Ugh. This week has been a ride. Weaning has hit me kind of hard emotionally, and even though I know that I was ready and I know Avery’s going to be just fine, it’s hard not to be filled with regrets when naptimes become a 2 hour long tantrum with absolutely zero sleep resulting in an extra tired and clingy toddler.
She can open her bedroom door, now, so even though I try to follow regular routine and lay down with her in her dark room, read a book, and spoon her to sleep, she jumps up and runs to the door screaming as soon as I say there’s no more milk. She busts out of the room (so it’s no longer dark) and rattles the baby gate at the top of the stairs aggressively, screaming to go downstairs. She even slams her door shut behind her, closing me in there. She won’t let me near her. I let it go for 2 hours, two days in a row, while I patiently waited in her bed for her to change her mind. When she finally stopped screaming and exhaustedly just sat in the hallway holding the baby-gate bars, I caved and said we had finished nap time, even though she didn’t use it to sleep, and we could go downstairs. After those two days from hell, I started taking her for drives in the car for naps. Not environmentally sustainable. Not sure where to go from here, so we’re taking it one day at a time with no long-term plan.
In my frustrated haze, I miss how peaceful and easy it was to lay down, have her lovingly snuggle into me, and nourish herself for a few minutes before falling into a deep sleep that lasted anywhere from 2-3 hours. But I have to consciously remind myself that sometimes she’d need to be attached to me for all 3 hours, and she’d bite me, and there was no milk left after the first few minutes anyway…
To add insult to injury for poor Avery, she had a stomach virus this week. What we thought was a one-time barf at the cottage last weekend turned into ocassional vomiting in the evenings, no appetite, and 4 missed daycare days this week (other kids at daycare had it, too, of course). It was a relatively mild virus, but the vomiting and no appetite made me feel guilty about weaning, too.
Avery’s temperament is obviously affected by the change – increased tantrums, followed by intense clingy sessions. This morning, when I told her it was time to leave the park, she had a tantrum that lasted most of the horribly awkward walk home. I couldn’t get her strapped into the stroller, and had to hold her with one arm (a writhing, 30 pound, almost-2-year-old is HARD TO CARRY) and push/drag our stroller with the other. A walk that should have taken 5 minutes took 30 minutes. But right before we got home she stopped, pushed her cheek against mine, clung to my neck, and said “sorry.” She’s such a good kid dealing with overpowering emotions.
I don’t know how much of the mood change is caused by being cut-off from nursing, and how much is from the resultant loss of sleep, or from being sick, or from her general age and stage in life. Bad combination of events.
Regardless, there’s no turning back, now. Her and I will both have to deal with the emotions as they come at us, and hopefully we’ll level out and be content with our new relationship soon…