Thursday, August 17, 2006

Would you call this child abuse?

So I am dealing with a new parenting issue for me. I live with a sweet, smiling, adoring, drooling, utterly dependent, pre-inappropriately obsessive infant mangler wolf-child. Shredder. Hmmm...that last part? I don't like it. No. Not so much.
My feral monster is so deceptively packaged, I don't even want to send him back out into the wild. Rather, tame him to live here with us civilized hugging folk, with the ones who bear (and bare!) breasts laden full of milk and allow merciless beard-tuggings. In a family bed, dude. Do you realize how lucky you are here? Do you want to mess with this? Seriously.
He is so friggin cute he is still with us, miraculously not having been swatted into submission by his fed up and bloodied boobalicious mama.

I think we have a child abuse issue on our hands here.

My child is abusing me.

He suddenly seems to need all this extra stimuli to get to sleep (in addition to his devoted draining of the mammaries). So, while trying to stage what should be a relaxing and bonding bedtime, his little razor-sharp nails have found that scooping up tiny little reggiano-type threads out of my chest and abdominal area are the most soothing way for him to fall into slumber.
What I am trying oh-so-delicately to say here is:
Seriously, I am almost driven to buy something like this because I cannot stand to be maimed so generously and he is not willing to put himself to sleep by other methods so peacefully.

I do not know what is up with the little man. He has always been an easily agitated nurser; too easily distracted and very demanding with the right mood for a good bedtime meal (for instance, a restaurant where nobody else at all minds but the kid tearing at the blanket being lovingly tucked around his chin and his mama's breast will NOT do), but this latest is bordering on insanity. For me.
For a while it was grabbing the skin around my breast closest to his mouth - which would also be as close to my nips as his hungry snortling would allow him. I soon put a stop to that with my screams and refusal to give him any more milk right now.
Then he moved down, pretending to clumsily unhook a bra that isn't even there. He pinched. I flinched. He grabbed. I grabbed. He woke up from his half-sleep and screamed until I sacrificed another breast for the sake of some sleep for him and a feww goddamned minutes of blogging (or Deadwood) for me. He latched on and within seconds resumed his rhythmic attempts to maim me, which have now gone from pinching to scratching. The scratching for some reason seems to have become part of his ritual for falling asleep. I do not like this ritual and I resist this. My breasts have gotten the message as well.
This has gone on and on to mean that, while nursing, I have one hand to grab at least one of his two determined hellbent for blood razor-wielding hands and restrain it in my own. He does not like this at all - it appears to break up his rhythm that takes him into slumberland. This is immensely frustrating for me, as it is a vicious circle. Every time I interrupt him, it means more minutes until sleep actually comes, since he and I are fighting each other with a little thumbkin battle under the covers.

My very wise British neighbor who recently vbac'd her fourth kid into our neighborhood commented thusly, "Ohfuck that sounds just like Nico (her 2nd). He went from Buddha to this growling sort of testosterone possessed animal. What you've got on your hands is a scorpio male."
(jesus she is right)

What to do with the little mangler?!


julbgs said...

oh son (14 months) does the same thing. he loves to grab the nipple he is not nursing and twist and turn and pinch. lately, that is the ONLY way to get him to fall asleep. if i try to stop him he is so agitated that he can't sleep. now i'm wondering is he a scorpio.....

Lin said...

Hello darlink! Well...I'll tell you what my daughter does with her little whacky nurser, Miss Sophie. She pumps. And she pumps. And she pumps. And I don't think Sophie is even offered the breast anymore...just a playtex nurser bottle thingie. And that bottle? She twists is and pulls on it and twiddles it and Jane is just so happy it's not her boob.

And then (gasp) she did the unheard of thing. (Don't tell the ladies at The Pump Station) she supplements breast milk with formula.

As an aside, she nursed Charlotte (almolst five) until she was almost two and would do the same with this one, if she'd just BEHAVE at the breast!

Mary Tsao said...

Ow! I don't think I can help you, but I sympathize.

You know, the whole scorpio male thing makes sense, but sweet little guy? I wouldn't believe it if you hadn't provided evidence...

gwendomama said...

julbgs-Ogh,he would never have access to my OTHER nip. not a chance in hell.
lin-i am hip to the pump idea-i had great plans for this one to take a bottle as well, being a well seasoned pumper after 4xday for a YEAR with Elijah. Problem i didn't anticipate is that my pump makes me nearly sick to look at (seriously - i have this intense emotional and physiological reaction to it), and my milk ducts are neither fooled nor impressed. i am happy for jane to figure out supplements! hooray! if i could get the little one to take a bottle i would do it one way or another. but he thinks that a bottle is just another toy.
mary- i knew i would need to supply evidence. as i said, he is awfully cute.

Elizabeth said...

It's not just breastfed babies-Kaitlyn holds her bottle in one hand and scratches me with her other, unless I stuff a corner of her blanket into her fist. Having that to hold onto seems to satisfy that urge. Maybe it would help you?

Jenijen said...

I dunno if he'd go for it, but you could string a bunch of funky wooden beads on a ribbon and wear it like a necklace for him to fiddle with while he nurses. Or, you know, have your midsection carpeted like one of those cat scratchy thingies.

julia said...

I think the scratching post idea is the best...

Anonymous said...

why not just pump it and bottle feed. This behavior would not be tolerated from a lover, husband, freind, or family.

Or could it be you need this, subconciously?