Tuesday, March 20

mommybumper dearest

Maybe I should just call this "the post where I admit that I'm channeling uber mom, Ms. Joan Crawford".

Or how does a working title of "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!" sound?

Bad humor aside, I couldn't help but think of Joan after a discussion with Bumper's doctor yesterday.

Perhaps discussion isn't the word - directive might be more suitable. It went something like this:
Doctor Goodintentions: "You must get Bumper drinking milk or else" (waves hand in air, I believe for emphasis. Or maybe to swat at a bug, honestly I wasn't exactly sure.)
We have had this conversation before but I block it out each time. So I sat there and looked at her, waiting for the end of the "or else" sentence.
Motherbumper: "Or else what? Ninjas will show up at my door?"
Doctor Goodintentions: "Ummm.. not exactly..." (looks confused by my lame-ass attempt to be funny)
I'm used to my jokes falling flat so I let her off the hook.
Motherbumper: "Or else she will develop rickets or early osteoporosis, or something equally as horrid, right?"
Doctor Goodintentions: "Rickets is more likely than the ninjas showing up at your door"
I like the fact that she tried to play along.

So this "drink milk or die" edict has been a recurring theme for the past six months and I haven't taken the "suggestion" lightly. I've grilled peppered sauted quizzed almost every parent I've met (and some I've just accosted in passing) about how they made the transition to milk or the milk-equivalent, their ease in making this change, and their success rate.

I know I'm not the first to post about this and I doubt the last but it is something at the forefront of my current parenting battles and it's difficult to concentrate on anything else Bumper-related.

Bumper loves her (my) boobie. Bumper loves water. She loves apple juice. She likes a cold Stella Artois - wait - scratch that last one and make it, Motherbumper likes an occasional cold Stella in the evening before bed.

Anyhow, Bumper loves to drink boobie, water and juice. But the minute, the mere second, I try to slip milk into her routine, she calls me on it. She calls me by whipping the cup of offensive brew across the room. She makes a face that always makes me retest the milk to make sure it didn't sour between the fridge and her hands (always tastes fine to me). It's weird.

Before you ask: she is not allergic. She will sometimes tease me and drink an ounce or two before dropping the cup on my foot and she has no ill-effects from the experience.

I love milk. So does her Dad. During pregnancy I put back enough milk to warrant the purchase of our own cow (sadly the landlord made us give her up, something about city zoning bylaws and manure on the balcony - whatever). So this rejection of all lactose-based liquids confounds me. It's so damn yummy kid, you don't know what you're missing.

So here is how it stands - I've tried:
  • Warm milk
  • Cold milk
  • Lukewarm milk
  • Chocolate milk
  • Ovaltine milk
  • Milk in a sippy cup
  • Milk in a plastic cup
  • Milk in a straw cup
  • Various formula mixes
  • Various premixed formulas
  • All of the above in a bottle
  • A zillion different nipples on those bottles
  • Singing and dancing while offering milk
  • Silence while offering milk
  • Peer-pressure from milk-drinking toddler friends
  • Begging
  • Bribery
But the one thing I haven't tried and I suspect will work (with considerable pain on both our parts) is the Joan Crawford method. I must withhold boobie, water and juice and only offer her that blasted milk. This makes me think of that part of Mommie Dearest where little Christina rejects her rare steak and is served this same steak, meal after meal for days on end as punishment for defiance and wasting good food.

Okay, so it's nothing like that scene but I can't help but feel like "meany mommy" by doing this. I know that everyone in my same situation had to use a similar method to make the leap but it doesn't make it any easier.

I plan on starting the campaign this Saturday so I will have the full support of SB and I will be able to escape with my boobies if need be.

If she is as stubborn as me or her Dad, we are screwed. Please folks, wish me luck.


metro mama said...

Oh dear. Good luck! If this fails, beat her with a coat hanger until she drinks her milk.

kgirl said...

fuck it. i am of the opinion that milk is for baby cows, and that's about it.
it's not the milk she needs, it's the calcium. bumper can get calcium from other sources, including soy/rice milk and products. try strawberry soy milk - bee swears by it. how about cheese? will she eat cheeses? broccoli? tofu? smoothies? chocolate? (ok, kidding on that one)

good luck, but don't stress it too much. you might even want to talk to a naturopath, who could have some better suggestions than guilt and a wire hanger.

Kyla said...

Good luck!!!! I completely understand the food/drink battles. No fun for anyone!

There is milk in milk chocolate...maybe you can just start feeding her lots of chocolate? No? I'm out of ideas then.

Gabriella said...

I'm with Kgirl. Sometimes doctors, to me anyway, like to say to their patients what they think they should be saying, even when they know that it's not realistic. My niece after she stopped bfeeding, didn't drink any milk until she was 2 1/2. But her dr wasn't really concerned as she got lots of calcium from other sources; cheese, yogurt...
Hang in there and don't sweat over it too much this weekend!!!

Lisa b said...

Oh no poor mommy. These battles are torture.
I always find when I give up on whatever I was trying to implement food or sleep wise then it magically occurs. It is quite irritating.
Good luck and just keep asking yourself "or what?" and think of the ninjas.

ali said...

i share your milk issues. you can't get off the boob, i can't get mine off the bottle.
let's commiserate together.

something blue said...

