think it was just a really bad day.)

I used to have insanely rough periods, with pain that made me pass out a few times in high school.  In fact, when my brother who was in kindergarten at the time didn't feel like going to school on a given morning, he would tell Mom "I have the cramps".  He figured it worked for me, he might as well give it a try!

I ended up on birth control pills, which helped immensely.  I felt regulated.  I could deal with four periods a year.  I chugged along happily for nine years, knowing what I was missing when it came to pain and inconvenience but completely ignorant of how clouded I truly was.

When I got off the pills-- after a "detox" of about two months where all my hormone systems were scarily out of whack-- it felt like I had woken up.  My head felt clearer.  My emotional highs and lows were more tolerable.  I felt good.  A couple of months after that I was pregnant.

And now that I'm getting back into the menstrual swing of things, even though I detest the pain that will probably show up every month or so, I will not be taking any more hormone pills.

I'll manage my way with a clear head, two amazing babies, and a husband who loves me enough to bring home some chocolate.