I have two orange juice demanding girls. They start each day chanting out orange juice, orange juice...

I offer up smoothies and yoghurt drinks to give them calcium.

I better watch out for ninjas with rickets.

mamatulip said...

I'm with Kgirl. It's the calcium she needs, and you can find calcium in lots of other sources.

Have you tried doing like, half breast milk, half milk? I'm sure you have...but I just wanted to throw it out there.

Good luck, and don't stress....too much. ;)

Heather said...

Milk is not necessary. As long as bumper is getting calcium it's all that matters. My son HATES milk, he's 19 months, and he's been doing just fine without it. After nursing, humans are the only creatures that continue drinking milk....perhaps nature is trying to tell us something.

Jezer said...

Count me in as part of the Milk-Schmilk crowd. Al drank cow's milk for about a month, until I realized it was making him snotty. He prefers soy and rice milk anyway, and they are both fortified with all the same stuff they put in cow's milk.

I would try rice milk first. It's very, what's the word? Non dairy. Doesn't have any protein and very little fat, but that's why God invented cheese and soy butter and scrambled eggs, right?

Mamalooper said...

Count me in on that crowd too - hey, people in Asia aren't big on the dairy so do they all have rickets?????

Monkeygirl loves my numnums and drinks water and juice from her sippy cup. She likes plain, unsweetened rice milk too. And plain yoghurt, cheese, and cottage cheese. Cow's milk, not so much. Not much at all. Like Bumper, she'll humour me with a few ounces.


nomotherearth said...

I gave up trying to force the Boy to drink milk. Sometimes he drinks a lot, sometimes not so much. I'm trying to go with the flow even though that's SO not me. I haven't gotten pressure from my doctor though....Good luck!

julia said...

I was going to suggest soy milk, but others have beaten me to it.

Yoghurt, cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice. All good. No need for milk if she doesn't like it. And you can give your boobs a break anyway, if you're so inclined.

Beth said...

It's been awhile! hey! how are ya?!
Good luck! I am trying to withold (with hold?) boobies from the boy. I am done (sorta). Always good to start on a weekend.
Like others have said, if she wont, go with cheese and yogurt and calcium enhanced OJ. Find out how much calcium is in a glass of milk, and give the equivalent.

crazymumma said...

I'm with Kgirl on this. Both my girls hated milk for a period of time, they get the majority of their calcium from cheese, calcium enriched orange juice, chocolate soy milk and cows milk and almonds.

Veeerrrry funny post. Esp the ninja part...

good luck!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Withholding Boobie.

That's what my husband calls it when I say I'm too tired for sex.


Seriously, what the others said. Yogurt, cheese, other calcium-fortified and Vitamin D-fortified foods. Why exactly does she need milk? Good luck!

kittenpie said...

Okay, it was easier to do this because I was pumping anyhow, but here's what worked for me:

One week, I mixed 3/4 breast milk, 1/4 cow milk.
Next week, half of each.
Third week, 1/4 breast and 3/4 cow.
Fourth week, all cow.

She didn't even notice the switch. It would mean a month of pumping, which is a pain, but it might just work. barring that, now she's all about the chocolate or strawberry when she can get them, but I see you tried at least one of those.

Sandra said...

Oh that sucks!

My guy was allergic. But he ended up LOVING rice milk 'cause it was sweet. And you can even buy the organic vanilla or choclolate flavour and do like 80% reg and a little of the flavoured to help. We used the fortified kind and supplemented with flax oil at teh advice of my naturopath. He still drinks it to this day. No rickets. No ninjas. Happy guy.

It might not work but ... just in case I thought I'd share

Ms. Porter said...

I know I'm late with the advice here but I totally agree with most of the other comments, especially kgirl. The only thing I would add is to keep offerring milk without any expectations. If there is a food that my children have shown a dislike for in the past I still put a small amount on their plate. They know that they aren't expected to eat it but they should ignore it if they aren't interested. I think this blase attitude from my husband and I has made it easier for our kids to give up their stance and try things again. Good luck...oh and you can make homemade frozen yogurt pops too.

kittenpie said...

oh oh oh, and because I can't shut up - another trick that worked to make yogurt so good it was called dessert - we'd take plain, natural yogurt, mix in some flavoured baby flakey cereal (iron-enriched, you know!) and a good dollop of baby food fruit to sweeten without sugar. Nice, thick yummy, and loaded with iron and calcium. Make that calci-yum!

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

I haven't read all the other responses, so pardon me if my ideas have been presented.

First, isn't it the calcium that she needs, not the milk? There's yogurt (mix plain with flavoured applesauce), cottage cheese, regular cheese.

Another yogurt option - blend yogurt, fruit (strawberries work well), a bit of honey, a touch of vanilla together. (you could, actually, probably add a bit of milk, too). Like a smoothie. Either drink as is, or freeze in ice cube trays with popsicle sticks. Yum.

for drinking milk - does she ever drink expressed breastmilk? If so, start mixing it with a bit of milk. Gradually increase the amount of milk in the mix.

What about alternate milks? (soy, rice, almond) I think they have the good stuff in them as well.

Kale and Broccoli are also good sources of calcium.

Good luck!